Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Endless Rebranding & Leadershift

     To quote one of my favourite 80's hairbands Cinderella.... "The more things change, the more they stay the same". Another year has come and gone, and how much closer would you say Orrin Woodward and his clan are to reaching their stated goal of one million people? Oh I'm sure they'd tell you they're "right on track", and that things have "never been better". The truth of the matter, in my humble opinion, brings me to a quote I heard from Orrin Woodward himself, "those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it". Very appropriate considering the big changes happening with TEAM or should I say LIFE Training, as they are now known. You see, this is hardly the first time this organization has undergone a name change (Hello.. Team of Destiny, TEAM, TEAM Monavie). I'm not here to write a big blog post on this event, my friend at the Amthrax blog has done a pretty good job on that already. What blows my mind is that people who have been following Orrin for YEARS.. don't see the endless hamster wheel that they are on! I mean really 2007 was not that long ago! Remember that Teamsters? That was the release of Orrin and Chris's book Launching a Leadership Revolution. I remember all the fanfare and excitement of having a book on the New York Times Best Seller List! I also remember ordering many...many copies of the book in advance, as well as receiving it  not once, but TWICE as the Book of the month while on "System". Oh yeah... good times! It was used as the book somebody received when they got started in the "Business" as well!  Make sure you have extra copies for the new person you're going to sponsor.... I mean... you're a professional right? Why would you make the new person wait for the information? Do you also remember when they stopped using LLR as the sign up book? I do... I also remember having about 15 copies sitting in the back of my car when that happened, because ladies and gentlemen, I was a professional. I was getting people started all the time, and I wanted them to get off to a fast start....for them...really (this is sarcasm for those of you playing at home).

     What is the point of my little rant? It's that they are doing it all over again with this new book Leadershift! The exact same process. It's like watching Bill Murray's Groundhog Day! You can read all about the pre-order process as being orchestrated by LIFE on the Amthrax blog. Mark my words, this book will be a "must have" to all "serious business owners" in LIFE. It'll be book of the month, probably more than once, and it will be the book you "get somebody started with". Oh I'm sure there will be an awesome back story, like how they donated the "1st edition" proceeds of the LLR book to charity, but the fact remains, we've seen this story before!

     It must amaze people who are looking at this from the "outside" and wondering why people continue to tow the company line. Thought reform is very powerful, it took me YEARS to regain my critical thinking skills. I remember thinking "I don't care if I never make a cent in this thing, I'm making a difference, and saving people from themselves"! If you've been with TEAM for a long time, you know I speak the truth. LIFE will continue to operate in a fashion that is best for them.... always have... always will. If it ain't broke don't fix it! Orrin must have just reached back into his book of tricks and said "Remember that LLR thing we did a few years ago? That seemed to drive volume up pretty well... let's try that again!". Happy belated groundhog day folks!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Is There No Validity At All With MLM?

     Happy Easter weekend one and all. This my response to the above noted question posed to me by a commenter earlier this last week. It's funny as I was working on a post that answered this very question!

     I do suppose it might be easy to make that jump in logic, based upon my very "negative" online handle... the MLM Punisher, however this in not necessarily the case. We've all had an experience with a Multi-Level Marketing company at one time or another. Whether it came in the form of a direct contact about a "business opportunity", or you were handed a catalogue of products, or attended a party of some sort, we've all been there! Here is my stance on MLM's in general.... if you know from the onset what the deal is.... I don't really have a problem with them. As an example if you want to buy kitchen products from a friend of yours who is doing Pampered Chef...be my guest! You know what the deal is right off the bat! I buy over priced kitchen gadgets, they get a straight up percentage of sales. If you "host" a party, there are discounts available to you, and if you become a rep... you too will sell over priced kitchen gadgets to friends, make a percentage, and your "sponsor" receives some compensation for sponsoring you! Sound familiar? Well I'm sure TEAM/L.I.F.E folks are screaming at their screens right now! "That's what WE do" they'll say! Ah........NO.......it isn't! If you're new.... it's what you THINK you do...there is a BIG difference.

     The difference between what TEAM/L.I.F.E does, and other "product based" MLM's is the claims out front, how they represent themselves (from the top leaders on down), and the structured system of assimilation into their culture that destroys your critical thinking! Now... based on this statement alone I could write a book (some have), showing how this is done, and how a new person who may be very successful in one area of their life, can suspend critical thinking and be brought slowly into the fold. A term in the media that is very popular right now, explains the process exactly...Radicalization! I was talking about this process with a friend of mine, and while speaking to him, I described the end result of the Radicalization process as "Financial Terrorism"! Think about it..... when a terrorist group targets a new individual to be a human bomb... do they say first night.. "Hey, we think you should strap a bomb to yourself and run into a crowd". The answer is NO! Wouldn't want to scare off the new person would you. No...it a gradual process...something like....Make a friend....Find a need...Begin with the end in mind. Well folks, that's how TEAM/L.I.F.E works! They don't tell you first night that in order to build their "Business", you are going to be out showing the plan 6-7 nights a week, attending open meetings, seminars, contacting sessions, business launches, reading two to three books a month, listening to 3-4 CD's a day, looking a every person you pass as a possible "business partner"! Nope it all starts with "What would you do with an extra 2-3 Thousand dollars a month?"... here listen to this.... and I've got a guy I want you to meet. So begins the Radicalization process!

