Why Life Coaching is a Ponzi Scheme

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It has taken me a good while to write about this because I have felt like a total douche for months now. I think the initial impact has worn off or maybe it is that I finally paid off that embarrassingly large amount of money.

I have a problem…I still haven’t figured out what that problem is, I just do not feel comfortable in what I do. I can’t really put my finger on it. Is it the entitlement that I grew up with?…haha, that was a joke. If you have read any of this blog you would know I grew up pretty poor. I was intelligent, though. I did get a sense of entitlement from school for being advanced. I was one of those special kids who got to leave class on special field trips and do extra work for the sheer fun of it. I literally read the encyclopedia as a child for the fun learning factor it entailed.

Anyway, my problem that I keep running into is, “What am I supposed to be doing in this world?” I could go back to school. I could do many things. Currently I am still painting and sculpting, but those things do not really make “enough” money to help support a family of six.

Amongst all of my pondering about my soul’s purpose in this life, I was hooked and reeled into what I would consider the new pyramid scheme…Life Coaching.

Yes, Life Coaching is a ponzi/pyramid scheme. It is and I admit that I made a mistake and spent an exorbitant amount of money to have someone else tell me what I already knew. I was left with not only still wondering about my life’s path, but now stuck with more bills. I wanted desperately to invest in myself. I wanted the money to be well spent. I want a lot of things out of life, but I can not make this coaching thing into something that it is not. I am not really sure what I was supposed to get out of all of this.

Well, I know I was supposed to have a six figure income by the end of the year…
that is if I wanted to real some other seeking and pondering people into my lair and stick them with the same high priced money making opportunities.

I have a heart and I just couldn’t see myself deliberately taking advantage of someone’s foils. It isn’t in me. This is one of the reason that I stopped selling insurance and got out of sale’s of any sort. One of the reasons I couldn’t use my college degree and go into public relations and marketing. I am not a manipulator, and especially not for greed. How I got reeled into making 6 figures a year still behooves me. Maybe Mercury was in retrograde.

Let’s begin and see if the program I signed up for is in actuality a pyramid scheme:

The federal government wants to warn everyone about pyramid schemes….(ha, that was not a joke. One of the worst pyramid schemes in my opinion is the Federal Reserve Bank. You’d think our government would take their own advice, but I digress)

The following is the Federal Trade Commission’s guidelines to spot a pyramid scheme: (My reflections of my life coaching experience are in green)

1. No demonstrated revenue from retail sales. Ask to see documents, such as financial statements audited by a certified public accountant (CPA), showing that the MLM company generates revenue from selling its products or services to people outside the program.
(There were no products to buy, but her service provided was to figure out what service, services, and/or products that I should provide. She was going to help me get deep inside and figure out what needed changing to make me make money. Her main clientele is mainly other coaches.)

2. Buy-in required. The goal of an MLM program is to sell products. Be careful if you are required to pay a buy-in to participate in the program, even if the buy-in is a nominal one-time or recurring fee (e.g., $10 or $10/month).
(Well, I have to pay my life coach $5700 for an all day exclusive deep intensive where we will find out what my problem is and how do I go about fixing said problem. (once it’s figured out) It is sort of like free-lance psychology with no licenses or government involvement. Sort of cash under the table therapy.) *I have just now re-questioned my whole existence at this little nugget of wisdom that just surfaced. What the hell was I thinking? Oh, I wasn’t thinking. I was being emotional and had no rational thoughts.

3. Complex commission structure. Be concerned unless commissions are based on products or services that you or your recruits sell to people outside the program. If you do not understand how you will be compensated, be cautious.
(I only get payed if I create something of value from within my broken little lost soul that others are willing to pay $2500 or $3000 or whatever figure I want to put on the price tag. This number depends upon just how much money that I want to make. I am thoroughly encouraged to make 6 figures or more by my coach.)

4. Emphasis on recruiting. If a program primarily focuses on recruiting others to join the program for a fee, it is likely a pyramid scheme. Be skeptical if you will receive more compensation for recruiting others than for product sales.
(I learned after my intensive that the majority of my income will need to come from the reoccurring payments from my clientele as a monthly service that I will provide. After I have served them with the initial service I must then get them to sign up for a monthly community. I was of course asked to join her service which would set me back $700 monthly. I declined.)

