Ex-TEAM Reader Q&A: Susan Lovelace TEAM/LIFE Statement
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.
How were you approached to join TEAM?
My best friend asked me to come over and listen to some info. I was very skeptical and told my husband as I left the house to call me in a hour to tell me that the baby needed me, hahaha. We got in the Team/Quixtar in November 2006 left August 2009 due to a family medical emergency, my husband and son where in a fatal car accident (the other driver died) and my husband is still battling with the injuries. We were in MonaVie as well however after a year of everyone dropping out that we put in and our income dropping due to the economy dive in the housing area, we pulled back on our products and meetings. This was in 2008. Once that happens every leader acts like you are nonexistent just a chair warmer not doing their part in funding the future of our business. I reentered Team/Life March 2012 because it is exactly what we always wanted to do, help others, save marriages, get the info out there to make a difference. We left September 2012 after I found out by reading the Life policies that the business is not mine and at any time they want to they can take my business. Also I talked with a few former team leaders that I looked up to and ran the roads with and found out that the Policy council are not the men they say they are.
What attracted you to TEAM?
The Wal-Mart of the internet, to be debt free (my husband carried a huge debt into our marriage), to be able to have freedom and choices. To give my kids the best that we could give, not materialism but the best not the rusted hand me downs we had. If we are already spending the money why not spend it and make a profit. Plus who would not want to run the roads with their best friends?
At the time you joined, what MLM company was TEAM aligned with? For instance, what products were you trying to sell?
Quixtar- Sip twice eat and profit anyone remember this? DOT 1 Step lol
How much money was told she could/would make and in what time frame (or implied)?
2-5 years be debt free and making thousands a month. That is if you did what they recommended to you at any time you will have the results they had!
Did they entice you with what they were making?
They always were having you go to retirement parties, upline’s new houses, then their newer houses, and showing of the cars they drove, and the newer cars they drove etc.. All paid with cash mind you! The nice outfits, going out to dinner, having the “freedom” to do whatever you want with your money. The vacations and trips they went on, taking pictures and showing them off at Major Conventions. It was all a way to show you that you can earn freedom through your sacrifices now.
Was their promises of passive, residual, ongoing income promoted?
I show many plans and board plans, every open meeting and plan stated that the income you Will receive will be continuous, once you do the work ONCE you are paid on that work over and over forever! It was promised and promoted. That was the big thing for me with 7 kids at the time I did not have time to waste and it is a great thing to do it once and get paid on it FOREVER!!!
Working The Business
On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, how hard would you say you worked the system?
I worked the system at a 10! We went up in levels quickly, we were recognized monthly for doing everything right and following what was recommended. I won at every call session, I won every CD contest, I went to extra book study’s, I read my books, participated in book groups, I went to every extra meeting they had, I won mobile call session after the major’s. I worked the system so hard! We were in with the leaders, they all knew us by first name, they came to my home multiple times, I went to everything I could, I made sure I qualified for everything! I got pregnant with baby number 8 and the DAY we brought her home we had over 40 people in my house with Dan Hawkins on the board! We worked that system exactly how they said to. I invested every dollar we had extra or not. My husband bought the books, Cd’s , dvd’s brochures, pamphlets, flyers, and whatever he thought we needed. We had the tools and our trunk was full. My husband was Proud of that trunk! Even through my bed rest with the 8th my husband went to a major without me, my doctor said I could not go. Man that was hard I even tried to see if I could go in a wheel chair and he said NO way!! Once we went to two majors, I went to 1 in OH and my husband went to the 1 in MN because we had people that could not go the 1st week end so they went the 2nd weekend with my husband. I never missed anything and my husband went to what he could or wanted to.
Did you attend all the weekly meetings?
Yes everyone except 2 once for bedrest and once for my child’s high fever, the doctor told me not to leave the child. I would work hard every week to bring new people, drive extra hours to pick them up and bring them home, would hunt and haunt my prospects daily to get them just to one meeting.
Did you attend all the monthly seminars?
All of them, if you missed a seminar you better be at your own wedding or your own funeral is what was preached. Actually someone made my husband feel so uncomfortable for missing meetings he stopped going to them.
Did you attend all the quarterly Major Functions?
Yes except the one the doctor refused me to go to. I cried and cried!
Did you ever miss any meeting? If so, for what reason?
No you do not miss meeting even the ones that were family days if you did not go they made you feel like crap! An example were we camping this past June 2012, our 1st family vacation ever that I had planned and paid for before I resigned into the business. Our Team had won a chance to get around George Guzzardo. I had planned that we would get up early, pack up and head 2 hours away to see him. That was the plan however I could not afford the gas. I had met with George so many times we were on a 1st name basis. They wanted me to go for the rest of my Team. My Best friend, my upline Turbo 50 said to me is it the Gas or do you just not want to get up and pack up your kids. SERIOUSLY I had just put in over 30 people in the last 90 days and she questioned my loyalty. It was not a Seminar, it was not a meeting. The next seminar in July we had a family reunion and I left in the middle of it to go to the Seminar. I just snuck off so my family would not yell at me. Did not even say good bye because I did not want to hear the negativity from them.
