Archives October 2010

Are Beating Up Bullies Ethical?

Coming from a Middle Eastern heritage and growing up in Regional Victoria – I was picked on a lot for my race.  There was even a point where I was getting into a fight every week – I won more than I lost – but all I have today is “Boxers Nose” to show for it.

I remember one strange experience, where I just started at this high school – the “School Bully” decided to pay me a visit and prove himself in front of a cheering crowd of people saying “Get the Iranian Kid!!”

Anyway, I took 2 hits to the head and really didn’t want to fight at all.  I eventually realized that I had no choice (and also had a Blue Belt in Karate) and jabbed him in the nose.  It was very strange, blood everywhere and he went down and begged for mercy.  Then the crowd cheering went very quiet and the bullies gang all dispersed.

It was the biggest anti-climax of my life, a big honest thrill – but I was expecting the combat to last at least a few rounds!

Now moving onto the workplace, I have found this strange parallel.  Whenever I have stood up to workplace bullies (or people just unfairly pushing me around if “Bully” is a too stronger term) I have many of them to get really angry and say something they regret or some to even break down crying and go on sick leave.  Some have even “Dobbed” on me, only for us to go head to head in front of the HR Manager to either watch them get overtly aggressive or even use the “Water Works” as a means of making out “The Bad Guy I Am”.

In simple terms, like my school yard experience – I have found Bullies are often very good attackers, but very weak defenders.  You stand up to them and they may blow up, but then they usually back off – or even suck up to you!  The words “Bullies” and “Integrity” don’t belong in the same sentence!

This really fried my brain in that, I always though “Good Attacker, Good Defender”.  Wrong! I have found that generally the people who attack the most are generally the weakest and even at times, I have had the pleasure of watching these people leave the company or incur the wrath of a well trained HR Manager.

One of my big mistakes though has always been standing up to these people too late! Instead of “Nipping it in the bud” – I would always take late action when I am tired and sick of them. So my advice to you? If you are being “Bullied” or perhaps a softer word “Pushed Around Excessively” – my suggestion is to really think about why you are letting people do that. My fault has always been “Others are better than me, therefore I have to take it”.  When I got out of that thinking, it made “Bully Beating” easy and even fun at times! But be careful though! The solution for hate is certainly not more hate!

So if it’s your co-worker, boss, staff member, partner, family member or whoever – my suggestion is to stand your ground. No one respects a wimp and “Doormats” are only used for people to wipe their feet on, no? * Thank you to “Greencolander” from Flickr for the great image.

We Hate Our Top Performing Employees

In my years of Corporate Experience, I can summarize many of my co-workers and bosses into 2 Main Categories:

– Team Players – They take responsibility for their own decisions, support you and believe in you. They share responsibility for your wins and for your losses.

– “I” Players – They will selectively take responsibility and support you at certain times of their choosing. They take responsibility for your wins and blame you for your losses.

During one role, I had a fantastic boss who was a real team player.  They were sharp, objective, fair and very firm.  It was challenging working for them, but a good positive experience that really gave me some great skills.

Then, there was a boss that was the direct opposite, emotional, blaming, accusing and went from one extreme to the other:

– They go through phases of ignoring you completely.

– Then when things go bad, they micromanage you like hell – and because they don’t know what you do exactly or how the business works (because they ignored you previously) they just can’t get their act together and can often make the problems often worse.

In one company, I was hired with a very specific purpose.  I had to go into a company with an objective to turn around the business.  Very kindly (even in the job interview) my future Boss made it clear to me that some individuals were “Hostile” and that I have to be thick skinned to get some Leopards to change their spots.

After 6-12 months when I had a good track record, some wins and more credibility my Manager was fantastic in the respect of acknowledging that and increasing my relative Responsibility and Decision Making Authority.

Some managers were copping a lot of flak for their areas non-performing and my manager was really holding them accountable. When they saw my status go up in the organization, some really turned nasty on me!

