Last weekend I attended The Team’s February Seminar at the Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, Michigan, which featured Chris Brady as the keynote speaker. Team is the group that launched The Life Business in November 2011 which includes prominent leadership gurus such as Orrin Woodward. The business of Life revolves primarily around self-improvement, networking, life coaching, and community building: becoming job-optional and manifesting the life of your dreams.
Chris Brady’s keynote challenged audience members to ask themselves: “What difference have you been called to make?” As well as, “How do you define the business you are in?” He encouraged his listeners to not play small, but rather to “get busy about things that matter in the big picture.” He also made a point similar to one I’ve discussed in an earlier post, to focus not on WHAT you do, but on WHY you do it. In other words, it’s the motivation and intention behind actions that’s as important, or even more important, than the actions themselves.
Furthermore, Brady argues that one’s “true self” is what emerges under pressure, and that we must engage in the process of developing character and substance. This is a concept that resonates strongly with me, and one that was also discussed in one of my earlier posts. One of the key concepts in The Life Business is the idea of developing leadership ability. This relates to the concept of building community: a strong community requires real leaders, people of substance and character. People who have risen to the challenges of their life situations and transcended them by moving beyond their own limiting beliefs and habits.
One of the things that struck me about the seminar was the number of people in attendance (I estimate as many as 2000) who really seemed excited and inspired by the ideas that Brady and the other founders of Life are talking about. Concepts like:
- One person can make a difference.
- Freedom produces prosperity.
- Your focus determines your reality.
Now, Life is a network marketing business (also commonly known as a “pyramid scheme”). That said, an important aspect of what Team is doing involves bringing true and empowering concepts into people’s lives in a concrete way. Inspiring them to make positive changes not only to their own lives but to their communities. So many people, everywhere I turn right now, are without hope and without help. They’re depressed and discouraged about their lives. They are, in a word, dis-empowered. So the ideas which are the foundation of Team and the Life business offer a new direction and constitute a significant contribution.
It’s interesting to me that so many people I’ve talked to seem to have a negative view of network marketing businesses, especially when these businesses seem to revolve around the concept of real profit sharing. It strikes me as odd that people might get uncomfortable when an acquaintance shares an idea or product that has had a positive impact on his/her life. Probably because, on the other hand, many of these same people have no strong objection to the massive amounts of advertising, corporate marketing, and the like that we are all exposed to on a daily basis.
What are big businesses and big corporations selling? If we stick with the concept that most businesses are selling an idea more than a product (even if it seems like they are selling a product), then what is Wal-Mart selling? What is McDonald’s selling? What is _______ selling? (Fill in the blank with any big business or corporation…this is not directed at any one in particular.)
Pretty much every business is selling an idea (sometimes disguised as a product) in exchange for money. So, in that sense, when we spend our money on something we are voting for what we want to see more of in the world. Are we making the CEOs and the people at the top rich? When we buy from almost any big business or big corporation (network marketing or otherwise), of course we are. But then the question becomes, what ideas are we buying? What types of thinking are we supporting? And it also begs the question, are we supporting leaders who truly have something to share and something to give back? Are we supporting people of real substance and character?
The Life business is new, but judging from what I’ve seen, this movement is growing and people are excited about it. From where I’m sitting, it looks like the founders have already given something valuable to their members: hope. And hope is something rare and precious and valuable in today’s world. So what Life is really selling is the possibility of positive change – and that’s something people can get excited about.