Pick Your Curve – Life Leadership and Power Curve Success

I heard Chris Brady give a talk on the weekend about the power curve vs the “bell” curve. I was so impressed with this talk I had to share an article that Chris Brady wrote on this same subject. This is such a great example on how true success is achieved today. Enjoy!!

Alex Nickerson

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I have often taught that we don’t know what we don’t know. But sometimes, we don’t know what we think we know. And this second condition can lead to erroneous conclusions and frustrated efforts.

When I was a child in elementary school, one of my teachers had the nerve to teach me something I didn’t want to learn. She shared with us how the colorful objects we see really aren’t that color, but rather, the range of light waves of the color spectrum that are reflected by the surface of the item make it appear to be that color.


And then my Dad taught me about the “birds and the bees.”

Double woah.

Here I was, cruising along on my BMX bike, wearing tube socks and thinking I had the whole world figured out. And then in an instant I discover that the way I thought everything worked was entirely wrong – twice!

Unfortunately, this condition isn’t confined to childhood. As adults, we are susceptible to the same “knowledge bias.” We think we know how something works when we actually don’t. And usually, we are very cock-sure in our incorrectness. It’s a condition I like to refer to as passionate ignorance. We are wrong, but we are certain we are right.

At Life Leadership, we are in the business of setting people free. For the vast majority of people who are in debt and struggle with their finances, we offer debt freedom through our Financial Fitness product suite. For committed, hard-working high-achievers, we provide a compensation program that authorizes people to sell our products and build teams of people who do the same thing. This is a shot at financial freedom. And, perhaps most importantly, for the few who are disenfranchised, disabled, or victims of disaster, we offer functional freedom through our Life on Life Initiative. We developed this terminology about “setting people free” and the three categories of freedom to explain our fundamental mission and how we strive to offer something for the whole spectrum of people and their particular situations.

But there is more to the story.

Most of us, without even realizing it, think of the world like the old “bell curve” we remember being graded upon in high school. We automatically think people and their performance fall into a normal distribution, or what is officially known as a “Gaussian” curve of distribution. I am sure you are familiar with what it looks like, but here it is nonetheless.


And in the case of the population of people in the markets in which Life Leadership operates, as described above, this bell curve of normal distribution describes very well what we see. A few at the high-end choose to take advantage of our pay plan and actually build the business. Most people are in the middle, merely using our Financial Fitness products to whittle down their debt (these people may or may not be “signed up” in our business). And a few are at the “bottom” of the curve in dire need of our help, because they truly can’t help themselves.


But when it comes to describing the actual performance (read: results) of those who attempt to achieve high-level success, those who embrace our pay plan and determine that they want to use it to make money, things don’t follow the Gaussian bell curve, or normal distribution at all.  For this case, we must dig into the reality of how success actually “works.” You see, when it comes to success, and especially high-level success, what we think we know just isn’t so.

To demonstrate what I mean, let’s consider an endeavor totally outside of Life Leadership, such as being a professional actor/actress instead. The stage, the screen, the lights, the money, and the fame all have a strong appeal on those with such talents. We hear of high paychecks and we see outlandish lifestyles. We see the glitz and the glitter and the glossy gossip magazines. But we all know that only a few are fortunate enough to make it to this high level, and, thinking the bell or Gaussian curve describes the situation, we assume there must be a lot of people, in fact, most actors and actresses, who are somewhere in the middle, with a few terrible ones down at the lower tail of the curve. We all know this intrinsically, and yet we have it wrong!

According to leader of Google’s “People Operations”, Laszlo Bock, in his book Work Rules!, Screen Actors Guild data published in 2008 show that the financial results of actors does not follow a Gaussian curve at all, but rather what is called a “Power Curve” (or perhaps also a decaying exponential).

