Life Leadership Review: Personal, financial & prof. tools
According to the “about us” page on the Life Leadership website, the company was ‘founded in November 2011 by eight entrepreneurs‘.
One of those founders appears to have since left the company, with the Life Leadership website today only listing seven; Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady, Tim Marks, Claude Hamilton, George Guzzardo, Bill Lewis and Dan Hawkins.
Of Life Leadership’s founders Orrin Woodward appears to be the most prominent, serving as Chairman of the Board.
Woodward (right) got started in MLM back in 1993, as an affiliate with Amway. This later morphed into a tool business, selling marketing and motivational tools to other Amway affiliates.
In 2001 Woodward took his tool-selling business fulltime, with the launch of “Team”.
As Team evolved over the years, it eventually morphed into a fully-fledged business opportunity of its own. This purportedly attracted the ire of Amway management, with Woodward and the company parting ways in the summer of 2007.
That same year Woodward claims his tools helped Amway generate some $200 million in sales.
The split between Woodward and Amway purportedly saw Team’s immediate sales plummet. Amway followed up by filing a lawsuit against Woodward.
It wasn’t until an agreement was reached with Monavie was reached later in 2007 that Team’s sales picked up again.
In 2008 Woodward purportedly made $6 million through Team and Monavie. That same year Forbes described Team as
one step ahead of all these juice selling schemes. It is a pyramid atop a pyramid.
Amway’s lawsuit was confidentially settled in 2010. The following year Team was renamed Life Leadership and continues to operate to this day.
Read on for a full review of the Life Leadership MLM business opportunity.
The Life Leadership Product Line
On their website Life Leadership claim their “purpose” is ‘to set people free‘.
Our Products and Services are informational and educational, including audios, videos, and books in both physical and digital formats, as well as more than 7,500 live events held around the world each year.
Additionally, we offer various services designed to save people money on transactions and purchases they are already making.
Three product niches are identified on the Life Leadership website; financial, professional and personal development.
Life Leadership was founded upon the teaching principles of Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady, authors of the NY Times bestseller Launching a Leadership Revolution.
Financial Fitness (financial development)
- Financial Fitness Program ($109 to $164.99) – “teaches the principles behind the Offense (making money), Defense (budgeting and discipline), and Playing Field (rules and philosophy of money) of personal finance”
- Financial Fitness Master Class ($164.99 to $246.99) – “designed for students who want a deeper understanding on the principles of finances”
- Financial Fitness Track & Save ($22 a month) – “a subscription that helps with two key components of the Financial Fitness Program”
- Wealth Habits Subscription Series ($38 and then $11 a month) – “created to help you develop the long term habits of the wealthy in small, ongoing training sessions”
A Financial Fitness app suite is also available, which digital purchases of Life Leadership products possible through the suite.
LLR Corporate Education (professional development)
Based on the New York Times bestselling book Launching a Leadership Revolution, the LLR Corporate education program is designed not to train employees but to develop leaders.
Leadership development is arguably the single most important investment any company can make. The leader creates the culture; the culture delivers the results.
An LLR Corporate Education subscription includes “1 book and 4 audios monthly”.
A 6 month LLR Corporate Education subscription is $64.95.
Of note is there’s mention of three LLR Corporate Education courses on the Life Leadership website, however no specific information about the three courses is provided.
- Life Leadership ($22 a month subscription) – “specifically designed to foster personal growth and development across all areas of life” via 1 Success magazine and 2 audios monthly
- Edge Series ($11 a month) – “designed to impart the principles of success to preteen and early teens and give them the information we all wish we had learned earlier!” via one monthly audio
- Rascal Radio ($22 a month) – “the world’s first online/mobile personal development radio station”
- Freedom ($11 annual subscription) – “learn the principles of freedom and what you can do to preserve it in your society” via one audio per month for 12 months
- Total Access ($82.50 single or $160 couple monthly subscription) – “provides complete access to the extensive LIFE Library of life coaching videos, and all LIFE Live educational events each month”
- All Grace Outreach ($27.50 a month) – “foster spiritual growth and development and strengthen people in their Christian walk” via 1 book and 1 audio each month
The Life Leadership Compensation Plan
The Life Leadership compensation plan rewards affiliates for making retail sales via four separate commission payouts and bonuses.
Residual commissions largely focus on a unilevel compensations structure, with heavy emphasis on an affiliate’s rank and that of their immediate downline (affiliate’s they’ve personally recruited).
Life Leadership Affiliate Ranks
There are thirty-three affiliate ranks within the Life Leadership compensation plan.
