Posts Tagged ‘Jack Canfield’

I just got an email from Jack guru Canfield. It went right to my spam, so I can only assume it was intended for “Recipient,” not specifically “Britt.”

Oh well. I’ll get over that.

Anyway, my good friend Jack begins his email with these three sentences:

  1. Did you know only 3% of the world actually sets goals?
  2. In addition, only 3% of the orld owns 97% of the world’s resources.
  3. I don’t think this is a coincidence; it’s important to set goals to achieve success in today’s society.

Did you get that? The “implication” that is not, apparently, a coincidence, is that if you set your goals, you will become one of the primary owners of the worlds resources.

Jack’s email is a pitch for “free” coaching. Given that these guys typically charge thousands of dollars, you’ve really got to think twice about what this free coaching is all about.

Let me save you a bit of time. Typically, these gurus give a bit and then sell sell sell. And then a bit more, and then sell sell sell.

And how do they hook you? By feeding you your own self-serving biases. As described in a website called Cold Reading 101, self serving biases are our positive beliefs we hold about ourselves, whether they are true or not. Typically, these include the beliefs that:

  • Most people see themselves as more intelligent than average.
  • Most people consider themselves more attractive than average.
  • Most people consider themselves more educated than average.
  • Most people consider themselves better drivers than average.
  • Most people see themselves as more ethical than average.

So you can take pretty well any positive result (like telling your client that they too have the potential to be part of the 3% that owns 97% of the world’s resources) and tell  your client that they have the potential to reach it. First, attend this free coaching session (which is populated with heavy HEAVY sales tactics) and voila! You are special, successful, and wealthy.

Also, should my friend Jack contact you with this incredible faulty logic and offer that will change your life, I want you to ask yourself this question:

What exactly has Jack himself done?

Other than luck into the get-famous-as-a-coach spiel, I don’t really think his resume is that impressive. Has he headed up a Fortune 100 company? Has he changed the world in any meaningful way for anyone not white, male or middle aged? Has he solved any environmental stress issues? Backed the electric car? Fed starving Somalians? Helped pass the American Equal Rights Amendment?

Hmmmm.

One has to wonder how we fall for this time and time again.

Maybe it’s time to start realizing that we are not special, not unique, not brighter than any other particular star in the universe. The Jack’s pitches will become but a wee annoying drone in the background, like that pesky mosquito in the tent who you know you can quash in the morning but for now you’ll just have to put up with it.

Or you can learn more about the art of cold reading. Derren Brown is one of the masters. Learn from him. He reveals his secrets. No charge.

Jack pitches to the 3% of the population ready to make goals. In one of T.Harv Eker’s seminars, a friend of mine was quoted a 5% success rate of all attendees, and this was at the executive level (for which one paid $50k). This translates into a 0.06% chance of success. That’s how much they believe in you.

You’re better off talking to a local businesswoman, partnering with a mentor, and taking it from there.

 

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A lot of comments on my blog have been in reference to Byron Katie.

On the flip side, there’s been a resounding silence on the others, including Jack Canfield, James Arthur Ray, T. Harv Eker, and the “abundance” of Law of Attraction gurus out there. What’s up with that? Any ideas?

I followed Jack Canfield for awhile on Facebook, but dropped him after he commented that at a recent seminar he had one fellow come up to him and say that he had applied Canfield’s teachings for several years now and had exponentially increased his earnings.

Canfield actually had the audacity to brag about that.

Think about it. If their teachings were accurate and all you really had to do was change your thinking from negative to positive, then wouldn’t this comment be considered mundane? After all, pretty well everyone who attends these seminars (after dishing out thousands and thousands of dollars) has this level of success, don’t they?

Really?

Don’t they?

I suspect not. Else world hunger, poverty and war would be a thing of the past.

I’ve attended a four-day workshop given by T. Harv Eker. Well, not actually Eker himself but certainly a well qualified underling. I think he was well qualified. If magnetic means well-qualified.

Which is to say I endured the 30 minutes extreme hard sell infomercials scattered throughout the seminar. I, like many others, felt like an abject failure for not signing up, for not thinking with enough guts, for not really being committed to my financial success.

And if you study (ie read on wikipedia) the sales tactics taught by Robert Cialdini, you’ll recognize them at full strength at these events.

  • Reciprocity: Give your potential customer something for free (ie a four day seminar) and they will feel indebted to buy from you
  • Commitment: Get your potential customers to commit to participating at 110% (a mathematical impossibility by the way), then, well into the series, tell them that if they are really committed to playing “full-on” then they will continue to grow on this journey (ie sign up for a 8 thousand dollar course). An interesting application of this tactic.
  • Social Proof: Plant a few seeds in the crowd. Social proof would exist when you say that there are only 29 spots available for this particular deal, and only the first 15 who sign up will get the bonus gifts (whatever they are). How hard would it be to have a few volunteers in the crowd ready to make a rush for the back, inspiring those who are “thinking about it” to stop thinking and start rushing to the back with credit card in hand.
  • Authority: We’re all suckers for it. One of the worst offenders for this that I know of was an instructor for one of Robert Kiyosaki’s course (Rich Dad Poor Dad dude). CBC’s marketplace did an investigation on him, and all of the “investments” that he bragged about were actually abysmal flops or they didn’t really exist. If there’s someone on-stage telling us “this is so,” then we tend to believe them. By virtue of their job and their script, they have god-like authority. And they know it.
  • Liking: This is a measure of popularity. One of the first things that these seminar leaders are trained to do is to get you to vehemently agree with them two to five times in the first ten minutes of their presentations. One way they do it is to say that thousands had the opportunity to come here, and you were one of the few hundred who actually showed up. They make you feel special, so you like them. They’ll incorporate call-and-repeat chant’s (“I’m a money magnet”) to heighten your sense of success so you like them even more. And goddamnit of course you’re special. You special to their success, that’s why.
  • Scarcity: As mentioned in social proof above, you’ll often hear the “seminar special” being touted. But did you know that the seminar special typically happens at every seminar, not just the one in your town cause gosh-darn they love you? Or that you can phone their headquarters and “negotiate” (ie ask for) that same price.

Cialdini’s methods are all good. These gurus take them to extreme proportions to an exalted and exhausted audience. Indeed, you can blow the equivalent of a PhD’s tuition on these gurus, and not be further ahead than you are now.

I think it speaks volumes that Byron Katie inspires conversation while the other gurus inspire silence, both on the for and the against side. I’m not exactly too sure what it says, but it’s saying something important. Question is, are we listening.

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