I’m doing something a little unusual on the blog today, sharing a couple of posts & articles by others which have resonated strongly with me in the last couple of months. The reason for this is to share information which may educate you should you be thinking of signing up for ‘coaching’ with online business or personal coaches. Why? Because it’s an absolute bloody minefield out there, with an increasing number of unscrupulous people getting themselves well trained in hard-to-resist methods to relieve you of your hard earned and hard saved cash. Please note: Don’t give your BBL government loans to online gurus until you’ve read through these article!
I’m not going to go into lengthy personal detail here about the online Accelerator / coaching “Smashing It” I signed up for in July, I’m still working my way through what happened and still more information is emerging since it’s collapse in September. What started off as a really positive, energising and proactive course rapidly became very negative, draining, confusing and a massive lesson for all of us. The collapse and subsequent revelations affected the financial and mental health of everyone involved and it’s been difficult to work out why. Was it just 2020, were we all so very vunerable to being sold beacons of light, business hope and positivity? Was it because we’re so invested in social media and the captivating personalities of the people we follow that when they fall from grace, or reveal the truth of their characters, we’re shaken and shocked? Was it because we were sold a dream and believed we could achieve great personal progression in this dreadful year, but then realised we were actually just there to be rinsed of our cash? Of the over 250 people (all paying £199 each, giving a monthly income of over £50k per month to the course organiser – this is not small change, people) on the 6 months course, some have moved on, some have had full refunds, some are still fighting for refunds, some feel they took positive action so have written off the first 2 months payments (like me). It then transpired that others paid exorbitant amounts for 1-2-1 ‘coaching’ and there’s more on that in the articles below.
It’s easier to trust in online strangers, connections and gurus in a year when we’re so disconnected from those we love and our real life friends. The latter are the people we’d usually turn to for advice and help, but at the moment we’re not even allowed to see them. They’re the ones who care enough about us to tell us when we’re being daft, falling for the wrong bloke, making a potty decision or getting involved in something bonkers. And they ain’t around, so we need to wise up. To wise ourselves up.
Have a read…
The above is a series of two incredibly in depth articles written by Grace Holliday and one podcast which talks about getting financial advice, money manifesting and MLM (multi-level marketing). They go into a lot of depth about Smashing It and I contributed to the second article when the journalist rang me. I thought long and hard before I did that but am happy with the quotes and stand by my words. I’d been so very supportive of the whole thing but came around 180* when my blinkers were lifted by a podcast video of Sarah talking about getting people in for their cash, not being interested in servicing the paying customers and rinsing the whole thing for marketing purposes just to set up more courses. Dire.
The below is a new article I read today. It’s by a Canadian business consultant called Maggie Patterson and gives a perfectly condensed guide to the things to look out for when you’re being online sold to. It directly references The Vow, a HBO docuseries all about NXIVM and the cult leader Keith Raniere, an NLP master who used his command of Neuro Linguistic Programming for financial, personal and sexual gain. People who join cults are often mocked for being weak, but that really isn’t the case and does them a great disservice. There are sometimes periods in our lives when we’re more open to wanted to be part of something bigger than ourselves. Maybe we’re feeling lonely, are away or estranged from family, or just vunerable for whatever reason that might be. Being part of an engaging, fun, positive group can be highly attractive at times like that and that’s fine…. as long as the intentions of said group are honourable.
After the Smashing It debacle and once the WotPod article had come out, we started watching the series. I literally could not believe my eyes and ears at some of the parallels. Now, clearly none of us on Smashing It were skin branded, jeez, but the methodology, use of language, the way the courses were sold, the manipulation techniques – crikey moses, it was all there. NLP is a psychological approach that can be used for good when in the right hands, but when in the wrong ones is used as a very powerful tool to control and manipulate. When I think about what positive potential of Smashing It had, before the greed kicked in, it’s just mind blowing really, and quite sad. It could have been such a fantastic thing to happen and grow amidst the misery of 2020. what utter short sightedness from those who ran it.
Anyway, I hope you learn something from these article and head into any decisions with your eyes wide open and your brain engaged, knowing that not every online coach is what they seem. Due diligence is required, even at a time when we all just want to trust people and make good connections. Especially at a time when we all just want to trust people and make good connections.