Friday, May 30, 2014

Great Leaders Don’t Always Start Out Looking Like Great Leaders

This amazing couple will be speaking at the LIFE Live seminar Saturday, June 07, 2014 at the
St. Charles Convention Center
One Convention Center Plaza
St. Charles , MO 63303
Success Talk Speaker: Dan & Lisa Hawkins
General Session Speaker: Dan & Lisa Hawkins

Dan & Lisa Hawkins will present the Success Talk, Teaching, Story and Next Step sessions. *Please remember, No Food or Beverage allowed in the facility. Seminar will be in the Junior Ballroom BCD

 Originally posted by Eric Blomdahl in Uncategorized. Tagged: , , , , , , , .

Dan & Lisa Hawkins

 Orrin Woodward posted a great article the other day about Dan and Lisa Hawkins. Dan and Lisa are Policy Council members of TEAM and co-founders of the new LIFE business. Dan and Lisa have developed into an incredible couple and incredible leaders. Leadership guru, Orrin Woodward wrote this in his post about Dan and Lisa:

“…Dan and Lisa are not your typical mechanic or daycare provider.
What’s the difference?

It isn’t talent, as everyone has the talent to develop into a leader. It isn’t connections, as Dan and Lisa didn’t have any. In fact, Dan may be the shyest person I have ever personally witnessed build the business to the PC level. (He attended four phone calling sessions without calling anyone!)
Then how did they do it?

Simply put, courage. Dan and Lisa had the courage of their convictions to go against the grain, refusing to listen to the naysayers of life; instead, they chose to pursue their dreams. They disciplined themselves to read, listen, and apply the leadership training, falling in love with the learning process. Because of their courage, because they confronted every goliath in their path, the Hawkins are now TEAM PC members and LIFE Founders.”

Dan and Lisa have been friends and business associates of mine for the past 9 years and I have had the privilege of having a front row seat to watch their journey and development into great leaders. Their story of dream/struggle/victory provides a great opportunity to share a valuable lesson for anyone to have success in life.

When you look at the Dan & Lisa Hawkins of today, it’s easy to say, “Well of course they made it, look how great they are.” But the Dan & Lisa Hawkins I met 9 years ago were quite different. In fact, my thoughts back then were, “They’re never going to make it.” My reason for sharing this with you is not to de-edify or take anything away from Dan & Lisa, but rather to let you know that great leaders don’t always start out looking like great leaders. What I learned from watching their journey is this…great leaders of tomorrow start out looking like YOU today! Here are some characteristics they developed into habits into their life that made all the difference:

1) Dared to dream BIG – they got an “elephant-sized” dream and then kept that dream in front of them daily.

2) Selected a single source of information that provided them with true success principles and didn’t let any outside source contaminate their thinking (this is actually a topic for a separate blog article by itself).

3) Developed courage – when you know your right, it’s much easier to have courage and fight through the negative and critics (remember, critics don’t have courage).

4) Listened to CD’s and read books daily that taught them success principles.

5) Consistent and persistent action – they did what they know they needed to do on a daily basis regardless of whether they felt like doing it or not (this is an important point…great leaders do what needs to be done even when they don’t feel like doing it).

6) Humbled themselves to mentor on a regular basis.

So, if you want to see what a great leader of tomorrow looks like…go look in the mirror! Make sure you check out Orrin’s full article.

Your future is waiting…go get it!

God bless and have a wonderful day, Eric Blomdahl

Friday, May 23, 2014

Middle Class Squeeze

Originally posted by Best Selling Author and Life Founder Orrin Woodward.

God bless, Scott Johnson

The Static Classes
In a 2011 article, reporter Stephen Marche pinpointed the painful paradigm of today’s static class:

There are some truths so hard to face, so ugly and so at odds with how we imagine the world should be, that nobody can accept them. Here’s one: It is obvious that a class system has arrived in America — a recent study of the thirty-four countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that only Italy and Great Britain have less social mobility. But nobody wants to admit: If your daddy was rich, you’re gonna stay rich, and if your daddy was poor, you’re gonna stay poor. Every instinct in the American gut, every institution, every national symbol, runs on the idea that anybody can make it; the only limits are your own limits. Which is an amazing idea, a gift to the world — just no longer true. Culturally, and in their daily lives, Americans continue to glide through a ghostly land of opportunity they can’t bear to tell themselves isn’t real. It’s the most dangerous lie the country tells itself.

