Archives March 2011

Why do “Positive Thinkers” Lie To Us About Tough Times?

“Positive Thinkers” Lie to Us – It is really Tough at Times! No matter the Spin!

“Positive Thinkers” lie all the time about tough times.

These people are really unethical and are just trying to con you out of your hard-earned money.

Besides my Formal Studies, I have read lots of books from the so-called “Gurus” on how to “Be Rich”, “Live Your Life” and “Stay Positive”.

One Con, which I picked up is that in all the books you pick off the shelf, they always try and make out how easy it is to make $1,000,000 and achieve the life of your dreams (usually in a time-frame measured by months and not years!).

It’s just and me talking here now – let’s have a frank conversation.  No matter what front we put on, we always have tough times.

We can have problems with our Partners, Children, Money, Business, Work, Sickness and all that.  According to these “Positive Thinkers”:

– You can snap yourself out of it immediately.

– It’s just the “Story you are telling yourself”.

– You need to just “Be Positive”.

Oh great, so my wife has left me – my kids are sick, I am having trouble at work – so if I just tell myself to be happy, I just will be?

Well, that is what many so called “Positive Thinkers” have told me face to face and in their books.  Here is the funny con of it all, with some of these Positive Thinkers I have witnessed first hand and had reported to me second-hand – is that they get as “Negative” as we do, have “Problems” just like us and can’t just “Change” their emotions like they make out they do.

So it’s fair to say that in tough times, just “Being Positive” is a lie.  You have to do a lot more than that, i.e. be patient, be honest, make changes, give yourself time etc.

So why are these “Positive Thinkers” and Authors lying to us? Here are a few questions regarding them:

– Are they lying to us to sell more of their books?

– Are they trying to create a front they are “Larger than Life” so we get conned by them?

– Do they pretend what they know is so powerful, you will go to their seminars and fork out for them?

Come On! We aren’t stupid.  As much as they like to think we are stupid, we are actually not and can question what these people are doing.  “Positive Thinking” just makes them rich at our expense! You and I both know what is really going on here – “Positive Thinkers” lying to us so they can take your money and buy themselves nice cars, holidays and stuff.

Tough Times happen, and they suck! However that is life and it can be tough and can take time to get through things. When you are feeling down, please watch your wallet / purse! That is when these con artists are at their peak!

Networking: Why Do Unethical & Dodgy Bastards Love It?

You are Creating Wealth and “Passive Cashflow” – For someone else if you aren’t careful Awesome Friends!

“Networking” or building a “Network” as a concept has really been tarnished thanks to many Scams, Dodgy Pyramid / Multi-Level-Marketing Schemes and generally unethical sharks that see Networking Events or Groups as a means of ripping people off.  Quite often with promises of “Financial Freedom”, “Passive Cash-Flow”, Buying Your “Ferrari”, being a “Playboy Millionaire” or working just 5 hours a week on a beach.  All cleverly designed words which are used to completely manipulate you.

I think this actually quite sad in the respect that “Networking” in it’s true sense is actually a very powerful means of Expanding Ones Network, Finding Great New Suppliers, Learning more about how the World Works and in particular – getting yourself a great support community especially if you are new in your own small business.

I have learnt and proven to myself that “Effective Networking” is where you:

– Go Out There – Make Friends with Like-Minded Individuals and do Business with Each Other.

That is, you may use some services, refer them business, accept referrals from them and support from building a community.

BUT OH NO.  The Dodgy Scammers, Rip-Off Merchants and Unethical People from Multi-Level-Marketing schemes as usual – are trying to destroy the quality of our lives and take our hard earned cash so they can become “Financially Free” and “Enjoy their Passive Cash-Flow”.

Now please don’t get me wrong, there are some Multi-Level-Marketing type of Programs out there such as Nutri-Metics & Herbal-Life which I have a lot of respect for.  Like many things, there are many of us that are doing our best to get by – but then, we get Scammers that thrive from stealing time and money from people like us.

One of my very good friends (a Fellow Business Coach) gave me a funny phone call the other day.  When I first started out in Coaching I went to a “Speed Networking” event. You meet 40+ people in these events.  What happened to my poor friend that he got “Sucked” into a certain Pyramid Selling / MLM Scheme which I bet people have tried to suck you into before.

And funnily enough, he got conned by a “Potential Client” who booked him into one of their upcoming MLM / Pyramid Seminars coming up under the guise of wanting a “Free Coaching Session”.  When I spoke to my friend (as he suspected it sounded “Fishy”) and we compared notes and it was the same person who used the same tricks (on me) to con them into going into Dodgy Seminar which promises “Financial Freedom”, “Passive Cashflow” and the like.

