Bonvera – A Couple Questions to Ponder Before Joining

If you found this post, you’re likely looking for some Bonvera reviews and doing your due-diligence on the company. That’s good! Hopefully this post can help you with what you’re looking for. It’s a collection of questions and some related thoughts that you may want to ponder as you’re deciding whether Bonvera is a fit for you.

Is Bonvera a scam/pyramid scheme or is it a legit company?

In this day and age, this is a very legitimate question. There are a few things to think about with this question:

  • What is a pyramid scheme?
  • What associations does the company have that demonstrate credibility?

First, let’s dive into what the FTC says about pyramid schemes,

“Some people confuse pyramid and Ponzi schemes with legitimate multilevel marketing. Multilevel marketing programs are known as MLM’s, and unlike pyramid or Ponzi schemes, MLM’s have a real product to sell. More importantly, MLM’s actually sell their product to members of the general public, without requiring these consumers to pay anything extra or to join the MLM system. MLM’s may pay commissions to a long string of distributors, but these commission are paid for real retail sales, not for new recruits.”

Bonvera, while being quite a bit different than normal MLM’s, definitely sells real products to the general public without requiring these consumers to pay anything extra or to join the MLM system.

Second, let’s discuss Bonvera’s associations with other companies, as this directly connects to the FTC quote above. One major thing that separates Bonvera from most other companies is that the majority of the products they sell are manufactured by large companies like Proctor and Gamble and SC Johnson and are sold in competing outlets like Walmart and Target. Bonvera has proprietary distribution deals with these large companies and many other medium and small companies. This is important because not only did these companies do their due diligence, but it also demonstrates that Bonvera sells “real products” that people are already buying.

What should you ponder on the question about the legitimacy of Bonvera? Simply this: do you think multi-billion dollar companies like Proctor and Gamble did their due diligence on Bonvera before striking a deal?

is Network marketing / mlm a good way to make additional income?

This is a great question. Let’s look at some overall industry statistics and comparisons then see what some very successful, well-known, business leaders have to say.

Check out the yearly revenue of these various industries and how network marketing compares:

  • The National Football League (NFL): $9.5 Billion
  • Music industry: $16.4 Billion
  • Video game industry: $67 Billion
  • Movie industry: $80 Billion
  • Network marketing / MLM: $167 Billion

As you can see, network marketing isn’t a small time deal. It’s a huge industry. Here’s the most shocking part – roughly half of that $167 billion in annual revenue is paid out to the people participating in the profession. Do you believe that if that much is getting paid out to people participating in the profession that you’d be able to collect some of it (with a little bit of time and hard work)?

Here’s what a few successful business leaders have to say about network marketing:

“You strengthen our country and our economy, not just by striving for your own success, but by offering the opportunity to others. Your industry gives people a chance, after all, to make the most of their own lives. And to me, that’s the heart of the American dream.” – Bill Clinton while addressing a crowd of network marketing professionals.

“I think network marketing has come of age. It’s become undeniable that it’s a viable way to entrepreneurship and independence for millions of people.” – Stephen Covey

“It was the best investment I ever made.” – Warren Buffet after purchasing a network marketing company.

“Network marketing gives people the opportunity with very low risk and very low financial commitment, to build their own income-generating asset, and acquire great wealth.” – Robert Kiyosaki, best-selling business author of all time

“If I were starting over today, I would make millions in the network marketing industry” – Donald Trump

“Network marketing has produced more millionaires than any other industry in the world.” – Les Brown

“Network marketing is really the greatest source of grass root capitalism, because it teaches people how to take a small bit of capital, that is your time, and build the American Dream.” – Jim Rohn

“Network marketing has been nothing but good for everyone I know that’s involved with it, because they did it seriously. They played full out and they have been very successful. It’s a constant barrage of success stories. I would always get involved – you can always test drive anything, the product, the service, the community. And then lean in to it a bit, and if it feels good, lean into it a lot.” – Jack Canfield

Bonvera – A Couple Questions to Ponder Before Joining

Bonvera Comprehensive Review: Products, Pricing, & Compensation Plan

I came across this really thorough, objective review of Bonvera that I wanted to share with my readers. The author dives into Bonvera’s products, pricing, and their compensation plan. At the end the author offers his/her opinion about the company and whether it’s a legitimate company and worth joining.

