Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Free At Last, Free At Last, Thank The Almighty, I'm Free At Last

Today is my last day of the 6-month rule. While I am still under the 2-year rule, it appears that I am free to do whatever I want, just not with whoever I want. That's fine. With counsel from my mentor, and my lawyer, I believe that I am finally out from under Quixtar.

I hope you have enjoyed this blog. Today also marks my last day of following any news about Quixtar, Amway, Alticore, etc. I am closing that chapter in my life. This blog is part of that chapter. I have tried to leave some balanced information about the struggle Team has faced. I cannot say it was not a biased documentary, but I hope that the information here shows the public dialog that surrounded the whole incident.

I hold no malice towards Quixtar, Amway, Alticore or anyone associated with them (including their Amway Business Operators). I have come to a place of peace with the situation. I know there are others who still struggle (legally and otherwise) with "The Corporation," and I wish them good luck.

I leave this site as an internet memorial to what has happened. I hope it helps someone find truth in their life. I hope it serves as a thorn (albeit small) in Alticore that serves as a mechanism for improvement for them. If they do not improve, then I fear that one of the great American Success stories dies in the second generation (as we see in "The Millionaire Next Door").

I do hope Amway can be a success, although I will not be a part of it. When I learned of the origin of the name (shortened from The American Way), I became rather proud of its heritage. I'm sure Jody Victor, as a son of founders of "The Corporation," feels that pride. I hope this whole issue can help strengthen them.

For me, I have other roads that diverge from theirs. With what I have learned from Team, I am starting a new venture that I have wanted to start since before I had children. I am also moving forward with Mona Vie, and my relationship with my mentor.

I wish you all well. I hope you learn from your struggles (and not just the obvious ones we've discussed here), grow and become better, no matter which company you have decided to invest your future in.

Good luck and farewell.

- Thomas Evan Anthony Morris

Sunday, March 16, 2008

TEAM: Quixtar Legal Defense Update

Original Source

Quixtar Legal Defense Update

by Orrin Woodward on Sun 16 Mar 2008 10:57 AM EDT
I posted an update on the Quixtar Legal Defense Fund article. I do not receive a penny of support from the Legal Defense Fund and instead have attempted to give liberally to support others under attack. I support the fund to help anyone who is being threatened with litigation by Amway/Quixtar. I can and will support my own legal battles, but believe Quixtar should not threaten others that do not have the means to defend themselves. The Quixtar Legal Defense Fund supports all the people that Quixtar may choose to legally threaten and intimidate. I strongly believe right makes might and it would be a shame to have people back down from the truth because they do not have the means to defend themselves. This is why I posted the original article and am very proud of the response by so many people! Many people have sat out there six months and can now turn a new page in their life. If they are threatened by Amway/Quixtar they will have the security of knowing the Legal Defense Fund will be there for them! I never dreamed by signing people up as "independent" business people that they were placed in harms way and feel I am bound to help in anyway I can. I hope this helps in clarifying the purpose for my post on the Legal Defense Fund. God Bless, Orrin Woodward

Thursday, March 13, 2008

TEAM: Fixing Quixtar - Amway in North America

Original Source

Fixing Quixtar - Amway in North America

Critics often get criticized for being negative or not offering solutions so I thought I would take some time to offer a (partial) solution for Amway/Quixtar in North America.

Here are what I see as the biggest issues with Quixtar/Amway in North America (not in any order):

1. Outdated Compensation
2. Poor Reputation
3. Lack of Product Focus
4. High Prices

Now for my solution:

1. Break up Amway - Quixtar (North America) into four new Network Marketing companies:

XS Energy
Artistry
Nutrilite
Amway
This actually helps solve three of the four major issues, lack of product focus, reputation and compensation. Each product focused company could come out with an updated compensation plan with a focus on balance and the best reward strategy for the product line.

It is should be no secret that the fastest growing companies in Network Marketing over the last five years have been single product or narrow product line focused (such as weight loss). Narrowing the product focus strips away confusion and allows the unique products to shine.

The reputation will be helped by the renewed focus on products and less focus on the "2-5 year plan".

2. Reduce prices and get PV/BV back to a reasonable level ($3 to 1PV is not reasonable). The PV/BV situation overlaps with compensation but it is also needs to be mentioned with pricing. You can't drop the prices by 30% and then drop the PV/BV associates with the products by 50% and claim to now magically have competitive pricing.

Just get reasonable here. Mercedes has proven that you don't have to be the cheapest to be successful, but there is a line where the average consumer will say: "I don't care how good you say (the product) is, I'm not paying that much for (fill in the blank - Amway Product).

3. Update the compensation plan for the 21st century. Adding $60 million in new bonuses and then making them twice as hard to achieve is not updating the plan. Add some money for the newest growing associate. The IBOAI propaganda is suggesting that Quixtar/Amway now has the best compensation plan in the industry.

Uh, yeah. If I was driving a car from 1959 and claimed that it got better gas mileage than a 2008 hybrid, you would laugh at me. In the same manner, people that understand compensation plans within the industry are laughing at the IBOAI.

Lastly, this breakup would help address the core of the reputation problem by nullifying the power of the IBOAI, who haven't really represented the newest IBO in decades.

March 13, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

TEAM: CALL TO ACTION IN MISSOURI

Original Source

CALL TO ACTION IN MISSOURI
Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The IBO Rebellion has received a great deal of e-mail regarding Quixtar's latest game of non-fee renewals in order to further trap IBOs. This is obviously yet another ploy to extend their shameful contract provisions. I received the following email which calls for the beginning of a letter writing campaign. It was suggested that the most effective way to have your voice heard was to both e-mail and snail mail your letter to the representative and follow that up with a telephone call. If you feel compelled to stand up and be counted please do so. Here is the letter I received which was written to all of you.

It’s time to let your voice be heard. Contrary to what Quixtar’s blogger thinks, this is not about spinning stories or spreading rumors. This is now about corporate bullying and an out of control company who is intent on destroying anyone who disagrees with them. They have everyone bound in an arbitration agreement that several Judge’s have declared unconscionable. Yet they continue to use this unfair arbitration agreement to harass, bully and intimidate anyone who tries to voice an opinion.

It’s time for criminal investigations now. There are many elected officials around the country who are aware of some of the unethical actions of Quixtar/Amway. But most of these officials have no idea how many people are being affected by these actions. It’s time to start a letter-writing campaign to make sure elected officials know we are counting on them to take action.

A few places to write are to your personal state legislators, the FTC, the Better Business Bureau and your state’s Attorney General. However, there is now quite a bit of interest in this case moving to a higher level in the state of Missouri. Every letter you write helps to urge officials to move these investigations along at a faster pace.

Make sure you point out that Quixtar claims you would not be allowed to contact your own personal family and friends for any new business venture because Quixtar claims them as their “property” for 2 years after you resign. Point out that it was your connection that led them to Quixtar, not Quixtar that led them to you. Therefore, this restriction of free enterprise should be declared illegal. Make sure you tell them Quixtar's non-compete clause would require you to leave the continent in order to compete. It's shockingly broad language must end.

Make sure you point out if you have had any bonuses withheld, had your resignation delayed (in an attempt to delay the 6 month inactivity clause). Make sure you point out that Quixtar needs to be investigated for knowingly promoting an overpriced illegal pyramid. Make sure you point out the unconscionable arbitration clause which you are currently bound to. Make sure you mention about Quixtar abusing their arbitration agreement to violate our first amendment right to freedom of speech.

To start things off, the first letter needs to be written immediately to:

The Honorable Jim Lembke
MO House of Representatives
201 West Capitol Ave
Room 303A
Jefferson City, MO 65101

Phone: 573-751-2315

Email: Jim.Lembke@house.mo.gov
Anyone in the state of Missouri is urged to write to Mr. Lembke and urge him to help speed up investigations into Quixtar/Amway. If you are in his District, that’s a huge plus. However, as a state representative he represents everyone in the state of Missouri.

All that needs to happen for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. Don’t sit on the sidelines. Make your voice be heard. Start writing those letters today and tell anyone you know to start writing letters. I will provide you with the next address on Friday.




There you have it folks. The message is clear. Email, snail mail, and follow up telephone call. I will keep you posted with any developments.

Monday, March 10, 2008

QUIXTAR: Rumor re IBO Renewals Without Permission

Original Source


Rumor re IBO Renewals Without Permission
March 10, 2008

Frequent blogger Utah shared a rumor apparently appearing on some blogs to the effect that some IBO's businesses were being renewed without their permission.

Utah, we don't know where you are getting your information, but like much of what is currently circulating on certain blogs, this is more fiction than fact. The IBOAI Board (which at the time included some of those now affiliated with TEAM), and the Corporation partnered several years ago to make sure that an IBOs' business was protected against all possible negative actions (accidental or planned). Automatically renewing all Silver Producers and above was the jointly agreed upon solution. There is nothing unusual going on, Utah - sorry you spent time on this one.

Posted at 04:55 PM

QUIXTAR: Orrin Woodward is a "Mis-leader"

Original Source

Mis-leader
March 10th, 2008 @ 1:00 pm ET…

Terminated IBO Orrin Woodward’s recent decision to ask for contributions to his “legal defense fund” was such a low point that we cannot let it pass without comment.

Since his termination for unacceptable business practices last August, Mr. Woodward has done nothing but confirm, repeatedly, our decision to let him go.

We think that any objective person viewing the record would agree that:

He has abused the legal system by filing multiple, frivolous lawsuits that have been dismissed with prejudice.
He has abused business relationships of people he partnered with for more than a decade by repeatedly violating his contract commitments to respect the Line of Sponsorship of others.
He has abused his fiduciary responsibilities to his trade association by inducing others to disgorge confidential information and violate court orders.
Now, true enough: in response to those abuses, we threw him out of the company, the IBOAI threw him out of their boardroom, and judges threw his cases out of court.

So why drag our dispute back out into the light?

Because we believe that Mr. Woodward now is using distortions and untruths to justify bad ethical decisions he made – and attempting to get others to pay for his own ill-conceived lawsuits and mistakes. He is putting his downlines at legal risk without telling them. And he is attempting to raid Quixtar organizations, in further violation of his contract.