     Have you been a victim of Financial Terrorism? If so... feel free to do some reading at the Amthrax Website! You will see you are NOT alone, many other people from all walks of life have slowly been Radicalized through the TEAM/L.I.F.E "System". Feel free to discuss the topic at hand! Were you Radicalized? Did you help commit Financial Terrorism on others.... on yourself? I did.....and these are my stories.....

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Get a "L.I.F.E"

       In the words of "The Rock", Finally.....The MLM Punisher has returned to blogging! It's been a while since my last post, however that doesn't mean I'm disinterested... quite the contrary! The official launch of L.I.F.E. has happened with much fan fare! I've also been keeping a close eye on the Amthrax Blog which is pretty much the hub of all things Anti - TEAM / L.I.F.E ... or whatever Orrin Woodward's next "business" will be called (because there will be something else eventually I'm sure). You see, just because I haven't blogged for a couple of months, doesn't make me any less of a blogger! Nobody is going to tell me that I can't miss a blog post... or that my whole future depends on my next "fired up" blog post! I don't have to explain to any upline bloggers that "I'm just backing off blogging for a little while". Nope... true freedom is a wonderful thing!

      So what does the L.I.F.E. business bring to the table? Well... if you want an in depth analysis of the compensation plan, don't look here. The Amthrax Blog is where you can find that! In my humble opinion... it appears that the L.I.F.E. "business" is just the same old same old! Buy more books, CD's, DVD's, and attend the next function. Get others to do the same....repeat.....forever! We just went through the Christmas holidays, and I didn't have to worry about Christmas falling on a Tuesday night. What would we do? Can't miss a Tuesday night open meeting you see! As I remember it... the only Tuesday night open meeting that was ever cancelled was the one between Christmas and New Years! Every other week of the year, you can bet that a Tuesday night open meeting is going on somewhere! I also will note that I didn't miss any of my kids Christmas concerts this year. WOW...what a change!

      New Years is just around the corner. What will your New Years resolution be? Will it be to spend hundreds of dollars a month on books, CD's, and meetings, while trying to convince others to do the same? If your answer is yes... welcome to TEAM L.I.F.E. . Your New Year is bound to have less time and money in it! But wait you say.... I only have to "get three and it's free"! Wow.. what a deal! Considering after 6 years in team, I only saw maybe 1% of people sponsor 3 people into their team. That's back when we actually had products! Your "Leadership Development Material" IS your product?! Good luck with that. I'm sure during these times of economic down turn, people are just clamouring to throw money into books they don't read, and CD's that tell them to "get on system" and go to the next function! Wow....that's some high end teaching there. Guess what... when you go to the functions, you get to hear about the "system" again in person now! Much better.

     No thanks! I think I'll spend my New Year with TRUE friends and family. Not the ones that'll drop you like a bad habit when you don't follow the "system". You see the "Leaders" on TEAM are not your friend. Oh they'll smile and nod, shake your hand and try to remember your name to make you feel important the next time they see you, but they are doing this with specific intent. The longer they can dip you in their happy go lucky land... the better chance they have of sucking you in and getting you "plugged in" to the system. My New Years resolution you ask? Well... I think the more truth about my experiences with TEAM I can get out there... the better! I pray that more people stumble upon this silly little blog, and make decisions to get as far away from TEAM and L.I.F.E, as they can!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Everybody!  Could this be the year we see the final desperate gasps of TEAM? Bring on the train wreck....! I can't wait to see what Orrin and his pals have designed next!

MLM Punisher

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mrs. Punisher

     The Punisher has been busy the last little while, living this thing called life.... NOT to be confused with the upcoming train wreck mlm called L.I.F.E! No, I mean the things that really matter like being with family and friends through a tough time. I recently lost a member of my family, and while it was not unexpected, it still puts things in perspective for you. It allows you to focus, and be reminded how finite our time on earth truly is.