This is the bit that fried my brain, I was doing an excellent job, getting clear revenue growth, good feedback from customers – but no matter what I achieved some of my peers just wouldn’t work with me? My Manager was frustrated as well, and kindly explained to me that the company had been like it for years – and that some fresh blood was great.

After I left this role, it took me many years to really understand what actually happened.  I was being friendly, professional, courteous – and yet in this company I was the subject of ridicule, contempt and even some clear bullying.

Then it finally occurred to me and I saw this happen to other co-workers in other environments.  If you have the wrong mix on your management team or even just a few members with an “Empire Building” mentality you can be in a lot of trouble.  That is, in it’s most basic form you can get these type of workers:

– Business Builders – Individuals focused on results, team work and improving commercial performance.

– Empire Builders – Individuals focused on their own gains, ensuring the team works in their favour and ensuring others “Stay out of their turf”.

This company’s management had several “Empire Builders” on the team.  Well, if one of your peers is an “Empire Builder”, what do you think happens when you get some wins (and even worse greater recognition by your Manager?):

– They get insecure.
– They panic.
– They get worried.
– As they can’t win through “Honest Results” they use any dirty tactic to get even and get on top of the pack again.

And this is what happened to me.  It was very tough and being a young man – this experience honestly did upset me.  After a few years though it started to make sense.

It’s amazing what some people will do when they feel threatened, in that “Ethics” can often take a back seat to “Survival” (or at least “Survival” of a fragile ego).

This experience really taught me how change (be it positive or negative) can bring out the best and worst in people.

All I can say is be thick-skinned and don’t let those bastards pull you down!! 🙂

“If you ask for more money, it will be offensive”

“If you ask for more money, it will be offensive” were key words uttered to myself and my co-workers in one company I once worked for.  On the surface it may sound a bit odd, but there was some very reasonable context for it.

The company I was working for really enjoyed dominance in it’s marketplace for several decades but like many other companies – if they don’t readily change and keep up they can see their market position (combined with costs rising) dwindle till it’s unprofitable (or at least not meeting their targets).

As with this employer, it really didn’t move with the times – and unfortunately a lot of “Catching Up” had to be done with a fairly viscous restructure combined with extensive retrenchments and “Squeezing Out” of unwanted individuals.

During this time, the phrase above “If you ask for more money, it will be offensive” was banded to us by senior management.  This was imposed on “Everyone” with 2 year wage freeze.  They made it clear that “It would apply to everyone with NO EXCEPTIONS”.

As the company was in a bit of trouble (which was obvious), although it does leave a bitter taste in ones mouth – I am a commercial man and could accept what happened.  In fact, I am all for wage freezes when companies are in trouble (i.e. it’s better to earn less and keep everyone in a job).

About a 1 year later (with my pay really starting to lag behind industry average especially compared to some of my peers) I overhead chatter and found out that some people in the company were actually getting pay rises.  One was a friend of mine, that actually went to resign – the company offered them an extra $10K and they chose to stay.

Wow did I see red! I confronted Management immediately and was very upset at the deception and they didn’t deny it – but they could work out who told me.  That person that told me was completely berated!   I then went and asked an explanation as to “Well, I am earning my targets – I do 60 – 70 hours per week – why can’t I get some?” and was given the answer of “We can’t do that in your case and if you tell anyone, we will take action against you”.

This was a very unethical move – they all openly lied to us and when the truth of their deception bubbles to the surface they then bullied & threatened me back into line.

I actually didn’t have to tell anyone anyway, as people started figuring it out and it became common knowledge fairly quickly.

On a funny ironic note, I got a far better job and when I went to resign they tried to “Talk me out of it” and my manager at the time threw cold water over the opportunity (which was great I may add) that I was moving too.

This was a tough lesson and certainly taught me about being naive! I believe in hard work and putting in your personal best – but always keep an eye out and ensure your employer is doing the right thing by you! 🙂

I have found in my experience some companies are great and really value their staff, but unfortunately you get some companies or individuals that see employees as they would a piece of machinery (and would easily discard you as one would throw out a broken Kettle).

