Keeping Score: If You Don’t Listen to Me, Listen to Orrin Woodward [updated]
Update 2012-01-05: Orrin Woodward has a new video in which he reiterates the importance of keeping score. Finally, something that the both of us can agree on. With the launch of LIFE and the minimization of MonaVie within TEAM, it’s time to revisit this post written back in April, 2010.
I’ve held this belief that critics and supporters of MLMs are like two sides of the same coin. After reading Lead People & Manage Numbers from Orrin Woodward, I’m convinced of this even more. Orrin explains his philosophy:
I can sum this up by saying Leaders must lead themselves, lead others, and then manage the numbers. After leading yourself, the next best move is to expect others to lead themselves and teach them how to keep score. In order to manage the numbers, you must start tracking the numbers and learning to keep score to identify if you are winning or losing. Some people don’t want to keep score because they feel it would be negative, but nothing is more liberating than knowing the scoreboard so you can start the PDCA – Plan, Do, Check, Adjust process.
Supporters of MLMs will say that their opportunity is the best thing out there and the only way to reach your financial dreams. Saving, clipping coupons and working in a job won’t get you there, but MonaVie, Xango, Amway, Evolv Health, Herbalife, or Xowii will! Critics of MLMs will counter by pointing out the high attrition rates and the low percentages of people who actually make a profit in these ventures. Both groups “want” the common distributor to succeed, but they differ in the actual means to success.
This is why I found it fascinating that Orrin would write a post where he implores people to keep score, which includes tracking such things as:
- Profit margin
- New growth
- Lost customers
- Profit per employee
- Profit per employee cost
- Total revenue
- Customer complaints
When viewed through the MLM prism, most distributors will not see a very happy picture in front of them. The majority of distributors are not making much profit after taking into account all of the expenses “required” for building their MLM businesses. Things like cookie-cutter web sites, voicemail, books, CDs, hotel reservations, gas, airfare and function tickets all add up to reduce or eliminate any profit.
Keeping score is exactly what critics have been asking of distributors since the day the first anti-MLM web site was set up. Keep track of your expenses, your profits and losses and let the numbers determine your actions. Orrin and other MLM leaders will often use the line, “The definition of being insane is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting something different.” Distributors really should heed this advice when keeping score. If you’re not making any money or showing financial progress, should you continue to do what you’re doing with TEAM and MonaVie?
Now, I’m not talking about personal development here; you can get that for free just by visiting your local library. Want to get association? There are far easier and more affordable ways to get this than by paying $5-10/week or $500 every few months for the privilege of getting pumped up by your TEAM leaders. Don’t think for a second that there aren’t smart, ambitious and wonderful people beyond those in TEAM. I’m talking here about your financial development; after all, that IS why you got into the business in the first place, isn’t it?
Listen to your Supreme TEAM Leader when he tells you to keep score. If it’s 51-0 — and not in your favor — maybe you should consider leaving TEAM and MonaVie. Now, that would be the decision of a leader, not a follower. Orrin won’t be happy, but he — if he listens to his own advice — should be proud of you. Bonus points if you tell that to him in person!