Financial Post | Business

OTTAWA — The Canadian government won a far-reaching case at the Supreme Court of Canada on Wednesday in which public-sector unions had demanded that it return over $28-billion to their pension plans.

The unions had alleged that the federal government had improperly taken the money out of their plans by way of contribution holidays and/or by direct withdrawal of surpluses.

The federal government had argued that it was acting within the laws governing the pensions and that in any case it would meet its obligation to pay the defined benefits.

© Thomson Reuters 2012

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Mark Macdonald- NY Times bestseller and CNN contributor

Hey everyone!!
I am very excited about the upcoming TEAM conventions being held in Springfield, Mass and Milwaukee WI.  We have a tonne of great speakers and a great agenda of topics. Orrin and Laurie Woodward and Bill and Jackie Lewis will be in Springfield and Milwaukee, and the BradysGuzzardos, Hawkins, and Marks will be in Milwaukee.  Oliver Demille will also be speaking a second time for the TEAM, he was a huge hit the last time he spoke!!
I wanted to highlight Mark Macdonald who is one of the speakers we have coming in to answer questions and promote the 90 day RVLution from MV.  I have become good friends with him and can tell you he knows his stuff and is a very sincere passionate advocate of living healthier lives. Mark is a National Ambassador to the American Diabetes Association and a NY Times best selling author.
Here are a few videos of him on CNN where he is a frequent contributor. Enjoy and I will see you all at conventions the next few weeks!

Friendship and Social Media

Hello everyone,

I’m excited that Summer Leadership conventions are approaching and I hope to see you all there!  I invited a great friend of mine to guest blog and he wrote an awesome post that I would like to share with you.  Phil Wall is happily married to his wife Catherine and is a proud father to his 2 year-old daughter, Manaia. Phil is originally a Kiwi but has recently become a full-blown Beaver; he hasn’t warmed up to the game of Hockey yet but that’s about the only thing I don’t like about him!

Enjoy,

Claude

Relationship Inflation 

by Phil Wall

I was reading a few articles this week about social media and the thin relationships that often develop in the social media arena.

Social media has touched us all in some capacity, and in many cases has lead to something called “relationship inflation”, where people develop many more click-click relationships but are they really worth anything of value? So what is the true value of a social media relationship (one that was not born from a real, face-to-face relationship)?

It’s funny to me when I hear a conversation between two FB junkies – “I have 300 friends on Facebook … Really? Why so few? I have 678.” and on and on.  How can someone possibly have 678 real friends? It’s not possible if you think about what makes a real friend.

Orrin Woodward, in his book Resolved – 13 Resolutions for LIFE, includes a chapter about friendship (chapter 7). He lists the 8 principles of true friendship:

1. True friends form around a shared insight, interest, or taste enjoying the common bond uniting them.

2. True friends accept one another, loving each other despite their human imperfections.

3. True friends approve of one another, protecting each other’s weaknesses while enhancing each other’s strengths.

4. True friends appreciate one another, encouraging, serving, and believing in one another’s gifts and talents.

5. True friends listen with empathy, learning the hopes, dreams, fears, and struggles of each other.

6. True friends celebrate one another’s success, proud of each other’s accomplishments without a hint of envy.

7. True friends are trustworthy, maintaining all confidences shared with unimpeachable honour and self-respect, knowing that gossip separates the best of friends.

8. True friends are loyal, respecting and defending one another’s character, reputation and motives, as far as truth allows, while addressing any issues or concerns between them promptly and privately, ensuring misunderstandings never fester.

I admit I have accounts with FB, LinkedIn, and Twitter. But I don’t have them to build relationships – building relationships takes more than social media.  It takes work.  My friend, Claude Hamilton, a co-founder of the LIFE business once said to me, “Phil, all the skills and one-liners you used to get Catherine to date you is not what got Catherine to accept your marriage proposal (so true – it was my devilish good looks, charm and the rubber boots I wore!). And what it takes to get married is certainly not what it takes to stay married”.  It’s a totally different game.  Just like getting to be the champion is different than staying the champ.

Facebook and social media “relationships” are weak and have little value – having 978 friends on social media is unlikely to yield meaningful long-lasting relationships.  Think about the relationship you have with your spouse and the time spent with him/her to develop a long-lasting relationship based on trust.  Conversely, you can create “relationships” with people around the world via social media in the matter of a few clicks. These are low-quality connections that develop into nothing more than thin, surface-level relationships.

True relationships are a two-way street. I invest in you – you invest in me. For example, if I didn’t invest in my wife or daughter, eventually we would have a thin relationship of little value.  Same as social media – there’s no investment, so there’s no value.

People invest copious amounts of time playing Farmville or other social media entertainment with “their communities”.  This is what is called an investment in low quality content.  Like a low-end vehicle fixed with low-end parts, communities built solely through social media won’t last long, have value or go very far.