The “Idle Rich”
Everywhere I looked, I was exposed to this bitter reality. The middle-class is in the big squeeze. This isn’t my opinion the irrefutable data is available to all.  On one side of the squeeze is the aristocratic elites.  They have their special deal monopolies (which raise the prices on all consumers), courtesy of our government. These “idle rich” enjoy a non-competitive life of leisure because they are allegedly “too big to fail.”  Since there aren’t any free rides in life, the perks provided by the government are paid for by the middle class through higher prices. (How much money do you put in your gas tank weekly?) However, in order to maintain the special deals for the “idle rich” the government must develop another segment of the populace that approve of the current state of affairs.

The “Idle Poor”
Thus the government creation a new class of people – the “idle poor.” Let me define the “idle poor.” They are NOT anyone who is out of work, but still looking. Sadly, the squeeze has left many hard working people to suffer this fate. In contrast, The “idle poor” have surrendered the very idea of personal responsibility, expecting others to provide for them indefinitely. Our government creates and funds the “idle poor” for votes, similar to an insurance policy. This protects the “idle rich” from middle class frustration at the voting booth. The middle class surrenders its vast majorities by division into parties, ensuring the idle class’s perks while the middle class works.

Do you really think the wealthy elites care about the poor, especially after we can see how voracious they are to tax the middle class? Could an alternative explanation be that the “idle poor” are necessary to maintain the “idle rich” special deals in the rigged game? The poor are treated like they are “too small to win,” so the “idle rich” can continue being “too big to fail.” This is a fraudulent philosophy of life. The poor, in a free environment, can win in the game of life. I have witnessed it numerous times first hand. Sadly, however, it’s easier to get people to volunteer for a “something for nothing” program than to work, even though the volunteers lose the most – their self-respect.

Middle Class Squeeze
The politicians (of both the left and right persuasion) promise handouts to enough groups until they have enough votes for re-election, thereby continuing the middle class squeeze. First, the “idle rich” bilk the middle class with monopoly positions protected by government politicians elected (bought) by the wealthy elite’s money. Second, the “idle poor” squeeze the middle, receiving hand outs courtesy of the government taxes taken from the middle class. Both idle classes receive benefits without effort. The rich gain through monopolies and the poor through handouts, both thanks to our government’s monopoly of force. In the meantime, the middle class runs faster and faster on the gerbil wheel never seeming to get ahead.

This Isn’t Free Enterprise
Please don’t misread my point. I love free enterprise and competition, but the crony-capitalism of the USA or Canada is definitely NOT Free Enterprise. Sadly, our government has created a static class system more diabolical than Thomas Jefferson’s worst fears. I want our countries to be free and to have all people everywhere have the ability to win through their willingness to work and grow. But this demands an end to the hypocrisy of class system built on top of the American Dream ethos. In order to fix this mess, it must be called what it is – an aristocracy in our midst. Stephen Marche elaborates:

In the United States, the emerging aristocracy remains staunchly convinced that it is not an aristocracy, that it’s the result of hard work and talent. The permanent working poor refuse to accept that their poverty is permanent. The class system is clandestine.

Restoring the Entrepreneurial Dream
Perhaps if enough of the working class unite together, we can restore the entrepreneurial dream. Call me a dreamer, and idealist, or even a nut case. I don’t care. A man with experience (success over time) is never at the mercy of a man with an opinion (and no results.) I know the middle class squeeze to be true in several ways. First, I have witnessed the workings of the “idle rich” class, watching second generation wealth attempt to secure it through special deals. Second, I have thousands of people joining LIFE who have been squeezed by these very forces at work. I will not sit by idly and watch my country fall without doing something. The West needs a resurgence of freedom and an end to the class system protecting the “idle” on both ends of the spectrum.