We can’t tell people how to react to these behaviors, other than to advise our business owners to contact Rules or Sales immediately if there are approaches made to your groups.

But in the face of a new round of misrepresentations from Mr. Woodward, we can – yet again –set the record straight.

So we will.

Mis-leader, in court

The original dispute: We terminated Mr. Woodward in August 2007 after he repeatedly refused to clean up his abusive business practices. Well before his disciplinary meeting approached, Mr. Woodward had hired a big-ticket law firm and ordered them to draft a federal lawsuit. He then filed that lawsuit within hours of his termination.

Mr. Woodward claims filing a lawsuit accusing us of operating an illegal pyramid was a negotiating tactic, part of a spiritually motivated attempt to reconcile our differences. It would be more accurate to say it was a premeditated attack on our business model, designed to drive every IBO in the US out of business and into the arms of a new venture he was planning.

Mr. Woodward and his legal team then coordinated an astonishing blitz of more than one dozen lawsuits against our company filed across the country. The timing and language of the suits were nearly identical, Mr. Woodward’s associates seemed to know instantly about all of them, and the same attorneys seemed to showed up in case after case.

Mr. Woodward claims the blitz was a spontaneous, grass-roots uprising. How he can say that in the face of all evidence to the contrary is beyond belief. We’re sure his behind-the-scenes communications tell a very different story.

And Mr. Woodward fueled his litigation attack with confidential documents belonging to the IBOAI, a trade association where Mr. Woodward had been a board member. Mr. Woodward’s associates stonewalled court orders to return the documents, which did not belong to them, and which they had sworn – twice! – to keep confidential.

Mr. Woodward claims he had nothing to do with the documents. The fact is, it seems obvious his lawyers used those purloined documents to write their lawsuits. In fact, a judge has now held Woodward associate Billy Florence in contempt of court for violating a court order related to those documents.

The result: Mr. Woodward’s federal lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice. Most of the spam lawsuits have been dismissed or evaporated. (And a recent Georgia legal document circulating online was never entered. Therefore it does not carry legal force – a fact Mr. Woodward’s associates, unsurprisingly, failed to point out.) Instead, courts have ordered Mr. Woodward and his associates to abide by their contacts and arbitrate. Mr. Florence has defied a court of law. Mr. Woodward’s strategy of legal harassment and attack is failing, miserably and utterly.

Mr. Woodward is a businessman. He knows what contracts mean and why he signs them. He could have honored his contract, followed the rules that govern moving to a competitive business. But he chose not to play by the rules, chose to initiate this massive legal fight, chose to jeopardize the businesses of thousands of IBOs.

Mr. Woodward could still choose to pay for the fights he picked. To watch him leave his money in the bank – and ask others with less to foot the bill for his poor decisions – well, call it what you want, but just don’t call it “leadership.”

Mis-leader, in the field

And a final thought: When we choose to fight, we choose to fight to protect the businesses that Quixtar and our IBOs have built.

But when Mr. Woodward and his associates encouraged mass resignations from our company, they did so knowing they would devastate the businesses of a number of Quixtar business owners who refused to be bullied into following him.

When Mr. Woodward encouraged those resignations, he knew some those who did follow him would lose income when they left Quixtar, and that he had no way to replace that income for them. But that did not stop him from encouraging those same people to spend hundreds of dollars replacing his lost income at rallies in Louisville and St. Louis.

When Mr. Woodward encouraged people to follow him to a business with “Wal-Mart pricing”… and then instead abruptly threw in his lot with a company that offers only a handful of ultra-premium priced products… he knew he would lose more of the people who followed him once and for all.

And when Mr. Woodward permits forays into our sales groups, seeking to split more people away, he knows that he is encouraging people to break rules and court orders and put themselves at risk. Worse yet, he does so knowing he’s leading people down a path of promises that lead to disappointment.

Mr. Woodward would no doubt find some historical figure to justify his actions.

But we cannot.

Because when we look at Mr. Woodward’s actions over the past six months, all we see is a manipulative person, abusing the principles of values-driven leadership that our business tries to teach. Put plainly, his recent actions are enough to make all of us who care about helping people build businesses more committed than ever to protecting IBOs from this kind of malicious manipulation.

TEAM: POSSIBLE INVESTIGATION OF QUIXTAR UNDERWAY IN MISSOURI???

Original Source

POSSIBLE INVESTIGATION OF QUIXTAR UNDERWAY IN MISSOURI???
Monday, March 10, 2008

The IBO Rebellion has just learned that some high-level elected officials in the state of Missouri have become extremely interested in the actions of the Quixtar Legal Department, the selective enforcement of rules, the validity of the arbitration process and the business practices of one former particular long-time IBO Board member.

This could get interesting. Ironically, these issues caught the attention of the state of Missouri before the TEAM situation ever came about. Imagine the impact if the state of Missouri was made aware of just how many people have been affected by the unethical practices of Quixtar?

It’s time for citizens of Missouri to rise up and make your thoughts known to your elected officials. Later this week, the Rebellion will begin posting names and addresses of elected officials in Missouri for your convenience. Elected officials are there to represent the people of their state and actually enjoy getting feedback from citizens. The only way they know there is a problem is for people to write them and let them know. This is your country.
Posted by The IBO Rebellion at 3:25 AM

Friday, March 7, 2008

TEAM: DECEIT AND TREACHERY

Original Source

DECEIT AND TREACHERY
Friday, March 7, 2008

The Rebellion has recently obtained a copy of an actual letter written this week by a former Silver who was recently renewed without their consent or permission. Not only that, but they weren’t even notified about this renewal. They happened to randomly attempt to log in to the Quixtar website the other day and much to their surprise, they found out they had been renewed. Then when they called to complain, they were hassled by Ron Mitchell who refused to send them a written letter confirming that they were in fact no longer IBO’s as of their original date of Dec. 31.

Is this the new level Quixtar is stooping too? Are they attempting to delay the 6 month inactivity period for IBO’s? Who ever heard of someone being renewed without their permission with a special ‘non-fee renewal’.

Even more interesting is that this particular couple had made the decision to non-renew with Quixtar without ever having been a part of the Team organization, ever attending a meeting of the Team organization and no one in their downline had ever had any contact with Team in any form whatsoever, or attended any form of a Team meeting.

Copies of this letter have been mailed off to the FTC, the Better Business Bureau of Michigan, the Attorney General for the State of Missouri. Sources also tell me some high-level elected officials in the State of Missouri are now taking an interest in all the activities of the Quixtar Legal Department and their application and unfair enforcement of the Rules of Conduct. More on this later.

Looks like there may also be more to follow on this upline who was given access to names, addresses, and phone numbers in possible violation of a protective court order. Could Quixtar have possibly violated a court order by giving this access? Could this person possibly be opening up a new can of worms for Quixtar in the state of Missouri by making these phone calls? There will definitely be more on this later too.

For now, here’s the letter….




Mr. Steve Lieberman,

It has come to our attention that on 2/29/08 our Quixtar business was renewed without our consent or knowledge. We did not renew nor did we ever have any intention of renewing. Along with the fact that we did not renew, we also sent a registered letter dated 1/18/08 to Quixtar to confirm this fact. In that letter we requested a confirmation that we did not renew and did not want to be associated with Quixtar. Instead of a letter of confirmation, we received an e-mail on 2/4/08 stating because we were silvers you would renew us and "charge our monthly summary" and if we did not respond to this e-mail within 15 days Quixtar would take this to mean we did not wish to renew. Since that was our desire from the beginning, we did not respond. That, however, is not what happened. We were renewed as a "no charge renewal" under restricted status. Exactly who is to benefit from that type of renewal? This is just one example of the lack of business integrity that has been a part of our decision not to renew in the first place.

In an attempt to resolve this matter, we talked with two members of the Quixtar associate staff on 3/3/08 to inquire as to who renewed us without our permission and why, expressly against our wishes. Neither of these associates had the answers to our questions. However, we were informed we would be receiving a call from Ron Mitchell who would have these answers.

On 3/4/08, we received that phone call. It was indeed a very informative phone call. We were told that we were not singled out in any way and that all silvers from this organization were renewed. Mr. Mitchell was either woefully uninformed or intentionally inaccurate with this information. An upline silver is a very close family member of mine and as of 8:00 PM the previous night had not been renewed nor informed of the intention of being renewed. We were also informed that I "caught this before Quixtar had the opportunity to notify" us. We wonder why Quixtar chose to wait until after the event to inform us as opposed to doing so prior to this event. We were also told that "it was Quixtar that renewed" us and no single individual was involved. Ironically, before we were even aware of our renewal, we began receiving phone calls at the rate of one per day starting the day after our forced renewal from an upline whom we have never had any contact with whatsoever. Apparently he was also very "quick to catch". We assure you that given the content of the first phone call, he was not calling to inform us of our newly renewed status. Incidentally, this person had a court order preventing him from contacting us.

Regardless of what the company's intent is or was, it still should have never happened. It was our understanding when we started we were Independent Business Owners. Independent meaning that what we do with our business, at least in part, was our decision not Quixtar's. In our opinion we should have at the very least been contacted before you made the decision to renew us. The decision and responsibility for that decision rests solely with Quixtar and the individual or individuals who initiated it. This is not the type of business mentality or ethics we wish to be associated with. After not renewing, sending a registered letter, and not responding to Quixtar's e-mail there should have been no doubt that we had no intention of renewing our business. We have also demanded a written letter stating our resignation started as of 12/31/07, not just an e-mail. The e-mail we did receive was vague on that point. We want absolutely no doubt that as of 12/31/07 we were no longer a part of the Quixtar organization. We continue to await the written notification delivered by standard mail.

For your information, this letter has been forwarded, by registered mail, in its entirety to the Attorney General of the state of Missouri, the FTC, and the Better Business Bureau of Michigan. I reserve the right to forward this letter to others that may not be named here. We feel it is in our best interest to inform these agencies of how Quixtar had made decisions for us without our consent or knowledge.