Here’s the review:

Bonvera Review: Products, Pricing, & Compensation Plan

Bonvera Comprehensive Review: Products, Pricing, & Compensation Plan

Is Bonvera like [insert company name]?

I saw this post about Bonvera on reddit. I had to share it here.Bonvera Picture

Is Bonvera like [insert company name]?

NO!
Lemme splain…
First, some people have asked if Bonvera is like those discount shopping clubs where they get rebates or discounts and sometimes money for referring other people. Companies like Groupon.The answer is no. Bonvera is different for a few reasons. One, it’s not just a coupon/discount website. Will get you competitive prices on products? Yes. Will you get discounts for shopping through other websites. Yes. But that’s where the similarities end. Bonvera is unique in that it not only shares money back for sales that result from referrals that shop through the site for their first time (based on products sold), but it also continues to share profit back to the referrer every time sales are made. In other words, Bonvera allows individuals to get paid forever on the marketshare that they help build for the company. Not only is it a great way to earn extra income, but build it long enough to build massive marketshare and you can make significant income.

Second, some people have asked if it’s like some other product company that operates in the network marketing / MLM profession.
Again, the answer is that Bonvera has pretty much NOTHING in common with any other company in network marketing.

Here are some reasons why:

  • Bonvera is NOT selling high-priced proprietary goods. They do carry private label goods such as their Phyzix brand, but the pricing is in line with existing products in the same categories. Just like a store brand/private label good should be. Almost every big box store has store brand goods. Bonvera chose to have some as well.
  • Bonvera sells NAME BRAND goods at competitive prices. These products are literally the same brands that you would buy from Walmart, Amazon, Costco, etc. There is not a single other company that sells name brand goods through a network like Bonvera does. Most other things require you to have to educate and sell the potential customer on why your product is better. In Bonvera, you would simply ask them if they want to switch which store they buy through for stuff they are already buying.
  • Bonvera has partner stores. Partner stores are other e-commerce companies that have made proprietary deals with Bonvera to bring them traffic/sales in exchange for lower prices and/or profit sharing back to the Bonvera associates. Again, this hasn’t been done by other companies on the scale that it has been done with Bonvera.
  • Bonvera’s compensation plan is completely unique. It pulls bits and pieces from various style plans and puts them together in a type of hybrid plan. It is unique in that it is a depth focused plan, not width, yet still always finds the performer and makes sure they get paid – not someone that is just sitting there and got in earlier. The comp plan shares zero similarities to companies you may have in your mind. <- yes, I can say this with confidence even though I don’t know exactly what company you have in your mind. It’s a completely unique plan.
  • Bonvera’s corporate governance is completely unique as well. See the Independent Community Advisory Association website for details: www.icaaboard.com/

Here’s what I’m going to leave you with: if Bonvera sounded pretty cool when you first heard about it, dig in to it and you’ll find that everything posted above is true, plus some. Bonvera is incomparable. Feel free to ask questions in the comments below.

For further research and detail, check out this excellent, in-depth review of Bonvera. It goes over the products, pricing, and has a full, very detailed, compensation plan review.

Is Bonvera like [insert company name]?

Why People Quit Their Jobs

In a time when unemployment in stubbornly high (counting those that left the labor market) and job prospects are slim, you might think that employees would be less likely to quit their jobs. If you thought that, like I did, you’d be wrong. In fact, according to Forbes and the BLS, the number of people quitting their jobs is higher now than at any point in the last 4 years.

In March, 2.475 million American quit their jobs. This has been steadily increasing recently from a low in late 2009 (just after the financial collapse finally bottomed out) from a monthly rate of 1.7 million quits per month.

Just think about that for a second. Even in the darkest days in the aftermath of the biggest financial meltdown since the Great Depression, 1.7 million Americans each month were willing to tell their bosses to “take this job and shove it.”

This begs the question, “Why are so many people quitting their jobs?” If you do a quick search, you’ll see a plethora of articles outlining the top reasons people quit. You’ll likely notice that among all of the top reasons, almost none of them are related to the company or job itself. Employees are quitting at such staggering rates, even with slim job prospects, because of the leadership (or lack thereof) in the company.

People don’t quit their job; they quit their boss.

