Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Let them use debt!

Since no one has answered my Awakened Millionaire Challenge, and Joe Vitale and Craig Perrine are silent on the topic of providing details on the effectiveness of their Awakened Millionaire incubation program, I decided to go hunting for writings about the events and program online. Well, I asked my good friend Google to go hunting, and it brought back a little gem.

Here is a blog post from a guy named Suhail from Bahrain who looks like a nice enough guy. There's  not a lot of information about the program, it's results or efficacy, or even what was taught in the post. There does seem to be a lot of talk about how the attendees were wonderful people, though.

It was a fairly uneventful read without much information about what transpired at the event until I got to this part:
The whole group was really interesting. There was one Argentinean/Japanese lady. When I asked her what she did for a living, she told me in her accented English “I’m a cleaner.”
I thought I heard her wrong, “excuse me? What do you do?” I asked. “I’m a cleaner,” she said again. I was impressed! I asked her how she could afford this course, because it was really, (REALLY) pricey.
“A miracle!” she exclaimed! She told me how she managed to spread the cost over several credit cards. She had planned to buy a car but instead spent part of the money to come to the event. I told her I admired what she did. When we spoke some more she told me she wanted to break away from cleaning, and that she had started selling Herbal Life products! Whoa! What a coincidence! Another Herbal Life person!
I bet you can imagine how much I would love to hear from either Suhail or this woman about their experience at Joe Vitale's event. It has been about a year since, and I'd like to know how attending it impacted their lives, if at all.

But that little snippet bothers me. Does it bother you? Or do you feel all tingly and miraculous that someone went into debt to attend a seminar, let alone a Awakened Millionaire event. She planned to buy a car, but instead decided to go spend 3 days with -- as Suhail calls him -- the "guru."

She decided that attending his event was more important than transportation for herself. That going into debt was a "miracle."

Now, I wasn't there. I have no idea if attending this event is worth going into debt. It sure raises a lot of questions, questions I think we all deserve answers to. What was promised in the marketing? Was it anything like the Awakened Millionaire Incubator program web site that promised total body, mind, and spirit transformation? Did those things happen for her? For Suhail?

My greatest fear for her is that she's still cleaning houses and paying off the debt of attending the seminar and she still doesn't have her own transportation. And I wonder if she is being belittled by anyone because she went into debt to attend a $10k seminar and doesn't have anything to show for it. I hope she isn't, but as others have pointed out, this is what happens.

I'd write Suhail but his contact page suggests I fax him. I didn't know we were still faxing things.

So, I twittered that I could think of 100 things people should do before they go into debt to attend a program. A twitter friend suggested that would make a good blog post. Well, I've got deadlines today, so I am not sure I will get to 100, but here's the start.

  • Look for the information in books, preferably at a library
  • Look for the information online
  • Not sure what you're looking for? Ask questions on message boards online.
  • Tell people about your goals. Ask them for their thoughts.
  • Pray and/or meditate for guidance.
  • Follow your intuition and gut feelings. 
  • If it sounds to good to be true, IT PROBABLY IS.

The internet may have created a wild west where people are selling anything and everything including total life transformation. But the internet is more importantly a great place to share ideas, knowledge, encouragement, inspiration, and friendship. Most of the places where you get that are free. There are some places where you can get a shortcut of information for a price. But weigh that price against the possible outcome and information.

My advice? NEVER EVER EVER GO INTO DEBT FOR A SEMINAR. EVER. Never go into debt for a program. Never go into debt unless you have a business plan in place, a team of people who can review your plan, and you have a greater than 50% chance of recouping your investment. But if you're going into debt to hear pearls of wisdom from a "guru," please be aware that part of the reason you think that he's got information that isn't readily available elsewhere is because you believe he's a guru.

Because we weren't given any testimonials, data, or other information about how the participants at last year's event performed after attending, we can only guess.

I hope the woman was able to recoup her investment, pay off the credit card debt, and buy a car with what she learned. If not, Joe Vitale's got some 'splainin' to do.

Maybe he'll do that 'splainin to ABC News from the back of his Rolls Royce during a mastermind? You know, talk about how he's driving around a $400k car and has a collection of cars while people are spreading the cost of his seminar out on multiple credit cards while that person forgoes a car herself.

There's such an interesting balance there, don't you think?

Me, I don't know how he does it.