Sincerely,

IBOs S & M

Posted by The IBO Rebellion at 1:01 AM

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

TEAM: THINGS PEACHY FOR IBOs IN GEORGIA

Original Source

THINGS PEACHY FOR IBOs IN GEORGIA
Wednesday, March 5, 2008


BREAKING NEWS OUT OF GEORGIA


Quixtar was dealt another blow in Georgia. In the Superior Court of White County, the Honorable Chief Judge David E. Barrett ruled that the non-competition clause of Quixtar's contract was "invalid" and will not be subject to any arbitration.

Quixtar's non-compete agreement is ridiculously broad. Here is how it reads:

6.5.4. Every IBO agrees not to Compete, directly
or indirectly, with the business of the Corporation
in the U.S., Canada, and all offshore markets
operating under the Quixtar Independent Business
Owner Compensation Plan during the six-month
period following (a) the voluntary or involuntary
resignation, non-renewal, or termination of that
IBO’s independent business, or (b) any violation by
the IBO of this Subsection 6.5.4., whichever is later.


In response to this IBOs Todd Campbell and Dwayne Turner both sued Quixtar for relief from this slavish clause. In Judge Barrett's opinion signed March 2nd, 2008 he stated:

The scope of geographic coverage of the Rules takes one's breath away.

This is yet another blow to Quixtar and their desire to hide in arbitration. Judge Barrett's remarks were a direct criticism concerning the absurdity of the geographic boundaries of the clause itself. One would need to move to Europe or some a remote island in the Caribbean to escape this globe covering clause. Effectively this clause was considered so unfair that the court decided that it was unenforceable and refused to let it even enter the arena of arbitration. This decision comes on the heals of the Morrison v. Amway case in which a judge overturned an arbitrators award of $6 million dollars on the grounds that the arbitration process was so unfair it was unenforceable. I am not completely clear as to the next step in this process as this ruling is a Interlocutory Injunction. Still, each and every one of these decisions further erodes Quixtar's legal position.

Click here to read the Courts Decision



Posted by The IBO Rebellion at 8:44 PM

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Comparing Traffic: Quixtar vs. Mona Vie™

Here is a live updating graph of Mona Vie™'s website versus Quixtar. The graph shows how much traffic has risen (or fallen) in the last 6 months. This will be an interesting graph to watch over the next few months.



Here is a static image at the time of the post:

Thursday, February 28, 2008

QUIXTAR: DESPERATION VIA EMAIL

Original Source

QUIXTAR: DESPERATION VIA EMAIL
Thursday, February 28, 2008

As if it wasn't enough to threaten all the diamonds at Diamond Cluster 08, now Amway has sent the email below. We at TEAM are all to familiar with Quackstar's prolific ability to send nasty emails. Talk about not letting go, I am convinced these folks will be talking about TEAM for years to come. I am reminded of a young boy I knew in my childhood. He would say, "When I was big," and then go on about how he used to work or drive a car. He was 6 years old. I can imagine Amway sending out emails titled, "When I was big!"

I won't waste time debunking all the lies in their latest publication. Their track record has always been the same. I remember other organizations going through issues with Quixtar. Every time this happened, TEAM would get information from Quixtar just like this. This always made people believe that the organization was at fault. We now know better. Much has changed now that things are not all hidden in arbitration like they prefer. The internet has done wonders to shed light on the conspiring evil that ferments in Ada.

One thing stood out to me. This email is from Steve Lieberman. He joined Quixtar in August 2007, yet is confident enough in the story tellers around him to make the following statement.


The "non-compete" clause was added to Quixtar’s Rules in 2004 with IBOAI input and recommendations. It was communicated broadly to all IBOs through various vehicles.
How can Steve be so sure? How can he say TEAM were a bunch of ongoing rules violators? He obviously can't be but no matter it appears he will fit right in with the rest of the folks and their revisionist history.

This email highlights Quixtar's scarcity mentality. If there is one thing I have learned as part of TEAM, it is not to have a scarcity mentality. Quixtar appears to think TEAM is just lurking, waiting for a chance to pounce on IBOs still afflicted or affiliated with Quixtar. While I must admit people wanting to be a part of TEAM is nothing new. The merging of the other groups into TEAM has been nearly painless. We appreciate our new friends. However, if I have heard it once I have heard it a thousand times, 300 million people minus the entire TEAM still equals 300 million people. In other words we operate with an abundance mentality. Because of this, it won't be long and we will be saying, 300 million minus the TEAM equals 299 million!

Click here to read the email sent by Quixtar.
Posted by The IBO Rebellion at 3:23 AM

QUIXTAR: Email on 2007 sales, protecting the LOS, building for the future

Original Source

Important news from Steve Lieberman – 2007 sales, protecting the LOS, building for the future
To qualified Platinums, Sapphires, and Emeralds

Dear Leader:

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to the QUIXTAR® business opportunity. 2007 was a year of great change as well as great success for the QUIXTAR business, and 2008 promises to be no less exciting.

As you know, we took steps in 2007 to protect the integrity of the QUIXTAR business for all IBOs by terminating the businesses of 15 Independent Business Owners who refused to change unacceptable practices and/or blatantly violated our rules. The businesses affected were part of the Team training organization or other training organizations using Team’s training materials.

Certain leaders of these organizations recently announced their intent to align themselves with a competitive direct selling business. It’s important to remember that they remain subject to significant restrictions related to their termination from Quixtar and remain exposed to potentially significant sanctions should they violate them.

It’s critical that all QUIXTAR IBOs and former IBOs understand the importance of protecting the foundation of the QUIXTAR IBO Compensation Plan – the Line of Sponsorship (LOS). We have rules in place to protect the use of the LOS within your business, which provides significant value to the IBOs who are committed to the QUIXTAR business and the time and effort of IBOs in building the LOS. Quixtar’s Rules of Conduct require IBOs to wait six months after leaving Quixtar to join or start another direct selling business and prevents them for two years from soliciting other IBOs to compete with Quixtar.

The "non-compete" clause was added to Quixtar’s Rules in 2004 with IBOAI input and recommendations. It was communicated broadly to all IBOs through various vehicles.

We take LOS issues very seriously because the LOS is the root structure of the QUIXTAR business. If you or anyone in your group is approached by any former QUIXTAR IBO regarding another direct selling opportunity, please take the time to make Quixtar aware of this contact. You may email the details of any such solicitation to HYPERLINK "mailto:qbcr.department@quixtar.com" qbcr.department@quixtar.com

Your assistance in this matter serves to protect the integrity of the QUIXTAR business for all IBOs and helps ensure the long-term success of your independent business. The hard work and dedication of hard-working IBOs like you would be in vain if we did not make every effort to protect the LOS. We appreciate your partnership in preserving the LOS, just as we value all that you do for the QUIXTAR business.

The efforts of hard-working Independent Business Owners like you propelled Quixtar’s 2007 sales to more than $1 billion for the fifth straight year. Thanks to the sales you generated, Quixtar was the #1 online retailer in Health & Beauty for the fourth consecutive year, according to  Internet Retailer magazine’s 2007 guide to the Top 500 on the web.

2008 is now in full swing and so is our business transformation, leading to unprecedented improvements in all aspects of this business opportunity. A major part of that transformation is rebranding our North American business to better leverage the awareness and power of the nearly $7 billion AMWAY® global business.

The rebranding is much more than just a name change. We’re looking at how we can improve every aspect of our business, including products, compensation, training, and reputation.

We’re creating more products that customers want to buy and that IBOs want to sell. We’re supporting these brands – and the business opportunity – by investing in a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign, and through high-profile sponsorships, podcasts, web ads, and other multimedia vehicles.

To help you make the most of the increased awareness of the QUIXTAR business opportunity and our product brands, we’re offering more training than ever before. QUIXTAR University offers both instructor-led and online training, along with our training, selling, and presentation kits, all designed to help your retailing efforts.

To better reward you for your efforts and incentivize you to take your business to greater heights, we’ve invested an additional $60 million in the QUIXTAR Business Incentives Program.

We’re committed to telling our story and sharing why this business should be the business opportunity of choice in North America. We’re proud of our global One by One Campaign for Children, through which more than $52 million and more than 800,000 volunteer hours have been donated to over 5.5 million children since the campaign’s launch in 2003. We’re proud to be a member of both the Direct Selling Association and the Better Business Bureau. And we’re especially proud of the 49 years of history behind our company and our proven sales plan. For all of these reasons and more, we’re creating a new Amway – one that you will continue to be proud to be associated with and eager to share with others.

Please look for more exciting news in the coming days and weeks about all the innovative ways we’re transforming this business, supporting you, and making this opportunity stronger and more profitable for all IBOs.

Thank you for your dedication. We look forward to working together to preserve and strengthen your business for years to come.


Steve Lieberman
Managing Director
Quixtar Inc.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

QUIXTAR: Quixtar sues ... Mona Vie™

Original Source


Quixtar - The ex-girlfriend that won't die
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2008

OK. Now quixsand is just plain embarrassing itself. This has gotten WAY out of hand.

First they sue the leaders of Team. Then the bloggers... and anonymous commenters. Then the Team office. Then when Orrin's 6 months are up, they petition the judge for 45 more days trying one last time to stop the inevitable. And now... they sue Monavie!

Quixsand is the ex-girlfriend that just won't die!

You know the story. You have a relationship with a nice girl, things don't work out, so you break it off. There are some tears, some angry words exchanged, some heated arguments and accusations. But with every passing week, things seem to settle down. Eventually, you both find that special someone , and life goes on.

Of course, thats not how it goes when you dated a raving psycho rabbit killing butchers knife wielding stalker.

First, its a few notes left under the windshield wiper of your car in the middle of the night. The notes gets more venomous as the days pass, usually ending up at "I never loved you anyway! - Just go (TEAM)."

Then the phone calls at all hours of the night. Threatening emails blast across the internet. Then she informs you she is keeping all the stuff that you left at her apartment (bonus checks, earned trips).

You do the right thing and don't date anyone else for six months hoping to just move on to a new chapter in your life. All seams well, until the raving lunatic keys your new girlfriends car. Next thing you know shes attacking her in line at the grocery store, "He's mine I tell you! Mine forever! We're meant to be together! If I can't have him, no one will!"

