Patti recently at a “branding seminar.” Do I appear to be GRIMACING?????
Motivation Moment Momma
I love to learn and feel that we can always pick up new ideas and skills, and build upon those we already have. Being a former Toastmaster, I love hearing a good speaker, and watching a powerful presenter on state. That being said, I have attended various “motivational” type of seminars for years. I’ve been to many of them— the “Success Seminars” that used to come around yearly In our area, Tony Robbins and many others.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that when you get an invitation to a “free” all day seminar, you are going to be upsold. I get that. I’ve bought various training CD’s over the years, and have worked with Real Estate coaches through the Tom Ferry company. I know that people putting on seminars are there to make money.
However, an experience that I recently had with one of these “gurus” left me a bit unsettled. No, I’m lying when I say that. It left me irritated, angry and outraged, if the truth be told. Recently, I received an invitation to a one day “branding” seminar in San Diego. On the advertisement for the day you see a number of celebrity’s faces, making you think that they will be a part of the event. Instead, when I arrived at the said address, it turned out to be a small Marriott hotel in Mission Valley, and the meeting was being held in a small ballroom.
The woman who greeted participants upon arrival wasn’t the most cheerful or friendly person I’ve ever met, but by the end of the day I understood why that might well be. They advertise that registration started at 8, the event at 9. Not knowing what morning traffic might be like, I always like to leave a bit of extra time. I got there about 8:20, and was tersely informed that the doors would open at 8:50. That was interesting, because the lobby had about 4 chairs, all occupied. There is nothing better than standing around in your heels for 30 minutes. I found it interesting that you not only had to show your ticket for this small event, but had to prove it was you with a state issued ID. Did they think that ticket scalpers were copying and selling tickets to this FREE event in some seedy back alleys of San Diego? It was seriously an unneeded step to the “checking in” process. She was sitting there with her laptop, after all, and this wasn’t a 20,000 person amphitheater..
The meeting room was set up for about 80-100 people, not a surging mass of humanity, by any means. The morning was started out by two different speakers. One of them was far more polished than the other, but they both gave some interesting information. Then, speaker number 2, a man named Reggie got us prepared for his “boss”- a person I will call “The Wolf.” You may ask why I would refer to him as “The Wolf” rather than his real name? I have been told by people I know in the industry that if you refer to this clown by name, he will, in no short term have his lawyers all over you like flies on shit. So, I won’t be referring to this guy by name, but his name is actually an animal VERY close to a wolf…..
I had no idea that “The Wolf” was the man behind the event when I signed up, but I’ll be honest….. I didn’t have any idea who he was anyway.
“The Wolf” is about 36 years old, and took command of the small group of people. He began to share about his big event that he puts on, which is going to be in Anaheim Nov 20-24th. Initially I was interested. He told how he works with a number of celebrities and has them talk at the event. Rudy Giuliani, Silvester Stallone, Arnold Swarzenager………. On and on went the list went. “The Wolf” told us about his event, how he got where he was, etc. He even admitted that he pays the celebrities a HUGE amount of money to be there, so that he is a success “by association”... a step he teaches at the one day seminar.
I was still neutral about him by the time we broke for lunch. I thought he was arrogant, but probably had some valuable information I could learn from. I admit, I purchased his $250 program where you could listen to all of his training programs. Again, I believe we all can learn and improve.
One part of the morning that I wasn’t uber impressed with was how he talked about the fact that Southern California just didn’t bring out the number of people it should for his type of training. Especially San Diego. He went on and on about how people come to his big event from 80 plus countries, but people from our area don’t show up. Sorry buddy, this isn’t my fault. Quit complaining to us about it!
