“It’s not about what you are capable of, it’s about what you are willing to endure.” –Orrin Woodward
When you hear in the news about the country of Haiti, it’s usually not a very positive outlook. Considered one of the poorest countries in the world—and the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere—Haiti can sometimes be written off as a “lost cause.” Fortunately, there are people in the world that still care; and instead of throwing a fish at the Haitian people and hoping they’ll figure out how to use it, they invest their time, energy and resources to teach them how to fish. Life Leadership is doing something even more profound. As community-building expert, Rob Robson, loves to say; “Life Leadership gives you the unique opportunity to buy the pond that all of the fish live in!”
To say that Haiti is taking Life Leadership to the next level would be an understatement; but when interviewing many of the Haitian business leaders, it’s incredible to find that they push almost 100% of the credit back to the basics of the business system itself. When hundreds of people are joining their community monthly, it’s safe to say that without the systematic approach, it would be impossible to sustain this type of growth and momentum.
“People in Haiti have always been very eager to grow. We have a lot of ambition, but we’ve never had anything to apply it to. We were waiting and praying for something good. Haitians don’t necessarily need foreigners to help them…We just want to be able to help ourselves. We are very hungry to learn and move forward.” -Frederique Clermont (Life Member in Haiti)
From an outsider’s perspective, it would appear that starting and running a business would be highly improbable in a country where the average incomes of the top-paid professionals (6-7% of the population) range from $500-$4,000 per month. Nevertheless, leaders in Haiti have applied a completely different perspective, and capitalized on two powerful principles: 1) Education and 2) Association.
Over the last thirty years, the majority of the middle class of Haiti has migrated out of the country (mostly to the United States and Canada). The portion of the middle class that remains has had only one “attraction”—namely, to try to get a job in the public sector. If and when they get the job—or even if they don’t—the average Haitian parent “sweats blood” to send their child(ren) to get a better education in one of the “first-world” countries. Naturally, this implies that an incomparable percentage of their income is put aside for the chance of a better life for their kids. One such example is of a poor widow that sold fruit and baskets in the town marketplace for years while her son was growing up. She saved every possible Gourde (official currency in Haiti); and by the time he was of age to attend college, she had accumulated enough to send him to Montréal, Canada. This particular young man ended up excelling and becoming a medical surgeon because of the consistent sacrifice of his underprivileged mother back in Haiti. Considering stories like this are commonplace, it’s simple to grasp why Life Leadership is finding its niche.
Being that one of the prime directives of the founding of Life Leadership was to revolutionize education, the leaders in Haiti made it their mission to help their fellow countrymen understand that the value of the educational system is unmatched. Furthermore, the results that one can achieve by simply sharing this invaluable information—while leveraging the community-building aspect of the company—are second to none. In short, one of the main reasons Life Leadership is creating a massive movement in Haiti is because it provides a cost-effective way to educate yourself in all areas of life, while also rendering a platform for an individual to start their own business!
“I believe that God saved my life in the earthquake to fulfill a purpose. My mission is to establish a critical mass of entrepreneurs in Haiti, educated under a new type of leadership. Through Life Leadership, we teach responsible leadership—where you’re not only influential, but influential in the right direction.” -Charles Clermont (Life Member in Haiti)
As a result of the hundreds of years of dictatorial government, social gatherings in Haiti are almost nonexistent. Other than at church, Haitians don’t have a lot of opportunity to get together with other people that embrace a similar mindset. From the very beginning—when Life Leadership first opened in Haiti—the core group of leaders created a culture of weekly gatherings and monthly leadership seminars.
“This gave us the opportunity to create a community of people that love and accept each other. We provide a ‘safe place’ where people can come to get excited about their future in a non-threatening environment.” -Marie-Maud Laplanche (Life Member in Haiti)
Not only do the Haitian Life Members make the commitment to attend their weekly meetings and their monthly LIFE Live Seminars; but there is also a growing group that have gone through the arduous visa process to have the opportunity to frequent the quarterly Leadership Conventions in the United States. This, too, is a surreal experience for them, as all of the American and Canadian leaders look up to the Haitians for their unwavering perseverance and their explosive success.
“When we attend Life Leadership conventions, it’s one of the only environments in the world where we feel proud to be Haitians.” -Thierry Laplanche (Life Member in Haiti)
In summary, as the gap between the poor and the wealthy continues to grow in Haiti, Life Leadership is the vehicle that they’re using to bridge the chasm. Operating under business system principles, this home-based opportunity gives the average Haitian a chance to plug in to a proven philosophy without having to start another full-time occupation. Accordingly, they understand that making more money is a byproduct of changing their thinking and buying in to the mission that the leaders have set out to accomplish. Marrying their need for both a transformation in education and the freedom to connect with like-minded individuals, the Haitians are applying intense hunger and focused consistency to build an entirely new future for their budding island-nation.
“Life Leadership is structurally designed to perfectly fit the needs of our people. We just follow the system as closely as possible to what the founders intended when they designed it.” -Charles Clermont (Life Member in Haiti)