Mind My Millionaire Mind, Mister

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One of my New Year Resolutions this year was to do things that scare me.

It was a long list: I’ve learned to ice skate; I’ve driven into San Francisco. And two days ago I went to a Millionaire Mind seminar.

I used self-help, positive, I’m-a-fantastic-person kind of thinking back in the 1980s when it was new (at least among my peers) and when I was starting out in my career.

It worked to fantastic effect.

But mine was a very mild version of the idea. I just read the odd book, wrote goals and read them every morning as I drunk my early morning cup of tea.

My discipline in this respect has waxed and waned over the years.

And so have my fortunes.

So a couple of years ago, I read the book The Secrets Of A Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker (I got it from the library so it wouldn’t cost me anything- does that suggest a millionaire mentality?)

I thought it was spot on in many respects.

“If you have a big problem in your life, all that means is that you are being a small person”

I loved that principle.

Everything is a big problem until you develop the skills or gain the knowledge needed to solve it; walking is a big problem when you can only crawl, afterall.

But one of my friends who was going through one of those random bad times that afflict us all at some point through no fault of our own, was offended by it.

So I learned my lesson not to be glib and kept my own counsel. Mostly.

I’d been on T. Harv Eker’s email list for months but never actually responded to any of the shout outs to attend anything. I thought I’d be sold to, manipulated, fighting off someone who was eager to part me from the contents of my wallet.

The fervor of some of these events is frightening to a reserved ole’ Brit like myself. I’m even shy about writing it here. These kinds of things are just not cool in my world.

But finally I decided I was spending more energy wondering about what went on than I actually would if I went.

So I did.

I nearly backed out several times.

I developed a headache, I felt exhausted and I had too much to do. But I talked myself out of my stupor, took a painkiller and hauled myself off.

When I got there I was pleasantly surprised.

The table heaving with CDs, books and tote bags for sale that I’d expected was nowhere to be seen.

The staff were very polite and restrained. The lady who signed me in was even English!

They gave me a little rubber bracelet that said “Live Light” on it.

The demographic of the audience represented a complete slice of the American population and that made me smile. We live in the land of plenty where everyone has a dream and believes they can achieve it.

I was even more pleased to see the whole front row populated by well-turned-out young women.

Good for them.

I’d expected pages of in-your-face, lots-of-exclamation-marks-and-yellow-highlighter sales-speak but on my seat was one green brochure. So far, so controlled. I sat gingerly down and got out my book so that I didn’t have to talk to anybody although I did look around to see if I knew anyone.

Thankfully, I didn’t. I could relax.

The next two hours were interesting.

We high-fived a lot, put our hands on our hearts, shouted declarations and hugged complete strangers.

At the end we had a sales pitch. Fair enough.

I’m a woman of the world; I can deal with it.

I played a game with myself. How much was their weekend seminar going to be? Hmmmm. $199? 149? I decided it would be….$99. I was wrong.

It was free!

Well, if you bought a $20 book.

But wait, there was something else.

Here we go…A VIP package: five books, ten tickets, VIP seating (and of course we all wanted to be VIPs – we’d make more millions if we thought of ourselves as one of those, wouldn’t we?) a batch of CDs and last and most definitely least – a Millionaire Mind tote bag.

Who could resist?

Definitely not the woman next to me because when she heard that only eighteen VIP spots were available, she shot up and practically fell over me to get in the line.

That had a strange effect on me.

Because I got up too.

My cynical, jaded, discriminating mind left me and I found myself at the VIP table thinking,’What a bargain!’

I mean, five books? Ten tickets?’ And those CDs – I wanted those CDs!

I felt my eyes flicking side to side as my neurotransmitter-flooded brain just sort of seized.

But because I had been slow to get to the line, I had to wait (missing a trick there, Millionaire Mind people.)

And as I waited, my rational mind started to kick back – the frenzy and panic I’d felt a moment ago at the thought of missing out started to subside.

What would I do with 5 books? I didn’t know two people who would come such an event, let alone ten.

I walked away. I went to the bathroom. I came back and went to the other table where I could buy a book for $20.

That felt better.

Of course, Harv would say that I’ll never get rich if I’m comfortable. And maybe he’s right.

But I did go home and instead of rolling straight into bed, I prepared for the morning.

I had two business ideas on the way home. I started to stop complaining and gave the book to a friend who I thought would find it interesting.

I kept another copy for myself.

Yes, I bought two…

I am curious about the weekend seminar. These events are as much a cultural experience for me as they are informative and that makes them valuable.

But if I go, I’ll put just one bill in my wallet (a small one,) be aware of the brain chemical effect of the words and the actions and leave my credit cards at home.

Cherry pick and leave the rest. That’s what I like to do.

I do like my little rubber bracelet, though.

Have you ever been to one of these types of seminars? Are you aware of the techniques they are using to get you to buy? Do you think we should make ourselves aware so we don’t get bamboozled?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda Esposito
Twitter:
May 13, 2012 at 8:54 am

Hey Alison-

I’m not familiar with T. Harv Eker, but I’m partial to the author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad. And now that I’m thinking about $, I realized I loved his book, but need to re-read.

Money is a fascinating subject on so many levels. Psychologically-laden, for sure. Once during group supervision (for pre-LCSW licensure) our supervisor Reevah opened up our session with food and money and how we relate to both.

It was fascinating to see the comparisons to those who were generous, versus stingy with $. If you felt your own inner resources were lacking or underdeveloped, so might you treat your relationship with $: “Blue Collar” where there’s never enough to go around–you don’t spend, nor believe you’re not worth it, etc…Also how we were raised plays a part. A couple of the women were over-spenders b/c they were denied nurturance, treats, privileges growing up.

To answer your question, I’ve never been to a seminar, nor do I want to. I’ve been finanacially frugal most of my life. In my twenties, I’m sure I put executive’s kids through college with the interest I paid on credit. Luckily, that habit ended years ago. If anything, I need to relax a bit, and invest in myself more :).

My jaded psychological side imagined the shrewd marketing that went into this decidedly non-salesy seminar to trick the participants into buying the weekend /VIP seminar. Curious…what was the cost of the VIP package?
Linda Esposito recently posted..The Shy NarcissistMy Profile

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Alison Golden May 14, 2012 at 9:19 am

Oh it was probably something that sounded entirely reasonable like a couple of hundred bucks. I’ve heard though that it is when you get to the seminar that the trickery really starts to happen. Products to buy yes but particularly buying into the next level. Each stage is set up to move you to up – the small, personal group, the one-on-one, etc. Smaller, more intense, more $$$’s. I’m sure you’ve seen it in internet marketing too. I read someone took only a $100 in cash and no cards to one of the weekend workshops just for this reason. I do think these things can be useful and even educational BUT you have to be very aware and astute. Not taking money, reading up on the tactics they use, being self aware. It is like going on a cruise and succumbing to the buffet – you feel like crap afterwards when you come down from your high.

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