Summer Conference for LIFE and TEAM (also known as LIFE Training) will be held this week from June 20 to June 23, 2013. Members will be descending upon the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio to hear from the eight Policy Council members: Chris & Terri Brady, George & Jill Guzzardo, Claude & Lana Hamilton, Dan & Lisa Hawkins, Bill & Jackie Lewis, Wayne & Raylene MacNamara, Tim & Amy Marks, and Orrin & Laurie Woodward. The guest speaker will be Oliver DeMille.
There are four things that I would like to talk about, three of which will no doubt be discussed at Summer Conference. They will try to sweep the fourth under the rug.
Sigh. Another high-ranking TEAM/LIFE couple has filed for bankruptcy. Bill and Jann Newton1 (TEAM Bio), former Founders Diamonds in the Amway Business2, and Quad Turbo 100 TEAM members filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy on May 21, 2013, in Wichita, Kansas.
If you want to read the public records on the bankruptcy, sign up for a PACER account and access the records for Case Number 13-11244 in the US Bankruptcy Court, District of Kansas. They have listed $3,303,852 in liabilities against $682,603 in assets. $2 million of the liabilities are a result of a lawsuit by Amway (Case No. 2009 CV 3049 TO) against the Newtons. Several hundred thousand dollars have been marked as bank/credit card debt, legal fees, and other debt that bring the total up to the $3.3 million mark.
Here is a screenshot of the first page of their Chapter 7 filing:
The long-awaited LIFE Income Disclosure Statement (IDS) is finally here1. In the revised LIFE Compensation Plan now available on the LIFE website2, a copy of the IDS has been included, along with a two-page overview, starting on page 13.
Income disclosure statements are commonly handed out by multi-level marketing distributors and companies to show the potential financial benefits of participating in the scheme. They are required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States. In Canada, the required document is called the Statement of Typical Participant Earnings (STPE). These documents must be presented when making any income claim.
In an email sent out to LIFE members, the company claims that the IDS provides complete transparency for prospective members. This is not the case with many MLM income disclosure statements. Often deliberately vague and lacking in critical details, these documents make it difficult for the lay person to truly understand his or her odds for success. Investigating the figures in an income disclosure statement goes a long way towards determining whether or not an MLM is a good business opportunity.
This analysis uses sound mathematical principles, the figures in the IDS and information from public sources such as Facebook, Twitter, and blogs to paint a realistic picture of LIFE. Our opinion and conclusion remain the same: the LIFE business opportunity is not good. Let’s jump in!
From Orrin’s blog post, Entrepreneur as Leader (bold emphasis mine):
When my co-founders and I started LIFE Leadership, we did so with little funds or resources, but we had a superbly talented leadership team. I knew that the leadership team would quickly build the leadership products that could compete with any leadership team anywhere. Interestingly, over the last 18 months LIFE Leadership has become a $50 million dollar conglomerate through building the highest quality personal development products in the industry.
To one unfamiliar with Orrin Woodward’s history, one might assume that LIFE is a new business that went from $0 to $50 million in 18 months. They wouldn’t know that Orrin got his start in the Amway business, formed his own tools business (TEAM), got kicked out of Amway, and was with MonaVie for three years before “starting” LIFE.
Forbes noted that TEAM made $42 million around 2007-2008, with Orrin pocketing $6 million himself. That doesn’t sound like he’s been lacking for funds or resources now, does it?
Granted, when Orrin got started in Amway back nearly two decades ago, he had less funds and resources than he does now. While he might claim that people in LIFE have the same opportunity that he did, do the facts say otherwise? What is the average amount of income for each rank in LIFE? What’s the attrition rate? How are the $50 million dollars distributed within the LIFE organization?
TEAM’s Chart Topper event is happening this weekend, April 26-28, in Tampa, Florida. By all accounts, this conference is a renamed version of TEAM’s old Go Diamond Weekend. That event was restricted to Silvers (7500 PV) and above, whereas Chart Topper requires attending members to be Student 15,000 (15,000 PV in monthly volume — personal and team combined) and above. Looking at the LIFE Compensation Plan, this level appears to be analogous to the Silver level in Amway.
Those familiar with Go Diamond Weekend tell me that Chart Topper may be the conference where the TEAM leadership takes the proverbial gloves off. The tone of the message will be different from the rest of the major leadership conventions each year — less rosy false happy (i.e. the business is great and exploding!) and more hardcore and serious. Expect to hear some less-than-positive talk under the guise of tough love from the TEAM/LIFE leadership.
Susan Lovelace, an ex-TEAM/LIFE member, provides her story about being a part of TEAM/LIFE over three and a half years. Her time in TEAM coincides with TEAM’s involvement with Amway/Quixtar, MonaVie, and the current LIFE business.
Tell us a little bit about your situation prior to joining TEAM?
Prior to Team I was a stay at home mom and my husband was a full time Professional Building Designer. I ran the house and raised our children we had 7 the youngest a newborn. We were very involved in family and attending all event’s. I never missed a child’s birthday, school event, church program etc… I was an all in mother, I was always there for my children in any way that I could be, if it was possible I was there for them.