Friday, December 4, 2009

The Awakened Millionaire Challenge

Ooooh! Look! Did you see? I think Christmas just came a little early! It's....

a SPECIAL INVITATION! From none other than Fireboy and his Norwegian caveman, Craig Perrine. They invite us to join with them in their quest to create 100 millionaires in 2010. Wait, no, not only millionaires, but AWAKENED millionaires.

What would the planet do with that many more awakened greedy fucks running around selling one-eyed wish doll pictures, convincing young Polish girls to throw away their artistic talents on propagating an outdated and offensive ethnic stereotype, or buying more Rolls Royces. I don't know, mother earth, what WILL you do?

I'm certain that one of the things that these bright eyed nascent awakeners will learn is how to design their very own year-long membership program to train even more people how to sell wish doll pictures and clearing tools.

Let's take a critical look at this incredibly enticing offer and determine its value.

Why call it Awakened Millionaire? Why not Awakened Entrepreneur? Just by calling it Awakened Millionaire, they assert that a participant will become not only awakened (which has its own connotation) but also a millionaire. It's deceptive on two different levels.

I would love to see data to back up the assertion that Craig and Joe surveyed over 10,000 entrepreneurs. Did they do this as a part of developing the program? Out of curiosity? Or is this a generalization that they've probably talked to that many people over the last X years, so it fits? Perhaps it's simply a nod to Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers that says it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert? I am of the opinion that they NEVER DID THIS, that this is a false assertion. Though I would love to be proved wrong. The burden of proof is on them to prove they actually did this legwork because they asserted it in their marketing.

Another blatant missing issue is that this sales letter, while promising to create millionaires, is missing something critically important... something that you would expect someone with a doctorate in any type of business discipline to understand and know: a nascent entrepreneur has to have a valuable product or service. Additionally, they have to understand the market, do market research, product development or service definition, pricing, channel research, customer service, accounting, billing, legal filings and develop a meaningful business plan. That's a hell of a lot that isn't marketing. While I will agree that mindset is incredibly important, it is a small part of running a successful business.

But they can't talk about the actual mechanics of developing an online enterprise. Nope. No one gets excited about hard work. They don't even offer a disclaimer that their goal of creating 100 millionaires in a year is a incredibly LOFTY goal.  They can't even add a responsible disclaimer noting that most research points to a 5 year mark before new businesses become successful.

A responsible marketer would say that this program is for existing businesses that have an established product or service that only needs help marketing online, but Joe and Craig don't do that either. In fact, they say that this program is so "simple for ANYONE to get started," and that it "breaks everything down into simple steps anyone could follow." Simple!! These statements alone mislead people into thinking that a blog, a twitter account, and listening to some of Joe's ego maniacal stories are going to make people into millionaires.

All of the "exclusive" information they promise to provide is freely available on the web. There are A TON of people who have web sites dedicated to teaching about how to communicate online. With all of that information freely available on the web, why aren't there more millionaire stories from bloggers and twits?

The fact is, STARTING and RUNNING an online business is much much more than that.

The statements on the Awakened Millionaire web site are not realistic. The data says its not. Even Malcolm Gladwell, who likely gags on his own vomit every time Joe quotes him, has research saying that it takes 10 years, 10,000 hours, of practice before someone gets good at something. This is not just about sports, painting, or pulling Hoshuns out of your ass, it applies to starting and running a successful business, too.

Joe Vitale and Craig Perrine sell their "awakened millionaire" crap as if it is the end-all be-all, and they're charging people fees that make their unwitting prospects think that this is all they have to do to become internet millionaires in one year.

And then there's the torture...
I page down and learn that for $10,000 over a year, I'm going to have to sit around and listen to Joe tell the same goddamn stories he tells in his books about how HE made money. How does that help anyone? It does nothing but satisfy his own ego. Joe's case is not typical, and I don't think hearing how "miracles" happened for someone else are going to make miracles happen for me.

I'd rather hear about how hard he's worked (I bet he has, even despite his spurious claims that he sits around reading, smoking cigars and drinking scotch all day while the money just rolls in), the strategic partnerships that have made a difference, the mistakes he's made (isn't it true that we learn more from mistakes than miracles), and how he's managed the difficulties of cash flow in a fledgling business. Now THAT would make a difference, wouldn't it?

Oh, but we get the privilege of asking them questions if we apply! Oh, wow. How kind. Someone pays anywhere from $1200-$10,000 and they get to ask Joe questions. Wow, what a privilege. Will he end his responses with the trademark "blessings" when someone pisses him off? (Yes, Joe, it's that apparent. Just go re-read that escape from Russia comment thread.)

But... but... we're SPRITUAL!
But the thing that REALLY gets me is how Joe and Craig bring spirituality into this muck. They promise "total mind, body and spirit transformation." First, how does ANYONE measure this? And second, how the hell does this have ANYTHING to do with running a business? If someone is going to learn how to transform mind, body and spirit, they should learn from someone who has actually done it, not someone whose expertise is talking about himself all the time or someone else whose expertise seems to be setting up blogs and mailing lists.

Next, they promise: "The Awakened Millionaire Incubator program is all about transforming your finances and every other area of your life. It's about making you a true... Aakened (sic) Millionaire!"

Well, see here's something. Joe Vitale and Craig Perrine are promising that they're going transform every other area of my life, huh? Now we're talking value! My dog keeps crapping on the carpet. Can you transform that area of my life? Because I'd surely welcome Joe and/or Craig coming to my house and cleaning that shit up every day, and if they want to teach the dog to stop dumping on the carpet, then I think the program is a tremendous value.

But if they're going to tell me to ask Hoshun to stop making the dog shit on the floor, then we have a problem.  I don't think Hoshun is going to clean up dog shit. He's apparently much too smart for that. I don't think Hoshun is going to transform every area of my life. I want Joe and Craig to do that.

Any business school, hell an undergraduate ethics class, would teach that people can't make promises like this without some kind of evidence to back it up. It's unethical at best and downright disgusting. I think it is a rip off.

Oh wait, but Joe's pretend degree is in "the study of the unknown," as he explained on Fox and Friends a few weeks back. I guess he has figured out how to promise unknown wealth to people, too.

The Awakened Millionaire Challenge
So, anyway, here's a challenge. Let's be just like Fireboy and brand it. I'll call it "The Awakened Millionaire Challenge." I want to hear data from someone - anyone - who was at the Awakened Millionaire event that Joe and Craig are selling. I want to know if they were average people who followed Joe and Craig's "simple steps" and are now millionaires simply because of what they learned at the event. I want them to stand up and provide proof that these "proven marketing and promotional techniques that have produced millions of dollars in sales" have actually done so.

That weekend was last year sometime. Well, that's about the same timeframe as what they're selling right  now. So all those people who attended that event got the same kind of treatment, right? Why isn't there one actual testimonial from a person who attended that event last year on their site? I want to know how many awakened millionaires they've created already! Surely at these exorbitant rates, they've got a decent track record, right? They say these methods are PROVEN.

Let's make them stand behind their assertions with some actual data, actual testimonials, and proof that what they say is true.