What is the lack of leadership costing employers? According to studies on employee turnover, the average cost to replace a single employee is approximately 20% of that worker’s salary. Losing just one employee with a $40,000/yr salary (U.S. median income), will cost an employer $8,000 to find, hire, and train a replacement. In the end, it’s not leadership development that’s expensive, but leadership deficiency.

Many companies seem to think that providing continuing education centered on technical aspects of the job equates to leadership development. What many companies need to understand is that, while job specific proficiency is critical, it’s undermined by poor leadership and interpersonal skills.

This is where a specific, ongoing leadership development program comes in. Note that I mentioned ongoing. One-off seminars and retreats do not get the job done. Understanding leadership vs. management and skills such as how to cast a vision and get buy-in, conflict resolution, public speaking, change management, etc. all require ongoing training and development. They are not developed in a weekend at a conference or hanging from ropes.

With this understanding, LIFE Leadership put together a 6-month corporate leadership education program based off the Inc. Magazine internationally recognized leadership expertise of the company’s founders, Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady. The program is comprised of (4) audios and (1) book per month and covers a variety of topics ranging from interpersonal skills to the visionary process and building social capital. As for pricing, LIFE Leadership decided to undercut the established leadership development market by an order of magnitude. Costing only $50 per month, per employee with a 30-day money-back guarantee on all of their products, they’re aiming right at the jugular of the leadership development industry behemoths like John Maxwell and Tony Robbins. To be sure, LIFE Leadership is gobbling up market share. In just the first two years of business they put up over $120 million dollars in sales. I expect that they’ll continue to disrupt the marketplace and put up impressive numbers as they sign on corporate customers with their new program. Time will tell if my prediction is correct.

If you want to dig into more about their corporate leadership series, see below for one of their sales fliers. Sale of the LIFE Leadership program is not available to the general public on their website. If you want to learn more, leave a comment with your contact information (I won’t post it publicly) and we can chat.

God Bless,

Clint Fix

Download (PDF, 536KB)

Why People Quit Their Jobs

Hiking Mt. Garfield

I thought I would take a break from my normal posts and show you some pictures from one of my favorite hikes. Kait and I ventured over to Grand Junction over Memorial Day weekend to spend some time with friends and family. Monday morning my good friend JJ, his friend Tarah and I decided to hike up Mt. Garfield. It’s a grueling, but very rewarding hike. We wanted to beat the heat, so we got to trail-head at 7am and here’s the sign that we’re greeted with:

hiking 6
What this sign doesn’t tell you is that a good chunk of the 2000′ is within the first 3/4 of a mile! 

Here’s a view of the beginning of the trail that was taken as we were coming down a different trail:

hiking 9

If you look closely you’ll see people hiking up the top of the dirt ridge. The first chunk of the trail is only a few feet wide and is covered in loose dirt and rocks. It makes for an interesting hike.

About a mile into the hike you’re greeted with this awesome little green park. You can climb up onto the rocks where the following picture is taken and get a really cool view of Grand Valley. You can also get a good idea of how much further you have to go. The trail goes all the way up to the point in the middle-left of the picture:

hiking 5

 

After leaving the green grassy area you get to start hiking along the bottom of a cliff face where there’s loose dirt and a steep drop off. It’s not as bad as it sounds/looks, but it can be a bit scary for someone doing it their first time. Here’s JJ and Tarah posing on that part with the green grassy area in the background.

 

hiking 10

 

Once you make it past that part you get a beautiful view of Palisade and Grand Junction. The mountain in the background is the Mesa.

 

hiking 4

 

Not too far after where the last picture was taken, you get to the top! The view from up there is amazing! The picture below is facing southwest towards the Colorado National Monument.

 

hiking 3

 

In the rocks at the top Tarah found a carving that serves as a great reminder that the beauty that we saw was designed by a loving God.

 

hiking 7

 

Since it was getting pretty hot out by this time, we decided that we better start heading back down. We didn’t take many pictures on the way down, but Tarah did make me stop and flex!

hiking 2

 

We ended up choosing a fork in the trail on the way down that is a bit steeper, but less traveled. That meant that it wouldn’t be as loose and slippery.