5. No genuine product or service. MLM programs involve selling a genuine product or service to people who are not in the program. Exercise caution if there is no underlying product or service being sold to others, or if what is being sold is speculative or appears inappropriately priced.
(I was taught throughout my intensive upon how to create my service and coached on what to charge for that service. I was taught to charge $1000 or $1500 more than what I really wanted to make so that I could “offer” an exclusive discount to the would be client. I learned this along with more secrets of closing a sale, which included the phrase, “Will that be Visa or Mastercard.” I am reminded of my marketing courses in college.)

I may have been robbed.

After the high of all the fabulous information I received during my intensive wore off, I was left with a huge credit card bill, a semi-viable “program” to sell along with now wondering if I needed to pursue a graduate degree in family therapy. I do think there are good coaches out there and genuine people helping others, but I think I may have gotten mixed up with the Egyptian variety. Please learn from my mistake and be less emotional and more rational when it comes to choosing mentors.
I did get very creative during this time and revamped my art website, created a newsletter, and began thinking more about marketing. My coach was not thrilled by these extra outlets of energy, but I was loving the thought of creating more art. Creating art isn’t what was brought out in my intensive as a viable money making option, though. I was encouraged to create a day intensive that could use art but needed to have more structure and support for my client.
I did create and put together an awesome way to help others get some creative juices flowing or encourage more creativity in their lives. I have some cool exercises and thought experiments. I even tested stuff out on my husband and children. These are things that I have done to help myself when in a creative jam. Some is information that I have collected from many different sources plus life experience. There are methods that I have used for creating. I have many loads of notebooks filled with creative ideas. My problem I suppose is finding time for the execution of my ideas.
My problem may be narrowing down my passions in life.
I most likely will never sell my “program/intensive” but I may just try and post some of it in these next few days to help and encourage others.
No high price tags here.

Here is another warning for coaches out there, and a better explanation of my conclusions on life coaching.

I may have been robbed.

Why America is Not the Greatest Country in the World

I am on a roll this morning! Maybe it is the weather or maybe I am just tired of all the blaming that goes on around the world these days. I would wager on the latter. Have you ever thought about what would happen if everyone who was an activist just got together all around the world and pooled their money, minds, and together? It seems that all the division that goes around just makes us look like this

A chaotic explosion dissidence.

What the hell are we doing people?

I see a trend when it comes to social media. Post a picture of you standing in front of flowers and you can get more than 50 likes and some comments…Post a picture about changing our perspectives to be more positive on the way we see our fellow humans and get 1 like and no comments or one that looks like this:

meme change

I think I may be hanging out with the wrong people.

Do these people really not care? Are they so stuck in their American-dream life that they can’t see a bigger picture? Maybe I am being too harsh. Maybe they just want to scroll through their feeds like there are watching television and zone out. Maybe they do not want to think about issues that have to do with the future of our country. Maybe they like to be complacent. I really like social media. I love getting to meet people half way around the world who think like me and love the world like me. We all want to be accepted.

Another Google find.

                                                         Yet another Google find.

I really like the above quote, and I hope to read Jobs’ biography, but I sure ain’t in that Apple boat, read more about that here.

Those rich bastard can be quite mean when they think no one is watching…or do they even care at this point? Ain’t got no couth.

I like using ain’t, makes me feel on level with my fellow android users.

Moving On…

Last night I watched the movie Inequality for All.

Here is a screen shot from the movie about where the money from Iphone sales land:

Interesting that only 6% comes back to America. If you read the above linked article about how the majority of Americans pander the Apple life as American. Like I said I’m in the Android boat.

After all that learning about inequality from the movie, I decided at the end to follow through with some action, so I did what the movie prompted and went to their website and I signed their petition.

This morning I find an email in my inbox.

I replied to said email as so: [I replied to their prompts inside their email format. My replies are italicized]

Dear MoveOn member,
>
> Welcome to MoveOn! By taking action with us, you’ve just joined our
> community of more than 8 million activists working for progressive change
> in this country.
>
> Our members form the core of our community and impact everything we do.
> That’s why it’s so important for us to hear from you. Can you take a
> quick
> moment to answer an important question for us?
>
> In your opinion, what is the most pressing issue facing our country
> today?
>
> Rising income inequality