Power Curve

According to Bock, “Very roughly, the bottom third of active SAG members made no money from acting in 2007, and the next third earned less than $1,000. The next group, between the 68th and 95th percentiles, were paid between $1,000 and $100,000. The 95th to the 99th percentile actors earned between $100,000 and $250,000. And the top 1 percent earned over $250,000. The top 1 percent of the top 1 percent earned even more: Will Smith was the highest-paid actor, with over $80 million in earnings, followed by Johnny Depp ($72 million), Eddie Murphy and Mike Myers ($55 million each), and Leonardo DiCaprio ($45 million).” [italics added]

So for professional actors/actresses, the curve of distribution, roughly plotted, looks like the following:


Notice that it is not the normal Gaussian bell curve at all, as we all would assume it would be, but rather a power curve. Notice also that the super high achievers at the extreme top end pull the average income way above the median. This means that most people are not average, but actually – wait for it – most people are below average! Stop and think about that for a minute. Most people are below average! (Oh! They’re not going to want to hear that!) Notice that fully 1/3 of the actors/actresses made no money! And the next third only $1,000! That’s two thirds of all the actors and actresses making next-to-nothing!

All of this goes against what we think we know. But if you really study this and understand it, you’ll quickly see that this curve for actors and actresses is exactly how success works in all categories where a government or artificial imposition is not placed upon results. Plot the financial results of people in professional sports, country singers, those who launch tech company start-ups, and even authors of books, and the results are similar – following a power curve and not a Gaussian bell curve.

Enter Life Leadership. In November of 2011 we proudly launched our company with world-class personal, professional, and financial development information and service products. We authorized distributors to sell those products for an immediate sales margin of 25% (a higher margin than many professional salespeople are paid), and then added a compensation plan on top of that sales margin to reward them for also building teams of people who did the same thing (merchandise our products and build teams to do the same). We worked really hard to minimize costs to run the enterprise and formulated a pay plan that paid very generously to the people making the sales.

Next, people joined, worked hard, sold our products, and built teams. Some people prospered and made enough money to live on, making the building of our business their professional career. A handful achieved really high levels of income, while many others only made a little. Many signed up and never did anything, riding off into the night after buying our starter kit never to be heard from again.

Each year, we publish a comprehensive “Income Disclosure Statement” designed to show the exact results of everyone who joins, whether they ever worked the business hard or not, or just signed up and rode into the night. And inevitably, someone looks at this data and says something like, “Only the people at the top make any significant money,” or, “most of those people aren’t making any money.” This criticism didn’t make any sense to us, from our angle, because we simply put a compensation plan out there that pays extremely well, and fairly at various levels all the way along the path of progress. It doesn’t discriminate in any way based upon race, creed, color, age, gender, or anything you can name. It is strictly pay-for-performance. So we have tried to explain it in different ways. But still, there will always be someone out there who says, “only a small percentage make the money.”

In a way, we can see their point. Why shouldn’t more people make more money? Why shouldn’t there be a bunch of people making a medium amount, for instance? How come there isn’t a larger percentage of people “in the middle” making the money our pay plan delivers for those levels? We’ve got a pay scale that rewards effort along the entire journey! And the 25% sales bonus is paid to everyone at every level no matter how long they’ve been with the company or how big their business is. What gives?

What gives is that our population of Life Members is not properly described by the Gaussian bell curve we all carry around in our heads, but rather by the Power Curve that depicts the results of all true performance-only systems (such as professional acting described above). Leave people free to achieve and perform in any endeavor, and you’ll get a power curve. Life Leadership and its compensation plan are no different.

This is very important to understand, and it applies to all areas of life, not just participation in Life Leadership’s compensation plan. High achievers are way ahead of the rest of the pack, and their results skew the scale and pull the average way above the median. What this means is not that one should avoid undertaking a performance-based endeavor, but rather that one should not falsely impose an erroneous bell curve in order to “analyze” the “odds of success.” With power curve situations averages are misleading because they are pulled upward by the lofty achievement of the top performers. And in true performance-only situations, there is no comfortable middle where a large percentage of the participants can hang out and do “pretty good.” Ultimately, one either makes it within the upper 1 or 2 or 5th percentile, or one doesn’t see much reward (at least financially speaking). As we said before, just apply this reality to professional sports, the arts, business start-ups, direct sales, and the like, and you will see that it is true again and again. Our false application of the bell curve simply won’t properly describe these “free to perform” situations. Such a map, in essence, doesn’t match the territory.