With all this time spent in meetings, when did you go out and prospect people?
I, of course, was the good minion and brought my people with lol. Would meet at McDonald’s, or wherever. Over the summer my older kids got to spend their days babysitting for the entire summer. I had 24 hours a day to run the roads for this business. I did not have another job, had finished my college degree in 2009 so I was able to just be a free agent and go to every meeting and get together at anytime. I was the unusual one that could just go, however I took all that time from my children to watch and raise my children. Since baby #8 we had twins so they had their hands full with 10 kids in the house and I gone running the roads it was tough. I would make dinners in advance, clean and so laundry I was running ragged keeping the house, yelling at the kids all the time and my husband too!
What places did you go to do your prospecting?
EVERYWHERE! Every place there is an opportunity to talk to someone.
How much time did you spend working your business each week? Include time spent at meetings and prospecting.
Seminars were 14 hours once a month, Tuesdays were 6 hours every week, then showing my plans and my teams plans at least 30-40 hours a week.
Were you aware of websites or individuals critical to TEAM?
Yes but you can find negativity on everything on the internet everyone has critics even I have critics.
What was your opinion of the critics?
They did not follow the recommendations and or their leaders. They did not work the system and quit. Why else would they quit??
How did you become aware of websites or individuals critical to TEAM? Did they criticize the critics from stage at every seminar and or just behind the scenes?
My husband was their biggest critic before we got in the business and did tons of research and then continued researching them not to cut them down but to be armed with the info if it was brought up. After he left the business in 2008, I stayed in. When the housing market went down so did his design business. Our income was barely there and we could not afford everything. He stopped going to Seminars and they made him feel like crap so he quit. He knew he could not talk me out of the business but he did inform me of things he did figure out. He did limit the amount of money I could spend in the business.
The Leaders always talk about the critics even in code when they are being watched. On stage they would use an historical example like a battle; the victor of course being team and the loser the current enemy. Behind the scenes they let loose! They let out how they feel about the critics of course using the right wording to make them out to be the bad guys. An example about the Peters that a founder used at a meeting was if an employee (Peters) was picketing McDonalds (Team) saying their fries were bad and they were losing business, McDonalds would remove them from the business, sue them, fire them not keep employing them or paying them. That person was sharing their opinion and at the same time hurting their business. You get rid of people like that. You do not let them spread lies and hurt your business. They have their own agendas and it might not be the truth.
Did you shun people who didn’t join TEAM?
No I did not shun them but I also did not have time for them. I remember the quote also for those friends or people you knew before when they asked you or stated wow I have not heard from you in a long time the response “I finally have something to contact you about” is that not a horrible statement? Them just being alive and a friend was not enough?
Were the people you now hung out with just TEAM members?
Yes if you were not in team or coming to a meeting I did not have time for you. If my kids birthday was on a Wednesday, sorry we cannot celebrate it, a Seminar, forget it a Major well I just missed it entirely. They say you can’t always celebrate your birthday on the day it is ok, it is just a day you can do it the day before or another weekend. You will have the freedom to do whatever you want on their birthday after you have worked for it. The freedom to have choices.
What did you do outside of your TEAM business? For instance, sporting activities, date nights, volunteer work, etc.
NOTHING, really unless I was doing something with the immediate family, we even put a cap on what we could do for their birthdays as far as spending, they were always at home, and we only spent 50 bucks total on everything even gifts. Seriously I might have gone to 1 thing a year while in the business that was not about the business. We were told to visit our families when it was a holiday weekend, most people will not talk business on those weekends so you should spend it with your family.
Concerns About The Business
When you joined, did you know that the TEAM leadership made a substantial amount of money from the sale of tools (tapes, CD’s, marketing materials) and function tickets?
Yes I did my husband grilled them it took 3 meetings that last one they brought in a Platinum to answer his questions. He finally let me sign up so I would have something to do besides fight with him.
During your time, did TEAM join another MLM company or start selling other company’s products? If so, how was this change communicated? Did you have any problems or concerns regarding this transition?