Rising income inequality sucks and I would hope that this changes, but people need to stop taking so little for the value that they create. We need a movement where everyone who thinks they are not making enough actually stop going to work and then see how the large corporations like that. How about people just become entrepreneurs and start their own companies slowly and stop shopping at large corporations. The people still have a say in what happens in the market where they have dollars to spend.
>
> Republican overreach on the federal, state, and local level

We need to get our damn heads out of the clouds when it comes to party speak. We are all fucking Americans! We need every damn person that can rise up against the current political system to rally together against political parties. We need to take money completely out of the equation when it comes to serving one’s country. Who is going to be a senator or congressman when they have to have their own 9-5 and work for free on nights and weekends like our forefather’s did? Those who really give a shit, that’s who.
>
> The destruction of our environment by giant corporations

Not just large corporations…every damn person buying plastic and other oil derived products like it’s no one’s business. Americans consume just like the Chinese and Japanese consume. We are all a part of this equation. Blaming someone else for our own destruction is sadly taking the victim’s easy road out. Americans all around are destroying our environment by not giving a shit about their waste and continuing to follow trends of buy new, buy bigger, and buy more. Large corporations are just making it easier by being an enabler like a crack head’s mom. They are making a shit ton of money as well. That is just a side effect of the Americans continually buying their shit and working for crappy wages.
>
> Endless military engagement abroad

Now this is stupid. I can not believe that in the 21st century with all of our technological advancement that we are still playing boom boom shoot em up games around the world. I feel like it is a Nintendo game being played out. Oh, wait…I can believe we are still playing these games, because most Americans do not do their homework. They spend the majority of their time thinking about themselves and those immediately around them and they still watch major propaganda machines like CNN and FOX News. Those are like infomercials for the military industrial complex. I am reminded of a movie quote, “America, Fuck Yeah.” *just follow the link, you will not be dissappointed
>
> Pervasive and systemic racial inequality

The only pervasive systemic racial inequality that I see is the constant reminding Americans of their past mistakes. Who would continue to hang out with someone who constantly reminded you of all the stupid shitty stuff you did as a teenager? Me personally? Not a damn soul. I hang with those who remind me of my ability to change and effect positive change in others. I also do not hold grudges and I do not teach my children to point out and hold against others the negative aspects they might see. I could go on about this since I grew up and live in the Metro Memphis area where my white children are the minority, but I will hold back. Like I said continually beating this subject is not going to change anything. We need to change our perspectives.
>
> Something else not listed above

White hatred. Yep, I said that. I did not choose to be born white. I did not choose to grow up poor either. I am white and we were on food stamps when I was a kid. I have had to apply for food stamps when my husband was working as a manager for an OReilly’s store and working 60-80 hours a week. I have so many health problems from being malnourished as a child and only having fluoridated water to drink. I was a first generation college student thanks only to becoming a teen mother and qualifying for Pell Grants. My parent’s divorced when I was 10. My father is an alcoholic and my mother has her own issues. I have worked my ever loving ass off and continue to do so. I have watched so many others around me, such as my Mexican and Black neighbors do the same as well. We are all in the same boat. If there is one thing that irks me more is someone thinking I am privileged because of the genes that I was born with. *remember, I’m in that ghetto android family
>
> Thank you for taking a moment to let us know what you think, and thank
> you
> for becoming a MoveOn member. We look forward to working with you over
> the
> coming months!
>
> Thanks for all you do.
>
> –Anna, Corinne, Stephen, Brian, and the rest of the team
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I thought I would share that with you guys.  Off the soapbox now.

I will continue, though, to try and make my changes to the world and never back down. I want to leave this planet knowing that I tried my best to create great positive change in this world. I want to leave knowing that I was not complacent and I continued to strive to be the best human that I could possibly be.

I leave you with this gem of a video. Too bad this was fiction and not an actual politician.

Of course Forbes tried to argue with an appeal to emotion with this article, but they have to be biased toward big money…that is what they represent.