This is simply how the world works. In fact, the only alternative is to create a system wherein outside forces eliminate the upper possibilities based upon performance so that everybody instead gets a decent result but nothing big is available for high achievement. This, in fact, is exactly what most jobs provide. In such scenarios you will never hit it big (it’s not even available), but you can count on a steady flow of at least something for the fat middle of the pack. Some will get a little bit more, others will hang out at the bottom, but most people will be kept clumped together in the comfortable middle.

And this brings us full circle to the exact reason we launched our company in the first place. We wanted a legitimate alternative to a closed system of enforced mediocrity. We wanted to provide a legitimate shot upwards, without restriction, that would be available to anyone who chose to work that hard, learn that much, and stay at it that long. As cofounder Orrin Woodward often states, “We don’t promise easy. We just promise worth it.”

So ultimately, we have two choices in life. Find a closed system with outside forces that artificially impose a safe and “comfortable” bell curve, a situation with no chance of high highs but very little worry about low lows. Or, conversely, enter into a power curve situation where there is not much reward unless you perform mightily. It is one or the other.

It is ultimately up to each individual to choose which is right for him/her, and what God has designed and called him/her to accomplish. Just don’t apply bell curve analysis to a power curve situation and call it “unfair,” or a “scheme” or a “pyramid.” And then likewise, those who live in the power curves of life shouldn’t denigrate bell curve situations for being stifling and without upward mobility. Each is for whom it’s for.

Just make sure you choose wisely. Bell curve people are miserable in power curves, and power curve people are miserable in bell curves.

Pick your curve and live it with verve!


Chris Brady

The All New Life Leadership Forums

Hey everyone,

I wanted to do a post on the amazing forums website that Claude Hamilton thought of.  It’s a great way for members, customers & prospects to get answers to their many questions.

Thanks to Chris Brady and the head office for putting this all together, this is a great tool for all the members of Life Leadership.

Orrin Woodward wrote an awesome article about my best friend Claude Hamilton that everyone should read and if you know him personally you should leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Click on this link and enjoy the article.

All the Best in LIFE,

Alex Nickerson


The Family Unit – Purserving the Future for our Grandchildren

Orrin Woodward – Leadership Expert

The information I have been learning through Orrin WoodwardClaude Hamilton and the LIFE materials is creating a huge call to action and a sense of duty is being instilled within me. This is a post I felt compelled to write after an amazing conversation I had with my dad and his wife a few nights ago. Feel free to comment on my thoughts.

Today we are living in a society where the badge on most people’s shoulders is “I’m too busy.”  In contrast, the television ratings seem to be higher than ever. Today I was listening to a CD and reviewing some research done on, “How much time the average father in North America spends with their children on a daily basis.” What they mean by this is quality time; looking into the eyes of their child and communicating effectively. How much of this quality time would you guess is spent? Two hours, one hour, 30 minutes, 15 minutes? The sad truth is that in today’s age, the average father will spend 37 seconds of quality time with their children a day. I was shocked beyond belief when I heard this. After looking at all the surveys and intense research done in this field, the speaker on the CD went on to talk about how today’s culture is preparing for a future where we will eventually lose all of our freedoms. Men today are seen in the media as being over weight couch potatoes that watch football and drink beer. That needs to change. I saw the movie “Courageous” a few weeks ago and it simulates a real life story about the family unit in today’s society. I believe this movie should be seen by every family and will cause a ripple effect to make people see how important the family unit really is. It’s one of those movies that you buy for yourself and watch over and over again. It’s about a call to action for all men to change their families for the better. Here is the movie trailer. 

