Getting to Know Kaizen Leaders: Jean and Tamie Belanger

Hi everyone!

Welcome to part five of the Getting to Know Kaizen Leaders series. This week Bethany profiled Jean and Tamie Belanger.

Jean and Tamie have been with Lana and me since the very beginning of our business. They’ve watched us, helped us, and have always been there for us, as both business partners and friends. They’re such hard workers, and even pioneered the French side of the LIFE business. Jean and Tamie are trusted and respected leaders, and they’re going to have a big influence in the years to come!

Enjoy!

Getting to Know Kaizen Leaders: Jean and Tamie Belanger as written by Bethany Sampson.

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TAMIE AND JEAN BELANGER

Jean and Tamie Belanger aren’t new to the industry; in fact, they’ve been with Claude and Lana since the very start.

It was 1991, and the Belangers were newlyweds with two young children. They were living in Edmonton, Alberta. Jean was in the Canadian Special Forces and Tamie worked for a cement company doing accounts payable. Jean and Tamie were doing everything they could to get ahead—Tamie was even playing BINGO with two daubers, Jean jokes—but it was Jean’s job as a hockey coach that ended up being their entryway into the business.

It was a parent of one of Jean’s players that introduced Jean and Tamie to the industry and within two and a half years, they were job optional.

They’ve remained job optional for over twenty years now, as their business—and dreams continue to grow.

For a long time, it’s been Tamie and Jean’s goal to live on a ranch, with horses and animals.One month ago, they were able to finally watch this goal come to fruition as they moved into their coveted ranch house.

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THE BELANGER RANCH HOUSE

The Belangers have spent the last twenty plus years dedicated to the business. They’ve watched the system change and grow as they, too, grew.

“We had products that could help build our business but that wouldn’t necessarily help build ourselves,” says Tamie, but, with the entrance of LIFE Leadership, that changed.

LIFE, Tamie says, has helped make them more likable, more teachable, more outgoing, just more.

Jean echoes this, saying the LIFE material helped him to outgrow his sometimes ignorant attitude, which aided him in becoming a better leader.

But Jean and Tamie weren’t just satisfied with building their business and themselves; they wanted to go bigger. Together, they spearheaded LIFE’s growth in Quebec, as they pushed for the French system.

They describe this experience as “a ship leaving the harbor, and going into the middle of the ocean with no navigational system. You just sail until you find land.”

Eventually, they found that land. And that land greeted them with an abundance of success as the French system took off.

Jean is a self-described “system person.” He credits his background in martial arts, hockey, and the military for his systemized approach to life, and thus allowing him to have such success in a systemized business.

“It was a perfect fit for me,” he says, “and it became a perfect fit for us.”

The business suited the Belanger’s familial lifestyle as Jean had been aching to spend more time at home with his children. He’d always dreamed of being married and having children, but with all these financial responsibilities, he wasn’t actually able to spend any time with his family. Tamie, on the other hand, was at home raising their children, but was never able to see her husband.

Getting into business wound up remedying this problem.

When they first started out, the family-oriented Belangers set a goal to take their whole family to Disney World. They succeeded.

And with every goal they surmount, they set a new, even higher, goal. Yesterday, Disney World. Today, the ranch house. Tomorrow? LIFE Coach.

The Belangers are dreamers indeed.

“This is what we do,” says Tamie. “It’s make it or break it, and we’re going to make it.”

Jean nods along in agreement. “We’ve got the right people. We’ve got the right culture,” he says. “I always believe that when you hang around with the right successful people, you become successful.”

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JEAN AND TAMIE WITH CHILDREN, NICOLE AND CHRISTIAN

The Belangers grew up with great parents for role models. Jean says he never felt pressured to obtain a certain level of education or a certain career, but instead was encouraged to follow his passions.

For a long time, this meant a career in hockey, but after Jean didn’t receive The Call, he decided on his alternate career route: the military. Luckily, Jean was able to revive his passion for hockey as a coach, which eventually led him and Tamie to the industry.

Jean and Tamie’s children are now 26 and 29. Though they’re grown, the Belangers say LIFE Leadership has helped reinforce the way they chose to raise their children—to be confident, dream chasers.

Their kids grew up listening to audio cassettes or CDs in the car, and weren’t permitted to spend a lot of time watching TV. Jean recalls many days when his daughter would gather friends on the couple’s veranda, and the kids would sit outside listening to Jean talk about leadership, the business, and dreams.

Today, both their children are motivated and ambitious, dreamers and achievers. Jean and Tamie, however, haven’t stopped parenting.

Now, they have a myriad of team members who call them Mom and Dad, and who trust Jean and Tamie like family.

To these new couples starting out, Jean and Jamie say, focus on the whys: why are you getting started in business? They encourage team members to use that “why” to help stay motivated.

“When you set your mind to do something—when you have the right tools, the right help, the right mentor or coach—you can do pretty much anything you want,” says Tamie.

For the Belangers, Claude and Lana have been the right mentors.

“Claude’s a team guy,” says Jean. “That is what our industry is. It’s all about team.”

Jean emphasizes the importance of trust and teamwork in any business relationships, but particularly this industry where one person’s success is directly correlated with another’s.

“Claude’s always been determined that he was going to win and that he was going to take as many people as he could with him,” Tamie says. “Claude and Lana have vision, and we follow them.”

In addition, the Belangers consider their relationship with each other to be vital to their success.

“We had ups and downs in our relationship that affected our business,” says Jean, “and we had ups and downs in our business that affected our relationship.”

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JEAN AND TAMIE

“If life happens to you and you don’t get back up, then you’ll never get back up,” says Tamie. “For us to work, we couldn’t ever stay down.”

No matter the up or down, Jean and Tamie are certain to stay by each other’s side, likening themselves to peas and carrots or chocolate and peanut butter.

“A lot of things can happen when it’s you and your wife holding a business together,” says Jean.

And after speaking with the Belangers, it’s clear that Jean is right. A lot of things can happen. A lot of really, really great things.