* Thanks to Jason Scragz from Flickr for the great picture of the Gun & Money.

You Will Get Promoted After You Resign

When I started out in my career, I really worked Night & Day to build as much early “Credibility & Experience” for myself as possible.  This job was fantastic and I couldn’t really ask for a better start (as I was very lucky to go straight from University to such a job with a good Multi-National Company).

My career with the employer was going quite well at the start -but then it hit a very obvious wall all of a sudden.  The company hit some hard times with September ’11 and Head Office overseas was in a bit of hot water.  As a result, wages were frozen, the once limitless advancements were off the table and lots of people were getting retrenched.

After a few more years, I worked really hard and achieved my KPI’s and targets.  But still there was nowhere to move.  People in other divisions were getting great opportunities, but as stated to me “Because I was good at what I did, they couldn’t replace me”.  Strangely enough, I was only 23 – 24 years old and already hit a glass ceiling.  It was a very frustrating time for me personally as my peers in other divisions were on better pay and moving forward (where I would even work more hours than them and get far less).

Then, I had a great break and got accepted for a Marketing Manager role interstate.   Once reinvigorated, I offered my resignation with a smile and was all ready to take the next step.

Then, after moving interstate for the job (about 1-2 months later), I got a call from the employer offering me a Promotion! I was actually quite offended in the respect that after all I have been though and after finally moving on – they then come back to me wanting to talk business.  I gave them the chance, they kept overlooking me but for whatever reason they only seemed to take me seriously once I left and had a “Better Job”.

It’s like the better job gave me the credibility for them to “Value Me More”.  As you can appreciate, I certainly didn’t go back!

Isn’t that funny how humans think sometimes and how people within companies can operate.  They offer people more money when they resign? When you look them in the eye, smile and hand over the resignation letter (that you have been writing in your mind for 6+ months) they then treat you like a person and start valuing you?

It’s a pity they just didn’t take me seriously before hand! (Save us both lots of work and disappointment).  My key lesson here is appreciate things before you lose them!

Nothing like closing the gate after the horse has bolted huh? 🙂

* Thank you to Daniel Johnson from Flickr for the horse image used.

The Evil Driving Instructor Trying To Kill Me

When I was 17 (about to turn 18) I was in the process of what many young boys were doing at the time – Learning how to drive. I was out in Regional Victoria at this time and my choices of driving instructors was fairly limited. So from the 2 – 3 options, I chose one that seemed to be fairly reputable.

She was quite a largish lady, with a mole on her chin (with hairs coming out of it) and when I first spoke to her regarding pricing and such – she was actually quite nice and pleasant. But when I started driving with her, she became the Dragon Lady! I was a young guy, who was really was struggling in learning how to drive (especially a manual).  This lady really helped me understand the expression of “They have driven me to drink!”

She would non-stop do everything an instructor probably shouldn’t:

– Yelled at me consistently.

– Accused me of not listening.

– Said I will “Never Get it” in time for the exam.

– Put me down generally.

– Even slap my leg when I made a mistake. Yes you heard me!

The thing was, that I was really trying my best – and all I got out of her was a kick in the chops.  But I thought “Well, she is the driving instructor” so I ignored my own judgement at the time.  I would just be so nervous in the car with her which really impacted what little driving skill I had.  Besides, standing up to bullies has never been my specialty (until I got better at it in my late 20’s). Then came my driving test – in the car was myself, the Vic Roads Assessor and our friendly Dragon Lady herself.  We used her car (which was a piece of crap I may add).  Anyway, she made me so nervous prior and during that I ended up failing my test.

I then thought, “Ok you stupid Sod – Time to do it my way”.  I then ceased using her services and did the next driving test myself in my mothers car – and I passed with flying colours! (and saved $150!). The lesson here is obvious to me now, but I keep thinking about it over and over again and think:

– Why did I pick her?