Along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- Apprentice – generate an accumulated 1500 GV, 500 of which cannot be your own
- Senior Apprentice – generate an accumulated 2500 GV, 1000 of which cannot be your own
- Performer – generate an accumulated 4000 GV, 1500 of which cannot be your own
- Senior Performer – generate an accumulated 6000 GV, 2000 of which cannot be your own
- Super Performer – generate an accumulated 8000 GV, 2250 of which cannot be your own
- Leader 6 – for six months (three of which must be consecutive), have a combined 10,000 sales volume consisting of retail orders, your own purchases and downline volume, or one downline leg generating 10,000 GV or more a month, with a minimum 2500 GV sourced from the rest of the downline (includes an affiliate’s own personal volume)
- Leader 12 – maintain either of the Leader 6 qualification criteria for twelve consecutive months
- Coordinator 1 – have two downline legs generating 10,000 GV a month or more, with 2500 GV generated outside of these legs (includes an affiliate’s own personal volume)
- Coordinator 6 – maintain Coordinator 1 qualification criteria for six months (three of which must be consecutive)
- Coordinator 12 – maintain Coordinator 1 qualification criteria for twelve consecutive months
- Senior Coordinator 1 – have three downline legs generating 10,000 GV a month or more, with 2500 GV sourced from the rest of the downline (includes an affiliate’s own personal volume)
- Senior Coordinator 6 – maintain Senior Coordinator 1 qualification criteria for six months (three of which must be consecutive)
- Senior Coordinator 12 – maintain Senior Coordinator 1 qualification criteria for twelve consecutive months
- Senior Coordinator 4 Teams – have four downline legs generating 10,000 GV a month with 2500 GV sourced from the rest of the downline (includes an affiliate’s own personal volume)
- Senior Coordinator 5 Teams – have five downline legs generating 10,000 GV a month with 2500 GV sourced from the rest of the downline (includes an affiliate’s own personal volume)
- Life Coach 1 – have six downline legs generating 10,000 GV a month with 200 GV (sic) sourced from the rest of the downline (includes an affiliate’s own personal volume)
- Life Coach 6 – maintain Life Coach 1 qualification criteria for six months (three of which must be consecutive)
- Life Coach 12 – maintain Life Coach 1 qualification criteria for twelve consecutive months
- Executive Life Coach 1 – have nine downline legs generating 10,000 GV a month
- Executive Life Coach 6 – maintain Executive Life Coach 1 qualification criteria for six months (three of which must be consecutive)
- Executive Life Coach 12 – maintain Executive Life Coach 1 qualification criteria for twelve consecutive months
- Double Life Coach 1 – have twelve downline legs generating 10,000 GV a month
- Double Life Coach 6 – maintain Double Life Coach 1 qualification criteria for six months (three of which must be consecutive)
- Double Life Coach 12 – maintain Double Life Coach 1 qualification criteria for twelve consecutive months
- Triple Life Coach 1 – have fifteen downline legs generating 10,000 GV a month
- Triple Life Coach 6 – maintain Triple Life Coach 1 qualification criteria for six months (three of which must be consecutive)
- Triple Life Coach 12 – maintain Triple Life Coach 1 qualification criteria for twelve consecutive months
- Crown Life Coach 1 – have eighteen downline legs generating 10,000 GV a month
- Crown Life Coach 6 – maintain Crown Life Coach 1 qualification criteria for six months (three of which must be consecutive)
- Crown Life Coach 12 – maintain Crown Life Coach 1 qualification criteria for twelve consecutive months
- Crown Ambassador Life Coach 1 – have twenty downline legs generating 10,000 GV a month
- Crown Ambassador Life Coach 6 – maintain Crown Ambassador Life Coach 1 qualification criteria for six months (three of which must be consecutive)
- Crown Ambassador Life Coach 12 – maintain Crown Ambassador Life Coach 1 qualification criteria for twelve consecutive months
Alternative qualification criteria for Life Coach 12 to Crown Ambassador Life Coach 12 is based on the acquisition of points as follows:
- have a downline generating 10,000 GV a month for six to eleven months = 0.5 points
- have a downline generating 10,000 GV a month for 12 months = 1 point
- have a downline with a Senior Coordinator 6 or higher ranked affiliates = 1.5 points
- have a downline with a Life Coach 6 or higher ranked affiliate = 3 points
Points can be accumulated by Life Coach 6 or higher ranked affiliates, and put towards higher rank qualification as follows:
- Life Coach 12 – 8 points
- Executive Life Coach 6 – 10 points
- Executive Life Coach 12 – 12 points
- Double Life Coach 6 – 14 points
- Double Life Coach 12 – 16 points
- Triple Life Coach 6 – 18 points
- Triple Life Coach 12 – 20 points
- Crown Life Coach 6 – 22 points
- Crown Life Coach 12 – 25 points
- Crown Ambassador Life Coach 6 – 27 points
- Crown Ambassador Life Coach 12 – 30 points
Note that GV stands for “Group Volume” and is sales volume generated by a Life Leadership affiliate’s downline.
A Life Leadership affiliate’s own sales volume includes their purchase of products as well as that of their retail customers.
Product Point Value
Each Life Leadership product is assigned a “point value”, which is used to calculate various commissions (as well as GV and an affiliate’s personal volume)
A “rule of thumb” in the Life Leadership compensation plan states that non-book Life Leadership products have a point value of one point per $1.10.
Book-based Life Leadership products have a point value of half a point (0.5) per $1.
Life Leadership affiliates earn a 15% commission every time they sell Life Leadership products to retail customers (non-affiliates).
Note the 15% paid out is 15% of the point value associated with the products ordered.
