A “Thank You” to the “Founder of Founders”
I was deeply humbled by the recent blog that Orrin posted regarding Amy and myself; humbled, because I owe so much of my success to the sacrifice and commitment of Orrin and Laurie Woodward. As all world-class leaders do, Orrin constantly shines light upon others and celebrates their success, lifting them up and cheering for their victories. Since Orrin has written this blog post celebrating Amy and I, we feel that it is only appropriate to return the favor.
Orrin Woodward grew up in Columbiaville, Michigan, a town where the word “vision” wasn’t something you’d hear pop up at the average dinner table. His brilliant mind and work ethic were quickly noticed by his superiors at work, and his amazing engineering genius resulted in four engineering patents to his name by the age of 25. He was on the fast track to corporate “success”. But he was eventually exposed to some new business information, and he decided to go against the grain. He ignored the 95% advice of his friends, family and co-workers, and he plunged head-first into his first entrepreneurial venture.
Success didn’t come easily to Orrin. We might watch him speak on stage today in front of thousands of people and forget that he failed a public speaking class in college. We might read the chapter on conflict resolution in his incredible book RESOLVED and puzzle that this great man describes his younger self as a “no-people skills engineer.” We might see the tens of thousands of people at a Major function and forget that he struggled for several years to build a business community past 200 people. And we might look at his lifestyle, his homes in Florida and Michigan, and his yacht, and not realize the massive battles that Orrin and Laurie have waged behind the scenes on our behalf.
Simply put, if it weren’t for Orrin and Laurie Woodward, there wouldn’t be any TEAM or the LIFE business, period. When we faced a battle against our former supplier, Orrin and Laurie bore the brunt of the attacks. I know that he has dipped into his own pocket for multiple seven-figures to cover legal expenses, possible only because he lives a debt-free lifestyle. I know that he has been the target of terrible lies and attacks on his character from nameless critics too cowardly to reveal their identity. I know that he and Laurie have put many of their personal dreams on hold, including denying themselves the building of their dream home in Florida for the last four years, in order that you and I may have a business to bring our own dreams to life.
Building this business, both TEAM and now LIFE, is not about the money for Orrin and Laurie. If it were, they would never have gone through the Hell they’ve endured. They would have sat back and collected a check from our former supplier. But they would not. Orrin could have sailed off into the sunset as a motivational speaker and author, leaving us to on our own. But he would not. Orrin and Laurie could have begun this great fight, buckled under the pressure and quit. But they would not. For Orrin and Laurie, building this business is about creating a community of one million people, of saving marriages, freeing people from financial bondage, and affecting our culture in a positive way.
I don’t personally know any other man could have endured what Orrin has gone through and had the grit to stay the course. I’ve seen Orrin with tears in his eyes as we watched our friends suffer personally and financially. I’ve watched his heart break as people whom he had poured his love and energy into would fail to keep their commitments to him, only to see him think upon them with a forgiving heart, knowing that they are just fallen men, as he is. I watched him suffer the sting of terrible lies, and because he holds his character so high he refuses to gossip about the liars. There have been critics that I know who are telling lies about Orrin, and I have this message for them: they had better stop it, because there might come a day when Orrin decides to tell truth about them, and their lies will be exposed.
Like any man, Orrin has experienced moments where he has been down in the dumps. But he is an uncommon man, and because he has RESOLVED to have a high Adversity Quotient, he always gets back up and leads.
Orrin has been there for me countless times when I felt broken, praying with me in times of deep personal crisis. Laurie has done the same for Amy; as I was frantically criss-crossing the country during the height of our battle with our former supplier, Laurie was the bedrock friend and mentor that Amy needed in some of our darkest hours. Thank you, Laurie Woodward.
Most people have to go to the movies or read great books to be exposed to heroes. Amy and I are blessed to know some real-life heroes and count them among our best of friends for life. Orrin and Laurie Woodward , thank you for your leadership, your commitment, your pledge to serve and reach a million people. None of us would have anything if it weren’t for the sacrifice you’ve made for us.
Tim and Amy