“We’re here to stay,” says Tamie. “We’re not going anywhere.”

I have no doubt that she is right.

If you have anything to add about Tamie and Jean, please leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Building Confidence and Character

Throughout our lives, we’ll all experience adversity—in our personal lives, our careers, or both. We meet adversity when we learn to take our first breath, and we encounter it again and again for the rest of our lives. Not only is adversity a great test of character, it’s often what motivates us to keep trying until we get it right.

But there are a couple of other things, namely power and mistakes, that test character, and have the potential to reveal much more about a person than adversity ever could.

POWER

When you’ve got everything you need and the ability to get pretty much whatever you want, it can be easy to lose sight of what’s important. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

In Plato’s Republic, he writes about a discussion he had with several men. One of those men is named Glaucon, and he argues that “no man would keep his hands off that which was not his own if he could safely take what he liked.” It’s a sad argument that leaves no room for common human decency.

Of course, people will always be tempted to take the easy way out, but someone with true character will resist that temptation and find the honest, fair way to get what they want or need. In fact, I’d go one step further and say that many people in power will consciously avoid using that power in an abusive or negative way, because they’re fully aware of how easy it is to become corrupted.

MISTAKES

How we respond to our mistakes can give away a lot about our character. In his novel Confessor, Terry Goodkind, a successful fantasy writer, says, “I’m afraid that we all make mistakes. One of the things that define our character is how we handle mistakes. If we lie about having made a mistake, then it can’t be corrected and it festers. On the other hand, if we give up just because we made a mistake, even a big mistake, none of us would get far in life.”

And he’s right. I believe that mistakes are opportunities. They’re the wake-up call that tells us we’re doing something wrong and forces us to start over again, with a different approach.

Taking responsibility for mistakes is key to improving character. When we own up to our errors, we’re free to move on, and fix whatever caused the mistake in the first place. And when character is built in this way, we also benefit from increased self-confidence. As journalist Joan Didion wrote in On Self Respect, “Character—the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life—is the source from which self-respect springs.”

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

-Claude Hamilton

Getting to Know Kaizen Leaders: Patricia and Tony Tefel

Hey everyone!

Here is part four of the “Getting to Know Kaizen Leaders” series.

This week, Bethany talked to Tony and Patricia Tefel.

Since Tony and Pat joined the LIFE business, I’ve been watching their progress from afar and have been continuously amazed by their enthusiasm.

Chris Brady introduced me to the Tefels about eighteen months ago, and since then we’ve become best friends.

They’re great people and have added so much value to my whole family’s life. They’ve been married forty-seven years and are an excellent illustration of what marriage should be. On top of that, they’ve been in the industry for over forty years!

They’re a great example of American entrepreneurship and family values. I hope you enjoy getting to know them as much as I have!

Getting to Know Kaizen Leaders: Patricia and Tony Tefel as written by Bethany Sampson.

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PATRICIA AND TONY TEFEL

According to Tony Tefel, there’s good and there’s great. The Tefels, high school sweethearts who’re now just a few years shy of their fiftieth wedding anniversary, weren’t satisfied with a good life. They aimed for greatness.

Today, they’re planning a fiftieth Mediterranean anniversary cruise on a private yacht with their whole family, and it becomes abundantly clear: they have achieved this greatness.

The Tefels have been in business for almost as long as they’ve been married. As a young couple, their hearts were full of dreams, but they knew with their current jobs—Pat was a social worker and Tony an engineer—they wouldn’t be able to accomplish them.

As they began to look around their community for new opportunities, they discovered something: those who had the lifestyle they desired were business owners.

Pat’s next-door neighbor growing up played a particular influencing role in Pat and Tony’s life. The neighbor was an illustrator and both he and his wife worked from home on his business. They had lunch together, and in the evenings they were able to sit out on the porch and relax. Pat and Tony spent an abundance of time with the successful couple, and as a result, their own dreams morphed to match the couple’s lifestyle.

Unfortunately, the bank wouldn’t approve a loan for Tony and Pat’s traditional business plan, so they were forced to look elsewhere.

Eventually, a friend of Pat’s parents introduced the couple to the entrepreneur industry.

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PAT, TONY, & FAMILY

The Tefels were hard workers, but what they quickly realized was that they preferred to work on their own time, to be their own bosses. When Pat became pregnant with their first child, it served as more of a motivation to work hard in business so that she could be a stay-at-home mom. Eventually, Pat could retire from his job and become a stay-at-home dad as well.

This stay-at-home lifestyle allowed the couple to teach their children the same principles that were learning as a part of their business. They had four children within six years, and their fifth and final child—a son—was born eight years later. Their children are now all grown and work in a diverse array of fields. One daughter is a missionary. One son has his own contracting business. No matter what their choice of work, Pat and Tony believe that their five children’s successes, and their propensity to follow their heart, can be related back to the LIFE Leadership concept and the way they were able to raise them.

Though the couple’s schedule today is more relaxed, they remember the days of babysitters, time management, and attempting to build a business with young ones running around. They are both empathetic and encouraging to those in business with children. They were there. They faced these challenges—albeit many years ago—and made it through.

For Pat and Tony, the business was a blessing because it provided them with what they describe as “vital information. In addition, it put them in direct contact with mentors who had been down this road before. Today, five kids and forty-seven years of marriage later, Pat and Tony are those mentors, those role models, those people looking to guide new couples on their way.

Not only did being in business help their familial values, it also helped shape their marriage. Working together, having common dreams and goals, helped unify the couple. Prior to the business, they were going in different directions: Tony and Pat headed out to different jobs in the morning, and though they were together in the evening, they couldn’t afford any hobbies or extracurriculars.

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TONY & PAT LIVE IN NEW YORK STATE

“I tell couples today, even though the business will be adding something else to your plate or your calendar, it’s something that you get to do together,” says Pat. “It’s time that you can grow closer, and achieve goals and dreams that you probably would not have a chance to achieve otherwise.”