– Why did I put up with her rubbish?

– After I passed the exam, why didn’t I pick up the phone and abuse her?

– Why do I devalue myself so much? If someone pushed someone else around like that in front of me I would stop them, but why not protect myself?

I think a good lesson from this is that you must protect your own interests and never let ANYONE push you around! Be it work, friendship, people you work with – always stand your ground! I am not saying go and pick a fight with your local Policeman or tell the ATO what you think of them, but you know what I mean. I cannot remember what she looked like, but I promise you if I ever saw her in the street I would certainly throw my shoes at her. Perhaps one day I will forgive her!  (NOT)

Toxic Selfish People – Keeping Them Out of Your Mind!

Have you ever had a friend which after you speak to for 5 minutes, you feel like you have just finished an exam, after living on Coca-Cola with a side of Kit-Kat’s? Have you ever had a friend that when you see their name on your Mobile Caller ID you think “Oh No – Someone, please shoot me in the head?”

Then they leave you a message and you think “Awww – Do I really want to listen to it?”. Then when you have to call them back, it feels like you are giving birth to a litter of kittens?

Well, I certainly have had friends like this in my past.  Some are really really nice people who are just a bit down temporarily.  This is not what I am talking about, as I have been down in my own life and there have been some great friends there to “Pull me out of the gutter” (who would have put up with a lot of my own pointless negativity). What I am talking about are truly “Toxic People”.  These are people which are known to manipulate, lie, coerce, use and I have noted are generally selfish in nature.  The people I am talking about are ones that choose to continually “Churn & Burn” and are consistently acting like this.

Now, some of you may be either nodding your head right now or thinking “Ed’s Just Labeling People”.  In that case, you are right – I try and avoid labels, but you got me on this one. In fact, there have been some dark times in my life, where I allowed “Toxic People” to really get in my head.  This can be by “Feeling Sorry” for them, not having the “Self-Esteem” to disagree actively with them or just simply when I ignore my mothers advice and hang out with the wrong people.

One thing that I have really learned was the importance of being careful who you hang out with.  One key experience was when I was in my early 20’s.  I lived in this great apartment block in Melbourne and made friends with a few guys & girls around my age (living in the same block).

One of them, I noticed from day 1 was always a “Little Bit Odd”.  Quite friendly at the start and being a young man we did hit quite a few bars and clubs together.  We had a nice group of friends there.

But then, this person had a disagreement with another in the group.  And wow – this is where things turned pear shaped!  This person would always try and attack the other publicly (even without being provoked) and then all the “Toxic People” tricks came out. Public bullying, back-stabbing, lying about what the other person was doing everything and everything!  They even got really paranoid as well and did a great job at roping me into all their problems.  In fact, they were so  certain that:

– “I was right and the whole world was wrong”

This person was just an enemy maker. In fact, because everyone was “Out to Get Them”, they would attack first!  Well, wasn’t this a self-fulfilling prophecy! And they were  depressing! Everything was bad – life was terrible, no opportunities out there and even I was under blame from them! But here’s the problem, because I was associated with them (and wasn’t careful around this obviously “Toxic Person”) they were temporarily successful at pulling me out of my own “Happy & Focused” state and getting me on their level. Now, I eventually sniffed out the rat for who it was, but at the same time – I wasted a few good months!

I should really listen to my mother more in that she always has the best advice:

– “Hang around with the wrong crowd and you will become the wrong crowd!”

If only, I just paid more attention to her when I was growing up?

Your Own Goals & Purpose – Pick it yourself or someone else will?

Our world is becoming more and more cluttered and all of us are just being bombarded by thousands of messages a day!

We all try and ignore many of these messages, but there are many savvy advertisers out there that are experts in subconsciously “Getting Into Your Mind” to often force certain commercial outcomes (be it buying their products or behaving in a way that is at least beneficial to them).

