Momentum Podcast: 648

How to Avoid Fake Coaches

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

There is a serious problem in the coaching, experts, and information products industry. We all know it, but it seems like everybody’s afraid to talk about it.

It’s near impossible to understand who’s a real coach, who can get your results, and who is a fake.

This challenge is the credibility of everyone who is a coach or runs an online business which just isn’t fair. There are tons of people out there who have real expertise, real experience, and can help people get the results they want who are being damaged by this. Sometimes when somebody asks me what I do, and embarrassed to say that I have a company in the online marketing space

It’s gotten that bad.

I want to help you get the help you need so that you don’t get caught up in the dark side of this industry.

Full Audio Transcript

This is The Momentum Podcast.

Speaker 2: There's a serious problem in the coaching experts in information products industry. We all know it, but it seems like everybody's afraid to talk about it. Here's the problem. It's nearly impossible to understand who's a real coach who can get you real results, and who's fake. In this episode of The Momentum Podcast, Alex is going to talk about how to avoid fake coaches and how to get the help you need without getting caught up in what has become the dark side of the industry. I hope you enjoy.

I'm Alex Charfen, and this is The Momentum Podcast, made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creators of all kinds, those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat, because you only lose if you stop, and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future, and instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world, because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent positive human evolution, and we always will be.

I wanted to jump in tonight and talk about an issue that I think everyone who has either bought a product online, markets products online, has bought coaching, has bought advice online, gets advice online, is dealing with. I think this is a massive epidemic in the information products industry. So I'll tell you what happened a couple of days ago to me, if you haven't seen it, and I'll loop back and drop a link here so that you can see it. But what happened was a couple of days ago, a few days ago, I had somebody who follows me send me a document from a guy named Dan Lok, called the Dragon 100, and the Dragon 100 is his document of what he's going to deliver in his high ticket coaching program. So Dan Lok's commitment is that he's going to deliver this framework, this thing that he put out there, and it happens to be exactly the same as our Billionaire Code.

Now, the Billionaire Code is content I created over the past 20 years. Here's what's interesting about that content. It is a nine level framework that shows people how to go from zero to a hundred million dollars. It's my life's work, and it's not just what we use in marketing to show people in business where they are, the Billionaire Code framework, the nine levels of the Billionaire Code, if you go to, you can see it. The nine levels of the Billionaire Code tell you where you are on the path to entrepreneurial success, what you should have already taken care of, and what you should be doing next. So we use it as a coaching framework, and we have memberships where we coach the early levels of the Billionaire Code in our foundation membership. The next couple of levels are in our catalyst membership. The next couple levels are in our accelerator membership, where we show people how to go from ideation and startup and getting clear on their avatar, to once they're ready to build their core team, to once they're ready to build that team into departments and grow and scale their company. That's what we do. So the basis for that framework is actually what we deliver as a company.

And here's Dan Lok pretending like he can deliver the whole thing. It's almost an exact knockoff of what we do. And it was frustrating. When I first got that, I was a little over the top angry. I see red in those situations. I feel taken advantage of, I feel stolen from, I feel like other people are getting taken advantage of and stolen from. First, I'm angry for me, but then almost immediately I get emotional for them, for everyone who's buying from Dan Lok, because here's what I assume about people who buy information products to improve themselves. I assume they're just like me, and I'm an entrepreneur. And there's this concept that I share with entrepreneurs, I call it the entrepreneurial dilemma. Let me know if you relate to this. If you do, say yes, I get it, put something in the chat.

Here's the entrepreneurial dilemma. We need far more help than the average person to get to where we want to go in the world, but any time we have to ask for help, any time we have to ask for support, it leaves us feeling vulnerable and exposed. Who feels me? How many of you know that feeling, that feeling of when you try and get help, you feel vulnerable? When you try and get help, you feel exposed? When you try and get help, it feels threatening? Here's why this is so frustrating to me. Guys like Dan Lok are stealing other people's content and selling it to hundreds, maybe thousands of people, who need help, who finally got over the hump of asking for help. They've raised their hand. They've got over that entrepreneurial dilemma. They're exposing themselves vulnerably to somebody who's going to pretend they can teach them content, who's stolen other people's frameworks, who doesn't really have real deliverables, I presume, because how could you have deliverables if your whole front end is fake?