That said, everything wasn’t all roses for Pat and Tony. The couple struggled with debt when they were younger, and once again when they were older. This unpretty financial experience allows them to appreciate today’s debt-free life more than ever.

“It’s the freedom and the peace of mind that brings,” says Pat, “Not having to worry about where the money’s coming from and living month to month or week to week.”

Tony echoes this sentiment, focusing on the flexibility being in business has allotted them. When Pat left her job to work as a stay-at-home mom, the couple didn’t have to stress about losing half their income. Being in business meant they didn’t have to sacrifice their security in order to spend time with their children. This flexibility eventually allowed Tony to leave his engineering job, which in turn meant the couple was able to spend more time with their children and focus on the family they’d always wanted.

Pat and Tony are grandparents now, and family still remains their number one priority. They enthusiastically tell me about their many trips to Disney, including, most recently, a trip that included all five children and their spouses, as well as their many grandchildren. In total, twenty Tefels ventured to Orlando, Florida for sunshine and Snow White, magic and Mickey Mouse.

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THE TEFEL FAMILY

With fun like this, it’s no wonder why the couple is already anxiously planning their fiftieth anniversary cruise. They both credit the idea to Claude, who, up until eighteen months ago, they’d never formally met.

Now when I ask Tony to describe his relationship with Claude, he jokingly—though with an edge of seriousness—asks if I want him to cry.

It was at a major in Ottawa when Tony first felt connected to Claude. After a talk Claude gave about his kids, Lana, and his relationship with his father, Tony was set back, telling members of his own team, “I think I just fell in love with Claude Hamilton.”

Since then, Claude has become a coach, a leader, and most importantly, a best friend, with Claude’s son Wyatt even calling Tony Grandpa.

When Pat and Tony first started, over forty-years ago, the industry was brand new. As a result, they’ve been able to watch and learn as the industry has changed, grown, and adopted over time. What they’ve noticed is the closeness between today’s leaders and teams.

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PAT & TONY NOW LIVE THE LIFE THEY’D ALWAYS DREAMED OF

“We always wanted to have the close knit team they had,” Pat says of Team Kaizen, “and now we’re a part of it!”

Within four months of their switch to Claude’s team, they’d gone from Leader to Senior Coordinator.

“They’re just amazing people, both of them,” says Pat of Claude and Lana. “Their desire to help people is refreshing. They’ve truly invested their life and their time into other people.”

It is these ideals and generosity that has kept Pat and Tony motivated in this business after all these years.

As a social worker, Pat was looking to help people better their lives. As an engineer, Tony wanted to build things.

As business owners, they are able to bring to fruition these dreams. Today, they get to see other people’s lives dynamically change for the better.

“I changed from building buildings to building myself and people,” says Tony. “We’re building a better future through people and with people.”

Despite their successes today, Pat and Tony are still only looking to help other people grow.

“We ultimately want to build our lives to edify our Lord and to learn better and better how to do that and how to help other people,” says Pat, who encourages all newcomers to think long-term. “Anything worth having in life is worth working for, and LIFE Leadership is so worth your time.”

“If you have cable TV, you have both the time and the money to build a business.”

Looking at the couple today, their gratitude for the decision Tefel 4x5 8x10 crop edited 6 15 15-8456.JPG-8456they made many decades ago is evident. They were just a young couple with a growing family who decided to dream. Today, there are no regrets.

“God has big plans for his people and Kaizen is a part of that dream,” Tony says, and with a smile, Pat echoes this: “We’re not done yet.”

No, they’re certainly not.

If you know Pat and Tony and have more to add, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments!!

Reader’s Legacy Awards

Hey everyone!

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TOUGHEN UP – CLAUDE HAMILTON

I was so humbled and excited to hear this past week that my book Toughen Up! won a Reader’s Legacy Award!

Writing a book was not something I’d ever planned to do, and I can’t even say I really enjoyed the writing process. That said, once Toughen Up was finished, I was able to recognize just how worth it this journey had been. It was so awesome to see the final product, and I’m so glad I stuck with it!

The book, I realize now, was like most long-term projects: hard in the middle, but ultimately you never regret undertaking them, because in the end you have something you can be really proud of. In this case, the hard work redeemed itself with an ultimately gratifying experience.

Just to get this book published was such a great feeling, but to then be nominated for a Reader’s Legacy Award alongside Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady who are New York Times bestselling authors. They aren’t little guys who wrote a book and published it themselves—these are bestselling authors!

To be nominated alongside Orrin and Chris was spectacular and humbling.

To actually win the Reader’s Legacy Choice Gold Best-Seller Award is the cherry on top! What a phenomenal surprise!

Reader’s Legacy Founder Ken Dunn is such a great guy. He thinks like a winner and he set a goal to put together the Reader’s Legacy Awards and he pulled it off amazingly.

If you have a chance, I encourage you all to visit Reader’s Legacy site and create a profile. It’s been really neat to see what other people are reading. I’ve also had a lot of fun adding books and authors to my virtual library.

The founders of LIFE have written so many outstanding books. Tim Marks is one of my favorite authors. His two books, Voyage of a Viking and Confidence of a Champion are awesome. Dan Hawkins and George Guzzardo also have books being released in the coming months, and I cannot wait to dive into those next! I’m sure I’m going to love those, too.

Most importantly, I can’t wait to read the book that you write someday.

Below is a great blog post from the LIFE Leadership blog with more information about the Reader’s Legacy Awards. It’s another awesome blog from LIFE and I hope you all go read it and leave comments. It’s a great way to stay in the heartbeat of what LIFE is doing out in the world. Enjoy the post! (And have fun setting up those Reader’s Legacy profiles!)