Quixsand. Go away. Please. You look like a desperate small time company trying to dive on a grenade that already went off. Its over. We're gone. We're not coming back. You can't stop us from pursuing another business. You can't stop Orrin from doing the same. We'll conform to your Nazi-like 6 month non compete that you slid under the door while no one was looking. But we will move on. The walls of your once great business are crumbling on your head - stop worrying about the people that left your business - It's time for you to get some "me" time.

Maybe take a few weeks off, to find yourself - your inner person. Maybe take a girls vacation to somewhere warm. Who knows, maybe you'll find some nice island boy to take your mind off your troubles for a while. Remember - what happens in Jamaica, stays in Jamaica.

But whatever you do, take our picture off the wall. Delete our number from your cell phone. And for goodness sake, please stop hiding in the bushes spying on us - its kind of annoying and VERY sad. (can you say "restraining order")

I just think if quixsand doesn't stop this foolishness now - when will it end?

Whats next - suing Berean Baptist Church for being a competing business?


Mohr: "Its is our intention to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Brean Baptist Church is in fact another competing business that Orrin and Chirs have joined. Fact: Our spies have seen Orrin and Chris dinking some sort of grape juice from some small plastic cup during church service (they used these small cups hoping our spies wouldn't notice.) They went as far as to make thier "pastor" act as if it was some "communion" nonsense."

"Orrin and Chris are well aware that quixtar has this very same product - a 3.5 oz juicy juice box - complete with bendy straw."

"Subsequently, our spies then noticed Orrin and Chris paying "Jesus" via some plate that got passed around. Another not so subtle attempt to disguise their intentions. Just how deep this massive conspiracy goes, we don't know, but we are willing to sue anyone and everyone to find out."

"Your honor, we rest our case. (We rest our case.. in this case.. but we have more cases your honor, lots more cases...so we'll see you next week.)"
POSTED BY DRINKXS.BIZ AT 2:56 PM

QUIXTAR: Quixtar Sues MonaVie and Brig Hart

Original Source

Quixtar Sues MonaVie and Brig Hart

Details are sketchy but it looks like Quixtar is suing MonaVie and Brig Hart, possibly related to the Team (Orrin Woodward & CO) leaders announcement of using MonaVie as a supplier.

Here is a link...

Quixtar v. MonaVie

Another poster at Get The Facts - The Truth About Amway and Quixtar added information found on the PACER web site:

January 29, 2008
Quixtar Inc. v. Hart et al FL Middle Adams Other
Petitioner: Quixtar Inc. Respondent: John Hart, Lita Hart

My question is...

How long can Quixtar attorney's force people to stay with a company that is in such chaos?



February 27, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

TEAM: BEHIND THE WALLS OF QUIXTAR PART 6

Original Source

BEHIND THE WALLS OF QUIXTAR PART 6
Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Hey folks, I am just back from yet another blog filling lunch with two of my CWPF's (Close Warm Personal Friends) from Alticor / Amway / Quixtar. I must say I was very happy my friends wanted to eat for a change. The coffee routine was getting old. Even as good as the food was at filing my stomach it was nothing compared to the "MEATY" information my friends provided today.

There are two big stories to discuss in today's installment of Behind the Walls of Quixtar. The first story is straight out of Hawaii and the latest Diamond Club. The second is some big news on possible employee unrest within Alticor. Employees are keenly aware of the entire TEAM fallout and are starting to fear the ripple effect.

The biggest story is certainly out of Hawaii and Diamond Club. I am thinking they should really rename the entire event Diamond Cluster. It more appropriately describes it and the situation. In case you hadn't heard there was a mere 65 diamonds at this years Diamond Cluster. I am sure our friends in Ada will somehow find the silver lining in this. But really, is that all they could muster is 65 diamonds after 50 years of business? Quixtar reportedly went all out and hired the music group the Motels in recognition of their incredible shrinking company. Click here to hear the Motels performing at Diamond Cluster 2008.


With all that extra elbow room at the Grand Wailea I am sure it felt much more exclusive this year. How much extra elbow room you ask? Well in recent years there have been somewhere in the neighborhood of 260 diamonds or so. On the Alticor blog Ada-tudes there was a lot of conversation about the 160 or so diamonds for 2007. So as you can see Quixtar is now minus another hundred diamonds for 2008. At this rate of demise, well, you can do the math. Quixtar is involved in a complete free fall.

Another big story from Diamond Cluster 2008 was that Mike "MonaVie" Mohr addressed the diamonds in attendence. During his speech Mr. Mohr took the time to engage in MonaVie bashing from stage. Yes this is the same Mike Mohr who considers price comparisons to be disparagment. But somehow his conduct is just fine. Mr. Mohr, after trashing MonaVie, told the diamonds that if anyone approached their cattle with MonaVie, that they would have the full weight of the company behind them. This of course was code for, don't get any ideas or we will sue you! Mike Mohr is really Quixtar's version of Kathy Bates / Annie Wilkes from the movie Misery. Encouraging folks to succeed or, as in the movie get the book written, all the while waiting to break your legs so you can NEVER leave. In case you were wondering what it all looked like, here are some pictures for your enjoyment.

Picture 1, Picture 2, Picture 3.


Well enough of Diamond Cluster 08. The other big story from my CWPF's is quit alarming. Alticor has long been known as a great place to work with good pay. Well it seems that employees are trying to prepare for the worse. It was hinted to me that since the North American business continues to shrink that some employees are considering a union organizing effort in order to protect their jobs. I was almost shocked to hear such a thing. It wasn't clear in what part of the company these rumblings were coming from but I am sure it will be met with stern resistance.

Well that is it for this installment of Behind the Walls of Quixtar. Information continues to pour from inside the company so I will have more when the information merits your attention.

Posted by The IBO Rebellion at 1:51 PM

Monday, February 25, 2008

TEAM: QUIXTAR & THE IBO REBELLION WORKING ON POSSIBLE PEACE ACCORD???

Original Source

QUIXTAR & THE IBO REBELLION WORKING ON POSSIBLE PEACE ACCORD???
Monday, February 25, 2008

After a flurry of posts and related comments in the last few weeks The IBO Rebellion received this comment that I have reprinted and placed at the bottom of this post. Being optimistic, as I am, I am hoping this could possibly be an attempt by Quixtar at ending this madness. Could this be an olive branch extended to TEAM and The IBO Rebellion? In the hopes that this is in fact Quixtar's way of asking for a truce then I will make the following pledge.

I, THE IBO REBELLION, pledge to completely remove this site under the following conditions.
Alticor and its related companies cease all legal action against the TEAM.
Alticor and its related companies cease all legal action against all former IBOs affiliated with TEAM, including all anonymous bloggers.
I can only hope that Quixtar and friends really do want peace. If not, this blog will continue. Though it may be difficult to maintain an effective blog while also building an exponentially expanding MonaVie buisness, I will do my best. Oh, and by the way Quixtar.... I never signed a contract with a non-compete agreement. As you very well know this was inserted without my knowledge. So what do you find most unfair this blog or what I just described?

Anonymous said...
Dear TEAM,

THANK YOU for leaving. We would like to be quiet but apparently YOU folks never wanted to leave quietly.

Since you continue to maintain sites where you bash the corporation because they forced you to adhere to the rules of conduct you signed, well, you must then realize that there are folks who view that as unfair, and will not just leave you alone.

Why should we - and allow you to continue a one sided debate?

February 25, 2008 7:13 PM



Posted by The IBO Rebellion at 8:39 PM

Thursday, February 21, 2008

TEAM: MONAVIE: THE RIGHT CHOICE

Original Source

MONAVIE: THE RIGHT CHOICE
Thursday, February 21, 2008

We have all had a bit of time to sleep on the revelation that those associated with TEAM will be pursuing a business relationship with MonaVie. Maybe you couldn’t sleep thinking about the possibilities? Maybe you couldn’t sleep because you were expecting something a bit different? The current situation begs for the proper perspective and reframing. Here are my two cents.


After reviewing some comments online I would caution you not to be led by emotion but instead by your intelligence. Those expecting the Walmart of the internet should not be disappointed. It is clear that remains the vision. Current circumstances dictate a plan B approach. It is times such as this we need to remember all we have learned in regards to leadership. As you hopefully recall GOALS are written in stone but the GAME PLAN is written in sand.


As Major League Baseball’s spring training has begun I can’t help but draw a parallel to baseball. It’s as if Orrin was batting in the bottom of the ninth of a World Series game. Orrin, known to all as a power hitter who loves fast balls steps into the batter’s box with a full count, and two outs already on the board. The winning run is on third base. What is Orrin to expect, a fastball, a curve, a slider, who knows? This situation would not be a time to try and be the super star. To swing away would be selfish. The advice given most often in this situation is “choke up” and “hit’em where they ain’t.” That is exactly what Orrin and the TEAM leadership did. As much as some of you might have been confused by the decision to align with MonaVie, I am sure Quixtar and their cattle counting legal department were more confused. I could almost picture Amway preparing to attack our fledgling company with their mouths watering. Instead, they find themselves peering across the foggy terrain at yet another billion dollar company. So if MonaVie wasn’t what you expected, remember it wasn’t what the enemy expected either.


As I read comment after comment on the blogs, I couldn’t help but be compelled back to the foundation of TEAM and the Launching the Leadership Revolution book. I thumbed back and forth examining and reexamining the trilateral leadership ledger. I was trying to locate what I felt many people were lacking in their comments. Certainly Quixtar’s fingerprints (attempting to create doubt) could be seen among the many posts but I felt there was a degree of shock among the troops. What was lacking was what I call moxie or grit. Some people call this kahones! I have no intention of offending anyone I am just being strait with you. We have come too far to get weak in the knees my friends. I know the kahone-less is a very small group but it is the leader's job to bolster this group. Our eyes remain on an incredible future and I have full confidence MonaVie can and will be a large part of that.