The majority of parents today have the thought in their mind that they want to provide a better life for their kids. I can understand this for sure; however, the word “better” is actually replaced by the word “easier.” Back in “old school days,” as my dad would say, he was raised in a society where the family unit was the main thing.  Families ate dinner at the dinner table; they prayed together and were thankful for all that they had, no matter how little. Back then, you knew everyone in your community. If a project came up like building a barn, house or church, the whole community chipped in to help. Everyone valued each other and lived by the golden rule, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Parents would instil their world views, principles, morals and ethics onto their children.  

What is it like today? These principles are slowly going by the wayside.  Many parents are ‘too busy’ to instil their beliefs onto their children. They expect our education system or day care providers to do this for them. In today’s age, our children are getting their morals and beliefs from the media and are learning how bad the world is way too early in life. This, in turn, causes a negative world view in their lives. When is the last time you saw a young person help someone they didn’t know, whether it be an elder in their community or a peer?

Today we are taught or educated in a field where the person or business (university or college) doing the teaching has no personal investment in making sure you succeed. I was reminded of this about six months ago when I was in Antigonish going through the drive-thru at a fast food establishment. I noticed the guy that handed me my food had a St. Francis Xavier University ring on; he had graduated from the local university and as a result, he gets to work for minimum wage. A very high percentage of graduates don’t even work in their field of study. Education today is way more about socializing than learning. Back in the “old school days,” you had a mentor that would teach you in your chosen field and this person had an invested interest in making sure you were successful. What happened to the days where people always seemed to have mentors in their life that truly cared for your well-being and wanted to make a difference in this world? They really are few and far between. I really feel blessed that Claude Hamilton and Orrin Woodward have come into my life and challenged me in all the 8F’sand taught me “how to think” instead of “what to think.” 

Oliver DeMille

I had the amazing privilege of listening to one of the top 10 freedom fighters in the world, Oliver DeMille. He gave a talk on what it will take to restore the freedoms in our countries. I was in a crowd of about 18,000 people who were on the edge of their seats the whole time he spoke. He asked for volunteers in the fight for freedom; he knows he can’t do it alone. He finished up by saying that if only 3% – 5% of the people in our countries would stand for freedom, then we would go into a Freedom Shift that will preserve a better future for our grandchildren then what their fate is now.

Will you be part of the 3% – 5 %? Your grandchildren are counting on you!

All the Best in LIFE, Alex Nickerson

You Can’t Change What You Can Tolerate

I had the amazing privilege to listen to Claude Hamilton give a talk in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia the other night and was blown away by all the principles he shared on successful thinking.


He started off by explaining why successful people always seem to get ahead in life and average people seem to have a difficult time getting ahead. It all comes down to your thinking. He said, “Average people make decisions based on their current situations in the present, where successful people make decisions for their future.”

He then gave an amazing talk about thinking short-term verses long-term. Most people have a hard time thinking further ahead then two weeks because they are focused on pay day, but if I can get you to think long-term and make decisions based on things that will help you in two to three years, then that is where things begin to change. This reminds me of a saying Claude used to always tell me, “If you take the easy way out in life, life will get harder, but if you take the hard way out now, then life will get easier.” 

Claude and Lana and our incredible LIFE material were able to teach us to start living a life of priorities instead of a life of obligations. My priorities in the past have been as follows: playing hockey, drinking beer with my friends, playing Xbox, going out on the weekend to the bar, watching hockey, Facebook, finances, family. It was a really non-structured life, with no real priorities. Since then everything has changed; I have learned tons about prioritizing your life with the things that matter most. By doing that, you can set goals for things that can move you ahead in life, in whatever areas of the 8Fs that may be. Now whenever something is added to my plate, I ask myself, is this going to get us closer to our goal or farther from it? If the answer is farther from it, the majority of the time it is not added to the plate. Have you ever heard someone say, “I want to clear my plate.”? What they are really saying is they want to make their life easier by giving away responsibility. What happens when people ‘clear their plate’? They give away opportunity and settle for average.