And that's what really frustrates me in our industry, is that we have this epidemic of people selling a result they don't know how to get for people, or even worse, selling the result they've never had in their lives and they've never been able to help anybody else with. And it has gotten to a level where it's difficult to understand who can help you and who can't help you. It's difficult to understand who can actually show up and get you the result you want, and who's just going to take your money. And here's a big issue, is that, you know, when I was younger, the concept of a swipe file, the concept of hacking or looking at other people's stuff, here's what it was. If you needed to write an ad, you went and looked at hundreds of ads, and then you assembled your own.

Same as when I was in high school. How do you write a paper when you're in high school? If you have to write a paper about the pyramids, you go read a whole bunch of other papers about the pyramids. You write your own paper. You don't submit one of the ones that you read. That's called plagiarism. And so we all know this. We've all learned this, but what's happened is in the information products and coaching industry, the expert industry in general, we're in this place where we have terms that we use, like swipe files and hacking somebody's stuff. And what those are meant to imply, what a swipe file is for, what going and looking at a bunch of others people's stuff is for, is for inspiration, not duplication. And we've gotten into this place where there is an entire generation of experts, coaches, and online marketers that you need to be worried about getting involved with, because they actually feel like their job is to go out out and find all kinds of other information that they can resell or to go out and find other people's marketing that they can put into play and get to use.

And so we're in a place where it's incredibly challenging to know if you're engaging with somebody who can actually help you. And here's the worst part. Maybe not the worst part. There's so many parts about this that are bad, but here's a huge, challenging part, is that we live in a world where subscriptions on YouTube, and followers on Facebook, and people who follow you on Instagram, and the exposure that it looks like you have, creates credibility for the average person. And here's the problem with that condition, is that there are far too many entrepreneurs these days, far too many people out there who have become an influencer first before they've ever actually created value or sold anything.

And so you have people who have focused on getting attention and getting out there and having people see them, but that attention wasn't meant to sell anything. And so now people have to back into a solution of I've got a ton of attention. What do I do with this attention? And so people get desperate. And I think that what Dan Lok did was a desperate move. I think he probably is desperate. When you don't create your own content, when you build a house of cards in your business, when you don't get along with your team members, when you turn over a lot of people, when you have tons of complaints about you online, that can make somebody really desperate, and they steal stuff and they act in a desperate way.

And I want you to make sure that you don't get caught up in someone who's desperate, and will say anything and will use high pressure tactics and will do whatever it is that they need to, to get you into their product, because they need your money. It's one of the biggest issues is that a lot of these people are spending so much money. Like, you go to Dan Lok's YouTube channel, you'll see massive houses and Bentleys and cars and all kinds of stuff, and a lot of retail products that presumably he spends a ton of money on, unless he buys them and returns them after he takes the pictures, which is also possible. A lot of people do that, too. Rented cars, rented this, rented that. But we're trading on this image of somebody who's wildly successful, when in reality, it's hard to tell if these people have created any success other than followers on Facebook, subscriptions on YouTube, and people on Instagram.

And so we're in this place where there's this challenge for anyone who's out there trying to get help. And I want you to be okay. I want you to be safe. I don't want you to get run over by this industry. And here's what's interesting. Julie [inaudible 00:09:50], who's a friend of mine, runs a group called We're in this Together. And I go there often. And today she mentioned that there was a conversation in another group of hers about the post that I made, about how can you find help? How can you get help in a market where it's so hard to tell who's legit and who isn't?

And I've been thinking about this a lot for the past few days, because of how challenging it really is. Like, to the uninitiated, Dan Lok looks wildly successful. Now, watch a few of his videos on closing, watch a few of his team videos on what they do, and if you've run any type of a business, you will very quickly see it is a façade. His closing, his videos of him being a high ticket closer, have just massive jump cuts, and the scripting is terrible. And you can tell they're set up, and they sound horrible. So to the uninitiated, though, he looks very successful.

And so here's what I want to share with you. I actually saw, so Julie shared this post, Julie [inaudible 00:10:52], I want to give her credit. She shared how you can find who's legit and who isn't. And how can you find a coach who's not going to rip you off? What are the things you should be doing? Because here's the problem in this industry. The problem in this industry is based around you having a burning need to want something and then high pressure sales tactics and manipulation tactics, and getting you on a webinar and saying, "This is the only time you can buy this," or getting you on a sales call and saying, "I have an early mover advantage. You can only get it now." If you're buying help from someone and they are piling on high pressure tactics, you don't need help from that person. You should walk away from that person.