In fact, there is just so much information in our world today and there are many parties out there which have a clear agenda to “Control You”.  We are getting it all the time, Corporations telling you how to think, Bosses telling you how to think, Advertising Campaigns telling you what the “Best” products are, Friends telling you what to think, Media telling you what to think, Celebrities telling you what to think, Politicians etc etc.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I go on “Autopilot” I find it’s easy to really get into a “Rut” and just go along “with the flow”.  That is, if you don’t consciously think about your own life and set your own purpose and goals, there are lots of people which are only to happy to set goals for you.

Unfortunately, the goals are usually for their own interests!

So let’s think about it, if you don’t set your own personal goals (that are designed too “Benefit Yourself”) who else is going to do it?

Picking your own goals and figuring out one’s purpose is an ongoing journey and one that I think few are able to really “Come Up With” overnight.  But – if you can come up with something and a goal that really compels you and that also “Gets You Out of Bed” in the morning -You are probably miles ahead than most of the Australian Population!

Now, I am not saying it’s easy – but then living someone else’s life and feeling empty isn’t either!

Truth & Lies – Making Up Your Own Mind

“You can’t handle the Truth!” is one of my most favourite movie lines which I think really sums up how many of us (especially myself) can feel at times when confronted by “Reality” or “Truth” that is painful to accept.

I don’t know about you, but in the past I have been very guilty of either:

– “Being Positive” and just sticking my head in the sand and pretending the issue is not there.
– “Finding Distractions” or something to do, so I don’t have to deal with the problem (or issue) at hand.

Any logical thinker can easily say “Just Handle The Truth” – but it’s one of those things that are easier said than done.

I remember once I took up work with a very unscrupulous employer (i.e. it’s not just my opinion, if I reveal their name to someone, without any solicitation or bias I often hear a lot of negativity about them).

This was the toughest job of my life in that the job was easy; But the environment was extremely political and cruel. There were cut backs going on and because I chose to do my job properly and focus on the bottom line – I really put a few noses out of joint. In fact, I got some really good results that scared other people – which made them come for me even harder.

So that’s life – but here was my big mistake:

Instead of just saying my work environment sucks and doing something positive about it – I blamed myself for all the problems and took it on.
Because, I took this on and “Blamed Myself” it lowered my Self-Esteem, which then made the problem even worse for me.
What made it even worse, was that someone I was accepting career advice from, just “Blamed it all on Me” and just said things like “Enjoy Your Time There”, “Stop Complaining” and even the good old line of “Be Positive”.

This was my biggest mistake of it all – listening to the wrong person and substituting my common sense for another’s opinion (because I felt they were “Smarter Than Me”).

Now, I am not saying you should complain and blame the world for your problems – I am all for taking personal responsibility.

What this life experience taught me was the importance of:

Accepting the Truth for what it is. That is, you accept your responsibility and hold others responsible for their actions. Don’t blame yourself for Global Warming and at the same time, don’t complain that the cat scratched you after you bit it’s tail. Make up your own mind and be an independent thinker. That if, even if 100 people say you are “Wrong or Stupid” and you know you are not – you stick to your guns.

Be careful who you take advice from. There is nothing wrong with making up your own mind. Even if “You are Wrong” here and there – it doesn’t mean that others advice is anymore accurate than your own.
This was a very painful experience in my life – but that’s good. If you are going through some BS like this, believe me – I can relate to you! After all, you don’t become a tough cookie without being baked in the oven at 220 Degrees for at least 45 minutes?

** Many thanks to soundlessfall from Flickr for the great pic.

Staying Positive In a World of Negativity

Throughout my many adventures in Corporate Australia, Tony Robbins Seminars, Small to Medium Enterprise, Prestigious Law Firms and people I have known being mixed up in organized crime – it has given me a great view of:

– People with honourable motives (regardless of wealth).

– Inglourious Basterds (regardless of wealth).

– People with everything – that still complain.

