Tag Archives: Dan Hawkins

A Little Pep-talk on Encouragement

A couple of years ago I was inspired by LIFE business co-founder Orrin Woodward to write an article on encouragement.  Its a topic you can’t get too much of.  Without it you can slip into hopelessness and despair and with it you can move mountains.

The root word for encourage comes from an old French word corage – which means heart.  To have courage can be thought of as “to have heart.”  The prefix ‘en’ in encourage means “to make or put in.”  To encourage someone can be literally translated as to give heart or to put heart in someone.

Read the post from my good friend Dan Hawkins, LIFE co-founder and fellow encourager.

Matt Mielke


As I watched this video I could not help but smile and think of the all the people in the LIFE business who have encouraged me over the years.  Greg was kind enough to send me this link and is a friend who has always had a smile and a kind word for me.

It will take courage to accomplish in todays world and become awesome! Encouragement is the best way to help others muster up the courage to go out and succeed in LIFE.

Enjoy this video and remember to be an encourager of others! Make 2013 your year to be awesome!

God bless,

Dan Hawkins

Leadership Guru in the Making – Dan Hawkins

Wow, my mentor has grown again!  His leadership blog was selected as one of the top 50 Leadership blogs to follow in 2013!

Most of my 3 readers know that one of the most influential and profound influences in my life is Dan Hawkins.  dan hawkinsI met Dan about 6 years ago when I was introduced to a leadership development project he was spear-heading in the area (we now refer to that as the LIFE business). Dan was 10 years my junior, talked fast and had a lot of posture.  He knew where he was going and he committed his life to follow the examples set forth by LIFE founders George Guzzardo and Orrin Woodward.

I specifically remember a moment when I was questioning my own leadership journey.  Was I doing the right things and was I following the right people?  Dan, with all the conviction and confidence one can have over the phone,  said, “Matt, I have chosen to follow Orrin Woodward because he has always delivered on his promises.  In fact, anything he has ever promised, he has delivered above and beyond that promise.”

I liked his answer.  Up until that time I never committed to anyone but me and I never bought into anyone elses vision except my own.  I was a rascal, alone and frustrated.  But Dan demonstrated humility to follow in the foot steps of someone else who has fruit on the tree.  He willingly set a new path for his life to grow and change and that encouraged me to do the same.

Dan recently shared one of his personal goals for 2013.

One of my goals is to continue to improve my writing and sharing through this [Dan Hawkins Leadership] blog. I believe in the principle Orrin Woodward teaches: “Ideas have consequences.”   The LIFE business and its founders have committed their  lives to bringing better ideas to the world to make a difference.

Now, Dan Hawkins’ leadership blog was selected by Evan Carmichael, from The Entrepreneur Blog, as one of the Top 50 Leadership Blogs to watch in 2013

Today, Dan pursues excellence in the areas that we call the 8F’s and has become a role model for thousands to follow- including me:).  Someday I believe Dan’s story will be written in book form and it will be hard to believe the transformation that has taken place in his life.  I joined Dan a few years in that transformational journey called leadership development and have “hooked my wagon to his train.”  My hope is to spread the “Dan Hawkins phenomena” and the cause for “leadership and transformation for the masses” as far as I can.

My question to you is this: Who are YOU following?  Do you have  mentors that have “fruit on the tree” in areas you are pursuing?  Are you humble enough to buy-in to another person’s vision?  Are you willing to follow their example long enough for you to develop your own extension of that vision — your own belief & commitment?  I have!

Godspeed on your journey to reach new heights of excellence in 2013!  Matt

Eric and Miriam Schilling Brand New Turbo 50’s: Pig Farmer to Carpenter….Turned Entrepreneur with LIFE Leadership

One of my favorite parts of building LIFE leadership groups is watching the transformation that happens in an individual’s, or couple’s, life.  When starting out on the leadership journey, I remember hearing from LIFE founders Dan Hawkins, Orrin Woodward and George Guzzardo, “If you can help the new person win in life, you will be rewarded too.”