Claude

Life Leadership Founders Won Reader’s Legacy Choice Awards

Originally published on Life Leadership’s blog
By Kristen Seidl

Anyone who has read an Obstaclés Press published book have recognized that the authors are not amateurs. Executive Publisher, Chris Brady and Chairman of the Board, Orrin Woodward sought to start a publishing company within Life Leadershipthat would ‘expose the truth, no matter what the barriers.’ Since its inception, the company has printed nearly 40 books–with many titles earning multiple awards, including NY Times & Wall-Street Journal Best-Seller, Lauching a Leadership Revolution–and this is just the start. On average, Obstaclés Press releases one to three books per quarter and the pace of printing will only continue to increase as the company grows.

Obstacles Press

Recently, three books from the Obstaclés Press library received recognition at the Reader’s Legacy Choice Awards in Las Vegas:

“With over one million books being published every year in North America alone, the competition for best-selling status has become fierce. In addition to the sheer volume of new books, self-reporting book launch gurus are now teaching writers how to work the system and fake best-selling status on websites like Amazon and B&N. The Reader’s Legacy Writers Conference brings togetherreal best-selling authors from the NY Times, LA Times and Amazon in an intimate setting, and gives them a forum to share real experiences of writing and marketing a best-selling book. The faculty are world-renowned authors, speakers and experts who have been hand selected for their successes and their abilities to share valuable information with attendees whose dreams include becoming a best-selling author.” ~ Reader’s Legacy

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The number of authors who actually receive accolades for their content is very small. For a book to be voted on, it must attract the attention of thousands of readers. Needless to say, in order to win a Reader’s Legacy Choice Award, the work must be extraordinary. Not suprisingly, Life Leadership is proud to have had three of its founders be among the 18 winners for an award at this unique function. The titles include:

And Justice For All – by Orrin Woodward

PAiLS – by Chris Brady

Toughen Up – by Claude Hamilton.

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In addition, Orrin was chosen among the other brilliant panel of speakers to talk on a subject he is passionate about– specifically his recent publication, The Financial Matrix–to the aspiring writers at the Writer’s Conference:

“I loved the fact that Orrin showed how history is repeating itself. For me knowing that the financial matrix is a vicious circle gives me the strength to know that I have to break it.” Ken Dunn (Founder/CEO of Reader’s Legacy, Inc)

OW

Orrin Woodward‘s arsenal of best-seller’s continue to make him a sought-after speaker around the globe. He knows how to deliever truth in his writing and in his speaking and I’m sure those in attendance were captured by his wisdom. Life Leadership is proud to have some of the best thinkers in the industry–including co-founders of the company Chris Brady and Claude Hamilton–who were also recognized for their work. The fact that these authors and leaders are able to produce content that is recognized by credible platforms such as Reader’s Legacy is a testament to the authenticity of the company.

We would love to hear your feedback in the comments section:

What do you enjoy most about Orrin Woodward’s writing? 

What is your favorite book in the Obstaclés Press book collection and why?

Getting to Know Kaizen Leaders: Joce and Cynthia Dionne

Hey everyone!

Today on the blog, we have part three of the “Getting to Know Kaizen Leaders” series.

This week Bethany interviewed Joce and Cynthia Dionne.

I first met Joce and Cynthia when they had just started dating. Since then, Lana and I have watched them get engaged, married, move into their first home, and most recently, have two children. It was especially awesome to see them both retire from their jobs!

Joce is one of the best people I know. He is a great, quality man. He and Cynthia are some of the funnest people in our life. Over the years, they’ve really become like family, and I’m excited for you all to be able to read about them.

Getting to Know Kaizen Leaders: Joce and Cynthia Dionne, as written by Bethany Sampson.

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JOCE AND CYNTHIA, FIVE YEARS INTO BUSINESS

Steadfast. It isn’t just a word to Joce and Cynthia Dionne. It’s a lifestyle, a team name, a commitment they have to each other, their children, and team members.

Cynthia was doing an internship in her mid-twenties when she was introduced to Claude and Lana. After attending an Open, she immediately called up her then-boyfriend (and now-husband) Joce to tell him of the opportunity that had just been presented to her. Joce, however, was not as enthusiastic. Initially, he was skeptical of the business, thinking it sounded too good to be true.

In the next year, Cynthia worked on building the business, while Joce developed a relationship with Claude and began to look further into the industry. Once he started to understand it, he started to believe it.

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KALEB, 3

Flash forward eleven years, and the couple’s business is continuously growing. Additionally, they now have two children: Kaleb is almost four and Ellia recently turned two.

Today, Joce considers the decision to join LIFE a “no-brainer,” comparing the traditional career plan—which involves working until you’re 60-70—with his and Cynthia’s more relaxed lifestyle that allows them both to be stay-at-home parents.

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ELLIA, 2

Joce’s life today is drastically different than his life growing up. He was raised in a typical Canadian household, and he says he never looked outside the boundaries. Now, as an entrepreneur, he’s able to look outside the box and scope out opportunities as they come.

That said, their journey into success was not one without trials or hard work.

“A lot of people get started and they expect quick results,” says Joce, “but that’s impossible.” LIFE, like any other industry, requires time. Joce reinforces that you must think in terms of years, as opposed to just weeks or months. There is no get rich quick plan; instead, there’s hard work and a time-proven business plan they chose to focus on.

While working to build a business, both Joce and Cynthia point out how important it is to surround yourself by positive people.

“You hang around people who are average, you’ll be average,” says Joce. “You hang around people who are successful, you’ll eventually become successful.”

Cynthia and Joce are hanging around Claude and Lana, and successful they are becoming.

When the couple finds themselves lacking motivation or if they’ve just set a goal, they spend time with Claude and Lana who, they say, have the life they want. That said, the Hamilton’s don’t just dream for themselves, but also for the Dionne’s.

“They speak a vision to us of where we can be before we even see it,” says Cynthia. “They believe in us before we believe in ourselves.”

THE DIONNE FAMILY

Joce and Cynthia generously credit today’s success to the support provided by Claude and Lana. Cynthia says she and Joce stood on the shoulders of giants and that has made all the difference.

In addition to this business relationship, the two couples have also developed a personal relationship over the years.