MLM Commission Qualification
In order to qualify for commissions (excluding retail commissions), Life Leadership affiliates are subject to the following criteria:
- 30 days affiliate membership to 6 months – generate at least $100 a month in retail sales (includes self-reported reselling of affiliate purchased products)
- after 7 months – maintain $100 a month in retail sales, $50 of which cannot be self-reported
Customer Pool Bonus
The Customer Pool bonus is a quarterly bonus paid out on an affiliate’s total retail customer orders for that quarter.
To qualify for the Customer Pool Bonus, a Life Leadership affiliate must have an accumulated 600 PV in retail sales for the quarter.
Life Leadership don’t provide specifics as to how the bonus is paid out, stating only that
the amount paid out will vary according to the overall sales performance of the company and the individual’s total sales amount.
A minimum $50 bonus is guaranteed with ‘no limits on the upside amount‘.
Cumulative Customer Bonus
The Cumulative Customer Bonus builds on the Customer Pool Bonus, awarding retail-orientated affiliates with an annual bonus payout.
How much of a bonus is paid out is determined by a Life Leadership affiliate’s annual retail order volume:
- 5000 annual PV = $500 bonus
- 10,000 annual PV = $1000 bonus
- 15,000 annual PV = $1500 bonus
- 20,000 annual PV = $2200 bonus
- 30,000 annual PV = $4000 bonus
- 50,000 annual PV = $7000 bonus
- 100,000 annual PV = $15,000 bonus
- 200,000 annual PV = $40,000 bonus
Financial Fitness Customer Sales Contest
The top six affiliates who generate the most retail sales of Financial Fitness products are recognized at Life Leadership conventions.
The top affiliate is additionally awarded a 4 night stay at ‘an exclusive hotel in Waikiki Beach, Hawaii plus 50% back on total retail sales and a trophy‘.
Second place receives a 3 night stay ‘at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona plus 35% back on total retail sales‘.
- 3rd place receives $500 plus 25% back on total retail sales
- 4th place receives $250 plus 15% back on total retail sales
- 5th place receives $150 plus 10% back on total retail sales
- 6th place receives $100 plus 5% back on total retail sales
Note that the Life Leadership compensation plan doesn’t state what the qualification period is for the Financial Fitness Customer Sales Contest.
Top Retail Sales Team Contest
The Top Retail Sales Team Contest is based on total retail sales made by a Community Advancement Bonus qualified affiliate’s entire downline.
The CAB Coordinator team that ends up with the largest overall customer sales total is announced, recognized, and awarded a plaque at every Life Leadership Convention.
The Personal Bonus is a monthly rebate affiliates receive on their own purchases of Life Leadership products.
The more an affiliate purchases, the higher the rebate earned:
- 150 PV = 3% rebate
- 300 PV = 6% rebate
- 600 PV = 9% rebate
- 1000 PV = 12% rebate
- 1500 PV = 15% rebate
- 2500 PV = 18% rebate
- 4000 PV = 22% rebate
- 6000 PV = 27% rebate
- 8000 PV = 30% rebate
- 10,000 PV = 33% rebate
The Customer Bonus uses the same monthly PV qualification as the Personal Bonus, however it is paid out on retail customer orders.
The Differential Bonus again uses the same monthly PV qualification criteria as the Personal Bonus.
The Differential Bonus is paid out as the difference between an affiliate’s rebate rank and that of their entire downline (sorted by individual unilevel leg).
If any individual unilevel leg volume is greater than an affiliate’s own PV, no differential bonus is paid out on that leg.
Life Leadership refer to residual commissions as the Depth Bonus. The Depth Bonus is paid out via a unilevel compensation structure.
A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a unilevel team, with every personally recruited affiliate placed directly under them (level 1):
If any level 1 affiliates recruit new affiliates of their own, they are placed on level 2 of the original affiliate’s unilevel team.
If any level 2 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 3 and so on and so forth down a theoretical infinite number of levels.
Depth Bonuses are paid out according to a Life Leadership affiliate’s rank, on volume below Leader or higher ranked affiliates in the unilevel leg they have been placed in.
- Senior Coordinator = 3% commission
- Life Coach = 5% commission
- Executive Life Coach = 6% commission
- Double Life Coach = 6.75% commission
- Triple Life Coach = 7.25% commission
- Crown Life Coach = 7.5% commission
- Crown Ambassador Life Coach = 7.65% commission
Community Advancement Bonus
The Community Advancement Bonus is a monthly payout based on an affiliate’s rank and downline sales of Total Access.