I want to go to battle against this thing called “average.” Claude always says, “You can’t change what you can tolerate.” There are too many people in this world that are settling in life instead of thriving in it. I believe if we give people the right information and they apply it in their lives, everything can change in a positive direction. We are less than 2 days away from what I believe will be the biggest business launch in history for the people who are willing to change. The Business called LIFE is a company that has been under development for 12 years in the minds of Top 30 Leadership Guru’s and best-selling authors Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady. Here is an article Orrin wrote commenting on how this company is going to change the networking industry forever.

Orrin Woodwards Five Principles

IT’S TIME TO THRIVE! Will you play your part to one million people?

All the Best in LIFE, Alex Nickerson

Dream Big

I just wanted to send up this post of an article that was found in Chronicle Herold this past week. It is all about my best friends and mentors Claude and Lana Hamiltons 13,000 sq foot house that they took 2 years to build right here in Nova Scotia.  My wife and I were there for every step of the way and watched as this master piece was put together and this Article says it all. That is me and my son Jaxon in the picture stopping by for our regular Ranger ride.  It truly is a blessing to see what the right information can do in people’s lives.



All the best in LIFE Alex Nickerson

Team, Life and Leadership!!

 When I look back over the past five years of my LIFE it is still hard to believe the changes that have taken place. Five short years ago, I was graduating from university and thought I was going to excel at this thing called LIFE. When I got into the “Real World,” I quickly realized it wasn’t all it was cut out to be. I was told as a young boy to finish high school, go to university and then find a great company to work for, with benefits, and I would be set. This is exactly what I did. I took a job working for a Fortune 500 photocopier company and figured within a year I would be living the good life.

Sadly to say, everything went downhill after that. I took everything I had learned thus far in my life and started going into debt–fast. I started living by the all too common rules of today, “Your Richer Then You Think,” “Ho-Ho-Hold the Payments,” “Borrow to Get Ahead”.  Student loans started to pile up, with all my payments reaching over $900 dollars a month. After six months of going backwards $1,500 to $2,000, I had began to start losing hope that it was ever going to get any better.

Then one faithful night, I received a call from my sister offering an opportunity to gain control over my life again. I had no clue what she was talking about but was willing to do almost anything for a change. A couple of days later, Claude Hamilton came into my life. He sat down with me and began to draw out a way to regain control of my life by concentrating on eight main areas called the 8F’s: Faith, Family, Finance, Fitness, Following, Freedom, Friends, and Fun. At first, I must say it all sounded too good to be true but then he started to give me information in those areas and everything began to change.


Baileigh, Marik,and Jaxon
Baileigh, Marik,and Jaxon

I went from living for the weekend to living a life for excellence. It was amazing to see things that I had learned in university become outdated as fast as it took me to graduate.  I have learned more in the last four years about how the world works, people skills, freedom and purpose in life then I did in the first 25 years put together.  I am so glad I got introduced to the LIFE Leadership Company.  Through the principles, teaching and mentorship from Claude Hamilton and Orrin Woodward a lot has changed.  In the last three years, I got married to the woman of my dreams, had three amazing children and was able to regain control of my time, walking away from my day job after 23 months of studying and applying the principles from this amazing Life Leadership business.

I am writing this blog for anyone who is tired of ‘living for the weekend’, ‘living paycheque-to-paycheque’, ‘mediocrity’ and who wants to gain some information on how to live a more prosperous life in the 8F’s. Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady are in the Top 15 Leadership Guru’s in the world, best selling author’s and have developed this system called Team and LIFE along with Tim Marks, Claude Hamilton, George Guzzardo, Bill Lewis, and Dan Hawkins. All of the information provided in this blog will come from this Leadership and Life training system. I have never claimed to be an expert in any field and I certainly am not here either, all I am striving to be is the best possible student I can be. I hope the information shared here will be a blessing in people’s lives as much as it has been in mine.

All the best in LIFE,

Alex Nickerson