For the last few years, Michelle and I have had the privilege of working with a young couple, Eric and Miriam Schilling, from Watertown, Wisconsin.  I met Eric when he was a freshman in high school.  He is the son of Mike and Robin Schilling and Mike and I worked together in the pharmacy.  I was always impressed how Mike and Robin balanced many “hats”:  pharmacist, home-school mother, and pig farmers all at the same time.

Eric graduated from high school as an accomplished wrestler, entered the carpentry trade, and met his soon-to-be wife Miriam in their late teens.  When Eric and Miriam were introduced to an entrepreneur opportunity with the TEAM leadership training, they jumped on board.

Were they excited at first?  No!  But what we have witnessed first-hand is a man and woman transformed before our eyes.  Eric has gone from not liking people to learning how to become a compassionate listener and a man who appreciates relationships.  Miriam has changed from a mild, unconfident teenager into a extremely competent student and leader of many people.  Below is a selection from her LIFE testimony.

On average, in the U.S., a suicide happens every 17 seconds….. When I left high school, I had a deep sense of hopelessness for this life. When I was introduced to the information that LIFE has to provide, that feeling was lifted. In it’s place was a sure sense of purpose…..  The information I receive through the LLR series gave me a sense of personal responsibility for my community, showed me the role I could play in my country, and how my actions do effect the bigger picture.

Earlier in February, Eric and Miriam were recognized as new Turbo 50’s at a TEAM/LIFE leadership seminar.  That means they had at least 50 people in 2 different organizations each, learning and growing in a LIFE environment.  WOW!  How many 20-something-year-olds do you know that lead over 100 people?  They will be the first to admit that it couldn’t have been accomplished without the help of a tremendous team of developing leaders (see Josh and Kristina Meinel’s Turbo 25 recognition coming soon in a future post and Jeff and Kathy Wood’s Turbo 25 recognition).

I recently heard Miriam describe how the money they make from LIFE/TEAM leadership fills in the gaps when Eric’s job is slow during the winter season.  And they’re just beginning!!

We are so proud of Eric and Miriam for hitting this milestone and we know it’s just a mile-marker in their journey toward greater victories…Pig farmer becoming millionaire! Matt

2012 Winter TEAM/LIFE Leadership Conference in the History Books!

LIFE is changing lives for the better and making a difference.” Dan Hawkins

Call it a huge success!  The 2012 TEAM/LIFE Leadership Convention in Columbus, Ohio was one for the history books.  I was reading Dan Hawkins Leadership blog this morning and I loved the comments from attendees Dan recorded.

As usual from the highly professional Leadership events the TEAM puts on, there was laughing, crying, inspiration and introspection.  Lives are changing by the tens-of-thousands and it’s no coincidence why the LIFE is leading the way as the premier Leadership development company on the planet.  It is the place where common men and women are realizing their God given potential and changing their lives.

Top 10 reasons people quit something worthy

My favorite talk was from Life founder and leadership guru Chris Brady on Saturday night when he spoke about the top 10 reasons people quit something worthy.

  1. No mental toughness.  The courageous male is an endangered species.
  2. Self-doubt.  “If it’s hard it must not be meant to be,” is the excuse millions are using to settle for mediocrity.
  3. Unwillingness to accept personal responsibility.
  4. Relational challenges.  Conflict resolution should be taught starting in grade school and repeated every year for the rest of one’s life.  Also, the concept of grace for people needs to become an established norm in all our relationships.
  5. Dream is not big enough.  When we pursue our goals and it starts to get hard, we give up and use the excuse, “It wasn’t worth it anyway.”
  6. Comfort and the lure of lesser things.
  7. Distractions – broken focus.
  8. Lack of character.  “Everywhere I go there I am.”  LIFE founder – Tim Marks
  9. Closet sins.  We hide them from the world, yet they fester underneath eventually revealing themselves destructively.
  10. Pride.  Everybody wants to look cool and put together, but few will do what it takes to truly win. It shouldn’t be important what people think of you (reputation), but what God sees you as when no one is looking (character).