LIFE Meritocracy
I (and my fellow founders) formed the LIFE business as a dream for meritocracy, developing merit based leadership communities around the world. LIFE is a level playing field where a person is rewarded based upon his contributions within the community. Do a little, receive a little; do a lot, receive a lot – just like my experience in competitive sports. May the best man or woman or team win based upon performance. No class system, no special deals, just an opportunity to win based upon one’s results.

When discussing meritocracy there are two main reactions. On one hand is the group who gets excited and thankful, realizing that they finally have an opportunity to win based upon their own efforts and results. On the other hand is the group who gets upset and bitter, realizing they will no longer be able to hide from the scoreboard of life, since they have been exposed by their lack of effort and results. I was involved in community building for 5 1/2 years with little to show for it, but I never blamed anyone else. In fact, you only become a loser when you blame someone else. Don’t fall into pity parties or you will never experience the victory parties.

Who Wants to Play King of the Mountain?
Regardless of the rhetoric of either side, meritocracy is simply just. For meritocracy ensures that everyone is given an equal opportunity and playing field. Imagine playing a game of King of the Mountain where everyone has a right to enter the game and battle their way to the mountaintop. New participants join the game with the goal of running to the top and knocking off the current King of the Mountain. This is an analogy of a true free enterprise system. Anyone can enter and compete, but if you don’t perform, don’t come crying to mommy. People can enter as individuals or teams, but no group gets a special deal. The King today may be knocked off tomorrow by better ideas, strategy, and people. The referee (government) is supposed to be neutral (justice), ensuring everyone plays the games by the rules.

Imagine the travesty if the current King of the Mountain buys off the referees, forcing all new participants to carry a 50 pound bag on their back (extra regulations). Even if the King has to carry the bag also, it’s much easier to be on top with the 50 pounds than run up a mountain side with it. The more government rigs the game, the less free enterprise it becomes and the more a class society results. Western Civilization is at a crossroads because Big Banks and Big Business do not like to lose and believe they are “too big to fail.” They have rigged the game, ensuring “idle rich” stay on top, while the rest of us run around wondering why no one seems to knock off the Kings of the Mountain anymore. Government must stop playing the paid off referee and go back to the neutral umpire it’s supposed to be. Either this changes or the West, as we know it, will die.

Vacancies on New Mountains Only
One might be wondering how Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, etc made it to the top of the mountain. In truth, nearly all of the new big league entrepreneurs made it to the top of a new mountain with no established hierarchy of entrepreneurs at the mountaintop. In other words, since the old mountains are closed by the unethical partnership of Big Business and Big Government, the only opportunities for hungry entrepreneurs is to innovate into the new fields where the mountaintop is still vacant. Innovation and competition is fantastic on the new mountains, but imagine how much more innovation would occur if Western Society opened up all its mountaintops, like a true free enterprise system should and competitive sports does?

For example, can one see how perturbed the established energy companies would be if some crazy innovator developed a way to convert water into workable energy? Does a person think the established order would support the new innovator or attempt to quash his (or her) ideas because trillions of dollars are on the line? Regretfully, squashing the new entrepreneur is the modus operandi in Western economics. Everyone, except the few with the special deals, are hurt here. For without innovation an economy stagnates and declines.

Here is a quick video describing the economic malaise damaging the West.

 Challenge and Response
What if leadership communities, groups who educated themselves and others on historic leadership and liberty principles, joined together and formed free communities for real change? In my book, RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE, I talk about Arnold Toynbee and his thesis of “Challenge and Response.” We are going through one of these critical periods where the West has serious challenges to respond to and it takes leaders to respond. Throughout the West history, citizen leaders have stood up to tyranny whenever the need arose to right the wrongs. Today’s issues demand courageous leaders who will respond similarly, standing up and fixing them, doing what is right because it is right. Do you see the challenge? Are you ready to respond? I am and that’s why I committed to LIFE for life. Sincerely, Orrin Woodward

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Gerson Miracle

For anyone who is interested in natural treatments this is the best.

Even the most advanced cases of cancer can be successfully reversed using this method.

This is illegal in the US. (Charlotte Gerson Lives in Sandi ego, CA. but her hospital for therapy is in Mexico because of this.)

Entrepreneurial Dream

Originally posted by Best Selling Author and Life Founder Orrin Woodward.