– People with nothing – that are focused.

The latter people completely amaze me – in fact, I have a good friend from Hobart by the name of Manfred. He is a strong preacher and he is so strong in his faith, I could see him going toe-to-toe with Dalai Lama one day. He was from the mean streets of North America/Canada and now works out in Regional Australia devoting himself to helping others.

I had another friend (notice the key word “had”) that used to complain because he only used to earn $120K + Super and didn’t get the extra $30K Bonus he “was promised”. This guy, I don’t see going toe-to-toe with the Dalai Lama anytime soon. If anything, this guy ended up losing his job completely and had nothing at the end of the day.

Now this bit fries my brain. How come some people who get nothing really make something of themselves, and why do some who get beaten up all their lives just stick at it?

I think it’s the “Why?”. That is, people who tend to be bullet-proof and just keep soldiering on have a reason or a goal in what they are doing. That is, they seem to have a solid goal or a solid understanding of “Why they are here and What they have to do”. Now talking the other extreme, you get people who get everything who lose the plot, enter addictions and really abuse the opportunities they have. Some of these people are lucky and survive a while, but we only see too many people in our society just stuff up what they originally have. Does David Jones ring a bell to anyone? I think this is a good example of someone who has it all that obviously doesn’t appreciate what they have and chooses to misbehave!

My own view of the world so far that “Truly Inspirational” people don’t do it by “Being Positive” or painting on a smile. Their genuine positivity comes from within by being compelled by an amazing goal or purpose of living. Negative People who “Pretend to be Positive” can only fake it for so long! Now let me leave this though with you… Why are you here? * Thank to “antonkawasaki” from Flickr for the great pic.

The Unfair World We Live In – Not Letting it Get to You?

One thing, that I have honestly struggled with over the past year is the world we live in. It’s not a very fair place – and being a Christian myself I have pondered again and again the time old question of:

If there is a God, then why do bad things happen?
Now, before you think “Oh No, this is one of Those Preachy Blogs and Ed’s Going to Preach to Me” I just want to make it clear that that is not my intent and I respect whatever God or No God you choose to believe in. Thanks to Mel B from Flickr for the angry kitty pic.

Now, putting that aside – this has been doing my brain in! For example:

– Why does someone genuine like Michael J. Fox suffer from Parkinson’s?
– Why do children starve in 3rd world countries, who have never done anything wrong?
– Why do “Good People” suffer?
Then, this bit fries my brain:

– Why does Paris Hilton do no work and have lots of money?
– Why do some people have rich parents and don’t have to work like me?
– Why does Nicolas Cage still get work and star in movies?

These above questions which have been bugging me, I bet have bugged man since at least 5,000BC. But I finally figured out the answers to this question:

No one really knows. The people that “Say They Know” probably don’t.

You have to control your focus. That is, you can never figure this out and you will go mad in the process.
If anyone does find out this answer, they will probably know the meaning of life – which means if you have, please let me know 🙂

This article leads to another lesson I think, which is that it’s critical to “Choose your Focus” wisely. What do I mean by that? Well, you can for example focus on:

– How unfair the world is?
– How rude people are?
– The fact you are alone right now.
– The fact you haven’t achieved what you want in life right now.

Or alternatively, you can focus on:

– What you need to do to improve your own situation.
– Who you care for and vice versa.
– Jumping on Facebook and saying hello to your friends.
– Focusing on what you can do now to improve your situation.

I am not saying “Be Positive” and ignore problems around you – I am just saying that sometimes we can focus on “No Win” situations that will just send you mad.

Here’s to not going mad! 🙂

I can beat 200+ Applicants by being Positive?