     I found myself thinking back to my years with Team. Would I have missed this very important event? You see, when you are "in to win" on Team, it means putting all things in your life aside to "focus" on your "business". I missed lots of events while chasing the dream over my 6 years in Team. At the time it was no big deal, but now looking back.... what a shame. Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, school events for my kids.... I mean I actually missed several Christmas concerts because they happened to fall on a Tuesday night! Couldn't miss a Tuesday night open meeting! That would mean I wasn't a "Leader", and would be showing others on my Team that they too could miss meetings! That's the way I thought back then. Sound familiar?

     I think the hardest thing for me has been watching my wife try to recover from our involvement in Team. The financial side of it is one thing, but the emotional recovery is different for everyone. I at least have this blog! I've met a lot of really good people, who have suffered similar experiences in Team. The great majority of these people are on the Amthrax Blog. My wife however doesn't even know that I'm the MLM Punisher! A true secret identity! She has however, only in the last year been able to talk openly with me about our time in Team. Mrs. Punisher made a comment the other day that was not only one of the funniest things I've ever heard.....but one of the truest statements ever! I was sharing some of the things I had learned on the Amthrax Blog, about the inner workings of Team with her. She had a shocked look on her face, and I asked her to describe how she felt. Her response was priceless.... " It's like finding out your mother is a whore" she said! LOL! That's totally it! You look at these people a certain way for years. Listen to their CD's, read their books, attend their live speaking events, and believe them to be a certain way. When you find out the truth....it can be shocking, and Mrs. Punisher's description is right on the mark!

     That's it for today my friends. I'll update you from time to time on Mrs. Punisher's progress, especially if she has anymore hilarious insight!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

L.I.F.E. The Future Of Network Marketing-Part 1

     There has been a lot of hype around the latest and greatest idea coming out of the Team camp lately, and it hit a feverish pitch this last weekend at the Major Leadership Convention. I can only imagine how many gas station attendants were contacted between here and Ohio! The bottom line is that Team is rolling out the future of network marketing on November 1st of this year. From first glance it appears that Team is just merely rebranding their business (yet again), Team of Destiny anybody? I saw a flyer that was handed out to Team members at the Major Leadership Convention. It stated that the new "L.I.F.E." model "Rests upon three pillars of support"....because we all know how structurally sound those three pillared foundations are! These guys were engineers at one point right? I digress..... Let's take a look at these three pillars shall we. They are (in no particular order) Credibility, Competence, and Compensation.

1) Credibility - Are you serious? These "Best Selling Authors" achieved this ranking by moving their "Instant Classic" Launching a Leadership Revolution through their MLM organization! Most people "building their business" were encouraged to buy numerous copies to hand out to prospects or sell to their downlines! It was a "Book of the Month" selection, meaning everybody in their organization on "system" got it automatically sent to them, and was also used as the sign up book that a new person got when they got started in Team. Show me another author who had a force fed distribution deal awaiting their book! Show me the numbers on how many LLR books were sold outside Team, and see if we are still dealing with "Best Selling Authors".

2) Competence - "The founders of L.I.F.E. have over 100 years of combined experience in the community building profession". Wow.... over 100 years experience! They must really be good! Who knew "Community Building" was a profession? I thought this was a business? No.... only when your really good at it....then it's a "Profession"! The only thing these guys are competent at is finding new ways to drain money from the pockets of their devoted followers! New business.... so I can only imagine they will be revising the first night book. Leading the consumer rebellion....version....what....14 now? 15 maybe? Give me a break.

3) Compensation - So they are going to pay you to move CD's, DVD's, Books, and the like, to other MLM organizations, random people, and corporations? The best part is that they are going to pay "double" what other MLM's pay! Since 99% of people involved in MLM never make a cent.... what's double of nothing again...oh yeah....NOTHING! Should add up to a big pay day for the leaders of Team once again however!

     I personally can't wait to watch this train wreck of an idea unfold! My only regret is that a lot of people are going to get hurt along the way. Financially and emotionally. There are still people who I used to considered good friends, and have gone through numerous changes with Team though the years, still involved. It'll be tough to watch, however maybe......just maybe.....they'll stumble across this site! I will make future L.I.F.E. posts and updates as the sad and tragic facts regarding this "Business" come to light. And remember.....without the "F".........it's just a L.I.E.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Donkey Kong Kill Screen

On the advice of a good friend, I watched a documentary a couple weeks ago called The King of Kong. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it, especially if you've ever been involved in MLM, or you're a fan of classic video games.

      Long story short, A guy who has never really won at anything in his life, gets laid off his job, and turns to the video game classic Donkey Kong, to fill the hours of his day. He stumbles across the score for the world record, and sets out to beat this legendary score. The documentary follows his struggles as he not only has to beat the game, but the owner of the world record, and his legion of followers. Much like the main character, I was shocked at how one man could manipulate all of these other people into doing his bidding, just because he was the Donkey Kong World Champion. The main character actually beat the score on video tape....but the minions discounted it saying he cheated. The guy then made trips to an arcade and beat the score live! Well the minions were in scramble mode trying to gather people to watch him, in order to make him nervous and mess up! I won't ruin the documentary for you if your going to watch it, but let's just say it blew me away the lengths the minions went to, in order to protect their fearless leaders legendary score.