 

hiking 8

 

Overall, it was an awesome hike! I definitely recommend taking a few hours and doing this hike. You will enjoy it! Make sure you take plenty of water along too! We saw lots of people on the trail in all sorts of non-hiking clothing like jeans with small water bottles. It would not be fun to hike this like that.

God Bless,

Clint Fix

 

Hiking Mt. Garfield

A Review of ‘LeaderShift’ by Orrin Woodward and Oliver DeMille

Orrin Woodward, New York Times best-selling author of ‘Launching a Leadership Revolution’ and Oliver DeMille, best known for his book ‘A Thomas Jefferson Education’ and the movement by the same name, have an uncanny ability to construct simple solutions to seemingly complex problems. In ‘LeaderShift,’ they focus that ability on problems plaguing the United States. The result is a simple set of solutions woven into a thought-provoking parable designed to be reach beyond the sphere of those that study history and politics out of their own ambition and into the lives of everyday Americans that are concerned about the future of our country.

LeadershiftI know most book reviews give a summary of the basic plot of the book, but I’m going to skip this part. While the story is both funny and compelling, my purpose in reading the book was to discover Woodward and DeMille’s proposed solutions to America’s problems. The reason I was/am so interested in hearing their opinion is that I know that they are both devoted students of history, economics, and human nature. Before reading Leadershift, I was hoping that it would be different than the majority of the books discussing America’s problems in that it would focus on the root of our problems, not the symptoms while, at the same time, being completely non-partisan. They delivered.

The solutions they offered, 28 in all, are refreshingly simple. I’m not going to list them all here. You’ll have to get the book and read it if you want them. However, most of them rest on a few simple premises. First, Woodward and DeMille argue that unless we have limited government, we will have limited freedom. Second, that no government is limited if its taxing powers or money printing ability are unlimited. Third, taxes are only effectively limited when a hard limit to taxation is set and checks and balances are created between the local, state, and federal level.

As a student of history and economics myself, albeit a relatively new student, I was pleasantly surprised at the boldness of the proposed solutions. A few of them, however, didn’t settle well with me at first.  I would be surprised if you immediately agree with all of them. Agreeing is not the point though. The point is to get you thinking and hopefully inspire you to dig further into the topic of freedom.

If you’re anything like me, by the end of LeaderShift, you’ll be chomping at the bit for more. Those of us that already like reading into politics, history, and economics will probably want more depth. Take heart though, LeaderShift is the first of three books. Think of it as the primer for a much larger discussion on freedom in America. In the mean time, go the LeaderShift website and get some of the free downloads, follow Orrin’s blog and sign up for newsletters from The Center for Social Leadership for more discussion around the topics introduced in LeaderShift.

Overall, if you are truly concerned about the future of freedom in the United States (or anywhere else), pick up a copy of LeaderShift. Read it, digest it, argue with it, discuss it, and share it. Don’t stop with LeaderShift though. It is not the end-all, be-all of books on freedom. However, it is a significant addition to the Great Conversation and one that I strongly recommend everyone read.

Here is a fantastic interview with Orrin and Oliver discussing LeaderShift.


Update 4/26: It looks like LeaderShift hit the New York Times Best Seller list at #12.

Update 4/30: It looks like LeaderShift hit #2 on the Wall Street Journal Non-Fiction Hardcover best-seller list.

Update 5/2: Leadershift not only hit the New York Time Best Sellers list, but has climbed to #9.

God Bless,

Clint Fix

A Review of ‘LeaderShift’ by Orrin Woodward and Oliver DeMille

LIFE Members: How to Create a Never Ending Names List

Note: This article is mainly written for those that are LIFE members; however the information and principles can be adapted for building any sort of community, business, etc.

social_networking

I decided to take a bit of time to write down what I’ve found to be the most effective way to meet new people and continually grow my names list. If you’ve been building your LIFE community for any length of time you have likely run into someone that’s new to the area and “doesn’t know anyone.” Maybe you feel that way yourself. I know, because when I moved to Colorado Springs, I felt like I didn’t know anyone. I’ve also ran into many people in Colorado Springs that are new to the area. Neither situation need be an excuse for inaction in growing your community.

Thankfully we all have access to the Life Training system. I’m going to lay out some specific techniques for meeting new people, but know that it is all based off of what I’ve learned from the training system. Here are a few CDs and a book that you’ll want to dig into to understand the principles behind what I’m about to teach.