The Bully in the Room
Soon after lunch, “The Wolf” asked us who owned their own businesses, and might like to come up in front of the room. Many in the room raised their hands, and he called 4 of us up. He put 2 on each side of the room, a male and a female. He started on the other side of the room, looked at the young man over there and said something about how he can read people and their body language, and this was the man in a nutshell….. things like scattered, not enough focus, no systems, no help…. Blah, blah. Things that probably cover about 90% of entrepreneurs- especially in the age of those under 40. He then asked the young man what he did for business, and I was a little shocked when his “coaching” immediately seemed like he was demeaning and putting him down. There was nothing in his manner that was kind, helpful or positive.
Then he spoke to the first woman. He threw out a number of her “character traits”- many of them the same as the young man, but also added, “Your hair hurts you, but no one will tell you.” She had a hairstyle with some braids and mahogany color at the front. Then he asked what she did, and she told him. She mentioned what he had to say about her hair, and said, “I just went through breast cancer and…..” But before she could even finish her sentence he interrupted with “That is just another excuse. I don’t want to hear your excuses and how you are a victim. I have had many clients with stage 4 cancer and they just keep quiet about it. No one likes a crybaby.” I was appalled and shocked that anyone would be so insensitive or rude.\
Agree……… Or Forever Hold Your Peace……
When anyone from the audience had anything positive to say about someone in the front, he turned to them and lambasted them. “You are enabling her to have an excuse.” “I don’t care if you like her hair.” “You are as bad as her.” Blah, blah. Soon, people knew they were going to be singled out, and few were willing to speak up, unless they were showing agreement with him.
Then he got to the young man next to me. He and I had exchanged names. His name was Ryan. “The Wolf” was absolutely brutal to him. Ryan said he coached people on how to sell over the phone. When he said the list of character traits he felt that Ryan couldn’t sell at all. He called him a fraud. He had a word that he used frequently, calling Ryan a “fugazi.” This is “The Wolf’s” word for being a fraud, or an imposter. (I have no idea how this is spelled, or if the word actually exists, so I’m spelling it like the theater in San Francisco.)
Then he came to me, told me my list of traits and asked what I thought. Again, many were what can be said about many entrepreneurs— scattered, doing too much, no focus, etc. But one thing he said didn’t ring true at all, and I told him. He said that I struggled financially. I said that he may be correct on some things, but not the financial part. I told him “I’m not a multimillionaire like you are (because that is his claim), but I live a very comfortable life. He then asked what I did. I told him I’ve been in Real Estate for years, but I’m moving out of it to pursue some other interests I love. He asked what I made in real estate, and I responded that I have earned 6 figures for many years. “What do you mean by that? Like what? How much?”
To begin with, I think that’s totally inappropriate to put me in that position in front of an audience of people. It’s not their business. I responded that my income had been about 125k-175K most years. He asked what I am doing now, and I said Comedy. Although I am doing a number of other things, I figured that was the simplest thing to say at the time. He then turns to the audience and says, “Does anyone believe this woman? Does anything she is saying ring true? Why would she walk away from real estate if she was making that kind of money to go to Comedy, which doesn’t pay anything? She is a lyer.” On and on he went berating me, and calling me names, just as he’d done with Ryan. I was so rattled up front by the time I sat down that I could hardly put together a normal sentence, I have to be honest. I must have looked like a complete fool! (If you know me, you know I don’t rattle easily!)
I’m sorry, but this is not coaching. This is bullying, straight out. Coaching helps people, it doesn’t try to destroy them. We sat down, and then he still went on about us. He asked people in the audience to tell him why they think I am “not truthful.” One woman stated that it was because I referred to him as “honey” when I was up there. Believe me, me calling him honey was FAR better than what I would have loved to call him at that point.
He then went on, referring to all of us who had been up there in derogatory ways.
“Crowd Think”….In Action is FRIGHTENING!
Then it got even more interesting. He asked the audience who liked him BETTER now that they had seen him in action, some raided their hands. He asked it again, because he obviously didn’t get quite the positive response he wanted, then as he looked around more raised their hands. He asked how many still felt the same as before, and a few did. Then he asked who liked him less. I was the only one to raise my hand. He acted stunned that I would have had the nerve to raise my hand, and asked me why I felt that way. I told him I thought he was a total dick the way he spoke to, and about people. I may also have said that if I was his mother I’d be ashamed of him! Of course that was turned around to me being “an angry woman.”