We we both found out it was the same rat that wasted my time and tried to rip me off – I was able to let him know so he could get out of it!  I saved him 5 hours of his life, but what is sad is that many others from Networking Events are getting nailed and conned into going to these seminars!

So Networking itself is a great thing, whether you do it “Formally” through Networking Groups or you do it “Informally” through building your Customer Base and working with other people – it’s very powerful especially if you work in Small to Medium type of businesses.

However, myself and my friend have learnt the hard way – you get some Dodgy Bastards out there that use Networking (especially Networking events) as a useful opportunity to prey on “New Victims”.  This so called “Positive Thinking” is designed to make them rich – at your unfortunate expense? (As if they care).

Networking is great for people like ourselves who are ethical, good-natured and have genuine desire to help other people.  Unfortunately, you got to watch out for people who want to take away all your hard earned cash – “Be Careful out there it’s a Jungle!”.

Arrogance is Way Better than Low-Confidence, Right?

I’m Not Arrogant – You are Just Inferior to Me!

In many people, I have known, including some of my clients, colleagues (and even myself at times) – it can be an easy trap to bounce from extremes of “Low-Confidence” right through to “Arrogance”.

That is, when one has a low view of themselves, they eat away their energy and motivation through always putting themselves down (be it out loud, or just through their own internal dialogue).  After reaching a real low in themselves, they then go and buy something or “Puff” themselves up to convince themselves into being “Confident”.

In watching such swings, unfortunately the “Confidence” may turn into “Arrogance” which is no fun for anyone!

The poor person who felt bad, “Puffs” themself up, then because people think they are “Arrogant” they get treated differently and then they slide back where they were – hence the cycle repeats itself.

In my own youth I did this quite a bit and it wasn’t till much later that I learnt (firstly the hard way then formally) that when we have a “Poor View” of ourselves and a very low Self-Worth – it’s very easy to enter this “Low Confidence / Arrogance” type of swing.

In some of the great people I work with, when you hear them pour out their soul to you -I sometimes almost tear up in terms of feeling how much they either put themselves down or devalue themselves all the time.  That is, regardless of what they achieve, what they do for their families, how hard they work – they are so used to beating themselves up – they instinctively:

– Say bad things to themselves.

– Like All the Time.

Going into what I cover in my previous posts, when one has low self-esteem (or self-value), you are “Ripe for the Picking” by Cults, dodgy MLM Schemes or anything out there with people that intentionally prey on people with low Self-Esteem

Then ironically, when the person with low Self-Esteem is sucked into these environments, they may become “Arrogant” and do an extremely great job of then preying on other people and so forth.

So is being “Arrogant” better than having “Low-Confidence” – well, I don’t think they are opposing in that many of the so called “Arrogant” people I know have big big issues with their Confidence and Self Esteem (whether they admit it or not).  A good cliche example is the “Napoleon Syndrome”.

What I have found is that when we start “Actually Valuing” ourselves and start catching ourselves for doing the right thing – it starts to build our our Self Confidence / Esteem in positive way.  It makes us feel better, improves performance and even more – we don’t end up becoming arrogant.  This is where too much “Positive Thinking” can get you into a lot of trouble!

In fact, my own personal definition of “Arrogance” is:

– The End Result of trying poorly to “Cover Up” low Self Esteem.

I wish I learnt this one 20 years ago!

[Edward’s Comment some years later – I have seen so many arrogant people and humble people make way more money.  It’s a great thing to watch, the right people succeeding in their own Small Businesses through integrity, skill and honest Sales & Marketing Practices!]

Sex & Sizzle is better than Truth & Substance Right?

There is no substitute for Sex & Sizzle – Yeh, Right. Liar!

I am still thinking about my experience about being shafted by the “Bad-Natured” Multi-Level Marketers the other month.  I know what your thinking, “Ed Just Get Over It”, “Ed build a Bridge and Move on”, “Ed find yourself a hobby or something”.

I can promise you that I am over it – it’s just that it was such an interesting event in terms of the unethical practices and manipulation in the event itself, but also it got me thinking onto the broader thing that I noticed in being a Marketing Manager for a long time now:

– Sex & Sizzle has been used in advertising for no doubt hundreds (probably even thousands of years).

– In fact, Sex & Sizzle can even help sell product when there is little Truth & Substance?

Sex, Sizzle & Hype have obviously been used in Modern Times with extreme levels of intensity and it obviously works.  However, when it’s used to “Replace” substance you can have a big problem.  People aren’t stupid these days.  After years of companies ripping off people, people being sucked into not only dodgy MLM (“Multi-Level Marketing”) schemes but also buying rubbish products (that were really hyped up) – you can’t get away with this type of thing long-term.