Another principle that helped me become effective with meeting new people comes from Chris Mattis. In one of his CDs (I can’t remember which one) he mentions that people have a much higher level of trust the second time we see them, even if it is only a little while after the first time. If one of you can remember which CD it is, let me know in the comments and I’ll update this.

One of the best resources you have available for learning how to do this is your moving on upline. Chances are if they have a couple of big teams that they’ve gotten good at some form of what I’m going to share with you. Make sure to run things by them and get their wisdom!

Before I head into the details of what I do, here are a few rules of thumb that I like to stick to when I’m meeting new people.

1. Relax. Don’t be too anxious.

2. The goal is to make a friend, not get a number so you can build your business.

3. In conversation, if someone asks what you do, it is not an invitation to bury them in details and chase them down. Come up with a simple answer or question like Marc Militello does on the CD listed above. Turn the conversation back to the other person. If they keep asking more about it, say something simple like, “Now isn’t really the time and place, but why don’t you give me your number and we can meet up at a better time and discuss it.” There are many things you can say here. Remember, it’s not the exact words as much as it is your posture.

4. You have nothing to lose when meeting new people. Even if they ultimately don’t ever become a customer or member in LIFE, you may just make a great new friend. In fact, it has happened to Kait and me a few times.

Ok, let’s get into some of the specifics of how to meet some new people. There are basically two different ways that I routinely meet new people. I’ll order them based on the frequency in which they produce plans.

The first and main way that Kait and I meet new people and grow our names list is just by being a friendly customer. We are out-and-about a lot. Lately, we’ve found ourselves in jewelry stores quite a bit because I like watches and want to find one that I really like. In the process we’ve met a handful of people, a couple of which have become members in LIFE. Want to know the secret? It’s simple: be a good customer! You’re not there to recruit them or tell them about LIFE. I’m interested in watches, so I ask about watches. In the process of trying some different watches on I might throw in a question like, “So how long have you been working in jewelry?” There is not any specific technique to this. You’re not playing 20 questions. You’re not trying to steer the conversation. You’re merely engaging in small talk and discussion about whatever you’re looking at. In this example it happened to be watches. If I’m done looking, I’ll thank the person for their time and ask if they have a card. If you know you’re at a store of some sort that doesn’t utilize business cards, simply remember their name. That’s it. Just be a nice, friendly customer that hopefully brightened their day and put a smile on their face.

Now, I get cards like that a lot. I don’t call all of them. But when I do, here’s how I’ll get in touch with them to book a plan. Usually, I’ll call them the next day or two after I met them, otherwise they may have completely forgotten all about you. Call the number on their card or the store number if they didn’t have a card and you remembered their name. Ask for them. If they’re not working, try again a different time/day. Once I have them on the phone I do a few things. First, I remind them of who I am and when I was in. Second, I sincerely compliment them on something they did. Third, I ask if they’re open to doing anything different. Fourth, I book a plan and get their personal number. Here’s an example:

Them: “Hi, this is Fred.”

Me: “Hi Fred! This is Clint. I was in your store yesterday looking at that sweet Invicta watch with my wife and newborn.”

Them: “Yeah! I remember! How are you? What can I do for you?”

Me: “I’m doing great! There are actually a couple reasons I wanted to get in touch with you. First, I just wanted to thank you for your service. You are one of the most helpful and knowledgeable people I’ve met in a jewelry store. I could tell that you put in considerable time into learning your product and picking out the best fit for what a customer wants!

Them: “Thank you!”

Me: “You’re welcome. That actually leads to the other reason I wanted to get in touch with you. It’s rare that I run into people like yourself and I was going to kick myself if I didn’t at least call and ask, do you keep your options open for doing anything different?

Them: “Well yeah, what do you do?”

Me: “I work with a leadership development company. We’re expanding right now and looking for some sharp people. I can’t promise anything, but why don’t we grab a coffee, discuss some of the details and see if it’s a fit?”

Them: “Yeah, that sounds great!”

From there, book a time and place like any other plan and make sure to get their personal number. If they aren’t open to doing anything different say something simple like “Ok cool. I just had to ask! Again, I appreciate all your help and wish you the best. Have a great day!”

