Tony is first and foremost a Servant Leader. A Serial Entrepreneur since the old age of 12 he started in Direct Sales @ 18 and never looked back. Most recently he was Master IBO and VP of Training and Leadership Development for a Financial Product Direct Sales Company. Tony has started a Professional Training & Development Company. One of his passions & future focus is helping organizations with a worthy cause become self-sufficient through creative Entrepreneurialism.
I have done several series on the Beachside CEO Radio Sow over the last few years on the books that both Woodward and Marks have written. If you want to listen to these series, you can go to BeachSide CEO Radio
Listen below and hear first hand how Tim Marks has changed from a Viking to a Servant Leader. You can also listen to Orrin & Tony over at the Home Business Radio Network on a daily basis.
First off I want to be perfectly clear, I love and read Forbes consistently! However, in reviewing the Forbes article titled “Climb To The Top”, about Orrin Woodward, Amway, Monavie and Network Marketing aka Multi-Leval Marketing, I found it biased, and the information either provided to lead the readers to a predetermined outcome.
I will provide the complete article at the bottom of this editorial. In the mean time I want to take a specific look at the sections I found with the most blatant bias.
According to the FTC General Counsel Debra A. Valentine a illegal pyramid is “They promise consumers or investors large profits based primarily on recruiting others to join their program, not based on profits from any real investment or real sale of goods to the public. ” You can read her full statement for INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND’S SEMINAR ON CURRENT LEGAL ISSUES AFFECTING CENTRAL BANKS by clicking here.
Notice the Ms. Valentine is very clear “not based on the sale of goods to the public, and the reporters knew this fact.
What I find very interesting in the reporter’s comments is they make it sound as if this is some huge amount to pay to go to a sales, motivational or leadership conference. See below two of the organizations and see how much more their tickets are for an event. Then give some thought to the fact, neither Tony Robbins or Catalyst offer a compensation plan. Seems the ticket prices are very much being sold at fair market value. (See Below)
Just like Tony Robbins, Zig Ziggler, Jim Rohn, Tom Hopkins, Chet Holmes and many others, Orrin Woodward and T.E.A.M. were and still do sell DVDs, CDs, Books, Conferences, training etc, through L.I.F.E. which help people in their perosnal and business lives. Yet the reporters make it sound as if this is not normal or legal.
Again the reporters lead their readers into coming to the conclusion that MLM/Network Marketing/ Direct Selling is some form of illegal pyramid. Yet, have you ever heard of any illegal organization with their own Trade Association?
Now I will agree that all hierarchies, religious, political, governmental, military, social, non-profit, sales, etc are shaped as a pyramid. Yet, when you add members or customers to the pyramid, it becomes a diamond shape. Illegal pyramid’s have NO customers, because they do not sell a product to consumers.
In reality the sales pyramids are side by side. MonaVie unlike Amway, gave Orrin Woodward and T.E.A.M. their blessing to launch a stand alone network marketing company focused on successful living, personal development, and leadership development. After hiring Grimes & Reese one of the most respected law firms in direct selling, they were finally after years of legal battles with Amway, see their dream company true.
But, the reporters never took the time to find out the facts; or at least if they did they never reported them. Instead they decided to write their article in a biased manner in order to lead the reader to predetermined conclusion. Although I have come to find this a new norm in many media outlets, I expect more from Forbes reporters.
Sadly once again the reporters should know better than to write in such a biased manner. As you will see below they fully understand MLM/Network Marketing/ Direct Sales is nothing like a chain letter.
I found this to be some of the most disgusting part of the article. Here the reporters do not take into account if this relationship could be repaired. Instead they take the words of a hurt, and possibly angry husband, and make his wife out to be some brainless woman. I wonder if they took the time to find out if the husband was also a member of T.E.A.M., Amway or even MonaVie. I wonder if the wife was interviewed, if we would find some additional issues about the husband. At no time did these reporters seem to think about the ramifications of their reporting. How easy it would have been to NOT mention the name of the husband to protect this family.