God bless, Scott Johnson

The American Dream
When I was a young, growing up in the small town of Columbiaville, Michigan, I loved watching and competing in sports. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat taught me so many lessons that I applied to life. In fact, I believe the lessons I learned from watching, playing, and modeling my favorite athletes helped form who I am today. Furthermore, because of my sports heroes, I became an avid reader of sports biographies, learning many of their secrets to success.

I had no idea how instrumental the hundreds of books read of my sports heroes would affect me. In truth, it wasn’t until I began teaching leadership for a profession that I realized what an impact my early reading had on my life. The numerous stories of young men who dreamed, struggled, and persevered until they had their victory, taught me that anything is possible in life if one is willing to work hard enough and endure through the expected setbacks.

Perhaps I was naive and should have known better, but my meritocratic world-view was shaped by my playing, watching and reading about competitive sports – one of the last remaining bastions of a performance based meritocracy.  In other words, in the competitive arena of sports, no points are given because of your previous record, your family’s background, or your ability to talk smack. Each game has pre-defined rules, an impartial referee, and competitors who begin equal with the right to become unequal based upon their performance as individuals and as teams.

In high school, I suffered from severe low self-esteem, constantly viewing others as better than myself. In many ways they were better, however, I carried it to the extreme, typically defeating myself before the competition even began. It’s hard to hide from the scoreboard, especially when you are a runner and wrestler. All eyes are upon you and you cannot blame anyone else for a lackluster performance. The scoreboard provides the facts for both victories or defeats.

Although starting late in both endeavors (junior year), I rapidly improved through hard work, great coaching, and experience, ultimately receiving several awards – most improved wrestler my senior year  (losing 5-2 to the national record holder for pins in a high school career),  All-Genesee County in Cross-Country, and anchoring the 2 mile relay in track that set the school record.  I say all of this, not to relive high school sports, but to share a key principle learned. It’s only through the willingness to endure painful experiences, persistent practices, and constructive feedback that a person can separate himself from the crowd. Simply put, meritocracy demands performance.

With my foundational principles formed along with a Manufacturing Systems Engineering degree from GMI-EMI (now Kettering), I boldly entered into my professional career. I believed through the application of the same principles that had helped me achieve success in competitive sports, that I would quickly rise to the top at GM. However, nothing could have been further from the truth.

It’s not that my career didn’t start well enough. For in less than three years of working full time, I was awarded four patents, was in the process of winning a national technical benchmarking award and received a 19% raise. Additionally, my division committed to covering all my tuition expenses for the #2 nationally ranked MBA program though University of Michigan. I was living the life I had dreamed, being on the fast-track at General Motors and developing a tight relationship with the Director of Engineering of our multi-billion dollar Delphi division.

So What Went Wrong? One of the most painful moments in a person’s life is when he realizes there is no port of call for his ship of dreams. In other words, even people who work hard, waiting for their ship to come in, will find they waited their life away. The old plan of working hard, getting good grades, going to college, and getting a good job with benefits is DEAD! In fact, it’s rotting corpse has been buried for years.

My personal realization of this fact came when Laurie was pregnant with our first child. Naively, I went to my boss and explained to him my dilemma. Laurie was working as an accountant, but we both wanted her to be a stay-at-home mother to raise our family. I asked my boss what I needed to do in order to be promoted to 8th level and receive a company car. I knew it would take this level of income to fulfill the plan of having Laurie home.

One can imagine my shock when I was told that I was only 25, and no matter how hard I worked, or what I accomplished, I would not be promoted until at least 30 years of age. Moreover, our division had over 100 extra 8th levels already so being promoted at 30 was a long shot. Talk about a bubble being burst! This was a blow below the belt that I was completely not expecting. I felt like a rat in the proverbial rat race, running around the maze as fast as I could with dead ends everywhere I looked. I vowed to get out of the rat race, no matter how difficult or painful.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Entrepreneurial vs. Employee Thinking

Originally posted by Life Founder and Author Claude Hamilton.

God bless, Scott Johnson

Does your business thinking interfere with your employee thinking, or vice versa? Do you even know the difference?