I believe through creating stronger, more meaningful relationships we will be better.  This can only be done by reprogramming how we think.  Getting the right information from people who have personally developed trusting long-lasting relationships – and helped others do the same – is key.

Some my good friends have become champions – and remain champions – at building REAL relationships with REAL people in their REAL communities. Check out their blogs! Orrin Woodward, Claude Hamilton, Alex Nickerson, Wayne MacNamara, Joce Dionne, Denis Leger, Mike Rocheleau

Managing your online presence – don’t be a jerk!

Today I had a great brunch with some awesome friends, Dave and Marlene and Phil and Catherine.  One of the best things about the LIFE business is the ability to work with the favorite people in your life. Tomorrow, I will be joining Orrin Woodward and the rest of the LIFE founders for a few days of Policy council meetings.

I love PC meetings, despite having to travel to Michigan (:  Having the opportunity to spend time with Chris Brady, Tim Marks, Bill Lewis, George Guzzardo, Dan hawkins, Rob Hallstrand and especially Orrin Woodward is amazing and always makes the trip worthwhile.

First on the agenda, we’ll spend Monday afternoon in bible study, then discuss long-term business ideas and directions.  This is often the birthplace of concepts that eventually make it into the field.  Following that we will probably relax, watch a movie or spend time joking around and telling stories.  The next day, we buckle down again, meet in a conference room where we’ll go over details and issues that involves more short term planning and discussion.  These meetings are so productive! It feels great being a part of a group that is making history and creating not just a great business, but helping people change their lives for the better.

Here is an article I found that I think helps us conduct ourselves online. I don’t know the author and I’m not necessarily endorsing all of his site or teachings; although, I think this article is timely and has some great principles. Fight Fiercely!

http://frankviola.org/2012/02/16/beingajerkonline/

Yours in Victory,

Claude Hamilton

LIFE Business Compensation Plan

The other night, as I spoke at the LIFE meeting, I had a lot of thoughts running through my mind.  I kicked off the evening with a success talk on the “Attributes of a Leader” and then after a short break proudly shared the LIFE opportunity with everyone in the room. As I stood in front of the crowd I felt both excited and honored to share the LIFE compensation plan. I can reflect back over the past 18 years and how I started my own business journey in a similar fashion sitting in a hotel conference room.  I remember hoping that what the speaker said was true and dreaming of my freedom.

Today I have the blessing and opportunity to play a role ensuring that everyone sitting in those seats is presented with a world-class LIFE business plan.  Few people understand what they are seeing the first night and it will take months before they fully grasp the big picture; however, I feel as leaders, we have an obligation to make sure that they start in a business that is beneficial for them, regardless of whether they understand all the reason why at first.

When I started in community building, it was with a company called Amway.  Although I felt the product pricing and the work to reward ratios were extremely high, I dreamed and work hard enough to overcome these issues and succeed anyway. I am thankful my sponsor had a big dream too, because he travelled across Canada numerous times to help me reach my goals. Why did I decide to build Amway you ask? Strictly speaking, because no one showed me anything else and I felt that I had nothing to lose and much to gain by giving it my best. Through the many struggles and tons of personal growth, I moved through the ranks and achieved the Diamond level. Indeed, I maintained this level until the day I resigned from Amway.

With 14 years experience in Amway and having achieved one of the highest levels of success in all of Canada, I understand the compensation plan extremely well and am qualified to share on the subject. Recently, a few of the Amway drones criticized the LIFE compensation plan, even though they have never been involved in LIFE or had any level of success in Amway. Nevertheless, it is because of their ignorant chirping that I resolved to compare the compensation plans of both companies in a head to head analysis. Furthermore, since I was a large business owner in Amway and am a large business owner in LIFE, I am uniquely qualified to perform this comparison and share my real life experiences with both compensation plans with the readers.

Just a cursory glance at the bonus schedules displays that LIFE’s plan compensates double what Amway’s does! Not to mention that the Amway percentages are not as they seem. Let me explain.  LIFE has a very favorable point to dollar ratio; to earn 100 points it’s no more then $140 of business.  In contrast, Amway’s ratio is 1pv to 2.90bv. In addition, depending on what kind of product you’re buying, the actual cash ratio can be much higher still. I had to purchase between $400 to $600 to earn a 100 points; meanwhile, in LIFE, I receive 100 points with $140 or less. This is a significant difference when starting a business!