Deep Thoughts Are Always Coming…What Do I Do With Them

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I grabbed one of my many notebooks the other day as I prepared to go to a meeting about a mural project.  I recently pulled many of my art boxes out in preparation of an upcoming festival (my art business is currently composed of large plastic tubs while we try to convince someone they want to buy our home). So, the notebook I grabbed was one I haven’t looked through in awhile. I enjoy going back and reading my thoughts. There is an enumerable amount of notebooks filled with many musings.  I have told my husband that if I die before him, he must try to put my thoughts together somehow, but after my findings the other day, I may just begin sharing all that I find. Here is my little gem from the other day. You are going to have to let go Be yourself Open up Grab your muse Let it light your path And bring you into its grasp Get on a wild tangent Get past the smoke and mirrors Let the lies drop by your side Get off and leave the train There is no reason to hide Traces left behind…blown away Halt the sway Lifting, I think about the things you’ve said I think about the things you did You did help to bring about a greatness I can’t live without You are a living sentiment You brought from me my commitment I hated to say goodbye, but it was time to move in another direction A greatness with one day surface from a seed that was placed You will one day appreciate love of life and experience My greatness one should not underestimate I miss your face and sometimes Contemplate…

Mystery Build Project 2014…Build a Dream

My Dream

My Dream

I am an artist down to the deepest depths of my soul.  I love to create.  So, this made me very excited when I ran across an artist competition like no other.

http://www.mysterybuild.com

Most art competitions are all the same.  You pay an entry fee and you send a picture of your painting.  Then you wait for the judges to say who wins.

Not MysteryBuild.  You pay your entry fee, then you receive a box in the mail that no one else knows what is inside, unless they too have paid the entry fee into the contest.  Then one must only use the contents of said box and create a project according to the theme of the contest.

This kind of contest is the type that I loathed for as a child.  I love this stuff.  I spent so much time, in between pregnancy, raising 3 children, having a baby, and nursing a newborn infant to get this thing ready by the deadline.   Sometimes I worked while nursing.

Sometimes there just isn't enough hours in the day.

There just are not enough hours in the day.

I used the available materials to build for the contest my actual dream backyard.  I have been working on this since we moved into our house 4 years ago.  Not the Mysterybuild project, but converting the backyard into an artist’s dream yard.

It has come a long way.

January 2012

January 2012

June 2012

June 2012

May 2013

May 2013

May 2013

May 2013

August 2014

August 2014

August 2014

August 2014

My husband has been kind, and just lets me be when it comes to the backyard. (especially since I have left his bike jumps alone) Though the neighbor did say the jumps look like we buried someone in the backyard.  No cops have been called upon as of yet.

But, once I finished building this project of my dream, he can now see what my ranting over “my Giverny” has been all about.  I think he understands now.

It is quite difficult to visualize the dreams of someone else.

Hunter S. Thompson...it is dream after all.

Hunter S. Thompson in my hammock…it is dream after all.

Side entrance into rose garden

Side entrance into the rose garden

A sense of scale.  I built everything on a !/4 inch architectural scale.

A sense of scale. I built everything on a !/4 inch architectural scale.

I am hoping to win this competition, which will give me major funds toward my dream backyard.  That will be an awesome day.

Voting on the People’s Choice Award begins today, and voting is incredibly easy; no signing up nonsense, just click and you’re finished.

If you would so kindly follow the link http://www.mysterybuild.com and vote for my project I would be much appreciative.  My project is Miller’s Place #277.  I found it on about page 9 or so.

The Miller’s Place comes from a huge iron sign that my grandfather made for the entrance to his property.  My grandfather has since past, and his land was sold by his widow (his 2nd wife).  This property was land that had been in the Miller family since the Revolutionary War land bounties in the late 1700’s.  Sadly, I nor any of my siblings will be able to inherit such property, but I will give a proper place for the sign somewhere in my backyard.

My grandfather's sign

My grandfather’s sign

http://mysterybuild.com/art-project-2014/page:9/Millers-Place#f6DRbbiylqKixiIE.01

Don’t Listen to the Man Driving the Black Sedan


Sometimes I think my brain gets fatigued and I end up getting influenced by the corporate new world order. Influenced to live a way of life in which I’m told to leave my children under the care of someone else while I venture out to make large sums of money for someone else…and maybe a little for me.

I ended up getting whisked away with the dreams of cruising the Mediterranean and seeing the sites. This of course happened while I sat across from a bald guy in a closet office on the third floor of an office building. He had contacted me about an offer that could make me a very rich woman…not to mention all the other perks.
I just had to learn the ropes, so I buckled down and in a week I was licensed to sell *drum roll please* insurance.

Really?

Why did I do that?

I let money completely blind me for about 3 weeks and then after days of cold calling random people for 8 hours a day the artist inside of me began to scream!