- Apprentice (have a total of 9 Total Access downline sales, 4 of which must be outside of your strongest leg) = $200 a month
- Senior Apprentice (have a total of 14 Total Access downline sales, 7 of which must be outside of your strongest leg) = $350 a month
- Performer (have a total of 20 Total Access downline sales, 9 of which must be outside of your strongest leg) = iPad for the first month and then $500 a month
- Senior Performer (have a total of 30 Total Access downline sales, 12 of which must be outside of your strongest leg) = $700 a month
- Super Performer (have a total of 40 Total Access downline sales, 13 of which must be outside of your strongest leg) = $800
- Leader (have a total of 50 Total Access downline sales, 15 of which must be outside of your strongest leg) = $1250 a month
- Leader + 6K (qualify as a Leader with 6000 GV or more sourced from outside your strongest leg and have a minimum 50 Total Access downline sales from one leg, 25 from another and 5 from a third) = $2000 a month
- Leader + 10K (qualify as a Leader with 10,000 GV or more sourced from outside your strongest leg and have a minimum 50 Total Access downline sales from one leg, 40 from another and 10 from a third) = $2500 a month
- Coordinator (have a minimum 75 Total Access downline sales from one leg, 50 from another and 13 from a third) = $4200 a month
- Coordinator + 6K (qualify as a Coordinator with 6000 GV or more sourced from outside your strongest leg and have a minimum 75 Total Access downline sales from one leg, 50 from another and 30 from a third) = $5500 a month
- Coordinator + 10K (qualify as a Coordinator with 10,000 GV or more sourced from outside your strongest leg and have a minimum 75 Total Access downline sales from one leg and 50 from a second and third each) = $7000 a month
- Senior Coordinator (have a minimum 100 Total Access downline sales from one leg, 75 from another, 50 from a third and 13 from a fourth) = $9000 a month
- Senior Coordinator 6K (qualify as a Senior Coordinator with 6000 GV or more sourced from outside your strongest leg and have a minimum 100 Total Access downline sales from one leg, 75 from another, 50 from a third and 30 from a fourth) = $11,000 a month
- Senior Coordinator 10K (qualify as a Senior Coordinator with 10,000 GV or more sourced from outside your strongest leg and have a minimum 100 Total Access downline sales from one leg, 75 from another, 50 from a third and fourth each) = $12,500 a month
- Senior Coordinator 4 Teams (have a minimum 125 Total Access downline sales from one leg, 100 from another, 75 from a third, 50 from a fourth and 13 from a fifth) = $14,500 a month
- Senior Coordinator 4 Teams + 6K (qualify as a Senior Coordinator 4 Teams with 6000 or more GV sources from outside your strongest leg and have a minimum 125 Total Access downline sales from one leg, 100 from another, 75 from a third, 50 from a fourth and 30 from a fifth) = $16,500 a month
- Senior Coordinator 4 Teams + 10K (qualify as a Senior Coordinator 4 Teams with 10,000 or more GV sourced from outside your strongest leg and have a minimum 125 Total Access downline sales from one leg, 100 from another, 75 from a third, 50 from a fourth and 50 from a fifth) = $18,000 a month
- Senior Coordinator 5 Teams (have a minimum 150 Total Access downline sales from one leg, 125 from another, 100 from a third, 75 from a fourth, 50 from a fifth and 13 from a sixth) = $20,000 a month
- Senior Coordinator 5 Teams + 6K (qualify as a Senior Coordinator with 6000 or more GV sourced from outside your strongest leg and have a minimum 150 Total Access downline sales from one leg, 125 from another, 100 from a third, 75 from a fourth, 50 from a fifth and 30 from a sixth) = $23,000 a month
- Senior Coordinator 5 Teams + 10K (qualify as a Senior Coordinator with 10,000 or more GV sourced from outside your strongest leg and have a minimum 150 Total Access downline sales from one leg, 125 from another, 100 from a third, 75 from a fourth, 50 from a fifth and sixth leg each) = $25,000 a month
- Life Coach or higher = “profit sharing” (the Life Leadership compensation plan does not elaborate on what profit sharing is or how it is paid out)
Note the Community Advancement Bonus can be qualified at any particular rank for a maximum of twelve consecutive months.
After this period, an affiliate must advance in rank if they wish to continue earning the Community Advancement Bonus (Community Advancement Bonus specific qualification criteria for the new rank must be met).
Along with monthly payment, each time a Life Leadership affiliate qualifies for the Community Advancement Bonus at a new rank, they also receive a Leader Rank Advancement Trip to ‘the beautiful Beia della Vita in Southeast Florida‘.
Leader or higher ranked affiliates qualify for the Leader Bonus when they have a personally recruited affiliate in their downline at the Leader or higher rank.
Once this qualification criteria is met, the affiliate is paid a bonus 5% on sales volume outside of the Leader ranked affiliate leg.
Life Coach 12 Achivement Bonus
Life Leadership affiliates who qualify at the Life Coach 12 rank receive a Tesla Model S.
This award is for the standard Tesla Model S with rear wheel drive and the 70kWh battery and includes the cost of the vehicle plus tax, title and delivery.
This award may not be taken in cash or applied to any other purchases.
Joining Life Leadership
In their compensation plan, the cost of Life Leadership affiliate membership is cited as ” a little more than $100.00″.
An annual fee is thereafter applicable, costing $15 on auto-renewal or $19 if manually paid.
That Orrin Woodward and his fellow Life Leadership founds have a long history in MLM is undeniable.
The question, with respect to Life Leadership’s products, is whether or not that experience is adequately translated into value.
For their part, Life Leadership do a pretty poor job of promoting the credentials behind the products.
The Life Leadership products and services have received accolades from individuals, business owners, educators, business consultants, bestselling authors, military leaders, elected government officials, and professional sports figures.
You’d think with that many accolades Life Leadership might be a bit more specific, but instead all prospective customers get is a boatload of generic throwaways.
The credentials of Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady are trotted out, but that’s not necessarily a reflection of Life Leadership’s products.
On the flipside that doesn’t insurmountably equate to Life Leadership’s products lacking value, only that they aren’t very convincing on the demonstration of credibility.