Joce describes Claude as a best friend, business partner, mentor, and coach. He also points out how easy it is to trust someone when you know they care about you and have your best interest at heart.

That heart, by the way, both Joce and Cynthia describe as massive: generous, caring, supportive.

Cynthia is quick to chime in about her relationship with Lana, saying Lana helped her to learn and grow, and as a result, Cynthia has become a confident woman.

“She’s everything to me,” says Cynthia. “She just has a heart of gold.”

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard Lana’s heart described this way. In fact, I’ve heard this from each of the three couples I’ve spoken with thus far, prompting me to believe it’s true what they say: a fact is confirmed by three witnesses.

With the support of Claude and Lana, as well as other team members, the couple was able to focus on their goal to grow their business and drown out any naysayers.

When starting out, they struggled with the opinions of people who didn’t understand their decision to go against the status quo.

“I think if you’re going to chase a vision—something that nobody can see yet—and you’re telling people that you’re going somewhere, and they can’t see it, then you’re standing out,” says Cynthia.

Success can bring criticism, Joce says, but it’s important to turn your cheek and keep going, to keep chasing your dreams and the life you want.

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KALEB

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ELLIA

This life now includes two children and a much busier household than when they first started out. The couple says they’re continuously working on their time management as they learn to balance their main priorities: children, business, and, of course, each other.

Taking has actually helped Joce and Cynthia’s parenting. They’re cognizant of the influence they have on their children, and because of this they make conscious decisions to parent on purpose.

“Everything we learn,” says Cynthia, “even if it’s just a principle that builds your business, you realize that you can apply it in all areas of your life, including parenting.”

Joce echoes this idea, saying he and Cynthia hope to teach their children the importance of having a positive attitude and how attitude has the power to influence a situation.

“Just like be an entrepreneur, everything in life is about your attitude,” he says. “Attitude is everything.”

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JOCE AND KALEB

And Joce and Cynthia’s attitude towards life is only positive.

With the freedom to control their time, they’re able to stay at home with their kids, prioritize their days, and do, as Cynthia says, what matters the most.

With all this success, it’s no wonder why this couple is swift to encourage others to get into business.

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CYNTHIA AND ELLIA

“It’s something anybody can do because of our system,” says Cynthia. “As long as you’re hungry to learn and you’re willing to listen, then you can have success.”

Joce is also quick to say this isn’t a business solely focused on making money. It’s about learning,having fun, making friends and a difference.

“I hope that if I leave this earth tomorrow that I’ve added significance, that I’ve made a difference somewhere,” says Cynthia. “I hope that I’ve changed someone’s life in some sort of way, whether it’s with my kids, my friends, or somebody in the business.”

It’s clear, however, that together they already have.

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THE DIONNE FAMILY IS ALL SMILES

 

To find out more about Joce and Cynthia, you can visit their website or find them on Twitter.

If you know Joce and Cynthia, and have more to add, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments!!

 

LIFE Leadership Blog

Hey everyone,

LIFE Leadership recently started a new blog and I wanted to share it with all of you.

life_logoIt’s a great online destination that can help you to stay up-to-date with all things LIFE. More importantly, it contains awesome posts on how to live the life you’ve always wanted. It’s loaded with information and we’re all super excited about! Share it with your team members and friends, and leave some feedback in the comments!

 

Yours in victory,

Claude

Getting to Know Kaizen Leaders: Phil and Catherine Wall

Hey everyone!

Today on the blog, we have part two of the “Getting to Know Kaizen Leaders” series. If you don’t remember, or are new to the blog, every two weeks or so, I’m posting a profile showcasing some of the awesome Kaizen leaders I have the privilege to work with.

My social media coordinator, Bethany, has been interviewing these terrific people via Skype, so you can read about them from her perspective, and get to know them for yourself!

This week, Bethany interviewed Phil and Catherine Wall.

I’ve known Catherine and Phil for over a decade now. Catherine’s always been super likable and Phil grew on me with time 😉 All joking aside, they’re great people and I love working with them.

Before they started the business, they were already on the path to success in the financial area, but now they’re on the path to success in every area. They were going to win at whatever they wanted to do, and they chose to win at the LIFE business.

After all these years together, they’re now a big part of our family.

Now you can get to know them, too!

Getting to Know Kaizen Leaders: Phil and Catherine Wall, as written by Bethany Sampson.

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PHIL & CATHERINE

To grow, by definition, is to become better or improved, to have an increased influence, to develop—spiritually, mentally, and physically. To grow is to advance your sense of self. A positive term with a plethora of describing adjectives, it’s exactly what Phil and Catherine Wall are striving for.

The couple’s story begins in an unconventional way. In May of 1993 they met for the first time. Twenty-year-old Phil was a member of the New Zealand Navy and was on a world tour. Halifax was the ship’s second port of call. Covered in paint and partaking in the Haka, a traditional Maori war dance, Phil met Catherine for the first time.

Three years later, Phil left the New Zealand Navy to return to Canada with the hopes of starting a relationship with Catherine. By 1999, the two were married.

Their relationship’s untraditional beginning was balanced by their participation in the traditional business world. Catherine owned her own public relations firm and Phil was self-employed, working in the offshore industry. Together, the two owned several rental properties and were actively investing in other companies. Financially, they had no problems. Maritally, they did. Phil’s job pulled him away from home eight months of the year. The rental properties and PR firm filled Catherine’s time at home.

Their lives were chaotically busy, and the couple laments on how rarely they saw each other.

By 2002, they’d had enough of this lifestyle.

There’s got to be a better way to do this, they thought.

There was.

Through some friends, they met Claude and Lana, and it was then that they realized The Better Way. Immediately, they got started in business.

Phil and Catherine were so used to working apart that the initial task of working together was daunting. The obstacle, says Catherine, was “learning how to effectively work with [her] husband as an equal in the business.” Apart, the two were successful. Now, they had to learn how to merge those successes in one business.