Well, if you read this and are in sales of any kind, I sure hope you are investing in sales tools, conferences, to better yourself and your team. I have had the privilege of being successful in sales since I was 12 years old, and the one thing I have learned is personal development is the key to success. Unlike the reporters I have listened to hours of T.E.A.M. and L.I.F.E. DVDs and CDs. I have read every book Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady have written, and I have found value, priceless in some cases in what I have read and heard.
As someone who has bought over $10,000 dollars of personal development, team building, sales, marketing, better parenting, closer marriage, and how to be a better leader, plus another $5,000 to $10,000 dollars in sales, marketing, branding and business development conferences, I can say with confidence, the tools T.E.A.M. and L.I.F.E. produce are worth the price. Especially since the majority of what they sell, has been written by main stream authors who are experts in their profession.
I am not going to dig to deep into this right now. In a future article I will cover in detail what happened between Orrin Woodward and Amway, based on personal interviews, court records and documentation I have reviewed.
Above I mentioned the reporters were fully aware that Orrin Woodward was not leading some pyramid scheme, or that MonaVie or Amway were illegal pyramid schemes. Well based on the fact they knew the Federal Trade Commission had already covered this issue. In the article the FTC General Counsel made the following statement.
“The Commission took its first concerted action against pyramid schemes in the 1970’s during a boom in home-based business and MLM or direct selling. One-on-one marketing became common for many consumer items — from cosmetics to kitchenware, and Tupperware™ parties became an icon of the era. Unfortunately, the rise in legitimate multilevel marketing was accompanied by a surge in pyramid schemes. Those schemes played off the popularity of MLM or network sales but paid more attention to networking than to selling actual goods. “
“In In re Amway Corp.,(19) another landmark decision from the 1970’s, the FTC distinguished an illegal pyramid from a legitimate multilevel marketing program.”
The reporters are not rookies, they were pros. Their intent in writing the article as they did was a deliberate attempt to mislead their readers it seems.
I added this small clip because after reading it I came to the conclusion, these reporters really do not understand how many people are seeking hope in their lives. If they had, they might not have used the names of a family who were already having marriage issues.
Without a doubt, no organization, company or leader is perfect. Throughout life we all make mistakes, sin, and if we are the leaders we claim to be, will ask for forgiveness and continue our own path of growth.
But, when outsiders write articles without doing the deep due diligence, I think it is an injustice to everyone involved.
One parting thought Orrin Woodward was in the middle of a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Amway at the time this article was written. Amway founders are some of the largest donators to the Republican Party… Steve Forbes is a former Republican Presidential Candidate and long time friend of the family. Plus Amway has been a long time client of Forbes Magazine.
In the last quarter of 2011, I started digging deep into Orrin Woodward’s past business dealings with Amway, MonaVie, former distributors and past employees to find out all I could about T.E.A.M. and the new company L.I.F.E. which launched on 11/11/11. What I have found is very interesting, and may be one of the most unique and original stories I have ever come across.
In January of 2012, Woodward reached out to me, and asked if I would like an opportunity to go behind the myth of secrecy to see what T.E.A.M./L.I.F.E. was all about. I jumped at the chance to really see under the hood. From what I have learned I am the first journalist/blogger to be given this type of access.
There is no way I can cover everything in one article or even in just a few articles. But over the next few months I will do my best to separate reality from fantasy, and facts from fiction about the rise of Orrin Woodward, from a failing part-time distributor at Amway, to now leading with his long time partner Chris Brady and their Policy Counsel one of, if not the largest active team of independent business owners in network marketing.
My adventure started on a Thursday night, where I was allowed to hangout with the Round Table Leaders of Woodward’s organization. These are the leaders who have created three individual sales legs. Two of the legs have 100 active T.E.A.M. members, and one sales leg of 50 active T.E.A.M. members.