Here is a comparison of the bonus schedule:

BONUS SCHEDULE

LIFE

AMWAY

Total PV

Performance Bonus

Total PV

Performance Bonus

5%

150

3%

100

10%

300

6%

300

15%

600

9%

600

20%

1000

12%

1000

25%

1500

15%

1500

30%

2500

18%

2500

35%

4000

21%

4000

40%

6000

23%

6000

45%

10000

25%

7500

50%

15000

Ok, Ok, you might be thinking to yourself, it’s extremely obvious that LIFE pays better than Amway in a head to head comparison. You might also be thinking, please Claude move on, you’ve made your point! In fact, as I did this analysis it makes me wonder why an Amway failure drone would want to open this subject up by criticizing the LIFE plan in the first place? Since it is so much better than what he allegedly failed in, why criticize such drastic improvement? However, since the Amway drones brought it up, I am going to put the issue to rest factually. Let’s examine how this affects the numbers.  In Amway, when you hit the top of the chart (7500pv x 2.9 ratio) its approximately 21,750 bv.  At 25% of BV, that means approximately $5,437 gets paid back to the organization. But here’s the kicker! The organization has to do approximately $30k of business to pay back $5,437! On the other hand, in Life, 15,000 points is the top of the chart and pays 50% for a total of $7,500 being paid back, but even that’s not the whole picture! To get to the top of the chart within LIFE takes 15,000 points or approximately 21k of business. Therefore, if we compared apples to apples, an Amway and LIFE organization that both did 30k of business would pay back $5,437 for Amway and $11,000 for LIFE.

The main purpose of a leader is to build other leaders.  Producing world-class leaders that have the ability to change the world for the better is one of the goals of the LIFE opportunity.  Let’s compare how well each company rewards its leaders for building other leaders in depth. When you break a leg over the top of the chart and help those leaders break leaders over the top of the chart, how are you compensated in each company?

Depth Bonus

LIFE

AMWAY

Break a leg at top of chart

8%

4 %

3 legs

4%

1%

6 leg

2%

0

9 legs

1%

0

12 legs

.75%

0

15 legs

.50%

0

18 legs

.25%

0

Personally, I would prefer to move on from my Amway days. I am focused on taking LIFE to millions of people working with Orrin Woodward; however, after hearing about the cheap-shots taken by unqualified examiners at the LIFE compensation plan, I decided to set the record straight.  The funny thing about this analysis is that I didn’t even get into the value of the free trips or the One-Time-Cash-Awards (OTCA’s)!  I literally could have taken another 6 hours and examined every bonus each company has, including the free trips, pin bonuses, and growth bonuses, but here is the bottom line: Amway pays out about 35% of BV while LIFE pays out 70% of PV.  Nuff said. Any Amway drone can spew endlessly on compensation plan minutiae but is simply won’t change the fundamental analysis presented above. If anything, the results will fall further in LIFE’s favor.

I love the fact that in North America we have a free market place and can succeed or fail based on the merits of our effort and enterprise. I have focused on competing in that marketplace, building what I feel is the best business opportunity in the world. It makes me wonder though, when there is such a clear contrast between the two compensation plans, why would an alleged former Amway person single out the LIFE compensation plan when it’s the most lucrative in the entire industry?

Perhaps the Amway drones real purpose is less about sharing truth and more about attacking a growing competitor who has changing the rules of the game. LIFE has no interest in smearing competitors to get ahead; rather, the founders of LIFE have chosen to build a better business model that serves the customers needs and win in the free enterprise marketplace. May the best company win by serving its’ customers, not by bashing its’ competitors.

Sincerely,

Claude Hamilton

To my fellow Canadians

A friend sent me this video and although I had seen it before, I appreciated him introducing it to me once again.  As I became successful in my business, I started to realize how so many people are kept broke by what they don’t know. That is why I like the TEAM so much.  It helps people THINK and it provides people with the TRUTH, making them hungry for more. The Mental Fitness Challenge is helping people learn they can change their lives by changing their wisdom.

I have fallen in love with the tag line: “Live the life you have always wanted”.  Whether it is fitness, finances or family, you can live those areas the way you have always wanted – just by changing your mental fitness!  It’s an amazing feeling.  My friend, Orrin Woodward, is one of the best at digging into a subject and getting to the truth.  We can certainly see this by the results he has in his own life, including the many others who he has helped become successful and get amazing results.  He is an amazing teacher of truth and I’m sure that he will love this video!

Claude

Mental fitness challenge groups are a huge success!

Wow!!! Orrin Woodward, one of the creators of the Mental Fitness Challenge, told me this was going to happen.  Last night (Tuesday) was the first time for about 90 percent of the Kaizen community to conduct challenge groups.  The response has been both immediate and overwhelming and skeptics were turned to steadfast believers with the amount of responses and testimonials of people wanting to share their stories about the Mental Fitness Challenge.

I received so many texts and emails from the Kaizen community over the past 24 hours, including from great leaders such as: Wayne and Raylene Macnamara, Joce and Cynthia Dionne, Terry and Ann Franks, Alex and Leighann Nickerson and Jean and Tamie Belanger.

I didn’t plan on posting for a few days because there are still so many people talking about the Mental Fitness Challenge post yesterday but I needed to express my enthusiasm.  I really appreciate hearing about from you and how MFC has been helping you, or your loved ones.  Not only are these stories great to hear, I would also like everyone else to benefit from them. Fight Fiercely.

Yours in victory,

Claude