The ability to launch immediately into a Walmart model would have been great. I am sure Orrin feels the same. But the alliance with MonaVie provides TEAM with a great product and a great compensation plan as well safe harbor while the war with Q-star continues. MonaVie is directly in line with the health and wellness trends the TEAM has taken advantage of in recent years. The health benefits of the acai berry are as well documented as the outrageous prices at Quixtar. I don’t have exact pricing on MonaVie as if yet, but would say that it falls into what Quixtar would call a “premium” product. Though MonaVie doesn’t meet the Walmart pricing expectations it does provide a retailable product. You won’t find a MonaVie like product at Walmart but will find everything from Quixtar at Walmart for pennies on the dollar.


One of the most important aspects of the TEAM / MonaVie alliance is that business owners will have an excellent compensation program. The monthly expense for a MonaVie distributor is far less than doing the suggested volume at Quixtar prices. MonaVie distributors also recognize true savings for case quantities, something that was not possible with XS Energy. The most important thing is that new distributors can make money early on. There is full disclosure of the incomes attainable and what it takes to reach those incomes. If anything is somewhat imposing it is being new all over again. Taking the time to learn all the fine details of the MonaVie compensation plan will take a bit of time but will be worth it. In the end it comes down to return on investment. MonaVie is far superior to what we have all endured for years. Here is a link to the MonaVie income disclosure statement.


As Orrin stated in one of his writings, “We will build the perfect business one brick at a time.” MonaVie is a logical choice on that pathway. We could easily maintain a relationship with MonaVie all the while beginning a new venture that embraces the Walmart pricing the market craves.I was excited to see Chris Brady expound upon the ultimate vision of the TEAM in discussing Community Building, Always Competitive Pricing, and Field Profit Only on our way to creating the #1 Business in North America. This would place the product side of the business in line with what has already been created in the remarkable Leadership Service Provider portion of TEAM.


This brings me to a point that demands to be made. For sometime I have wanted to further clarify the facts surrounding profit sharing on the TEAM. Without getting into specific formulas and or levels I want to just look at the big picture and for yet another reason the TEAM departed Quixtar. Critics attempt to claim the high ground by making the claim, “They make more from tools than products.” While I acknowledge that TEAM profits sharers made more from TEAM than from Quixtar, this is not an indictment of TEAM. The indictment lay squarely on Amway / Quixtar for there anemic returns to IBOs.

The graph above attempts to illustrate the size of each pot of money in terms of ratio. Here is how I determined my results. A TEAM member, involving themselves in the TEAM training system, would invest approximately $75 per month for the basic system. If he or she brought their spouse to seminar their investment would rise to $100 per month. This person or couple would then spend $300-$500 dollars to reach the suggested volume of 150 pv. In this example the IBO would spend three to five times as much money on product as they would the training system. TEAM should make no apology for having a generous profit sharing plan. After all, books and compact discs are also products. Incidentally, the books are sold at cover price or less and cd's are a mere $6. Could you imagine Border's apologizing for selling books? Quixtar is clearly guilty of hoarding the profits. This example also does not account for the economies of scale Quixtar enjoys in providing their overpriced goods. TEAM profit sharing is currently running in line with the Field Profit Only model. All profit sharers are paid for current performance. There are no special deals, not even for the founders of the TEAM. Quixtar on the other hand continues to utilize the eye dropper approach to compensate IBOs. Quixtar should be embarrassed. They probably are and this is why they have repeatedly attempted to hide tool income from IBOs or have encouraged sharing only for the largest pins. This is their track record.

Lastly, it really gets down to common sense. In any business what are your expenses and what are your potential profits. MonaVie offers improvements in both catagories. The ability to make more income from products has arrived. The critics will simply find another red herring to point to. We on the TEAM have prided ourselves on our ability to build market share through our communities. We will continue our dominance in this arena. We will continue to move toward the vision of the Walmart of the internet. In this time of transition you should demand your best. If not for you and your family then for the leaders who so willingly continue to plot the course towards our goal regardless of what's in the bottle.




Posted by The IBO Rebellion at 6:11 AM

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Saturday, February 16, 2008

TEAM: Mona Vie Update

Original Source

Taken from: A History Lesson - Winston Churchill
by Orrin Woodward on Sat 16 Feb 2008 07:45 AM EST

Content omitted

Update: In just over three years MonaVie has nearly matched what Quixtar/Amway has accomplished in almost 50 years in North America. There is a reason for this and when I can share the benchmarking study you will know why. I am not a gambling man and prefer safer incremental improvements - with an eye to the future, than a "Swing for the Fences" gamble that puts the vision at risk. We ALL want to be the "Walmart of the Internet" except a dozen lawyers at a competing company. Michael Dell said, "The community is the key to the internet." Therefore; a leaders number one job is to keep his community alive so we can fight another day - this we have done! I have learned in leadership to play the hand you are dealt. Like the old saying goes, "If you knew what I knew, you would do what I do." I believe in the product and leadership team at MonaVie and know they play a part in our long-term vision. I have put all on the line for this vision: my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor. You choose what you will put on the line for this vision. Thanks, Orrin

Friday, February 15, 2008

TEAM: Mona Vie - The Beginning of Making the Vision a Reality

Original Source
Mona-Vie Website

Mona Vie - The Beginning of Making the Vision a Reality
by Orrin Woodward on Fri 15 Feb 2008 10:12 PM EST

Here is the long awaited announcement from Chris and Terri and Laurie and I. Thank you to Chris Brady for his incredible servant leadership in writing the final article! This is the first step on our journey to our destiny! God Bless, Orrin Woodward

A Long Term Vision

Here is a bit of a vision for where we think the industry can, should, and must go! This won’t all happen tomorrow, but it is ripe for the picking, and we plan on doing it, when the timing is right!

The Hedgehog Concept of the Future

Author Jim Collins writes about what he calls a “Hedgehog Concept” in his book Good to Great. He represents this as the core competency at which an organization can become the best in the world. He said it would be the intersection of several other competencies. Using Collin’s model, let’s look at what could and should be done in this industry.

Collins asks three questions:

What are you deeply passionate about?
What can you be the best in the world at?
What drives your economic engine?

Let’s dig into these questions.

Community Building

Community building has been our passion; building communities in order to make a difference in people’s lives. A business to us is about people, and it’s the lives of people we want to affect in a positive way. We want to figure out how to serve the most people possible to help them prosper and get what they want. To do this, we’ve had to think systematically. How could we make success more systematic for everyone? Michael Gerber in the book E-Myth wrote, “It is literally impossible to produce a consistent result in a business that depends upon extraordinary people. Develop a system that leverages your ordinary people to the point where they can produce extraordinary results over and over again.” That’s exactly what our community building philosophy is all about. Helping people earn, change, and grow internally is the key to helping them become effective externally.

Field Profit Only

It doesn’t get any better than a company that keeps NO profit for itself and instead puts it ALL back out to the field. Don’t get us wrong. There are many companies that have very fair compensation programs and share liberally with their business owners in the field. But the best, craziest scenario for the future would be to go all the way to the extreme and share ALL the profits with the field. Perhaps the company itself would simply be owned by the field. We’re not sure; it’s never been done. We call the concept “Field Profit Only,” because the field would be the only place where there would be Profits. Others have called this “Open Source,” drawing a parallel to free-access software that is better served by everybody having access and control of it rather than a company at the top. Whatever the name for it, the concept is one that should be attempted. As Sir Edmund Hillary said in response to the question of why he climbed Mount Everest: “Because it was there.”

Always Competitive Prices

A philosophy of competitive pricing means that an organization will be willing to make up in volume what they lack in margin. Instead of small sales with high margins, the model would require large sales with small margins, akin to the Wal-Mart philosophy. This, of course, would be enabled by the Field Profit Only component described above, where all “middle men” have been eliminated and there is more room to push prices lower. Think about it: prices are lowered because everyone wants a successful business and that has to be driven by customer sales. Since everyone is sharing in the profits, anyway, it makes total sense. The more competitive the pricing, the easier it is for the average business owner to make retail sales. The easier the retail sales: the higher the volume. The higher the volume: the higher the rewards to the business owners.
Continual market analysis could be used to keep product pricing on track and in line with market forces. This would eliminate “competitive drift,” where a product that was once competitive gets left behind by price decreases in the market.

We have talked about three possible core competencies. Intersecting these three areas forms a new Venn diagram, as shown below:

Look at where the three competencies overlap. That area is what Collins calls the Hedgehog concept. He writes, “A hedgehog concept is not a goal to be the best, a strategy to be the best, an intention to be the best, a plan to be the best. It is an understanding of what you can be the best at. The distinction is absolutely crucial.”
In this case, where we believe the industry can, should, and must go is to a point where these three core competencies intersect and provide people with their absolute best shot at the life they’ve always wanted. As Victor Hugo said, “An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.”
A Virtuous Cycle: The way this all works together is called a Virtuous Cycle. See the diagram below:

A virtuous cycle is basically a situation where things are done right, in the right way, for the right reasons, and because of this the cycle rotates faster and faster. When Sam Walton was running the Wal-Mart virtuous cycle, his limiting factor was multi-million dollar stores that had to be built. The only limit is one’s vision for a brighter future. Sight is seeing with the eyes, vision is seeing with the mind.


First Things First

Obviously, the question of what to do next in our lives has been a big one! The biggest visions still require a first step. Neither of us wanted to take any steps without careful consideration and considerable research. Our chief goal was to make sure our energies went into an activity that would be rewarding, fun, significant in the lives of others, and glorifying to God. We have been blessed, and it is heavy upon our hearts to use the gifts we have been given to do something worthwhile and positive.

Several possibilities were considered. Some involved creating something brand new, from scratch, and launching it when we were able. However, circumstances being what they are, and considering timing and quality of implementation, allegorically this would be a 100% opportunity with a 50% chance. Obviously, it would be much better to take an initial step with 100% chance as a first step in the direction of the overall vision. In turn, this would be a step upon which to build.

This line of thinking led to the idea of getting involved with something already existing. Orrin Woodward’s benchmarking experience came in handy, as we learned to consider the leadership, focus, timing, product, pay plan, and competitiveness of a wide variety of ventures. We wanted something duplicate-able, built on “b-type” business strategies, and with a heavy focus on people and sharing. We also wanted to take advantage of some of today’s biggest trends, such as the wellness industry.