What was amazing about the number of people who raised their hands to each question was that it seemed to really be an example of “group think”. For the first time in my life I understood how it could come to be that people like Hitler get others to follow a jaded way of thinking. People don’t want to stand out, they don’t want to be singled out. They want to go along with protocol. They hope to “fit in” and be accepted. It was really frightening. I immediately knew in my heart-of-hearts that all of these people could not POSSIBLY think that what he did, what he said and his treatment of us up front was A-OK!
The way he treated others was by no means OK…….
After his demonstration up front, had his woman assistant pass out some papers, face down, which were to try and sell us his coaching package. It was evident when we “were allowed” to look at the paper, that the printer was obviously running out of toner when they had been copied. When he saw it, he went ballistic on his staff member. I was appalled that he would call her out and say the things he said in front of a room of people. That’s when I understood why she was so stressed out in the morning when we were doing check in. I can only IMAGINE what this nut job must be like to work for. A leader doesn’t rip apart an employee in front of a group of people. He sits you down, face to face afterwards and discusses how to do it better the next time around.
Then it was time for a break so they could “interview” those who were willing to spend the big bucks for coaching (so they could determine if they were worthy of being coached by “The Wolf”) At the break, Ryan walked by and said he was leaving, we’d be in touch.
When we came back from the break and “The Wolf” saw that Ryan had left he began to call him names again, once again making big use of the word “fugazi.” He then proceeded to tell the audience that he KNEW Ryan wouldn’t be back. He kept bringing him up throughout the afternoon, putting him down the whole time. He then went on to say that Ryan would probably post something negative about him on Social media, but if he did, “The Wolf” would turn his lawyers on him and get whatever little money the guy had. SERIOUSLY? If someone makes a bad comment about you, and what a complete douchbag you are, you are going to have your lawyers handle it? That just shows that this guy has some serious issues.
Julia Roberts…. He’s Not Your Friend!
He showed a number of pictures and videos of him with various celebrities. I was surprised when he showed a photo of him with Julia Roberts. She is wearing glasses in the picture, and looks like a “regular person” rather than the glamorous woman we are used to seeing in the movies. Next to the picture he showed an ad she’s in for Lancome, and in a condescending tone said something to the effect that she should use those cosmetics all the time, so she didn’t look like she did in the picture with him. He went on to say how awful she had looked “in real life.” What a jerk!
Like Ryan, I had been tempted to leave at the break too, but didn’t for two reasons. I didn’t want to give someone like him the satisfaction that he had “won” or “broke me.” I also knew his personality enough to know that he would talk crap about me to make himself feel better. And, by now, I wanted to see just how big of a jerk this guy was, and how the audience would respond to him the rest of the afternoon.
Narcissistic Disorder Poster Boy
“The Wolf” spent a good part of the day telling and showing us with pictures, just how very, very wealthy and successful he is. He also made a big deal about telling us how much he gives to charity, and showed us pictures with orphans, etc.
If you aren’t familiar with Narcissistic Disorder, “The Wolf” could be their new poster boy! He is as charismatic as they come, but his true colors bleed through quickly, and brilliantly.
His “coaching” is interesting. We were OH SO LUCKY to begin with, because his claim was that he wasn’t due to be there that day. He only came at the last minute because one of his trainers couldn’t make it, and he’s a guy who “does the right thing.” Sure, I believed him. I believed him just like I believe the tooth fairy will show up in the bedrooms of every child who loses a tooth today. Right after telling us how he filled in at the last minute in San Diego, he was mentioning how VERY busy his schedule is, and popped up a list of his many events coming up over the next few months. Weird that San Diego was listed on that list, for September 15th, when he wasn’t scheduled to be there.