Each one of those is a topic for a future article.  Michelle and I decided 5 years ago that we were going to shift gears and pursue a life with meaning and purpose.  We gave up a really good life-style, for an exceptional life.  We are so blessed to be associated with a bunch of “common folk winners” on our team – The Red Eagles.  I’ll paraphrase one of my favorite comments from the weekend from Josh and Christina Meinel.

I never thought we would be involved with saving someone’s marriage. But, because Josh went out of his comfort zone to share this information with another young man, the information and association has saved this man’s marriage.

It doesn’t get much better than that.  To repeat Dan Hawkins beginning quote, “LIFE is changing lives for the better and making a difference.”  If you attended the weekend, feel free to comment and share your favorite part of the conference.  God Bless!

Amazing what one honest man can do… with a cause!

The American Civil War (1861-1865) resulted in over 1 million casualties.  The General’s from that war most talked about today are Ulysses S. Grant (Union) and Robert E. Lee (Confederate).

American Civil War 1861-1865

After the war, Lee was loved and hated at the same time.  Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs proposed that 200 acres of Arlington, Lee’s family property, be confiscated for a cemetery (Arlington cemetery) and serve as a reminder for the price that was paid for Lee’s disloyalty.  Yet, after the war, Lee wasn’t court-martialed, executed, or punished, but became president of what is now known as Washington and Lee University.

“Every one should do all in his power to collect and disseminate the truth, in hope that it may find a place in history, and descend to posterity”  ~ General Robert E. Lee to General Beauregard, 3 October 1865.

I was watching the movie Gettysburg with my two boys the other day and was struck by the profound wisdom embedded in the dialogue.  After you get over the fake beards, and get use to the Southern accents, a beautiful, yet tragic, story emerges on the battlefields of the Civil War. Both sides fighting for what they believed was right.  Men left home in pursuit of honor through courageous acts of bravery on the battlefield.

If you study the history of the leadership from both sides of the war, you’ll find the best and the worst of all human qualities.  But General Robert E. Lee stands out above the rest.  Volumes have been written about his war strategy and genius.  His leadership accolades are unquestionable, but the quality that stands out the most to me – his Character.

I’ve been reading a book with my 2 boys authored by Richard Williams titled The Maxims of Robert E. Lee for Young Gentlemen.  Williams captures Lee’s thoughts and writings in almost devotional form.  I have to admit, reading Gen. Lee’s prose was challenging.  Lee thought, spoke and wrote at such a high level I need to sit with a dictionary with my two boys and frequently stop to dissect Lee’s message and translate it into today’s vernacular. The outcome of our study together is accomplishing same as thing as I’m sure it did 150 yrs ago when Lee penned his words: Growth in our thinking.  Williams captures many different areas of Lee: Humility, Education, Christian Faith, Duty, Wisdom and others. I want to share one character trait, duty, that Williams shares when Gen. Lee was called upon to testify at Jefferson Davis’ preliminary hearing for treason after the Civil War.

…The attorney was baiting Lee in order to exonerate himself and make it appear that [Jefferson] Davis was primarily responsible for the war and its outcome.  General Lee….stated: “I am responsible for what I did; and I cannot now recall any important movement I made which I would not have made had I acted on my own responsibility.”  Gentlemen must be willing to take responsibility for their failures, as well as their successes – regardless of the potential costs.

Lee could have “passed the buck” and let Jefferson Davis take the responsibility for the war, yet, Lee took responsibility for his actions.  His decision to command the Northern Army of Virginia forever changed the lives of so many families as the flower of their youth were lost on the battlefield.  How would you have responded knowing you were one of the biggest reasons for the loss?  Would the country you fought against allow you to come back and live a relatively normal life, or, would you have been run out of dodge.  Would your legacy be of a criminal, or, revered as one of the greatest men in history?