Our Choice

After considering many, many fields, opportunities, and companies, we finally selected, as our choice for future personal involvement, a company called Mona Vie, (www.monavie.com) which satisfies all the areas we were interested in. We have been very impressed with the company’s founders and leadership, and many other aspects of Mona Vie, including:

their Binary pay plan is easy to understand, teach, duplicate
their Binary pay plan is fair, rewards teamwork and “depth,” and leaves no one behind
the levels of STAR and STARMAKER are extremely duplicate-able and easy to teach for everyone
the compensation plan, including the 8 ways to make money, is the most exciting we could find in the industry
50% of the product revenue is paid back out to the distributors in the field. Not only is this one of the highest totals we could find in the entire industry, but it is an ACTUAL 50%, not a THEORETICAL 50%, this is because:
there is no BREAKAGE in the pay plan (Breakage is where there is earned bonuses that don’t make it into the paychecks of the distributors, this can happen any number of ways, and most MLM pay plans have multiple layers of breakage that benefit the parent company). In part, this is made possible because:
Any left over volume that doesn’t get figured into a distributor’s bonus in the current pay week, automatically gets applied to the next week.
people are experiencing financial success with this pay plan
the product is exactly in line with the wellness trends of today
the product creates excitement of its own in the marketplace and has a tremendous following of individuals who have experienced benefits
the product is being used successfully to contact others about the business itself
the product tastes absolutely great!
harvesting of the product protects trees in the rain forest and preserves the environment
the marketing and integration of Mona Vie as a company are world class
there is a plethora of brochures, magazines, and other such aids provided by the company that do a wonderful job of explaining their product and opportunity
Mona Vie’s website is top notch and specifically designed to help distributors sell its product, including a free “personalized” website interface to be used with customers.
there has been a lot of press about the product from famous business figures to professional, championship level professional athletes
their policies and procedures are fair, honest, and understandable
when sharing the business opportunity, Mona Vie mandates the display of their Income Disclosure Statement. This statement not only shows average incomes, but it shows them clearly at each level in their business. Further, it shows highs and lows at each level. And finally, it shows exactly how many individuals are currently qualified at each of those income levels. This amount of clarity and disclosure, as well as the success that it represents, is extremely exciting.
their pay plan pays its distributors WEEKLY. We love this idea and think the average distributor can benefit a lot from an idea like this.
weekly payment is credited to a ready-to-use Mastercard.
qualification periods are either weekly or, for larger levels, monthly. This is nice for anyone setting goals to be able to reach them in a short, reasonable time-frame.
there are incentive trips, lease luxury cars, jet travel time, diamond rings and pendants, money toward motor coaches, and conferences for achievers
the product volume (PV) is easily calculated (100PV represents one case of four bottles) which makes the entire pay plan extremely easy to understand and teach
there are bulk order discounts which allow for increased profits on retail sales
there is an excellent Preferred Customer program
the business can be built in many countries without any complicated procedures. In essence, volume is volume, no matter which participant country it is generated in
the company founded and supports the MORE project dedicated to helping the orphaned children of South America.

Because of these reasons and many more, we have decided to become involved in the Mona Vie business, once we are free to do so. (A court injunction was recently extended 45 days which, to the best we can interpret, precludes our taking such a step at this time, and obviously, we disagree with this extension and our lawyers are filing paperwork to that effect).

We are extremely excited about our upcoming participation in the Mona Vie business. We can’t wait to build Mona Vie businesses that span the continent, and beyond. Our goal is to impress the excellent leaders at Mona Vie with our efforts, results, and contribution to their vision. And at the same time, we are keeping our eyes on a vision of the future that just might get a little crazy!

Update: I will give an analogy for all the people desiring to know the method to our madness. When Winston Churchill was in a battle with Nazi Germany, he did not bother to build new cities. One, it takes capital that was needed in the war effort. Two, why bother building something that will be blown apart by the enemy. Winston knew the logical thing to do was to feed the troops and defeat the enemy. When this is done, there will be plenty of time to build the dream city. Thanks, Orrin

TEAM: Tim & Amy Marks: 2008 Will Be GREAT!!!!!!

Orignal Source


2008 Will Be GREAT!!!!!!
Friday, February 15, 2008

The question of what to do next in our lives has been a big one for Amy and me, and it required careful consideration and considerable research. Our chief goal was to make sure our energies went into an activity that would be rewarding, fun, significant in the lives of others, and glorifying to God. We have been blessed, and we want to use the gifts we have been given to do something worthwhile and positive.

We also have a long term view for the future, which involves pioneering some concepts on Internet business that could and should become something that would resemble a “Wal-Mart of the Internet.” Events and conditions, however, dictate that this step cannot be taken immediately. A more immediate solution was needed first, upon which we could build up to the bigger vision.

After considering many, many fields, opportunities, and companies, Amy and I finally selected, as our choice of personal involvement, a company called Mona Vie, (http://www.monavie.com/) which satisfies all the areas we were interested in. Here is a brief list of reasons why we have selected Mona Vie:

1. their Binary pay plan is easy to understand, teach, duplicate
2. their Binary pay plan is fair, rewards teamwork and “depth”, and leaves no one behind
3. the levels of STAR and STARMAKER are extremely duplicate-able and easy to teach for everyone
4. the compensation plan, including the 8 ways to make money, is the most exciting we could find in the industry
5. 50% of the product revenue is paid back out to the distributors in the field. Not only is this one of the highest totals we could find in the entire industry, but it is an ACTUAL 50%, not a THEORETICAL 50%, this is because:
6. there is no BREAKAGE in the pay plan (Breakage is where there is earned bonuses that don’t make it into the paychecks of distributors, this can happen any number of ways, and most MLM pay plans have multiple layers of breakage that benefit the parent company). In part, this is made possible because:
7. any left over volume that doesn’t get figured into a distributor’s bonus in the current pay week, automatically gets applied to the next week
8. people are experiencing financial success with this pay plan
9. the product is exactly in line with the wellness trends of today
10. the product creates excitement of its own in the marketplace and has a tremendous following of individuals who have experienced benefits
11. the product is being used successfully to contact others about the business itself
12. the product tastes absolutely great!
13. harvesting of the product protects trees in the rain forest and preserves the environment
14. the marketing and integration of Mona Vie as a company are world class
15. there is a plethora of brochures, magazines, and other such aids provided by the company that do a wonderful job of explaining their product and opportunity
16. Mona Vie’s website is top notch and specifically designed to help distributors sell its product, including a free “personalized” website interface to be used with customers
17. there has been a lot of press about the product from famous business figures to professional, championship level professional athletes
18. their policies and procedures are fair, honest, and understandable
19. when sharing the business opportunity, Mona Vie mandates the display of their Income Disclosure Statement. This statement not only shows average incomes, but it shows them clearly at each level in their business. Further, it shows highs and lows at each level. And finally, it shows exactly how many individuals are currently qualified at each of those income levels. This amount of clarity and disclosure, as well as the success that it represents, is extremely exciting.
20. their pay plan pays its distributors WEEKLY. We love this idea and think the average distributor can benefit a lot from an idea like this.
21. weekly payment is credited to a ready-to-use Mastercard.
22. qualification periods are either weekly or, for larger levels, monthly. This is nice for anyone setting goals to be able to reach in a short, reasonable time-frame.
23. there are incentive trips, lease luxury cars, jet travel time, diamond rings and pendants, money toward motor coaches, and conferences for achievers.
24. the product volume (PV) is easily calculated (100PV represents one case of four bottles) which makes the entire pay plan extremely easy to understand and teach
25. there are bulk order discounts which allow for increased profits on retail sales
26. there is an excellent Preferred Customer program
27. the business can be built in many countries without any complicated procedures. In essence, volume is volume, no matter which participant country it is generated in
28. the company founded and supports the MORE project dedicated to helping orphaned children in South America.


Tim & Amy

Posted by Tim Marks at 7:04 PM

TEAM: Historical Reminiscences & A Vision for the Future - Part IV

Original Source

Historical Reminiscences & A Vision for the Future - Part IV
by Orrin Woodward on Fri 15 Feb 2008 03:47 PM EST

The following post is my toughest to write. I am not a victim and do not wish the Team nor I to be portrayed as such. As an unofficial historian of these times, I am only attempting to state the truth as I saw it first hand. I did and still do respect all of the Quixtar representatives mentioned. I do not believe in disparagement and all of my statements are intended to be my opinion only when I am addressing my feelings.

The first time I sat down with Jim Payne was shortly after writing the letter to Doug Devos about my concerns about the business. A little background on the letter is necessary. I did not just out of the blue write a letter. Joe Markeiwicz group and the Team were the two fastest growing businesses since Quixtar formed. Steve VanAndel and Doug Devos requested a special meeting where Board members and non-Board members met to discuss a study performed on the state of the Quixtar business. I won’t go into details about the meeting, but at the end both Doug and Steve asked us for any additional input to help get the business moving again. I didn’t need a second invitation to move on this. I took me a couple of days to write that letter. I wanted to be firm in my convictions, but also encouraging and confident that we could make Quixtar work the way everyone dreamed it should. I asked Pastor Dickie to read and re-read it so that I would speak the truth in love. I hoped we could do a lunch together and share with Doug some ideas I had to improve the business. Much to my surprise, I received a curt reply that stated Jim Payne the new Quixtar managing director would handle the matter. In Doug’s defense, I know he is a very busy man with a global business, so I looked forward to my first meeting with Jim.