They do however back up all of the non-event products with a “no questions-asked, 30-day, 100% money-back guarantee”, so there is that.
Moving onto Life Leadership’s compensation plan, the focus on retail was a pleasant surprise.
Containing no less than five retail orientated commissions, Life Leadership’s compensation plan is easily one of the strongest retail focused plans I’ve come across.
I thought the concept behind the “3 for free” was great in theory, with affiliates encouraged to make retail sales to offset their own subscription costs.
Those retail customers can also then do the same by referring other retail customers to Life Leadership products, all of which counts as retail volume for the affiliate who introduced the first customer.
In reality the requirement that each set of new customers purchase more than the last might be a bit restrictive, so 3 for free as a selling point to customers (and affiliates) is somewhat diminished.
Great idea in concept though, with perhaps the reduction of retail customers having to subscribe to more than the affiliate to an equal amount making it more effective.
One potential grey area regarding retail sales was this “self-reporting” stuff. As per Life Leadership’s compensation plan, affiliates can purchase products, resell them and then “self-report” the sales as retail sales to Life Leadership.
First and foremost these are not retail sales. If an affiliate purchases a product, it’s an affiliate sale. What they do with purchased product thereafter is irrelevant, as it’s entirely external to Life Leadership’s compensation plan.
If I buy a BigMac for $1 and resell it on eBay for $100 million dollars, McDonalds aren’t going to add an extra $100 mill to their end of year taxable income. Same deal with affiliate purchases and the reselling of them in MLM, it’s not retail sales income for the MLM company.
Secondly, how robustly Life Leadership checks this self-reporting matters. Ideally they demand to see receipts on any and all self-reported retail sales. If the FTC’s Vemma bust taught us anything though, this could equally just be lip-service.
I buy products, report I’ve sold some of them as retail sales and I might very well fudge up to 50% of my MLM commission qualification requirements.
There was nothing about how vigorously Life Leadership police self-reported retail sales in their compensation plan material, so that question is still up in the air.
Outside of retail sales and commissions, Life Leadership’s compensation plan is far too complicated and is long overdue for an overhaul.
There are some thirty-three affiliate ranks in the plan, and that’s beyond ridiculous. If you need that many incremental stepping-stones to gradually reward your affiliates over time, you’ve made things far more complicated than they need to be.
Combining at least half of Life Leadership’s ranks into combined payments would go a long way to reducing the size of the plan, however it’d still come in as one of the more complicated MLM compensation plans I’ve reviewed yet.
A lot of that comes down to the use of non-standard MLM compensation terminology, which given how long Orrin Woodward and friends have been in MLM, is pretty inexplicable.
Don’t try to reinvent the wheel guys, it only comes off as confusing (to MLM newbies and veterans alike).
Overall though the strong retail focus is a nice counter-weight to downline sales volume, ensuring that a significant amount of that is sourced from non self-reported retail sales.
Top marks for that.
Again coming back to the value of Life Leadership’s products (which ties into retail viability), I think much can be said for a “tools” company that has hitched itself to an existing MLM opportunity.
Are the products really worth it? Or are affiliates of that company just buying them because of a corporate agreement between the tool vendor and the MLM company they’re in?
Is an exclusivity agreement perhaps limiting the sale of the tools to non-affiliates of that company, in which case how on Earth do you gauge actual retail viability in the marketplace?
As far as I could see, Life Leadership is a genuine attempt to take MLM training and tools and market it to the public at large.
Some of that public are of course going to be MLM marketers, but it should still be a far cry from Team’s Amway and Monavie days.
Whether you’re considering Life Leadership as a retail customer or affiliate, you can’t go wrong with a “no questions asked” 30-day guarantee. By all means try the products and evaluate for yourself the inherent value versus what you paid for them.
As a retail customer that’s pretty much all you need to do. As a prospective affiliate, then take one step further and seriously evaluate your ability to market Life Leadership’s products without the attached business opportunity.
Update 6th February 2020 – A reader reached out to let me know Life Leadership has introduced an app.
I went looking on their website and found it as “Life’s Super App”. Nothing remarkable, cashback, travel discounts, virtual rewards, coupons etc. etc.
Obviously third-party supported but who’s actually behind the app isn’t disclosed.
The “Financial Fitness” products, most of what is detailed in this review under “products”, is included with the app.
What I couldn’t find was a copy of Life Leadership’s current compensation plan, to see how the app fits into the business.
Life Leadership do not provide a copy of their current compensation plan on their website.
Through a Google search I was able to track down a ~2018 hosted compensation plan.
The plan is significantly different enough from the one reviewed above to warrant a Life Leadership review update.
The problem is that plan is still two years old and doesn’t detail any app related commissions.
Pending a copy of Life Leadership’s current compensation plan surfacing, I’ll leave the update there.
Not much at all is disclosed on Life Leadership’s current website, so I’d strongly advise proceeding with caution.
For me the best line of the review was the line from Forbes when they said:
and said it all.
Your research of the company is remarkable as it relates to the accuracy of the information that you present. You outline the basics of the pay plan very concisely and I really how well you did that! Artfully done and I mean that with great sincerity.