Late afternoon, another one of his staff members (I think his name was Myron) was doing a segment, giving us “30 Ways to Succeed” or something similar. one of the steps said something like “Be like The Wolf.” As he started to explain what was meant by that, “The Wolf” butted in and told him he didn’t know what he was doing, that’s not what was meant by that, then proceeded to publicly humiliate him in front of the audience. He asked if he’d “listened to the tapes.” And he said no. “Why not?” Myron replied that he’d requested the tape, but had never gotten it. “How many times did you ask for it?” Myron said five times. “From who? I highly doubt that. And why didn’t you ask me? I’m right here. Well, on our ride up to Orange County we’ll have 90 minutes in the car, and believe me, we will be discussing this the WHOLE way.” This wasn’t the end of it. Oh no. “The Wolf” brought it up a few more times, letting Myron know he was in big trouble.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? You could see his staff member clenching his jaw and red faced with embarrassment. WHO CLAIMS TO BE A SUCCESS, A MENTOR, A COACH and treats people like this? And how do people think it’s OK for him to get away with it?
We were pretty darned lucky though, because we were getting “the best deal” he has EVER given on his coaching programs! Geez, it pays to be in the right place at the right time! If you are wondering, we could get $100,000. Worth of coaching for only $4997 (if you didn’t finance it. If financed it comes up to $5997, and— wait for this $7 MILLION worth of coaching for only $19,997! Such a steal! And what do you get for that? For the “big bucks” he puts you up on stage at his big event, (but shhhhhhhh……. Don’t tell anyone if you’ve never spoken before, because the millionaires in his audience don’t want to know that he’s put an inexperienced person up there for them to listen to!) After that, you will then be recruited to speak around the world! WHAM! It’s just that easy-peasy!
In the time after the afternoon break, it was brought up a NUMBER OF TIMES, by “The Wolf” and by his other trainers that we should take the training, no matter how little money we had. That should come first above everything…..
After the event, a few interesting things happened. About 10 people from the audience came up and told me that they were impressed with how I handled myself up front, with him being such a (bully, jerk, a—hole…). I thought it was interesting that they would seek me out, yet none had had the nerve to raise their hand to say they didn’t like him (back to the crowd-think mentality I mentioned earlier)
Why Work for a Bully?
I went up to Myron and asked him how in the world he could work for someone who publicly humiliated him, Myron’s response was “He is making me into a better person.” OK Myron. Line up in the corner with the women who take the blame for their husband beating them. You’ve got a lot in common buddy. Someone asked Myron for his card when I was standing there, and he responded that he isn’t important enough to have a card! YIKES, grow a pair Myron, or that beautiful wife you kept mentioning might just find herself a man.
Last, and this one was just plain weird……. A lady I hadn’t even noticed all day walked up to me and said, “I wonder if you can help me.” I asked how, and she said, “Can you help me by paying for me to take “The Wolf’s” training? You know, the last one he talked about.” WTF?????? This woman must have thought I was REALLY some sort of special stupid! She was asking me to pay $20,000 for this guy’s coaching!
“The Wolf’s” big event, should you be compelled to take it, is up in Anaheim the third week of November, with a “bonus day” should the other 5 days not be enough for you. Make sure not to buy any holiday gifts this year, so you can keep those bank accounts full to take the “big coaching” package. Due to all of the millionaires “The Wolf” is expecting in this crowd, I’ll bet you’ll have to be springing for the whole 100 G’s on the package when you are up there.
Check out this link for an interesting article someone sent me about someone similar to the person this article is about! Sometimes, a scammer is just a scammer!
BTW- I just got back from an AMAZING 3 day event put on by Brendon Burchard, and the experience couldn’t have been any further from this one! Every one of his speakers were positive, caring, had integrity and were heart centered! If you are going to go to a seminar to improve your business, go to one of Brendon’s! Don’t give The Wolf your money!