I promise you that if you get good at this, you will never have to worry about not having a growing names list. In the process you’ll meet many great people, some of which will join your community and others that won’t, but will still become great friends. Just have fun with it!

The second main way that I meet people is very similar to the first, but with one main tweak. In this case, instead of calling them after I leave the store, I go back into the store and contact them face to face. This one works very well and is based off of the concept shared by Chris Mattis that I mentioned above. The first time I meet someone when I’m out-and-about I don’t try to get their number. I’m just a friendly, smiling customer. After I leave the store, I may go to a different one, to my car, whatever. But usually I leave the store for at least a few minutes. After that, I’ll head back into wherever I met the person and walk up to them and say something like the following,

Me: “Hey Fred! I was going to kick myself if I didn’t come back in here to ask you a question.”

Them: “What’s that?”

Me: “Well, you have been one of the most helpful people I’ve ever worked with. You listened to what I said I wanted and helped me find something that would fit rather than what you liked. I appreciate that. It’s rare that I run into people like yourself. I work with a leadership development company and we’re looking for some sharp people, so I have to ask – are you open to doing anything different?”

Them: “Yeah!”

Me: “Well I can’t promise anything, but give me your number and I’ll give you a call sometime and we can get a coffee and discuss some of the details.”

Hopefully you’re catching the principles behind what I’m doing with these methods. The wording may change based on the situation, but the principles won’t. I just took the principles taught in the CDs and books above and found some wording that works and that I’m comfortable with. It took me a lot of practice to be able to do it with posture and without thinking about every word that I say. It will take some time for you too.

Understand that this post is not meant to be a replacement to the information in those CDs. If you go out and try to use techniques with people to get their numbers without the right heart and principles, you will fall on your face. Be genuine. Be friendly. Focus on the other person. Brighten their day. If you do those things you may find someone that wants to be a part of your community. Even better, you may find someone that becomes a lifelong friend.

I’m sure some of you reading this have some great stories or methods on how you meet new people. I’d love to hear about them. Share them down below in the comments!

I hope this helps!

God Bless,

Clint Fix

LIFE Members: How to Create a Never Ending Names List

Virtue, Faith & Freedom – Returning to Our Founding Principles

Dr. Os Guinness: “A Free People’s Suicide”

Os Guinness, in the above speech, reviews the recipe for freedom as laid out by our founding fathers, what changed that caused us to lose sight of founding principles and the solution needed to return America to its former greatness. It is a magnificent speech that should be shared with everyone you know!

I want to highlight the solution that Dr. Guinness gives us in his speech and how you can play a part. He tells us that three things are needed to restore the U.S.

First, he tells us that we need strong leadership. He describes the type of leader we need as people who “stand out with a deeply American vision of what could be for all Americans.”

Second, Dr. Guinness believes that we need a restoration of civic education, or what once was called a classical liberal education. This is a type of education that digs into what America is about and what is required of us as citizens. Many people are quick to demand their rights, but are quick to dismiss their duties. To remain free, we need to educate both the next generation and immigrants about American values, what made us a great, and the actions that are required as a citizen to keep us free.

Last, we are told that we need a re-opening of a civil-public life from people of all faiths. To understand this one, make sure to watch the speech.

What excites me about Dr. Guinness’s speech is the optimism he has for restoring our great country. I am optimistic as well because I happen to be associated with a community of people that are focused on acting out the solutions that Dr. Guinness presented to us. LIFE, a business founded by incredible leaders and men of character, has a mission to build leaders that are above the partisan divide; leaders that have a deep passion for our country and a vision for what could be for all Americans. We are filling that vacuum of leadership of which Dr. Guinness speaks. Through LIFE’s educational material, we are restoring civic education. One person at a time, we are building a massive community of people that have a hunger to learn, courage to stand on principle and, by God’s grace, restore America to its former glory. I hope you join the battle of freedom.

As always, leave your thoughts below!