Your clarity on the company is wonderful. You put a great deal into this work you have put together.
Also, I would give your writing high marks as well! It is not an easy task to put such a large body of data into a readable format as you have. Again well done.
Of course with that said: What you’re basically saying is.. you don’t like LIFE Leadership. Ok. We get it. No need for the attempt at balance through such thinly veiled obscurity of your incessant criticism.
That is the only thing this piece of writing is missing: balance. You don’t say a single good thing about the company, only cast doubt and skepticism on its viability.
Again, I really appreciate your work. I’ve got it bookmarked and I’m going to keep re-reading it as I enjoy concise analysis from an objective standpoint and there’s plenty of facts here.
But, to be as plain as you are in your distaste for the company through the veil of excessive wordiness, you could have just shortened up the analysis piece to: “I don’t like LIFE. I think it’s crap.” And you would have saved us all a lot of time.
Especially, where you cast massive dispersion on the “self-reporting” aspect of the LIFE members.
Is there a margin for error and the ability for abuse? Of course! Every system has that potential. But in the manner in which you present it, you speak as if its a given and you passively assert that they are committing illegal acts, which is ironic; considering the fact that the entire company is founded on the basis of Leadership Training and the premise of all of their leadership training is based on Orrin Woodward/Chris Brady’s Task, People Skills and CHARACTER!
They can’t do anything about their members lack of scruples except get ANY of the LIFE materials that would blatantly state the importance of virtue. Makes no sense, this disparagement you assert. Even moreso when considering the company as you say DOES do audits.
But it is your article, it is your opinion, and I respect it immensely.
My encouragement to you is to keep writing. You are very good at it. But, if you have such a hard time being balanced, maybe get some assistance and co-write more with someone with a different perspective. I think it will add more value for the reader.
Thanks for the great article and keep up the good work.
What you’re doing there is attempting to dismiss a four thousand word review without actually addressing it.
I hope that sort of shoddy marketing isn’t something you learnt as a Life Leadership affiliate.
And I suppose for all your puff flattery, in the end you only skimmed over the review. The focus on retail was a notable positive I raised.
There’s nothing ironic about it. Vemma had self-reporting and still operated as an internal consumption pyramid scheme.
eliminate the grey area that currently exists entirely. Shrugging your shoulders is a reflection of poor management.
Yeah… so did Vemma.
The combination of grey + self reporting is something Life Leadership shares with Vemma, and we all know how that turned out for Vemma
The onus would be on demonstratable retail sales, as opposed to affiliate recruitment.
You as an affiliate could provide us with some insight:
What portion of your monthly commissions are derived from recruited affiliates on autoship versus that of genuine retail customers (not you making purchases and reselling)?
Thank you sir of for the thoughtfulness of your reply and I hope that I don’t come across as a keyboard warrior trying to pick a fight on the internet. Like I said, I love the article.
To answer your question directly and honestly (because I respect a solid question) For myself my sales have generated 76.17% (that’s an exact, accurate percentage) of my income from LIFE.
That’s not the number that you might have expected. Yes, some of it was self-reported. But it should be obvious that the materials I purchase and resell.. well they need to be reported as sold for me to be paid on them. But they have un and fancy receipt books for that kind of accurate documentation. =) Very handy.
Now with that said, I’m no giant leader in the organization. Just a member. I haven’t built the community up with any sort of level of magnitude or aggressiveness, so I don’t have a “large team.” But, I really don’t need to.
The products are amazing and they’re totally salable and they get better all the time in both quality and price. Its the best in the world, really, when it comes to personal, financial, and professional development.
No one can touch this stuff when it comes to its clarity and quality and effectiveness when used properly. It changes lives.
But here’s what’s more important and significant as it relates to the idea we’re discussing: “Ethics in the Marketplace.” Quality of Character is one of the foundational bedrocks of what LIFE Leadership stands for.
Its a part of everything that is said and done. LIFE materials, produced by themselves and the offerings from other offerings and speakers, (it’s ingrained in the entire system of information really) consistently emphasizes the importance of virtue and character in all aspects of life, not just their business.
We want this country to become a more prosperous and liberty-driven society. And as George Washington said in his farewell address: “It is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.”
I appreciate you though brother! I can see you have high standards for ethics in this industry and I support that wholeheartedly.
Again, not sure what the beef is with the organization, but I like your work and hope to read more of it in the future. Take care.
I apologize for belaboring the point.. But I realized that I didn’t answer your question with perfect specificity due to the fact that I combined my retail and self-reported sales.
I don’t have that particular number parsed apart in my accounting of my sales (nor do I have much interest in doing that for this exercise). Reason being, is I am a salesman in the LIFE business.
We have digital products, but what is easiest to sell (this is obvious, common sense) is a real product in a real customers hand.
The business has a website you can buy from. But so does Amazon and many times they can beat my price by buying something I’m selling used.
What I can do that Amazon can’t is #1 A needs analysis of my customer. #2 make a solid recommendation #3 Give them the product today… now. That’s my competitive advantage.
And it would be silly to sit down with someone and ask them for the cc info and say, “It’ll get to you in the mail in the next 2 weeks” No one wants to buy anything like that.
Amazon is constantly doing all they can to get people the instant gratification they want by giving them their purchased product as immediately as possible.