Friday, May 9, 2014

General News - You Don’t Need a Degree To Become Wildly Successful

Originally posted by Life Founder and Author Mr. Tim Marks.

God bless, Scott Johnson

In their article, These 19 Insanely Successful College Dropouts Prove You Don’t Need a Degree, shows that the traditional form of “conveyor belt education” is not the only way to make your way in this world.  Getting a degree not only doesn’t guarantee you a job – it doesn’t even guarantee you an interview.
There are so many examples of success without formal credentials that a new wave of entrepreneurship is being born on college campuses as students opt to strike out on their own in order to strike it rich.  One of the reasons I love LIFE Leadership is because anyone, regardless of their success in school, can create the life they’ve always wanted by building their own business.
For the full article, click here.
Here is an excerpt from the article to enjoy!

As the school year starts up again, the class of 2017 is heading off to college for the first time, and a whole crop of high-school seniors is beginning to consider where they’ll go next year — or whether they should go at all.
College still pays off in the long run, but as tuition prices continue to climb, debt loads are higher than ever. And the first years out of school are extremely tough.
Some, like PayPal Co-Founder Peter Thiel, claim that college just isn’t worth it in the age of startups. He’s giving 20 bright young people $100,000 each to start a company instead.
Despite the fact that Thiel himself is a Stanford graduate, people who choose to follow his advice and drop out find themselves in pretty good company. Beyond Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, some of today’s most successful businesspeople didn’t graduate from college. Here are a few that prove a college degree isn’t the only path to success.

Ben Milne took his payment platform from a $1,200 investment to a multi-million-dollar company by the age of 22.
A decade ago, 28-year-old Ben Milne dropped out of the University of Northern Iowa to start his first company, Elemental Designs. In 2008, he moved on to Dwolla, an online payment system that allows you to eliminate credit cards completely.
“I started college because I thought that’s where I was supposed to go,” Milne told Business Insider.  “I applied to one college, I got in, went, and realized it wasn’t for me. I had customers, so I stopped going to class.”
Four years after starting Dwolla, the company is moving more than $350 million.

Matt Mullenweg started WordPress, which now powers 16% of the web.
Mullenweg dropped out of the University of Houston in 2004. Even then, he was so precocious that he didn’t bother with their computer classes. At 20, he had already developed the beginnings of WordPress and was fielding job offers from tech companies. He dropped out to work for CNET in San Francisco, with a promise that he could continue developing his side project 15% of the time.
He left to found Automattic, the company behind WordPress. WordPress alone gets 140 million visits a year with a staff of just 140, and all of Automattic’s sites see nearly half a billion visitors.

Arash Ferdowsi is a co-founder of DropBox, which is now worth an estimated $4 billion.
Ferdowsi dropped out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2007 after three years at the school. He left to found DropBox, which quickly grew from a tiny startup to a service used by hundreds of millions of people.
He’s currently the company’s Chief Technology Officer and became a multi-millionaire at the age of 27.

David Karp created Tumblr, now the 9th-most visited site in the United States, despite never graduating high school.
Nevermind college, Karp didn’t even graduate high school. He was already a product manager at UrbanBaby, an internet forum for parents, at the age of 16. He had droped out of Bronx Science high school a year earlier in 2001 to be home schooled, and never obtained a high school diploma.
From there, he started Davidville, where he built the beginnings of Tumblr. That quickly became his full-time focus, and the company’s now the United States’ 9th most visited web site.   Karp himself is worth an estimated $200 million.

JetBlue Airways founder David Neeleman dropped out of college with a year left until graduation.
Neeleman discovered his knack for business when he was a child working at his grandpa’s grocery store, but he never excelled quite the same way in school due to a learning disability.
After three years at the University of Utah, Neeleman dropped out of college. He went on to found the commercial airlines Morris Air, JetBlue Airways, and Azul Brazilian Airlines.

Whole Foods Founder John Mackey dropped out of the University of Texas several times, never graduated, and never took a business course.
Mackey dropped out of several different Texas colleges   in the mid ’70s. At the age of 25, he was a religion and philosophy major at the University of Texas. He joined a vegan co-op, met a girl, dropped out for the final time, and borrowed money to open his first storeTwenty-five years later, Whole Foods has gone international and does more than $12 billion in sales.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Ancient Greece’s Power Pendulum

Originally posted by Life Founder and best selling Author Orrin Woodward.