“Amazing what one honest man can do with …. with a cause.” Gen. Beauregard regarding Gen. Lee

Lee disseminated truth and a cause which earned him an honorable place in history.  Today, I have the privilege to work alongside men with “Lee-like” qualities.  Orrin Woodward, George Guzzardo, Dan Hawkins, Chris Brady, Bill Lewis, Claude Hamilton and Tim Marks are creating a legacy as they have stood in the gap for truth and integrity exhibiting all the qualities Gen. Lee did 150 years ago.  Their cause is to develop over 1 million leaders for our future seeking truth and the pursuit of principle-based living.  Men, women and children are being impacted by the thousands because of their teaching and wisdom through the LIFE business.  It is such a relief to know that courageous men and women do exist in today’s predominately leaderless world.

 Now more than ever, we need to take action to develop our “Lee-like” character and follow others to change and create a brighter future for our children and grandchildren.  Perhaps, like Lee, if we pursue a principled based life, our cause will find its place in history.  Start your journey with LIFE and Godspeed.

Orrin Woodward’s LIFE and leadership breaking records!

Orrin Woodward has completed the first month of the the-life-business.com and Dan Hawkins blog comment sums it up well.

LIFE is the collected knowledge of over 100 years in the networking field producing one of the most exciting and successful businesses in history! What makes this so viable is the products LIFE offers are incredibly valuable inside and out of the network that markets them.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of my journey in the LIFE business is the privilege of sharing life changing information with people.  I am currently reading the “friendship” chapter of Orrin’s new book – Resolved 13 Resolutions for Life.  I have learned more about being a true friend in the first handful of pages than I did through a lifetime of rough experiences.

A summary of Orrin’s Eight principles of true friendships.

  1. True friends share a common bond.
  2. True friends accept one another withholding criticism but abundantly spreading grace and forgiveness.
  3. True friends protect each others’ weaknesses while enhancing each others’ strengths.
  4. True friends encourage and serve each other.
  5. True friends listen with empathy, learning the hopes, struggles, dreams, and fears of each other.
  6. True friends celebrate one another’s success without a hint of envy.
  7. True friends are trustworthy (gossip separates the best of friends).
  8. True friends are loyal, respectful and will proactively defend the integrity of the relationship by addressing misunderstandings before they fester.

If only I would’ve read this 30 years ago.  How many mistakes I’ve made over the years, relationships I’ve wounded, bonds I’ve broken.  The good news, we have a God and a life that is full of second chances.

I have experienced more fulfilling friendships in the last 5 years with our journey in the Life business then I did in my entire life before the business.  I am so thankful for our mentors, and founders of the Life business, Dan Hawkins, George Guzzardo and Orrin Woodward, for their courage, wisdom, persistence, and principles that they live by and have taught openly to hundreds of thousands over the years.

The Life business is truly making a difference in the lives of individuals and our country as it brings back the pursuit of integrity, character and truth as something worthwhile and significant.  God Bless.  Matt

The LIFE business – The Hunter and the Quail

Team Orrin Woodward and LIFE – The Hunter and the Quail

  It is Thanksgiving morning and it’s one of those days I get on my knees and thank my creator for his grace, my family and Orrin Woodward and the LIFE business.  Through the team leadership training system, and the mentoring of Dan and Lisa Hawkins, my wife and I were able to leave our jobs as a pharmacist and physician and run a leadership business from home.  One of the many blessings of our LIFE business is we can home school our 3 children and I would like to share with you a story from one of the world history lesson.

We were studying the ancient city of Mohenjo-Daro, a city of approximately 40,000 people, one of the largest in the world at that time.  It was located in the Indus River valley (modern-day northwestern Pakistan) from approximately 2600 BC – 1700BC. Among the many archeological finds were large grain storage facilities, citadels for public safety if the city was attacked, in-home toilets and drains (that was my favorite fact – I wonder if they read while busy:)), public baths and so on.  What I found the most interesting was how this ancient city disappeared around  1750 BC without any record of what happened.