One thing I am finding though, is that a lot of companies out there assume that:

– Our Customers are stupid, the Market is Stupid so tell them whatever to just get the sales.

After really reflecting on not just my MLM experience last month of being “Shafted” by some really mean & unethical people, it led me to think that those people probably have the above view of society and the market.

That is, if you “Assume” everyone is stupid, it will lead you to approaching the market very unintelligently.  This kind of unethical rubbish may have worked well in the 80’s, may work well in the short-term – however in many cases this kind of approach just doesn’t last in the long term.

So if you try and nail me on direct question is “Truth & Substance” between the “Sex & Sizzle” – I would answer YES.  However, there is no reason you can have both?

Many people think that there is a “Sea-Saw” balance between Sex & Sizzle Vs Truth & Substance.  This is certainly not the case – in fact, some of the most successful people I know, be it Shop Owners right through to other Business Coaches – they often do both very well.

Such as those dodgy MLM people who unfairly tricked me last month, “Shonks” and people who rip people off – your days are numbered! You may suck some people in, but I have had the unique pleasure of watching these “Sharks” eventually getting what they deserve.

Truth & Substance is #1 – but of course, back it up with some great “Sex, Sizzle or Hype” – nothing wrong with that!  “Positive Thinking” is great, with “Positive & True Substance!”.

Have a great day and I wish I learnt this 20 years ago!

Why do some stick to “Vague Positivity” Over Real Benefits?

I Think I am Buying The House – Right?

After my great experience last month with people tarnishing “Positive Thinking” by using it to try to manipulate me into joining their Multi-Level-Marketing Scheme, it took me back to what this lovely old Greek Millionaire told me when I started my first Marketing Manager job in Hobart:

[In a Thick Greek Accent] – People don’t Buy Advertising, they Buy Good Quality.

This business attitude (which obviously works for this man who owns many properties across Hobart) really got me thinking for years.  Ironically today, we see only too many companies that are as “Sleek” as can be.

You buy their goods and ouch! You get totally burnt – yet the Advertising was so Good! In terms of those people trying to manipulate me into some of the poorer MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) schemes out there – I really think they know their product is weak, so their only hope is by bringing out the “Positive Charm”.

It’s a real pity, I actually do quite like “Positive Thinking” – however, unfortunately many have figured out it’s a great way to your wallet or purse.  In my own business and learning from others is that at the end of the day, people have two questions:

– Will Your Product Help Me?

– Can I Trust You?

After working in Marketing for a while now, it’s fair to say that many people are sick of being ripped off and consumers today can really see through the “BS” and just want to know what is relevant to them!  For example, if you are a Website Designer people want to know the benefits i.e:

– “My Great Websites will help you sell more Online. We use the latest in Website Approaches and work closely with Google to ensure they get a strong presence. Here is what some of my customers have said…”.

This is much more powerful than “Positive Fluff” which says:

– “Do you want to achieve your dreams? Have ever lasting Milk and Honey flowing in Abundance? Learn about my websites now!”

Many (including myself) have learnt the hard way – don’t BS people and cut to the chase fast! I totally love Positive Thinking, but not how some charlatans abuse it!

I wish I learn this stuff 20 years ago!

[Edward’s Comment years later after writing this article: That “Good Quality” reference has been proven true over and over again. It not only built my business, but I used that thinking to help turn around of dozens of fledgling businesses that lacked that strength in their own models].

Why do “Positive Thinkers” think Suffering is Wonderful?

The World isn’t always a Nice Place – Positive Thinkers need to “Wake Up & Smell The Coffee”

If I had a Australian Dollar, Euro, or even a few Yen for every time I have heard a “Positive Thinker” talk about how beautiful the world is – I would have more than enough to fly to the moon and back. A few people and books have talked about “Abundance Thinking” and how just through “Visualization” you can get whatever you want.

Hmmm.  That is an interesting concept. Why haven’t all the poor people in the world though about this before?

Wow this is so profound. I wish I got told this years ago. So are you saying that:

– If I am a poor Starving person in Africa, India or North Korea – all I have to do is visualize food and be positive and I will get a nice Fat Fried Chicken on my plate?

Well, yes – that is exactly what they are saying.  However, when I have this debate with people – there seems to be all these “Interesting Clauses & Exceptions” to protect their thinking in the case that any “Negative Person who doesn’t think Abundantly” attacks it.

For example, when I brought up this argument with someone who thought that money is “Just so easy to make”, their answer (after a 10 second Tony Abbott like pause) was to the effect of:

– You just have to be positive.

This is where the whole concept of the extreme of positive thinking completely breaks down and one must rational and realistic about things.  Positive Thinking is the type of logic that says that no matter what happens, just ignore reality and focus on “What you want it to be”.