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URIJAH & MANAIA

Once they had children (Manaia is now five and Urijah is one and one-half), the couple’s business once again changed, as they learned to balance additional schedules and better manage their time. Learning to balance parenthood with work is something Catherine says she still works on daily.

Phil’s background as a self-employed worker also posed a challenge as he switched from “self-employed thinking” to “system thinking.” No longer did Phil have to be the system; instead, he had to learn to rely on a system that’s been tested and tried by countless people. Phil, in essence, had to learn to trust this system. A system, he quips, his best friend helped design.

The best part about the system? Getting to help others.

“We have to help other people in order to achieve the goals we want for ourselves,” says Catherine. “Most businesses it’s all about you.”

In order to help others grow personally, you have to grow personally.

In order to grow your business, you have to help others grow their business.

Phil and Catherine already are reaping the benefits of this system while helping others to as well.

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THE WALL FAMILY

Phil urges those looking to get into business to trust him and to trust the system. “Suspend your disbelief,” Phil says, quoting Claude. “Just hold on and trust me long enough to prove myself and to prove that the business actually works,” Phil continues.

This foundation of trust has resulted in a decade long friendship between Phil and Catherine and Claude and Lana that only continues to grow.

“We’re friends first,” says Phil about Claude and Lana. “We’re friends who happen to be in business together.”

Emphasizing the importance of this friendship, Phil posed me with the following question: “What would you do if someone offered you fifty million dollars?”

The catch: you have to spend that money alone and on your own.

Phil used the analogy to prove the importance of friendship, and also to emphasize his gratitude to have a best friend who he just so happens to be in business with.

“He’s like a brother,” Phil says. “He’s like a dad. He’s what a man should be.”

Catherine echoed these feelings about Lana.

“She is an amazing woman,” Catherine says. “She’s got a heart like I’ve not seen in other people.”

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BEING BUSINESS OWNERS HAS HELPED MAKE CATHERINE AND PHIL BETTER PARENTS

Catherine sees Lana as a friend and a mentor with whom she can approach with questions about business, her relationship with Phil, her family, her sisters, or her children.

“They provide such a value to our lives that you can’t even separate the business from everything else,” Catherine says. “They’re just part of our lives.”

It is this support that keeps the two motivated during what Catherine describes as “dry spells,” borrowing from Chris Brady’s “desert experience.”

What’s important, Catherine reminded me, is keeping up both your momentum and your attitude. The goal-oriented couple stays focused on what’s ahead until a breakthrough arrives.

“Success is closer than you think,” she says, “even when you’re going through a period that makes it feel like it’s impossible to get there.”

Catherine is also sure to share any goals she has—whether personal, familial, or business-related—with her husband, children or people she works with so that she feels accountable in achieving them. Breaking promises, especially with her children, is simply not who she is, so sharing these goals helps keep her focused and motivated.

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THE FAMILY CELEBRATES TOGETHER

Though being parents has affected their business, being business owners has had an equally large effect on their parenting, teaching the couple to do what they call “parenting on purpose.”

Not only have they been exposed to other parents through the business, but the couple also seeks out books and audios to help better their parenting style.

The couple hopes to eliminate any “unconscious incompetence” by replacing it with “conscious competence.”

“None of us are born knowing how to be a good parent,” says Catherine. “The love for your child is innate, but how to raise your child is not innate, and how to do it properly is not something we necessarily know in our gut.”

The same proves true for owning your own business.

In parenthood, in business, in life, the couple is ready to learn, ready to grow.

As five-year-old Manaia comes into the screen, climbing onto Phil’s lap, one thing becomes clear: they’re helping her grow, too.

“Never quit. Never give in,” says Phil. “If it’s right, you’ve got to fight for it. Our marriage is right, I fight for it. I fight for raising my kids correctly. I fight for our business. I’ll fight for other people in our business who are just getting started.”

And their life? It’s worth fighting for.

711104168To find out more about Phil and Catherine, you can visit their website
or find them on Twitter and Facebook.

If you know Phil and Catherine, and have more to add, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments!!

Making a Difference With LIFE Leadership

Hey everyone! I recently read an awesome blog by LIFE founder Dan Hawkins and I want to share it with you all. Dan does a great job explaining the breakdown of LIFE, and also how it impacted his own life. Whether financially, emotionally, or physically, we all have room to grow. LIFE Leadership doesn’t just provide material and resources, but also the support you need to grow as a person, and in turn become the best leader you can be!

“Have fun, make money, and make a difference.”

Awesome job, Dan! See you in Ottawa for the June Leadership Convention.

Claude Hamilton

LIFE Leadership Making a Difference

LIFE Leadership has now been in business almost 4 years. In that time period we have experienced so many great things that fall into our motto of Have Fun, Make Money and Make a Difference. Tens of thousands of people receive subscriptions every month of LIFE changing information they can use to improve their lives. The stories come in daily of people applying the information to get promoted at work, improve their relationships, get out of debt and on and on. Just yesterday I received a letter from a grown daughter to her father who has been using the LIFE Leadership programs to improve his life. I was brought to tears by the letter applauding her father for becoming a better man and leading his family. Things like this make me want to work harder to reach more people because of the impact this information can have. So many will lay their head on a pillow tonight praying for answers to problems they are having or dreams they want to fulfill.

LIFE Leadership Products Retail Sales

images (2)Not only do we receive constant messages about the products making such an impact in peoples personal lives, but also the stories of people succeeding to incredible levels retailing our products to the world. Some members who join LIFE Leadership decide to learn how to make an income marketing our products and building a team to help. The LIFE Leadership Corporate Program launched a couple of years ago and continues to skyrocket. Individual members from LIFE are going out armed with great marketing tools from LIFE Leadership and introducing the programs. The stories rolling in range from getting a small business owner started to getting entire corporate management teams started! The feed back has been overwhelmingly positive and because of the response we have launch 3 – 6 month programs with a facilitators packs to lead the courses.

