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.