      What has this got to do with MLM you ask? After seeing this first hand, I witnessed that the followers in MLM's like Amway, and TEAM, have the same over the top devotion to their fearless "Leaders"! While you are living it....you don't even notice that it's happening! But to others watching from the outside.... they have the same reaction I did watching the minions follow around this "World Champion" Loser, trying to protect his little claim to fame! What are you doing? Can't you see what's going on around you?! Once you wake up and snap out of it.....it's pretty sad actually, looking back on it.

     Here's a challenge for anybody following a "Leader" in MLM.....are their words matching their actions? I mean not just the things they say to the big crowds of people... but stuff you see and hear behind closed doors as well. Who are you really following? Do they have YOUR best interests in mind....or their own? You could be just building your little heart out....showing the plan....going to meetings....doing "all the right things".... and in the mean time, someone else might have a different plan, and it effects YOUR "Business"! "Not my Leader" you say? Go ahead... do some searching on line and see the countless examples. Blindly following your "Leaders" will more often than not, lead to heart break, bitter disappointment, and the emptying of your wallet! Oh.... and by the way......there's a Donkey Kong kill screen coming up if anybody is interested.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Closer To....Or Further From?

     Hard to believe it's been a month since my last post! What a slacker. Actually I've been busy with this thing called life, and I find that my blog posts are directly related to my anger. You'll know when I'm ticked off, because I'll post more often. The best analogy I can give would be like Bruce Banner before he turns into the Incredible Hulk. I'll go long stretches where I feel fine, everything is ok, and then it starts to happen! Someone will say something, or I'll run into someone from my past "Team" life, and BOOM! The transformation into the MLM Punisher begins. This last week it was a combination of both! So..... here I am.

     It started off with running into a person I knew from the Team. Very nice person who I hadn't seen in a long time. After we dispatched with the small talk, it quickly went into a "have you talked to...(my upline) lately?" Ah...."No" I said, "Not in several years actually". Completely unfazed by my response, the conversation continued. "Well, it's all VERY exciting" they went on, waiting for the look of excitement on my face (when none was noted they continued). "We are going back to more of a Leadership focus, like we used to"! Ah.... "That's Great" I replied, "Good Luck with that". I didn't want to dig any further for fear of being pitched the plan right there on the street! The conversation was ended with some more small talk, and we went our separate ways.

     Now I know Amthrax has made mention of this new direction by Team some time ago, and I see from my little experience that he was bang on! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? This is it?! This is the big news! Hello....McFly....Anybody home? Remember when we left Amway for Monavie? The so called "Desert Experience", when all we did was promote "Leadership" material and wait for the 6 month no compete clause to expire....so we could all rejoice in the "Wal-Mart of the Internet" idea that Team Leaders had been eluding too!? How'd that turn out for ya? Oh... I remember NOBODY but profit sharers made money during the 6 months, and then we transitioned straight into Jungle Juice sales people! Now some of the same people who were in the Team when this happened....are "Excited" about a switch back to a more "Leadership" focus!!! WHAT.....(Anger....Rising....Must Control....Anger!). So let me get this straight....everybody is fired up to go out and possibly lose the retail product arm of your business, so that you can go out and promote "Leadership" Material that only Profit sharers and above will make money on? Wow..... I can see why everybody is excited!

     To further demonstrate this shift in focus, I see the Team has changed their registration forms (Yes.. again, for those keeping track at home). Now it only costs $122.95 to get started in team! I can see everybody getting "Fired Up", about the low start up fee now! It'll be SO MUCH EASIER to get people started! But wait....what does that $122.95 get me? You get registered to the Monavie website - $39, Chris and Orrin's latest book - $23.95, and a 4 month subscription to the Team website - $60. That's it! So... correct me if I'm wrong but that means that ALL of the money from registration of a new person goes directly to the TEAM, except for $39 which goes to Monavie! It's brilliant really. Whether the person ever attends a meeting, or even sees a bottle of Monavie....the Team makes $83.95 every time a person signs the dotted line!

     So Team members... as you embark on this newest transition phase, and I try to reduce my heart beat from over 140bpm during this rant, I want you to think long and hard about where YOU are really going with this "Business". Are all the changes the Team is making for YOU? How is this going to help YOU reach your goals and dreams? Remember....the reason you got started in the first place? I'll use a Teamism... Does this take you closer to, or further away from your goals and dreams?