Did you have any problems or concerns regarding this transition? We knew of the Quixtar split we had meetings and phone calls, we even had certain days to turn in our resignation. We then just were promoting the Leadership part of Team. Then 6 months later we were in MonaVie.We all had a start date for MonaVie, they put in clusters of people at a time. We stuck through that we hit levels quick and were Star 1000 in 90 days. After that we just hung there the market was full and our people could not afford the juice. We were always told this was a temporary stop, for a while we were told they would keep adding new components whatever was popular now it is juice next it will be sport drinks etc.. We were still going to be the Wal-Mart of the internet. I ran the roads as much as I could with 8 kids, which was never an excuse I was an example, if she can do this with 8 kids anyone can, no excuses are bigger than 8 kids and college full time. After my husband’s accident we quit, no one showed up we got a card form one, a call from another and our best friends came by once. I was later told that if I wanted them to come over I should have called them. REALLY 8 kids and a disabled husband yes I was always on the phone I had so much time!!
When did you start having doubts about the effectiveness of TEAM and the business opportunity?
The business could have never given me a real opportunity it was when their words did not line up with their actions. I know why they did not come over: we were not on auto ship, we were not on the system, we were broke before my husband’s accident, and after for over 18 months we and ZERO INCOME. Yes we ran the roads for 3 years and there was no passive residual business, Strange huh? Oh if you are not on auto ship you cannot make money no matter how much work you do, duh! Anyway when they did not show up after my husband was taken by a helicopter to a trauma center I realized that they are not what they say they are. They act like they care until you stop making them money.
Do you know your group’s attrition rate? Upline and downline groups.
Let’s see they ALL kept quitting or they would “borrow” my tools and never give them back, or they could not afford the system so again not making money. If they are not buying they are not making money so no motivation to keep going in MonaVie. I could keep them going in the Life business, I genuinely was sold on the Life business and I jacked up everyone around me. Like I said 30 new people in 90 days. We were cruising I was Power Player, a rock star, they said.
In the end though I could see that my upline’s team was not that big. Their taproot, the line they were in grew, the one I was placed in first in 2006. We had like 80 people under us only 10 of them showed up to meetings. Their 2nd team where they placed me in the 2nd time signing up in 2012 had only 14 to 20 others above us in 6 years that was it. (oh and that move was good for them as well, we should have had our original spot, a huge taproot and just started our 2nd team however placing us in their 2nd leg put all of our new people in their 2nd team growing it super fast, guess who hit a huge level right after they signed me up? Hint Not me lol If we would have just paid our fees we would have had those 30 people in our 2nd leg and hit huge levels ourselves) Then their 3rd team had about 10. They said it was because they kept giving all their personals to the taproot and their upline. It is possible but I am sure the leader would have told them to start their team, that is what I always was told to do, help get 10 in below you and then start your 2nd team after 25 in start your 3rd. Who knows I barely had 5 in my 2nd team what do I know. I do know we had the in the 1st time over 10 in our 2nd team and 30 in our taproot below us and almost every single person QUIT.
You had to replace 2 to 1 to make a profit.
How many were ‘on system’ (and got off) out of total numbers in group during your time in TEAM?
We hit Turbo 2 twice hahahah that means 2 people on system in each team. It was a roller coaster you had to count weekly to see where you stood as far as system counts.
What finally pushed you over the edge and made you quit TEAM?
We quit when no one showed up the first time when we needed them especially when our best friends did not have time for us. Then the final time was after I found this information out about former leaders. I refuse to abandon my family for years if my work is not mine.
Conservatively, how much money did you spend as part of TEAM?
The 1st 3 years over $30,000 that includes gas, food, hotels, system, products, babysitters, rental cars, and clothes. The 2nd time @ 500 a month and one month over $800 in tools, so about $4000.00 in six months and I quit at the beginning of September, so 5 months.
How much time did you ultimately spend on the business?
All of my time, every spare minute I could conjure up. We could say on average 12 hours a day 6 days a week for 3 years then for 5 months. We are adding in reading books and listening to Cd’s. That equals 12,852 hours used to build someone else’s dreams.
If you knew about the public records of some of the TEAM leadership — bankruptcies, strategic defaults, and foreclosures — would this have hasten your departure from TEAM?
Yes as soon as I found out I did make the decision to quit. I called a meeting of everyone that was active in my down line and told them I was quitting and why and gave them all the information I had since I was the one that got them involved in the scam.
My downline was outraged! They could not believe they were being led by these people. They all skipped that seminar and we hung out doing research talking to past members of the Team. They had all quit as of that night, however my upline had started to tell lies so they doubted the information that the read and heard. They were sucked back in by the slick way the leaders can talk to you. Re-word things like did you see these facts on paper? Did you talk to these people, how you know it is true? This is what Orrin told us, this is what we heard happened… We even had an emergency meeting that a founder came to, it was opened that this meeting was not to bash Raquel Peters it was to answer questions. He went on and on and even shut me down when I asked him if he verified his facts with the other side and asked if he even talked to Raquel or others he was mentioning. He said to me that if I was so unwilling to hear the information why did I come to the meeting.