Chris Brady and I met with Jim in his office a month later. We felt we would have a great discussion on how to improve the Quixtar business, but instead we spent almost three hours defending the very existence of Team Approach. We were told Quixtar had reviewed the data and had determined that Team Approach was a poor method to build the business. The showed reams of data that “proved” Team Approach produced less profitability. I was shocked as saddened that instead of addressing the issues admitted by the founders on the lack of growth, we spent all of our time trying to keep Quixtar from forbidding the use of Team Approach. Jim also said that our organization was the lowest PV/IBO. I tried to explain to him that I stopped promoting the products personally after I did my own cost comparison and realized I was teaching people to buy products they could buy much cheaper at the store in my opinion. I had told Ken McDonald that I could not in good conscience promote commodity products at a higher price than they can buy at the store. Ken said he was working on 15 to 20 products for us and I told him when that happened we would explode! Jim took my lack of promotion as a weakness of Team Approach. This is simply not true and building depth actually increases purchases because people that see progress tend to buy more. I told Jim and the rest of the Quixtar representatives that although profitability is less in the short term, people accomplish the levels twice as fast. For example, if it takes the width model 5 years to go platinum and someone with Team approach can do it in 2 to 3 years, and then comparing avg. platinum income is not an accurate test. In five years with Team Approach the platinum may be a Sapphire or an Emerald. Someone like Tim Marks went Diamond in 31 months. None of this seemed to have an impact and when I left that meeting in late 2005, I realized that the political environment had changed. I was impressed by Jim Payne personally though. He has a very quick mind and grasped concepts quickly. I assumed he had a job to do and was focused on making changes and reducing the Board’s influence.

Jim Payne had led changes in other countries with great success from what I hear. I believe the difference in North America was the Board. In no other country did Amway have a Board that had to be consulted in order to implement changes. I don’t think Jim was comfortable with this process and did not follow the protocol of Maxwell’s Law of Buy In the best. I knew in late 2005 that Team Approach was not looked upon favorably at Quixtar even thought the field began using Team Approach in increasing numbers. Results cannot be hidden and the Team had well over 80% of the (English Speaking as a first language) Founders Emeralds and above that had only been in Quixtar. Despite these results, the new QBI program that the company rolled out was heavily stacked against Team Approach. There were requirement on side volumes that had never been in place before. This would affect the income of thousand of people in and out of my organization. I felt a fiduciary responsibility to speak up on this matter and lost more ground with the Quixtar representatives. I never had a personal issue with any of the Quixtar managers and felt on a personal level there was respect on both sides. I did discuss openly and freely on my concerns on favoring width building methods (that were not working) over depth building methods (that were working). I was not asking for favoritism for the depth builders, but asking for an achievement based system that would let the best system win. I did not win this discussion and all organizations who built with Team Approach suffered the consequences.

The beginning of my second year on the board began with a major push by Greg Duncan and the company to sell more products. Greg traveled around the country teaching of the explosive growth of everyone doing the Incredible Edibles program. I heard about people going ruby all on retail sales. I love a good story as much as the next guy but still like the old saying, “In God we trust, and all others must have data.” So many people in our business are phenomenal story tellers and I love a good story too, but the story needs to be backed up with hard evidence. Otherwise, it turns into hype and is not conducive to long term results in this business or any other. I wrote my letter to all the Board members after being told that we would be an email based culture and if we had any questions or comments to share them. Again, I did not write this letter to attack anyone, but merely to bring out another vision of how to move more products. I am all for sales, but to ask six figure income producers on their job to learn all the details of a water treatment system or the air filtration units in order to sell them is simply not worth the effort. I feel if someone could sell those products and make money, then they could make a fortune selling products with higher commission margins and easier stories to tell. My letter was rebutted by Rob Davidson and never brought up again. In my opinion, I felt Quixtar had decided not to follow through with the 15 to 20 competitively priced products. Over two years of my life and no closer to our dream business than the day we started.

The next big debacle with Quixtar came after the Team’s major in Grand Rapids at the VanAndel arena. We had just launched the Team website operated and controlled internally. It had more content on the non-password protected side to be more open and transparent with visitors. A Quixtar lawyer in their rules department just happened to be walking downtown in Grand Rapids and asked one of the many white shirted guys what they were doing. Someone gave them a card with the Team website on it. I received an email from Gary Vanderven stating I had 72 hours (It might have been 48 hours) to password protect the whole site or my IBO number would be suspended for having a prospecting site. I ignored this for the first couple of days thinking that Gary was having a bad day. I remember the call I received from Gary the last day and told me if the Team site was not taken off the internet until it was fully password protected that I would be suspended. I was shocked and hurt. I told Gary that I was on the road and that everyone was gone from the office. I literally had to beg for another 24 hours to not be suspended. I knew Gary must have been given orders to do this, because he is one of the nicest Christians I know. I told Gary that I know there must be more to the story and that I would comply even though I was very disappointed that no one would call and talk to me about this outside of the rules department. Billy Florence and Rick Abraham both looked at the website and stated they saw no prospecting materials or even an email to be contacted. Plain and simple, it wasn’t a prospecting site.

Jim Payne, John Stecco and Gary Vanderven called me with one hour to go before the suspension started and asked me if I was taking down the site. I was glad that someone at least called before I was suspended. I asked them what suspended actually meant, thinking that maybe I should get suspended and appeal to the board. Jim Payne said I would lose all of the QBI bonus, all the trips and monthly incomes. I was thinking about refusing to take down the site and appealing until Jim said the next statement. Chris Brady will also be suspended. I told them that Chris knew nothing about this, but their reply was that it says he is the co-founder. Jim asked again what my answer was. This was the most frustrating time in my entire life. I no longer felt I owned my own business and felt worse than an at will employee in my opinion. I bowed down to their authority again, but vowed to fix this ultra controlling attitude! I began to think that maybe discussing openly about change in this culture might not be the best thing for a person’s longevity in the new Quixtar.

The next crisis in my relationship with Quixtar came over full disclosure of the tool incomes. One of the major criticisms online and in the Dateline documentary is the lack of full disclosure on the tool incomes. Chris Brady and I decided to place the four ways to make income directly in our first night book. Quixtar forbid us to state our average incomes per level of achievement, but Quixtar was driving for full transparency in the tools business. I felt this was one of Team’s competitive advantages. We are proud of our compensation plans and anyone can become the top money earner. Why not disclose this in the first night book and if someone does not like it then they don’t have to join? This allows for complete transparency and no one can say they were not told upfront of all the various ways to make income. Tools, Tickets, Speaking and Quixtar were the four ways. Instead of being elated by our willingness to be transparent, Chris and I were threatened with a loss of the Hawaii Diamond Club unless we took the entire chapter out of the book. No discussion, just do it or else. I prayed about this one long and hard, but in the end decided to go to Hawaii because we had just broken 3 new diamonds and one was a personal (George and Jill) to us. We did not want to ruin their first Diamond Club and still believed that the attitude of Quixtar would change when they saw all the new growth we were experiencing!

The last major crisis while in the Quixtar business was the name change back to Amway. No discussion, no pros and cons, just do it. I feel no move on Quixtar’s part hurt the trust with the field as much as the unilateral name-change back to Amway. I built this business to have more control over my time and choices in life. The last two years had been a personal nightmare for me and my family. No one in our group outside of Chris and Tim knew anything. I did not and would not slander or libel someone. I do feel I have a right to share the truth from my perspective and this is the truth as I know it. I am sure I have made mistakes and am sure I could have addressed issues in a better way. All of us can get better. But as God as my witness, I never tried to belittle anyone personally and focused on the issues that I thought would improve the business for all of us. That is what I am called to do as a leader. I know people have bad days, but I was beginning to see a pattern in Quixtar’s behavior towards me and the Team. Even with all of this, I still had faith against all the facts that Quixtar/Amway leaders would come to their senses when they saw the backlash on the Amway name change. Every LOA/LOS leaders that I talked to was very disappointed by the recent move leading up to the name-change. There may have been some that were excited, but I didn’t talk to them and I tried to gather data from as many as possible to see if we could unite and convince Quixtar to change their minds. The beginning of the end of my Amway/Quixtar career was near.

TEAM: Historical Reminscences & A Vision for the Future - Part II

Original Source

Historical Reminscences & A Vision for the Future - Part II
by Orrin Woodward on Fri 15 Feb 2008 10:21 AM EST

Here is Part II of my mini-book. I apologize for this history first before the announcement, but I feel people need to know the history to understand the constraints and criteria for the decisions leading to the Future of the Internet. I appreciate your patience and I will get back to writing after I post this. This could be four of five parts by the time it is done! God Bless, Orrin Woodward

Laurie and I went direct in the Amway model in March of 1995 and plateaued for the next four years. Chris and Terri joined our business a little over a year after we started and they went direct and leveled off also. We literally worked 6 to 7 days a week night after night. We may not have been the best or most talented, but we were not going to let anyone outwork us. The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing while expecting a different result. We were taught in our training systems to duplicate not innovate—I agree with this statement when what you are duplicating is working. When it is not working, then duplicating failure is insanity. We saw many of our heroes fall on hard times. In North America, the Amway business peaked in 1995 and then started a free fall backwards. From somewhere around $1.6 billion in the US in 1995 it fell to just over a billion dollars in the US market by 1999. Something was drastically wrong! The multi-cultural market building in the US was exploding, so the actual fall back of the (English speaking as a first language) was worse than the numbers explain. Many big leaders lost fifty to seventy-five percent of their groups attending functions. In late 1998, Chris and I decided we would quit the Amway business and start an internet company. This was during the internet bubble craze and start-ups companies were selling for millions of dollars.

There were two things that held us in the business during these frustrating times. First, we still believed in our small group and the cause to change our country. We believed the training systems were an incredible educational tool to bring personal responsibility and free enterprise principles back to the American people. Second, our upline came back from a diamond club all excited that Amway was going away and an entirely new business was forming. They had not announced the name, but it would be an internet model that would revolutionize the how business was done on the web! Chris and I looked at this as a Providential move as Amway was moving into the internet age and we got excited to help in the transition to the new business. They announced the name of the new company (Quixtar) and we put off our plans to build our own internet company. Perhaps Chris and I were not ready to start our own company yet and I have no complaints with the education I have received since 1999 in building the Quixtar business.

Our attitude during the formation of the new Quixtar business was to innovate and see what needed changes we could bring to the MLM/Networking Industry. We had watched so many groups go backward and were so close to quitting personally that we felt no risk in innovating. We were only platinum’s at the time and began to develop a building methodology called Team Approach. Both Chris and I were over 20 wide at one point in our businesses. We had watched the majority of our personals quit after a year or two due to lack of results. Team Approach was an answer to the lack of results by leaving no one behind. When a person starts 10 to 15 people personally in width—they have no way of helping all of them. A person does not have enough time in the day to serve 15 new people and help them achieve success. Chris and I discovered the new people go through three steps on their way to developing into interdependent teammates. Information, Progress and Profit are the three steps in that order. A new person first learns about the products and interpersonal skills first. Secondly, they review monthly to see if any progress is being made in their business. Lastly, they ask, “Am I making any money?” If they are only learning with no progress or profit, they might make it 30 to 60 days. If they are learning and making progress—they will last 6 month to a year in the business model. But if they have all three, they will stay in and become a loyal part of the community.