However, our number 1 selling product is the Financial Fitness Program (FFP). Members across the world are introducing the FFP to individuals, church groups, schools, accountants and business leaders just to name a few. The stories of people getting control of their finances and removing the stress that money can have on relationships is inspiring. One of the key elements of the FFP is not only the great information and tools offered to help with finances, but the incredible support of a communityimagesof people working together to help everyone succeed. Best selling author Orrin Woodward has been able to clarify the financial struggles so many people feel in his ground breaking book The Financial Matrix. In his book, Orrin describes the reason so many are upset but can not explain why, why over a million people a few years back marched on DC to protest agains Wall-street. In this short video about the Financial Matrix, Orrin Woodward summarizes his new book to help people understand how to get free of the matrix. Social media is lighting up with people taking this to heart and thousands of people are reporting their success in eliminating debt. People understand there is a force at work, working against the masses daily, but this can be undone. By learning the right principles you can get free of this matrix.  Yesterday, I received a social medial video of one couple sending in a $10,000+ check to payoff their vehicle, and another sending in a check to pay off their last bit of credit card debt. The FFP is making such a difference, it is creating a revolution of financial independence that will change the way we view money and debt.

LIFE Leadership Business Model

UnknownI get asked the question a lot, the LIFE Leadership materials are great, but to be honest the principles we use have been around forever, why do your materials actually create change? The secret is in the community! The LIFE Leadership community is such a special group of people, a group of entrepreneurs working daily to improve their lives and the lives of others. The LIFE Leadership materials are created by the most successful of the members, people who have worked at applying the principles first in their own lives and after they have succeeded, they are asked to share how the did it. In short, the life changing products are created by people who have changed their own lives first and now feel called to help others do the same. The world really does not need another book calling for change, but a group of people being the example of change, that is what LIFE Leadership is about.

When the founders where deciding how to best create the environment for this change to happen, the network marketing model was the only model we could find that creates the platform to truly make a difference. All of the LIFE founders gained their experience in this field. Working hard to improve ourselves to get more success in business, we realized that real success came by working on self and adding value to others. This industry, is in my option, is the best way to reach out and serve people. As an auto mechanic struggling in so many areas I was not reaching out for help, however in this industry, someone reached out to me, met me where I was at and lead me down a path of seeking truth. I was suddenly surrounded by people encouraging me to be my best and giving me the tools to do so. I remember bringing my first book to work, The Five Love Languages. Now this is not the book to bring into an auto shop, purple with flowers on it, but I knew, through mentorship, that I needed to work on my marriage. I was the laughing stock of the place, I am surprised I was not threatened to be beaten with a wrench. People there felt threatened by someone trying to improve. At the LIFE Leadership events was a different story, they probably would have threatened me if I did not read the book!

:) All joking aside, the people you surround yourself with matters, they will either encourage you to grow or criticize you to stay the same and keep them comfortable. LIFE leadership is about moving forward, getting better and helping communities do the same. We hope you decide to join us in this revolution of setting people free!

I have attached a short video from one of the LIFE Members explaining the business model we use to Have Fun, Make Money and Make a Difference.

God bless,

Dan Hawkins

 

Originally posted on danhawkinsleadership.com

Changing Your Perspective

Claude Hamilton

ADVERSITY IS OFTEN AN OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO GROW

It’s easy to get discouraged when the going gets tough. But I want you to try something. The next time you reach the point where you can’t even imagine what more could go wrong, and you just want to hide under the covers and admit defeat—try changing your perspective and celebrating instead.

Like I mentioned before, unless you’ve met adversity, you don’t know how strong your character is. You don’t know what you’re fighting against, and you don’t have anything to push you forward. After all, if it ain’t broke, why fix it? Maybe instead of throwing our hands in the air, we should be welcoming the opportunity to grow.

I wrote in my book, Toughen Up!, that people only become great when they have to struggle, adapt, and overcome. And I stand by that. Think about the last time you achieved something great. It wasn’t easy, was it? If you’ve been facing difficulties while trying to achieve your life’s purpose, congratulations! You’re probably on the right track.

Remember when I was first starting out and I experienced those unexpected rejections? Before that happened, things had been going relatively smoothly, all things considered. Of course, there are always bumps in the road when you’re starting a new business, but I was very optimistic and had plenty of energy. So when I was rejected a couple of times in a row, without even getting a chance to present my business, it was devastating. It was hard to push through and keep going. But I did—and I learned from it. I focused on keeping my character strong and, instead of dwelling on the fact that I was rejected, I looked at ways that I could achieve a different outcome the next time. I changed my perspective! I toughened up and kept going.

Claude Hamilton

REJECTION CAN BE A DEVASTATING EXPERIENCE

It’s been years since that disappointing day, and I still get rejected. But now, I try to learn from it so that the next meeting might go differently. And sometimes those rejections are for the best. Maybe that person just wouldn’t have been a good fit for my business.

One of the toughest challenges is learning to deal with attacks on your business and your personal goals. Writer Henry James addressed this when he said, “I don’t want everyone to like me; I should think less of myself if some people did.” Now, that doesn’t mean we have to go out looking for enemies, but I think it’s important to remember that if we’re doing truly important work, we’ll naturally provoke those people. And when that happens, instead of doubting ourselves, we should celebrate the opportunity to strengthen our character.

There’s an old saying that hits the nail on the head: “If you haven’t been misquoted, you probably haven’t said anything that matters. And if you haven’t been attacked, you probably aren’t doing much that will really make a difference.”

Has disappointment or rejection helped make you stronger? Share your experience in the comments!

Getting to Know Kaizen Leaders: Alex and Leighann Nickerson

Hi everyone!

Over the next couple of months, I’m going to be posting profiles showcasing some of the awesome people I have the privilege to work with. Every week or two, in no particular order, a different Kaizen leader will be highlighted.

My social media coordinator, Bethany, will be interviewing these terrific people via Skype, so you can read about them from her perspective, and get to see for yourself just how great they are!