I have quite a few friends in the recruitment field in Sydney and it’s amazing that even post GFC the market is still very quiet (compared to the years gone past) – at least in the Sales & Marketing Professions.Quite a few of the recruiters I know told me that for any job they have come up – be it a relatively Junior Marketing Assistant to that of a Marketing Director you usually get 200+ Applicants for each. In fact, they even take the ads of pretty quickly now.It is a very different world we live in now and depending on your area of expertise – ouch! Certainly, I am very lucky to have the job I do now, because if I didn’t I would certainly be toast. In that context I am very lucky – and at the same time, I know that there are still many good people in a range of professions who our out of their professional line of work.

This brings me to my main criticism of a lot of so called “Career Advice” you get in some books that are out there. They will tell you things like:

– Take your time, do what you want to do! – Find something you love and go for it! – Visualize you winning and go for it!

Now, before you accuse me of being negative, stupid – silly or want to criticize what i am saying, please understand this. I am a strong believer in understanding your life purpose and really going for it.

What I am critical of is that many of these books completely ignore unfortunate realities such as:

– Visualization doesn’t pay your rent. – Visualize all you want – you are up against 200+ Candidates who probably at least 30 are doing exactly what you are. – You can take your time finding your “Dream Job” – does that mean I don’t have to pay my bills in that time?

The 80’s and 90’s (well most of it) and the early 2000’s were great economic conditions – but things are very different now. I think we all need to be very pragmatic and aware of the reality – but at the same time, being “Reasonable Positive” about what we want to achieve.

Thank you to “I don’t know, maybe” from Flickr for the great pic.

No Selling, No Work – But Easy Money?

Hi Folks!

I am reflecting on how people pretending to be “Positive Thinkers” took me for a ride. This week, one company comes to mind.  They are basically a type of selling organization that sells overpriced “Motivational Packs” and get’s you to hook your friends in and rip them off.

Well, let me tell you about my bad experience there.  But before, let me give you some context.  I have just moved to Sydney and after a contract ending on me early (due to a very bad experience with the GFC).

Anyway, out of work – 4 months passed and I was honestly quite desperate. So, I came up with this “Great Idea” of a great “Work From Home Business”.

Wow! This was the start of all my problems.  After looking at many things, I found this so called “Amazing Business”.  It works like this:

– You pay lots of money to buy a motivational pack (and you give it to your upline).
– They train you and stuff.

– You then sell the motivational pack to other people.

Although this sounds very Multi-Level Marketing, they claim it actually isn’t (because after a few sales you don’t have to pay you upline).  It’s not far off Pyramid Selling I think!

Anyway, so I pay my money and join.  Oh no, once I join they give me this online audio program.  It talks about “Being Positive”, “Visualization”, “Focus” and that good old film “The Secret”.

Okay great.  Let’s do this thing.

Well during the training, they have this “Seminar” that costs like $6000 and “if your serious” you will do it.

Wow, they EVEN ENCOURAGED you to just “take the plunge” and even go into Debt to buy all of their Premium Products!  Also, the upline (who sold me the product) just wasn’t having any luck (besides me) and she claimed that her mentors wouldn’t even help her (i.e. their advice for selling the packs was to “Just get out there” – What does that mean in realistic terms?).

It was very scary and irresponsible I though and thank god there as a cooling off period (so I got out).  I though this was very wrong in that these people used “Positive Thinking” and “Visualization” as a way of preying on people who are either desperate or in a desperate mood.

What’s more, is that they just said “You create your website and all your leads come through that way”.  Well, I saw at least 30 similar websites selling the same products.

Now I got a few questions for you:

– If my upline can barley make sales, how will I stand a chance?
– When another 200 join, if people are stepping on each others toes now, what will happen then?
– How come they wouldn’t help my upline besides just saying “You have to get out there?”

I really think that businesses like this aren’t just sustainable.  You can’t build a business on a house of sticks or set up situations where people try and prey on each other.  Not because they are bad people, but because they are desperate and are convinced by a charismatic positive thinker “They are helping others”.

Anyway, as a good trader Chris Lori once told me “Be Careful, it’s a Jungle Out there!”

Thank you to “lululemon athletica” from Flickr for the great Human Pyramid Pic.