I think examples such as World War II, Colonel Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein all back up the contrary quote of:

– “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” -Edmund Burke.

Besides extreme examples such as above, dangerous extremes of “Positive Thinking” can become incredibly hazardous when we have problems in our lives – and choose not to deal with them and just focus on “Positive Thoughts”.

Now, I know what some people who are reading this blog is saying.  Ed, you are “So Negative”, “You don’t think Abundantly”, you think in terms of “Scarcity”.  I know that, because I have heard people accuse me of this before.  When I turn around and ask them what they think of the world, I usually get some fake answer to the effect of:

– It’s a great and wonderful place.

That’s nice – so you think all the people suffering in the world and our society is “Wonderful?”.  That is what you are telling me? Would you care to re-phrase that? This is the key problem with “Positive Thinking” – it can put us into a state where we don’t take action to fix problems.  Like stopping evil people as above, fixing problems, solving issues in advance – you only pick that up by being “Critical’.

You can’t wish a broken arm away, just as much wishing you had $1,000 in your wallet doesn’t make it suddenly appear.  So I challenge the “Positive Thinkers” out there to come forward and prove me wrong! Show me how thinking of $1,000 put’s it into your wallet. I have unfortunately been sucked into extremes of “Positive Thinking” – usually as a means of people trying to (and unfortunately) successfully getting into my hip pocket.  Balance is king! Nothing beats Rationalism.

Why are “Positive Thinkers” Always Trying to Take My Cash?

At least this Cowgirl / Hustler is Honest About it!

“Positive Thinkers” have really annoyed me lately. I have been harassed by a bunch of “Positive People” from Multi-Level-Marketing Schemes (“MLM”).

They are so “Positive” and are all making “So Much Money” – hence, they tried to put lots of pressure for me to join their schemes.  I have noted something incredibly interesting lately.

I know lots of multi-millionaires who are the “Real Thing”.

Yet, compared to these other Con-Artists:

– Absolutely NONE of them are “Positive Thinkers”.

– They are all HARDCORE “Realists”.

– When I have told them about “Positive Thinking” they sneer / laugh at me.

So this is very interesting – I know so many “Poor” people who go around, being “Positive” pretending they are doing very well.  When I suggest to them (even politely) they should look at both side of the equations and be pragmatic, they usually defend their beliefs quite strong and label me as “Negative” or not really understanding “Positive Thinking”.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that we all need to be in fear of Nuclear Annihilation all the time and incredibly negative.  I am just saying that lately, lots of people who are so positive (near delusional) have really showed me the limitations of the thinking.

One extremely unethnical practice I have noted are some of the Multi-Level Marketing schemes out there.  Now don’t get me wrong, I think some are extremely good and I am not attacking the industry (i.e. I have had very good experiences with NutriMetics & Herbal-Life) – I am talking about some shonky players that I bet you know about!  In actual fact, I think MLM is a good type of model.  But like anything – it can be misused.  My favourite biblical example is in the use of a knife, i.e:

– You can use it to cut bread.

– You can use it to cut someone up.

One thing that I think is so unethical (which in my opinion should be made illegal) is:

– They Get in “Poor People”.

– Sell them “Financial Freedom”, “Fluffy Clouds” and “BS”.

– They attack our Western Society, Our Way of Life and tell you how bad it is.

– Con them into handing over what little Money & Time they have.

– Manipulate them into believing that in 1 – 3 years, they will be millionaires.

One poor person I recently Coached has been completely sucked into these schemes.  They are so “Positive” and because they “Believe” (or more likely have been Conned by their MLM company) in what they are doing – they basically have put their career and life on hold to chase the fluffy clouds.  Don’t you love “Positive Thinking”? Yes – thank you for helping to destroy this person’s life.

That is really bad an unfair! This MLM company doesn’t care about the lives of people it’s damaging, doesn’t tell them clearly what they are up for – and even worse, when this person most likely doesn’t achieve their $10,000+ / Month of Passive Cashflow – they will then blame this person for not “Following the System” or being not “Positive Enough”. To go the next level, I have spoken to many Multi-Millionaries I know about this MLM company – and guess what? They all think it’s a complete rip off.  In fact, one used this exact words to me some years ago:

– It’s an evil company that teaches poor people, to prey on poor people.

When I first heard that, I thought I was a bit extreme – and not very nice.  But it’s really true.  There are some mean people in this world, that just love preying off other people. These companies use “Positive Thinking” as a means of getting people to lower their ability to scrutinize so they can rip them off and take over their lives.  This top trader I know Chris Lori has this great saying “Be Careful, it’s a Jungle out there!” – so true and relevant here I think!