In this case active means the distributors are on auto-ship of at least $50 of one of the L.I.F.E. products, and have been, or are attending a major quarterly event.
I counted around 90 people in the Round Table meeting. Breaking that down to 45 couples, these folks accounted for 11,250 active T.E.A.M. Independent Business Owners. Now keep in mind, there are thousands of T.E.A.M. members who have not built out all three legs, so there is no way I can give a full account of how large the T.E.A.M. organization nationally. At least not in this article 🙂
My time with Orrin Woodward and T.E.A.M. is January was both fun, and very respectful. I am not sure I have ever been hosted by so many great folks. And I still have time to sneak away and blend in with the average T.E.A.M. members and listen to what they had to say from the arena floor and in the hallways. I will share more on that in an upcoming article.
Below are a few videos I shot showing some of the event. Some of the videos are from the Friday afternoon event for the next level of leaders under the Round Table. There were close to 250 in the room. The other videos are from the main events.
Now, I want you to realize, these folks have stuck together through a multi-million dollar lawsuit, where Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady, and the Policy Counsel were sued by Amway, and counter sued and lost. (That will be covered in an upcoming article.)
It doesn’t matter who you are. If you as a leader can goes through years of legal battles, go from making millions a year, to no income, to finding a person who believes in you, and is willing to help underwrite your legal fees with a loan, and all the while, have the majority of your field organization stay faithful and loyal, then you must be doing something right. Without a doubt you will not be perfect, but from just a pure leadership standpoint, you are sure leading by example.
In closing let me say I have uploaded dozens of pictures at Pinterest, showing how well the organization is run. Today T.E.A.M./L.I.F.E. has a little over 20 employees in their Michigan offices, and dozens of volunteers across America and Canada to help them with their quarterly events.
You can click the picture below to checkout the pictures currently uploaded.
This MLM Company Review is on LIFE (Living Intentional For Excellence LLLP) the company launched by TEAM LIFE Policy Council Members Orrin & Lori Woodward, Chris & Terri Brady, Claude & Lana Hamilton, Tim & Amy Marks, Bill & Jackie Lewis, Dan & Lisa Hawkins, George & Jill Guzzardo and tens of thousands of other TEAM LIFE members.
Now as I read on one critic’s website “When entering into a business contract, it’s critical to understand what you’re getting yourself into before signing on the dotted line.”
So before launching any business, or signing any agreement, be it for a home loan, or to represent a MLM/Network Marketing company, take time to read and understand what you are signing. If need be, write down some questions, and call the home office or a solid MLM Attorney who is not affiliated with the company.
I have taken time to read through the complete LIFE Policies & Procedures and have made some comments beside those sections which are unique to LIFE and which truly bring balance and in some cases side with the independent LIFE members.
I should also point out that the law firm of Grimes & Reese helped to draft the final version of the LIFE policies and Procedures.
Grimes & Reese is one of the most respected law firms in the direct selling industry. Partner Kevin Grimes is known for his focus on compliance issues and making sure both companies and independent business owners fully understand what it takes to run a successful network marketing business well inside the current federal and state laws.
Breaking MLM News: Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Mehmet Oz have decided to enter the MLM arena like other well known celebrities like Warren Buffet, Donald Trump and Anthony Robbins. However, Oprah & Dr. Oz are doing it through a frivolous lawsuit implicating MonaVie as some type of scam company.
Now what makes this lawsuit so funny and frivolous is the fact MonaVie has been a featured product on one of Harpo Productions (Oprah’s production company) the Rachel Ray show! Listen as the guest calls MonaVie “one of Oprah’s Genius Super Foods.” Now the issue the MonaVie & Oprah attorney’s will debate…
If you are a student of the great profession of Network Marketing then over the last 18 months you have seen top earners in some solid companies like Agel, Noni, Amway, Quixtar, XanGo and others leave these MLM companies to join MonaVie.
For those of you who do not watch this opening video, let me say right up front…