I’m doing the same thing. But I’m faster and better than Amazon. I hope this brings clarity to the numbers I gave you and the importance of self-reported sales. Thanks again.
So for all intents and purposes, actual retail is not a large part of your business. What you resell has nothing to do with Life Leadership’s revenue, your purchases are internal consumption.
And if you have no idea what your actual retail is, I’m guessing Life Leadership don’t either. Which means it’s probably just like Vemma. Lots of rules but no keeping track of actual retail sales.
(Ozedit: Offtopic derail attempt removed)
You must have missed the part in your quote of my comment about the record of receipts. You keep receipts for your sales.
Why would I need to register customers online and make them wait for shipping when I have the book/cd/pack in my car?!! By your logic, a corner store would have to sell everything online to be considered a legitimate business! haha!
Have you ever owned a business where you buy inventory? Oh wow. My friend, this has gone south quickly. You are a wonderful writer, but you have no clue how business works at alllllll.
See, a normal business owner (like my LIFE business as well as all the other businesses I own.. and all product-selling businesses EVERYONE owns for that matter) purchases inventory from a supplier (that is of course unless they are the manufacturer… in this case I”m not) And then they sell it to the end consumer.
They document these transactions with receipts. Then at the end of the year they report these transactions in what’s called a Tax Document that gets filed with the Federal, State and Local governments.
They get taxed on their profit and if the government expects foul play in the records you, as the business owner, gets audited, which has in fact recently happened to me. Not with my LIFE business granted but another partnership I own.
Now the difference (and it is a significant one) with a network marketing company is that though you are self-employed, you do not OWN the business.
You are a licensed agent to sell; or as the tax docs would say an “independent contractor,” which means. You are all on your own and assume all liability for your expenses, income, insurances and taxation, BUT you don’t actually have rights to the company.
Also the company pays you for making them (or the community/upline/whateveryouwanttocallit) money. At the end of the day you still are just a merchant through which a companies products flow.
Now, do you register a customer online? Do you sell them a product from your inventory? IT DOESN’T MATTER (of course provided you have all the necessary legal documentation to prove these details.)
Life does their own audits as well to protect themselves from unscrupulous characters. However, why would unscrupulous characters join a network marketing company that teaches character as a primary virtue, when they could be selling Ignite or some crappy vitamin??
I don’t know man. I’m lost at this point, but I hope my expose on biz101 has some value to you. It’s pretty simple really.
I have no reason to parse apart the two record because from an accounting perspective (of which I have a Bachelors degree in) it’s all the same stuff. You just need it documented.
But again, thanks for all the hard work. I will definitely be referring people to this post of yours for a 3rd party perspective on the business and I wish you well.
You have every product produced by Life Leadership in your car? At some point you should have demonstratable retail sales… but you don’t.
And a customer shouldn’t have to register for anything to purchase products via an affiliate referral link. That’s poor web-design.
What happens in “normal business” doesn’t matter.
This is MLM and in MLM >100% internal consumption = pyramid scheme (ref. FTC’s Vemma litigation).
Effectively your own purchase of product each month qualifies you for commissions on your downline, irrespective of what you do with products you’ve purchased.
An MLM company has to be able to demonstrate significant retail revenue, otherwise it’s a pyramid scheme.
Being shut down by a regulator for participating in a pyramid scheme should be reason enough. Vemma tried the “but we resell products to retail customers” line, it didn’t work.
If you, an an example, aren’t keeping retail records, neither are Life Leadership. As the FTC did with Vemma, analysis of the company will reveal close to 100% affiliate purchases, with affiliates earning on recruited affiliate purchases, who earn on recruited affiliate purchases etc. etc.
Some internal consumption is fine (provided you the affiliate are the intended customer), but otherwise regulatory rules for MLM are completely different to the typical wholesaler/retailer distribution.
For the sake of clarity and to make my points for me (not to mention that it could be construed that I’m legally required to do so because we are talking about the money of the business) Here’s the text of the LIFE Income Disclosure Statement (IDS). Very relevant to the conversation!
(Ozedit: Yeah no. By all means quote a specifically relevant excerpt but the entire thing? Spam.)
(Ozedit: I told you to quote an excerpt of the IDS if it was relevant. Stop posting the entire thing with no context.)
This is for Oz..
Actually we’ve have sold outside the network to quite a few in regards to the Financial Fitness program. I personally have worked with a bank and assisted with a workshop. We sold 15 x $100.00 packs, which to me is a retail sales.
The issue over self reported or registered is ridiculous. In that example I mentioned, we had several of our team order extra Financial Fitness packs earlier that month and we sold 15 at the workshop, which we had the attendees pay us directly.
So how do you report that if they are not ordering through our website, it’s called self reported sales.
What I find amusing, even with the reviewer, who wrote a nice article. You do not work with the company, you haven’t been a distributor, basically you have no idea of what you are talking about in regards to this issue. So kindly, put a lid on it.
As for the comp plan, yes, I’ve found this company and others where you need a degree in comp plans to understand. Basically a new distributor can break even with 2000 pv of sales (including their own).
As for leadership bonuses, and the rest of it, it makes sense once you understand the plan better.