Alex and Leighann Nickerson are first up!

Lana and I have known Alex and Leighann for close to twenty years now. We’ve enjoyed having them as both friends and business partners. They’ve been incredibly loyal and dedicated, not just to me and Lana, but to all the people they lead. They have the utmost character and are fantastic leaders.

Like Alex says, I know they’re only just getting started!

So here you have it: Getting to Know Alex and Leighann Nickerson, as written by Bethany Sampson.

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ALEX & LEIGHANN

When I first met Alex and Leighann (via Skype, that is) I was struck by their outgoing and enthusiastic nature. Parents to four children under the age of five, the married couple of six years is still full of energy and zest, talking easily about their woven past and their exciting plans for the future.

Both Alex and Leighann were still in university when introduced to this industry. Leighann, a kinesiology student at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, was studying with the intent to pursue medicine. Alex, a small business and entrepreneurship student at St. Mary’s University, also located in Halifax, planned to execute his business education in a traditional route.

Leighann, at nineteen years old, was introduced to the profession first, describing this as the “night [her] whole life changed.” She’d expected to make money the conventional way: go to school, get a good job, and then work 45 years. Realizing that she could live her dreams and one day be a stay-at-home mom was an opportunity that changed everything for her, and she committed from the very start.

As a single female in a couples-dominated industry, Leighann set forth on her own, hoping to achieve success and freedom, while also paving the way for those that would follow behind. She described this experience as a way to show other women that “it doesn’t matter if you’re a couple or if you’re a single, the opportunity is the same or everyone. As long as you commit and follow the pattern, it can work.”

Still, this experience was not without challenges, and Leighann remembers saying in response to other couples, “Well, of course they can do it. There’s two of them!” Claude, she assured me, was always able to help her focus on the positive, by reminding her that when she makes the money, she would get to keep it all.

When Leighann began, she was insecure, had low self-esteem, and was afraid to talk to people. She’s able to laugh now at the irony, as she was getting into a people business. Claude and Lana began directing Leighann to books and CDs, while providing her with constant encouragement, which is what allowed Leighann to grow in what she calls her “incubation period.”

“It really just became eliminating distractions,” Leighann says. “Staying focused on the prize, and just putting my head down.”

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THE HAPPY COUPLE SAYS “I DO.”

With the help of this focus, Leighann met her now-husband, Alex, for the first time in 2001 by sponsoring him through his sister. Leighann was looking for anybody ambitious, focused, and outgoing. Alex’s sister and brother-in-law thought of him immediately. Alex was a full-time university student at the time, but Leighann recalls him recognizing the opportunity immediately. He, too, saw this as a chance to achieve financial freedom.

Alex was a business student, but he saw this profession as a more outside the box approach to what he had been studying. He was excited to learn more, as he saw this as a chance for both he—and others—to change the directions of their lives and move ahead.

Though Alex was ambitious from the start, the journey was not without challenges as he stepped outside of his comfort zone. He struggled, initially with public speaking, laughing at the memory of his first attempt. Leighann, he says, describes it as a special evening, occasionally using the word “terrible.” Alex struggled to relate to the crowd, but as he grew older, more experienced, and delved into learning as much as possible, meeting people and public speaking became easier.

Claude also played a part in Alex’s success, lending life experience to the then-25-year-old Alex, who describes his younger self as “very young, very immature” and lacking life experience. Since then, Claude has become more than just a mentor to Alex, but also a friend. Alex describes him as someone you can go to anytime to help overcome anything. The two, Alex says, are best friends—brothers of sorts—with Claude even standing at Alex’s wedding.

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WITH DAUGHTER BROOKLYN, 8 MONTHS

Today, Alex is able to name his business as one of the greatest things in his life, as it’s given him and Leighann the ability to live the life they’ve always wanted. Despite the personal success it has brought, they’re both quick to say their favorite part of the business is helping other people.

“The only way it works for you is if you help other people.” Alex says. “There’s no success without helping other people create success,” he says.

Alex now finds himself lending advice to those embarking on a journey in this industry, encouraging them to “dive in and learn all [they] can.” The only thing he says you need to begin is a “hunger level to learn.” Once you know what you’re doing, it all comes down to hard work.

“Dive in with both feet and we’re going to show you the ropes,” he says. “The faster you go, the more exciting everything gets.”

For Alex and Leighann, the most exciting chapter has just arrived—parenthood—bringing with it a new set of challenges.

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THE COUPLE NOW HAS FOUR CHILDREN

The couple has four children—Jaxon (5), Marik (4), Baileigh (3), and Brooklyn (8 mos.). Though they had kids before Claude and Lana, they still found their mentors to be a huge resource for them in learning to balance their business with marriage and kids. Leighann says it’s with Claude and Lana’s guidance that she was able to figure out how to be a mom and a business owner and Alex’s wife, and how to do of all of those things really well.

The two also point out how the skills and knowledge they’ve acquired as business owners has helped to make them better parents. They describe parenting as “raising little people to be responsible adults, and to eventually become leaders themselves,” which is why they find the skills and knowledge of both roles—parent and business owner—often coincide.

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JAXON, MARIK, BAILEIGH

Thanks to their hard work and their business’ success, Alex was able to leave his construction job when their youngest son was just ten months old. Getting to both be stay-at-home parents is something Leighann says you can’t put a price on. This lifestyle also allots them the time and means to embark on international travels. They both laugh as they attribute their fresh tans to a recent trip to Mexico, and tell me with enthusiasm about their many upcoming adventures taking place across North America in the next few months.

This freedom, they say, is a direct result of the decision they both made to pursue this alternative route and the hard work that followed.

Together, they’re looking towards their bright future, already excited for what it might bring.

“We’re really just getting started,” Alex says. “We haven’t even really made our true mark in this yet.”

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To find out more about Alex and Leighann, you can visit their website
or find them on Twitter: @leighnicker @kaizendynasty 

If you know Alex and Leighann, and have more to add, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments!!