God Bless,

Clint Fix

Virtue, Faith & Freedom – Returning to Our Founding Principles

Personal Development: A Significant Life Demands It

Clint Fix LIFE

In 2004 I realized that the lifestyle I was leading would eventually lead to permanent health problems or even premature death. I was obese and had been for as long as I could remember. With the help of a stack of books on nutrition and exercise and some friends who were in excellent shape, I began a journey to overhaul my health. I set some goals and began the painstaking process of losing weight the healthy way (after trying out the crash diet thing.) Over the course of a few years I lost 85lbs and dropped my body fat to less than 10%. I achieved my goals. I thought I had it all under control. For a few years I thought I was “maintaining,” but in reality, I was slowly packing the pounds back on. I was still working out, but less consistently. I was still eating right…most of the time. By the time I realized what was happening my body fat percentage was peaking over 15% and I had packed on enough fat that I no longer fit in my clothes. What happened to me? The same thing that happens to us all in every area of our lives. I tried to coast on my past efforts. I didn’t have the next goal set. I wasn’t focused on moving forward. As a result I slacked in my effort and in my education on the subject. In the end, I learned a very important lesson:

If you’re not moving forward, you are going backwards.

There is no maintaining. Momentum may carry you forward for a time, but you will inevitably slip backwards. Discipline is not a choice; either we discipline ourselves now or outside forces will discipline us later. If I hadn’t done the hard work of disciplining myself with regards to my health, eventually I would have lost the freedom to eat certain foods and may have been forced to take certain medications. I use the example of my weight loss journey, but the principle is the same in every part of life. It’s my experience that if we aren’t continually focused on the hard work of improving ourselves in the most important facets of our lives, life is eventually going to get much harder.

To live a significant and successful life, I believe there are a handful of areas where it’s valuable to engage in a program to help us continually learn and grow so that we don’t slip backwards:

Faith
Relationships (marriage, parenting, and friendship)
Finances
Fitness
Leadership (people skills, conflict resolution, vision, etc)
Freedom (history and economics)

Obviously there are many other areas that you may want to work on, but the areas listed will impact every area of your life. There are many different avenues for getting education in these areas so I’ll highlight some principles and questions which I recommend that you use to weigh the different programs that are available.

1. Do the people that are teaching have the results that you want in the area in which they are teaching?

Anybody can spout theories, but if you want to get better in a certain area, find someone who has results in that area.

2. Are they currently active in the area they are teaching or are they speaking on past results?

This is an important question, especially for areas like leadership and finances. Just because someone did something once a decade ago doesn’t mean that it’s applicable right now and in this economy.

3. Is the information and teaching packaged in a format that makes engaging with it easy?

While a college course or a leadership institute may have fantastic information, usually the format requires large blocks of dedicated time which is a hindrance to most. Look for programs which allow you to plug into the information in the cracks of wasted time that we all have throughout the day: while commuting in the car, working out, cleaning the house, etc. Audio learning is is one of my favorite formats because you can listen to it repeatedly and cement it in your mind. Humans learn best through small bits of information repeated over time.

4. Does the program give you access to one-on-one coaching from someone that has the results you’re looking for?

We are all very good at deceiving ourselves. Having an outside perceptive to lovingly point out blind spots and help us correct our thinking is a non-negotiable if you want to lead a significant life. All the greatest people throughout history had mentors. Even one of the best basketball players ever, Michael Jordan, had a basketball coach.

5. Does the program have a community that you can associate with?

Building relationships with people who are on a similar journey is critical for your success. The encouragement and accountability of a community can be the difference between success and failure in any self-improvement journey.

6. Is it continuous?

One-off seminars and classroom teaching has its place, but neither one will create the consistency needed for changing the habits that are holding us back. Look for a program that is on-going. Most of us have been taught the things we need to do, but we forget easily. We need continuous reminders. On-going training programs should not only teach new information, but remind us of the things we’ve forgotten.

Obviously there are other factors to take into account, but this should narrow the choices considerably. The program that I personally plug into is the one crafted by a company called LIFE. It was founded in 2011 by Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady, Tim Marks, Bill Lewis, George Guzzardo, Claude Hamilton, and Dan Hawkins. Check out some of the LIFE reviews and testimonials.

Making the decision to embark on a good personal development program will change your life. Most people are trying to coast on their knowledge from formal schooling, much like I tried to coast in my health after achieving my goal. We know how that turned out. If you want to stand out from the crowd plug into a program with a specific intent to continue learning and getting better.

God Bless,

Clint Fix

Personal Development: A Significant Life Demands It