As for the Corporate Leadership plan, they are broken into 3 (6 month) modules or courses. Each course consists of a book and 4 Cd’s.
Companies can purchase a facilitator kit that will help them present the material. We sell to hospitals, CAT dealers (in our case) and other companies not affiliated with Life.
Finally, the Financial Fitness product and CLR product are also approved for CE credit for accountants.
Tell me what other MLM/Networking product has a professionally approved training program that is offered to financial professionals.. big hint! Just one, it’s Life Leadership.
That’s not a retail sale, it’s an affiliate purchase. What you do with products after purchase doesn’t matter, you earned a commission from Life Leadership when your downline purchased the products.
The exception is if you issue receipts to your customers and file each and every one of them with Life Leadership, but you’re not doing that (?)
In an audit your “retail sales” would come up as affiliate purchases. See Vemma for what happens when an MLM company derives the bulk of its revenue from afiliate purchases.
You don’t need to join an MLM compnany to analyze a compensation plan. Any more so then you need to be an automotive engineer to understand foot on gas pedal = vroom vroom.
1. Complicated compensation plans shouldn’t be a thing in 2016. There’s no excuse.
2. An affiliate being able to self-qualify to “break even” only seeks to discourage retail sales. What it does encourage though is affiliates to purchase $1000s of product and then recruit others who do the same.
You might revisit this company come January. They’re jumping into the crypto space.
Also, check out a company named Bonvera – seems life split and a group of them started some other deal.
Oh god not another one.
Thanks for the heads up, I’ll put Life Leadership for a potential review update at the end of Jan.
I had a look at the Bonvera website. No compensation plan provided but I’ve added it to the review list. Should be able to track something down when the time comes.
Here you go:
Comp plan: bonverabackoffice.azurewebsites.net/Content/documents/BonveraCompensationPlan_3_29_2018.pdf
Thanks for that.
Interesting article, and I believe a respectful discussion has followed in your three plus years since posting.
In full disclosure I was a part of Life Leadership back in 2016. I joined Team/Mona Vie in February 2011, was there for the launch of Life Leadership 11/1/11. (actually still wearing the rubber wrist bracelet from the promotion of that launch). I stopped regularly participating in LIFE events in the spring of 2017, and my membership lapsed 11/1/17.
I am not here to argue for or against LIFE Leadership. I am a broadcast journalist by trade and I am simply offering up insight to a point which you make in the first two paragraphs of your review. It’s to the point about eight entrepreneurs, followed by your editorial of “appears to have left”.
I am not quite certain whether he was ever a “business builder”, but my gut/memory would say yes, but the eighth individual who they are referring to is to one of their longest friends COO Rob Hallstrand.
Rob is an integral part of the corporation, but his skill-sets have him managing much of the day to day administrative tasks of the company, he isn’t out there also building a team, showing the plan, earning from the compensation plan.
To your point, interestingly enough I dropped by their website and the narrative now says seven founders, which revises history to meet an easier narrative of the ‘business builders/Life Coaches’ of the Policy Council, or washes away reference to the longtime leader Tim Marks who departed to do Bonvera, (wishing to keep to a core of product-centric MLM efforts) as is referenced in some other replies above.
I am no longer in LIFE Leadership because my personality was never suited to the selling, team generation process, and other things necessary for a successful MLM. I have plenty enough to do back in the employee world as Operations Director for a broadcast website, raise a family, and do audio projects as time allows.
Stepping away from it was a mutual decision of my “up-line” and my closest “cross-line” friends (his other downline).
They are my closest friends and have been for over 8 years. We were in a unique position as both trying to build it, AND being — let’s call it a vendor to the company.
These individuals are musicians and were contracted to make inspirational and motivational content for TEAM and then again for LIFE. — Think instrumentals and songs, interspersed with inspirational quotes taken from popular talks from seminars, conferences, majors, etc,…
Since departing we’ve also been approached to create content for Chris Swanson who has spoken to LIFE events and created content for them as well. We’re now just out there focused on positivity and multimedia content that’s counter to much of what’s served up to culture these days.
The personal and professional development I picked up in those seven years is treasured and led to much of my leadership success outside of LIFE.
No, I didn’t make a ton of money, but I gained a lot of great experiences, and friendships, AND I have to say that if the atmosphere and culture that was there in 2011-2017 remains consistent to this day that you would be hard pressed to discover a more optimistic, friendly, caring, gracious, collective group of people out there. (if you’re faith based, call it what you would hope for out of your church community).
Their philanthropic efforts from the company and through All Grace Outreach are awesome, the commitment to fighting illiteracy is noble, and I could probably go on and on.
Your review factually plays it pretty straight with what you are in for [at least at that time in 2016 – as plans evolved], and would realistically help in making a decision about making one’s income from LIFE, but again I felt it worth my time, to take a break from work and type this, if only to give a footnote in this post’s history to recognizing the contributions of that ‘eighth’ entrepreneur C.O.O. Rob Hallstrand.
Review updated to acknowledge launch of Life Leadership’s “Super App”.
Note that I couldn’t find anything related to Life Leadership and crypto, as discussed above in 2018 (#13).
If Life Leadership had plans to or did get involved in crypto, it seems those plans have since been abandoned.