God bless, Scott Johnson

The Six Duties of Society (SDS) and the Five Laws of Decline (FLD) are present in every human society because it the seeds of both processes are inherent within the human heart. LIFE Leadership is a company that focuses on expanding the SDS and restraining the FLD. In a similar fashion, every successful society rises under the impetus of the SDS and eventually falls when the FLD kill it.

I promise that anyone who reads history with an SDS and FLD mindset will see it everywhere. For instance, the following video about the Greeks and the Power Pendulum is from a talk I gave last year. Listen to the video and tell me where else you have seen the FLD working within society.

Orrin Woodward

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Two Reasons Why We Keep Losing the Freedom Battle

Originally posted by Oliver DeMille. He is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling co-author of LeaderShift: A Call for Americans to Finally Stand Up and Lead, the co-founder of the Center for Social Leadership, and a co-creator of TJEd.

God bless, Scott Johnson

Why does government keep growing, no matter who we elect, no matter which party is in charge? 

Why do freedom lovers, those who truly want limited, Constitutional government, continue to lose the battle?

There are two answers. First, the freedom battle loses — year after year, election after election, decade after decade — because it is poorly funded.

The political parties are well funded, mind you, but neither party truly stands for freedom. Freedom lovers lose because they are underfunded, pure and simple. More on this below.

Second, those who stand for freedom lose the battle to bigger government because the regular people can’t see what is happening. We don’t see armed troops in jackboots marching daily through our streets, entering our homes, and stealing our property and lives.

When the people can’t see this happening, it’s hard for them to get too excited about it. They don’t know what to fight against. They don’t know who the enemy is. They aren’t sure who to fight, or how to fight them.

The Paper Sword

We don’t realize that Soft Power attacks (certain licensing requirements, regulations, agency policies, commercial codes, revenue bills, statutory changes, executive orders, secret agency procedures, exemptions, ex post facto decisions, and court cases) are as dangerous to freedom as Hard Power attacks (invading armies, armed rebellions, political officials with their own armies, or government use of force against its own people).

In history, the regular people often respond to Hard Power attacks on freedom, but they seldom even notice Soft Power attacks until their freedoms are too far gone to recover.

Citizens of nations almost never realize it when Soft Power is attacking them. The biggest irony of this is that throughout human history Soft Power has taken away more freedom than Hard Power. In fact, Hard Power is seldom used until Soft Power has weakened a nation.

Today, we are witnessing a wholesale reduction of our freedoms — nearly all through Soft Power attacks that few people notice.

As one insightful friend wrote to me in an email:
“We don’t know who or what to fight against. I still believe the majority of Americans value freedom…We, as a culture, do not know how to defend freedom in this new age of information, nor do we know who or what to defend it from.
“All the average citizen sees — or is supposed to see — is things going a little darker, a little dirtier, a little more crowded, each day. There is, for most Westerners in any case, no force-of-state brutes-in-boots and uniforms…We see only the results of class stratification and economic divergence…
The most dangerous enemy is the one you can’t see.”
Americans would stand up and vote to get their freedoms back, if only they understand how much they are under attack.

If they could see their freedoms being stolen by Hard Power attacks at the level that they are truly under siege from Soft Power, they’d change things — and fast.

But the regular people don’t see, because Soft Power is used behind-the-scenes, on paper.

How to Win the Battle

This is why only a nation of voracious readers can maintain its freedoms. 

And this brings us back to the first reason freedom is losing: underfunding.

Not only do we need a nation of voracious readers, we need a lot of successful businessmen, professionals, entrepreneurs, and others of means to fund freedom — to fund those things that help the regular people see and understand the impact of Soft Power.

This is the current battle for the future of freedom.
  1. Will people of means fund effective responses to Soft Power attacks on our freedom?
  2. Enough to win the battle?
  3. Will enough regular people take entrepreneurial action and become people of means?
On these three questions turn our future.

Which of these three battles are you helping fight?