They are really good at twisting the facts and making a person who is sharing information and documents I saw with my own eyes, truth and persuading a room full of people that they are just Peters takes or views of what happened. That she was just angry and taking out revenge. I felt so hopeless since I had just that morning had a meeting and read the documentation with my own eyes knowing the truth. I also spent hours on the phone with a past church mentor and was told so many truths it made me sick to have ever been a part of this business. Oh and he said regarding the foreclosures and bankruptcies that not everyone follows the recommendations of their mentors and ends up with consequences. I guess George Guzzardo and Chris Brady did not follow their mentor?? But they are on stages across the US talking to hundreds of people???
What did you do with all of the tools that you purchased?
I kept some of them good story cd’s from the leaders that were not corrupt and liars. I tried to get over $800.00 back right when I quit but my upline dragged that out and it was over the 45 day return policy, they are sitting in our office. The rest I boxed up and put on our uplines front porch. I just could not bear to keep them around me. We are selling books on EBay as well.
Given the choice to join TEAM again, would you do it?
No absolutely not. I missed birthdays and moments I will never ever get back. I missed 1st and lost time I can never have. I focused on helping so many others our marriage is still a mess. We are people and we have issues and when you are focused on others you cannot fix your own.
What lessons did you learn from your TEAM experience?
You can be taught to dance around the truth and mislead others. With your great intentions you can become a member of something that can destroy you and others and not even realize it. You can be told the truth, revealed information and still not see the reality of it. You can deny and walk around fooling yourself and others and personally watch others be destroyed and you will say they did not listen and make excuses for them failing and in the end the truth that you have been avoiding will smack you in the face. You need to research any business opportunity to the ends of the information highway. A bank will not invest in your business if you do not have a business plan, detailed information and references. A bank does not take your word they ask others and get information from all sources. You should act like the bank it is your money and time. Find out the truth before the lies catch up with you.
What advice would you give to people who have left TEAM?
Tell your story yell it from the roof tops. Save others and their families. Save the prospects that are being misled today. Put effort into spreading the truth. Spread your story on the internet, get the information out for others to find. Do not be afraid of the leaders be afraid of what could happen if you sit idle and tell no one the truth. Do you want loved ones or other friends to be sucked in and get screwed out of their time and money?
What advice would you give to current TEAM members?
Get the truth if there is information out there where do you think it came from? Why would the Team have to change their name and branding so many times if there was not an issue? What are they running from? Why are you not talking to your friends and family? Why are the Round Table and Policy Council members/ Founders filing for bankruptcy/foreclosure? May be repeating here but if you want to file for bankruptcy or lose your dream home then follow your leaders. I guess it is ok as long as you quit on paying your bills and keep your new houses, cars and recreational vehicles right? Is that what you are teaching others, rack up the debt and file only on those debts that helped you build your business and live in million dollar homes? What in the heck kind of financial information is that??? I guess what I am saying is find out the facts, just because the Founders did not author it does not mean it is not true. They say from stage over and over that they copy from books, it is proven read their books and compare it to the system books you will find the idea is the same just worded different. Nothing new is found in their books they are constantly quoting others. They are constantly researching and reading, WHY AREN”T YOU? What happened to The Dickies? Peters? Morgans? Raatz? Smith’s? All the leaders we followed and loved? Where did Chuck Geotchel (sp) go? The Freeze’s? Where are these people, why would they just leave the Team after telling their story and leading some many into the business? Stop for a day and research the Team, post what you find…..
Any last words?
Spend time with your people in your life it could end so quickly for them or you. You could be living your last day what are you going to do with it? Recruit others into Team or spend time with your loved ones?
Thank you to Susan for providing her testimony.
There are more Ex-TEAM member reader stories here. If you are a former member of TEAM/LIFE and want to share your experiences, consider filling out this questionnaire. Your story may help other people decide that the LIFE business opportunity is not the right one for them.
Finally, here are some more Ex-TEAM Q&A’s that you may be interested in reading.
- Heather’s “Just Came To” Ex-TEAM Q&A
- Ex-TEAM Q&A: Former Turbo 25 P.J. Talks About His Recent Departure
- Ex-TEAM Reader Q&A: Susan Lovelace TEAM/LIFE Statement
- Ex-TEAM Reader Q&A: Memory Lame
- Ex-TEAM Reader Q&A: Out in PA TEAM/LIFE Statement
- Ex-TEAM Reader Q&A: Jackie Frey’s TEAM/LIFE Statement
- Ex-TEAM Reader Q&A: Soon2BOut
- Ex-TEAM Reader Q&A: I QUIT (and glad I did)
- Ex-TEAM Reader Q&A: Glad to be Free of the LIFE TEAM
- Ex-TEAM Reader Q&A: Katie