Archeologists found skeletons lying in the middle of the streets, as though people died instantly.  It reminds me of the ruins of Pompeii, Italy, where the people were buried without warning from volcanic ash from the eruption of near-by Mt. Vesuvius.  No one knows for sure what devastated Mohenjo-Daro, but stories passed down for thousands of years may give us clues.  One such story is called “The Hunter and the Quail.”

Once, a flock of quail lived on the banks of a river.  They had plenty to eat and drink, but they were afraid of the hunter who came every evening to catch them.  He would creep up to the edge of the flock with his net and then leap out of the bushes.  When the quail scattered, he would catch the nearest bird in his net, carry it back to his house and eat it for dinner!

One day the oldest of the quail said, “It is easy for the hunter to catch just one of us.  But what if he threw his net over all of us?  We would be strong enough to escape!”

So the next evening, when the hunter leaped out of the bushes, the quail all stayed in one flock.  The hunter flung his net over the quail, but they rose up from the ground together, pulled the net out of his hands, and flew away, still side by side.  All together, the quail were too strong for the hunter.

The quail were very pleased!  Now they didn’t have to be afraid.  Night after night, they stayed together, pulled the hunter’s net out of his hands, and flew away.

But soon the quail began to push and jostle at each other, as they crowded together in their safe, strong group.  “You’re stepping on my claw!” cried one.  “You’re rumpling my feathers!” cried another.  “You’re squeezing me until I can’t breathe!” complained a third.  Finally they scattered and the hunter, who had been waiting in the bushes, leaped out and netted them, one by one.  As he headed back to his house, he said, “Together, they are free.  But apart, they are supper!”

Does the story mean anything to the outcome of Mohenjo-Daro?  We’ll never know for sure.  We’ve probably all heard the wisdom of the ancient King Solomon, “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”  Orrin Woodward has used the metaphor of the pencil.  One pencil is easily broken, but many together a strong man can’t break.  Even Hollywood has given us a picture of this metaphor in the movie Finding Nemo when Dora was helping her fish friends escape from the fishing nets.   This ancient metaphor may or may not explain the fate of the ancient Mohenjo-Daro culture, but it does carry significance in the current state of American culture.

Last month I attended a lecture by Oliver DeMille at a LIFE leadership convention in Ohio.  DeMille discussed the decline of freedom in our country and has dedicated his life to the study of freedom and the passing of that study to the generations to preserve and restore that freedom.   DeMille believes we are on the verge of a world shift that is going to take us away from freedom unless a group of individuals and small communities come together as one to fight for the preservation and passing of that freedom to future generations.

DeMille stated that there are three historical solutions that can prevent the loss of our freedoms.

  • Become successful entrepreneurs; a culture of independent owners.
  • Become voracious readers (of good books that stimulate thinking and not just entertainment).
  • Become community builders and tribal leaders.  Groups of people with a unified voice and vehicle consisting of the previous two.

We don’t need that many people uniting together, DeMille states; only 1.5-2% of the population needs to be a part of this movement to sway the shift toward preserving freedom.  But it will take a stronger resolve and different thinking, than demonstrated today, to achieve that shift.

The Indus valley civilization was made up of many independent, peaceful cultures as far as history can tell.  That is all good until a more powerful, evil, force decides they want to take over.  For decades the United States has slowly become a country of fractionated communities, individual homes living in a common area, with few bonds holding us together as a community.  The winds of change are upon us.  The smell in the air is one of force and control by an overpowering government that is quickly eroding our freedoms.

However, there is a group of dedicated individuals known as the team, which have spent years sharing a message of entrepreneurship (LIFE) and independent thinking through an ongoing leadership training system led by two of the top leadership minds in the world (Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady).  Community building through the-team.biz and the-life-business are recognized as the business model of the future and an answer to pull our country back on track.

Let’s not become another devastated civilization that is unearthed thousands of years from now with only sports stadiums and theaters to represent our once great civilization.  But, let them study the writings and thinking of your children and grandchildren that will carry the weight of a Cicero, Xenophon, Thomas Jefferson or Jonathan Edwards and so on.  It’s time to start your journey into the world of the 21st century – welcome to LIFE.