Team Approach allowed us to help the new person make progress and nearly doubled our retention rate of the new people. I am in business to help people win first. I only desire to benefit from any business if it is win-win. If there is no benefit for the new person, they will quit. If there is no benefit for the leader, they will not serve. The proper business marries the interest of both the new people and the leaders to generate massive success. Our business rocketed to the fastest growing business in the entire Quixtar world. We went from platinum to diamond in 17 months. Laurie and I went on to EDC in 2003. We had growth rates of over 100% in several of those years. Ken McDonald, the Quixtar Managing Director and I developed a close relationship. He helped me immensely and taught me how to navigate through the usual politics associated with any success. When you succeed you have three types of responses:

1. People who are happy for you and desire to learn.
2. People who are indifferent and continue to do what they have always done.
3. People who are envious and wish to stop the new techniques.

Ken McDonald warned me of the people against the new methods and helped Chris and I develop processes to ensure Team Approach was above reproach. I am very thankful for Ken taking me under his wing and encouraging me to develop the Team Approach methodology. Ken asked if we would share Team Approach with other organizations and we said yes. Laurie and I were also asked to speak at the prestigious Quixtar Live event in 2003. We shared a vision of Quixtar becoming the Wal-mart of the internet. I believe anytime you learn something of value that we should share the blessings with others. Many groups were taught the new methods and started achieving more success. Jim and Nancy Dornan are excellent examples of the first group of people. They have achieved phenomenal success in life and business, but are still hungry to learn and grow. Jim and I sat down at Achiever’s and he implemented the Power Player program and Team Approach. Jim told me at a later Diamond Club that his business was growing and he had achieved the incredible level of Founders Crown Ambassador. This couple deserved their success as they continually focus on serving others.

As a leader of a growing Team, I was invited to participate in meeting to help solve why the overall business in North America was not performing to expectations. I volunteered without pay to do this throughout 2003 and 2004. My goal was to improve the opportunity for all organizations and leaders in Quixtar. In late 2004, I was exposed to the first hard data on the lack of results from the new Quixtar model. Leaders do not get depressed when they confront reality, but do get depressed if they are not allowed to fix the reality. I agreed to go on the board and dedicate three years of my life with this specific intent: To fix the Quixtar business and make it the opportunity we all believe it could and should be. I still believed we were sitting on the potential best opportunity in America. I told my mentor and Pastor that I would openly share any ideas to improve the business and pray that Quixtar management would openly confront reality for the good of all. They had developed the Quixtar model to improve on the lackluster results of the previous five years, but the results were even worse in the next five years in my opinion. I didn’t go on the IBOAI board to punch the clock, make money, or politic with the company and other leaders. My goal was to improve the business and give the new person an even better opportunity to win than the one given to Laurie and me. I still believe in my heart that most of the other leaders on the IBOAI feel the same way. All of us wanted to improve the business for the new people.

TEAM: Historical Reminscences & A Vision for the Future - Part I

Original Source

Historical Reminscences & A Vision for the Future - Part I
by Orrin Woodward on Fri 15 Feb 2008 08:46 AM EST

In order to do this announcement of my future intentions, I must give you the background history of my experiences in the MLM/Networking industry. I share the history portion to inform the incredible readers of the critical choices that need to be made to take the MLM/Networking industry to the next level. Please bear with me as I provide the perspective lens that I view the MLM/Networking world through in multiple posts. No portion of this history is meant to be critical of any specific company or individuals. I have nothing but thankfulness in my heart that God led me to this marketing field. The relationships I have been blessed with have been worth any struggles or setbacks endured. My life’s mission is to “Lead myself and others to truth.” The only way I can do this is to be associated with people and companies who are constantly learning, growing and changing. I respect everyone’s right to not grow, but I believe they miss out on some of the greatest joys of life by not living a journey of self-discovery. The Japanese call it Kaizen (Continuous Improvement) and I experience the most frustration in life when I am involved with companies or individuals who do not wish to grow and change.

Charlie “Tremendous” Jones states, “You are a product of the books you read and the people you associate with.” My life significantly changed when I was introduced to the Yager Internet training organization back in mid-1993. I had met a window salesman named Dave who attempted to sell Laurie and me new windows for our 1958 house with the original Andersen windows still in place. The lowest cost windows were way over our budget so I was walking him to the door. He kept saying, “No problem, I have other businesses I am involved with.” At the time, I was half way through the University of Michigan MBA program and a full time 7th level engineer. I had recently turned 26 and we were broke with our first child on the way. I asked him what the businesses were and he told me he sold sports cards. I was excited because I had over 50,000 baseball and football cards in my basement. I told him to stay and brought up the cards. After reviewing the cards he agreed to help me sell them for a commission. The first night I met the guy he walked out of my house with over 5,000 cards valued at over $10,000! I was excited until my buddy Gary told me that Dave would probably never return my phone calls. Gary said I was silly for giving someone I did not know that many cards.

Needless to say, when he contacted me for his third business I was all ears. It was the only way to ensure I got my cards back! Dave told me he was involved in Interactive Television and in the future we would all be buying from our TV sets. Laurie and I were both serious TV watchers at the time and we thought making money while watching TV was the perfect business for us! When I found out that it was Amway, I was not too happy since I had seen the Amway plan a couple of years earlier. What made me keep listening though; was a fear that if I rejected the business opportunity, I would lose my baseball cards. Laurie was not excited at all, but I agreed to sign up if he would give me back all of my sports cards. When Dave brought over the Amway kit, I did not have the cash to sign up. He had to use our credit card and order another kit to his house for us to get started. Dave brought back all the cards and I thought this was the end of the story. Only one thin thread changed our destiny and brought me to where I am today—writing on this blog for tens of thousands of people.

Dave had suggested that I meet with a couple named Larry and Marsie VanBuskirk. Dave told me that he ran a couple of by referral financial planning offices and was involved in multiple other business ventures. My personal desire has always been to run my own company someday and Larry’s background intrigued me. I agreed to have them come over the house, but forgot to tell Laurie they were coming. Laurie and I were finishing supper one night when I received a phone call from Larry stating he was minutes away. Laurie was not too happy with me to say the least! Laurie was looking for her car keys to leave the house vowing not to return until after those “Amway people” were gone! Luckily for me, she could not find her keys. Larry and Marsie changed our lives that night. They did not talk about Amway or products, but they did talk about self-improvement, leadership, seminars, and tapes. Larry told me that the greatest business owners were the best at self-improvement. If you wanted to succeed in life that you needed many experiences and you could not possibly live long enough to have all the experiences necessary. The only way to close the gap was through reading and listening. To say that I was blown away would be an understatement!

Dave had left a shoe box full of tapes when he had signed us up, but it had been over a month and I had listened to none of them. The problem was—I did not have a tape player in my truck. I couldn’t afford one and only had an AM radio. Providentially, GM had offered to give me access to their company cars to drive to Ann Arbor for school at night. As I was shaving one morning, I remembered the company cars had tape players. I went to the shoe box and searched for the two selections, since I knew it was over an hour to Ann Arbor for school. I can see God’s hand all over the two tapes that I picked that morning. I searched for two tapes that would interest me and came up with two: Tim Foley, a former all pro football player and Paul Pilzer, an adjunct professor and economist. There were over 100 tapes in that box and there is no way I could have picked the perfect two except by God’s plan. I carried those two Internet Services tapes in my front shirt pocket all day long. Typically, I would listen to Nirvana or some other hard rock band on the way to Ann Arbor. But on this night, I popped out Nirvana and put in Economic Paradigms by Paul Pilzer. I had watched the video by Joel Barker on Paradigms so the title had aroused my curiosity.

Within ten minutes, I was hooked! I was stunned by the level of information being provided in the tape. I had been looking for an opportunity to provide for my family and Paul Pilzer had stated that Amway was cutting edge and reaching critical mass! I was not interested in a door to door business, but if Amway was expanding into interactive TV, had leadership training like I was listening to, and reaching critical mass—I was in for the long haul! I can not remember anything that happened in class that night and couldn’t wait to get in the car and listen to the next tape. Tim Foley delivered an inspiring talk about taking charge of your finances and being the leader you were called to be. I am so thankful to the Internet Training tapes that I listened to the first 5 years in my own business. They absolutely changed my life forever. Dexter Yager and Bill Britt are two under-appreciated business men who revolutionized an industry. In my opinion, these two men played a major role in the Amway phenomenon and I must give credit where credit is due. I listened to literally hundreds of tapes from both of these leaders and learned incredible nuggets of courage and convictions. I wanted to follow in their footstep and help change the country like they were focused on doing.

Notice a key point—I did not buy in because I believed the Amway products were the absolute best on the market. I wasn’t against the products, but they were not the main focus. Many of the tapes stated, “People move products, products do not move people.” I bought in to changing the country and helping others do something meaningful with their life! The training systems created the most loyal and disciplined group of people that I was proud to be associated with. If buying products from Amway was necessary to be associated with this group of world changers, then so be it. I shut off my rational critical thinking when it came to the product side, because I knew it was bigger than just products. I read Rich Devos’s and Jay VanAndel’s books and believed 100% in their vision of free enterprise and personal responsibility. Both of these great men have made a huge difference in my life. Even with all the current challenges, I am still thankful for the teaching and entrepreneurial spirit that Rich and Jay taught me. Rich, Jay, Dexter, and Bill were all ahead of their time. Rich and Jay focused on earth friendly products at a time when practically no one else did. Dexter and Bill were created the model for today’s learning organizations and revolutionized the entire MLM/Networking field. To have cut my teeth under such incredible visionaries was and still is a blessing for Laurie and me.

I will end here for Part I and will continue in another post later today. God Bless, Orrin Woodward