I got sick. I’m not sure if it was all the calling or trying to learn all the ways to psychologically screw with people’s minds to make them buy insurance. It may have been both. I stopped the whole public relations and advertising bit for the very same reason.

How do people live everyday knowing they are manipulating others to make a few more dollars?
The last time that I tried to take on a job other than art, I got very sick. I’m reminded now of inflamed carotid arteries.

I think I may need some Jungian analysis or I may just be on to something.

I do know that I got the message this time around. I am not a person who sells their integrity for a paycheck.

I have now begun to put as much effort into my art business as I did into becoming an insurance salesman and things are actually looking up. I only needed to be despised by people to understand that I wasn’t giving myself enough credit when it came to my talents as an artist.

I will be launching an actual website soon. I allowed the professionals be professionals and took some great advice from so many who continued to encourage me to follow my heart and I am thankful for that.

I will leave you with some creations.

A lovely tribute piece created for a dojo.

A lovely tribute piece created for a dojo.

Spy theme

Spy theme

Acrylic on a reclaimed cupboard door.

Acrylic on a reclaimed cupboard door.

Beautiful Pet Portrait

Beautiful Pet Portrait

Piece for a Vegan restaurant in Memphis, TN made on reclaimed antique desktop.

Piece for a Vegan restaurant in Memphis, TN made on reclaimed antique desktop.

Third Decade Starting Out with a Bang

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As you may know by now, I do not take this blog very seriously.  This is one of those places that I believe to be safe ground for some of my inner musings or things that I chose to reflect upon more deeply, and that I hope will be taken in by someone who might possibly appreciate them, yet I don’t take it seriously.  Why not?  It’s not that my family doesn’t appreciate my thoughts. I do think I might wear them out sometimes with information…cause damn do I like to ponder, always have , and probably won’t ever stop, but why would I not want to regularly share these things with others when that is the desire that I have. 

Come to think of it…I do not believe that I took a diary very seriously, either.  I wasn’t ever the girl who wrote down all of her dreams to one day see them realized.  Actually, I never really held any dreams of my future.  My mother was always very cynical and I think a bit rubbed off.  Okay not a bit, more like a lot. 

I do have one journal that I have had for many years.  It contains very angry rants.  A lot of them that I have went back through and read were rather frightful and depressing so I ripped them out and threw them away, but over the last 10 years the book is still only about half full. 

I do however have more than 10 spiral notebooks and notepads and loose leaf paper by the reams filled with so many musings that I keep telling myself will eventually come to a culmination of sorts.  I have drawings pads with ideas and thoughts of different paintings that I want to believe will grant me access to the realm of the famous.  Not Hollywood famous, but legendary prominence like Monet, Dostoevsky, and Thoreau.  Renowned for works that stand the test of time, works that go deeply within the human condition; works that condense and pass on the lessons learned from experience.   

Is that too much to ask for?  Am I crazy to want this?  Can I not be humble having this wish?

It is if, though, that I am not willing to go through with my desires until the end…

While I was yet again procrastinating on writing my novel last night, I was reading the success stories of other writers which was making me feel as though I will never amount to anything.  I began to feel as though I don’t have anything to truly contribute.  Then, I believe I came across what amounts to an epiphany (thank you dreamland):

                         I procrastinate because I am afraid of failure.

Yeah, pretty simple right?  This apparently is something that I have been denying for a very long time.    

I procrastinate a lot, and always tell myself that I will get these finished, and I tell others I will get these finished, then I give myself excuses like “You have three kids and a dirty house…do those paintings later.”  “You need to make some more money to help pay the bills that blog post can wait another day.”  I then contemplate finishing my Masters believing that will give me the confidence I need to achieve something great.

I’m a very productive procrastinator; the production just has nothing to do with my true inner desires. 

I don’t stand up to my critic who is afraid of being shot down.  My critic is scared.  It is scared to look out of the window to see the beauty of the world because something bad might happen.  It is scared to take just one more step toward the edge to see the beautiful waterfall, because what if it isn’t so great and you fall.  If it just acts as though it doesn’t care too much about the venture, then it won’t hurt so badly when it never properly comes to fruition. 

I have to start standing up to my critic and just do ‘it’ for myself; fail or not.  So what, if I fail the first time?  I can try something different.  Many of these blogs posts are me telling my critic to “Fuck off!” 

I am getting stronger. 

Now, I just need one more cup of coffee and to vacuum this room.