To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.
If you look for it, you’ll easily find criticism of Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady, LIFE Leadership and TEAM. You’ll see accusations of “scam”, “pyramid scheme”, and so on. That doesn’t mean it’s true, and the fact that it’s easily found doesn’t mean that there’s a lot of it — just that a few vocal critics have garnered the attention of the search engines.
I’ll get into addressing the various issues point by point, but for now, let’s just try to get some perspective and look at some general truths:
1. Our culture feeds on negativity.
So it’s inevitable that a certain portion of people are going to find something negative. Expect it. It doesn’t matter how good a person you are, or how great a company you run, you’re going to have critics. Mother Teresa does. So does Gandhi. People have claimed over $100M in losses with AT&T on one complaint site alone:
That’s not to say all criticism should be completely dismissed as invalid, but rather that it has to be taken with a grain of salt. Spend some time reading the criticism of any individual or company on one of these sites, and you’ll notice a predominant trend of negativity and abdication of personal responsibility.
2. It doesn’t matter how many people don’t get it. What matters is how many people do.
In my last post, I pointed out that the main discussion thread on critic site TeamScam actually only has six people who had a first-hand negative experience with LIFE/TEAM. Of the top three complaint sites, two have no complaints, one has just one complaint. No BBB complaints.
But wait… like I said, it doesn’t matter how many people don’t get it — what matters is how many people do:
One critic accused Orrin of inflating attendance numbers, because someone in LIFE said that there were 20,000 people in attendance in Ohio, but by their conclusion, there were only more like 14,000. Really? Really??? There are so many ways that number could have gotten skewed as it was passed around… I don’t even want to try to go into it. Point is… 14,000+ people are there, committed to changing their lives for the better. Thousands more are participating and just not at the event.
Just watch the video and see the size and reaction of the crowd for yourself.
3. People get defensive when their beliefs are challenged.
Let’s be real…no one joins LIFE who is already feeling completely, 100% fulfilled in all of the 8 F’s. That’s not to say they couldn’t benefit from it, or wouldn’t enjoy it — it’s just that they’re simply not seeking it out. Most of the people who join are feeling deficient in one or more (usually more) of these areas.
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
Driving change in any of these areas usually requires more than just action; it requires you to change your thinking. And we don’t like to do that. The function of the brain is to be right. So when you start challenging people’s concept of family, their relationship with finances, their responsibility for their own fitness and putting faith into action, guess what? You’re going to get some resistance. A lot of it, in fact.
Some people will push through it, and be rewarded with the changes they’re seeking. Others, though, will go back to their old, dysfunctional thought patterns. And they’ll find friends and other resources who will support them for “returning to the fold”. They’ll seek out validation and reinforcement of their old familiar beliefs and habits, and they’ll find it.
That’s why the personal development space, in general, is subject to a lot of criticism, and the network marketing industry, as well. So it’s a double whammy for LIFE!
Making profound, lasting changes in your life requires a huge paradigm shift. At times, it may be unfamiliar and even uncomfortable. Focus on the goal, and you’ll get through it.
Putting this all in perspective
With nearly 100,000 satisfied customers and members, even if just 1 in a 1000 ends up not confronting personal truth and changing, but instead quitting and blaming, there would be 100 negative people. Look — look hard — and you’ll only find a handful.
Even at that, most of the criticism comes from people who have never been in LIFE, but rather from outsiders, or from people who were part of TEAM during Amway’s multi-million dollar lawsuits against the top leaders of TEAM. TEAM ran a profit-sharing system, and incomes went down. It’s hard to increase profit sharing when people quit from fear and 50 of your top leaders are sued by billion dollar companies.
But more on that in a future post…
The real story isn’t the couple of inevitable disgruntled critics, but rather the hundreds of leaders who stuck together through bankruptcies, financial hardships, and legal threats in order to maintain principles they held dear. All networks have people who quit, but LIFE’s retention of leaders is extremely high. No one at any leadership level has quit LIFE. They survived and now are thriving.
Move on with your life, Haters!