And someone told me that in their high level mastermind, if somebody gets on a call with us and they don't buy on the first call, then they're never allowed to work with us again. You've got to be kidding me. Come on, what kind of a scam is that? People call our company all the time. We explain to them how we help people. They say, "Hey, you know what? I'm getting married in two weeks. I'd love to join your program. Why don't I call you in three weeks, when we get back from our honeymoon." We say, "Great." Then we talk to them three weeks later and they join. We don't need any high pressure tactics to get somebody into our business.

And so let me read to you what Julie said, because I think it's brilliant. So this is how you know who's legit and who isn't. Number one, customers who've stayed with that person for years. Not months, years. By the way, we have a whole roster of people who've been with us for years. Customers who've had success and will happily and freely say yes, so and so was a great mentor, not just on the testimonial, but when you reach out to them on social. Happy for anybody to reach out to anyone we've worked with. Even people who have gotten involved with our program, failed to implement, and quit, will often say, "I still really respect Alex Charfen. I just didn't have time when I joined his program."

You should find influencers who stay the course of time, who are not flashes in the pan, who show their human side, their messy side, not the fake messy side. I've been in this business 13 years. And you scroll through my Facebook page, you're going to see some messy stuff. In fact, last week I made a post about how we completely screwed up our Instagram. I keep watching these influencers crush it on Instagram, and we screwed ours up a couple of years ago. I mean, I'm willing to share anything. I'm an open book. I don't need your money to pay my bills today, but if I can help you, I want to be able to provide value. That's the difference. When and if you can meet them in real life, note if the real life version is the same as their online version. Such a good point, Julie.

Trust those who talk just as much about profit and saving as they do revenue and sales. You know what you'll always hear me talk about? Profit and having an emergency fund and having money in the bank. You know what you'll never hear me talk about? Buying exotic cars and buying mansions and flying on private jets when you can't afford it. It just doesn't make sense. Trust those who aren't afraid to share the harder side of business or admit mistakes and be honest with their numbers. From the very beginning, I've shared every number that we have in our business. If anybody wants to know our numbers now, we share them. Heck, regularly, we are having our daily huddle and I will show Instagram on my stories our daily huddle on the pages that have our results on them.

I'm an open book. I have nothing to hide, because I've been in this industry for 13 years. I've been a business professional for almost 30 years. I've been helping entrepreneurs for that entire time. So my reputation, my background, the tens of thousands of people that I have helped, are all out there. I don't need to make anything up. Julie goes on to say, watch how they act with their students and clients. Note how they treat those who are not VIP clients. How do they treat the people who aren't paying them tens of thousands of dollars? Know how much time they spend with their customers versus with the internet circles and networking.

I'll be honest, I'm pretty terrible at networking, but I spend a lot of time with my members. I spend a lot of time with my team. I spend a lot of time working through the issues that our clients have, that our members have, with them. And this is what Julie says is way less important, and I love this. She says what's less important is clothing. Thank you, Julie. This is all I got. Lifestyle, size of house. Now there, Cadey and I have a huge house, but I don't use it a lot in my marketing. I never have used it in my marketing. Sometimes it's in my stories and social media. Perfect power couple marriage. So Cadey and I kind of have that, but we don't have all the pictures standing next to the Bentley and next to the private jet and all that stuff, endless vacations, perfect kids.

My kids are incredible. They're amazing. They are the leaders of tomorrow. They are totally imperfect. Fancy cars, endless vacations, perfect branding and photos. Real life and business is messy and imperfect. It's up and down. It's profitable and expenses. It's filled with wins and losses. I love Julie for this. She's just brilliant. And this is such a good list.

Now, I added a couple of stuff to mine. Things that are not that important, credibility photos with famous people. You can buy that stuff. People who have photos of them on stage. Now these days, you can also buy your way onto a stage. Be careful with what people are using for credibility these days, because what Julie said, people who've been with you for years, real results from real people, people who are willing to say that this person has helped me, the people who talk just as much about profit and saving instead of just profit or just going out and making a ton of money, this is where real business starts and ends. And this is the list that you should actually use to go find somebody who can help you, because here's the challenge in business, is that if you're getting bad advice, you might not know for a year or two how far you've been taken off course.

And one of the most frustrating things for me in my current business is when we started this, this latest coaching and memberships a few years ago in 2017, I talked to over 200 of our avatar. And here's what I heard consistently from every person I talked to, "I spent 10,000 or 20,000 or 50,000," or I heard hundreds of thousands of dollars on coaching or consulting or help that didn't work. And I get it. I know. I'm a coach. Some of it is implementation. Some of it's always implementation, but what I heard over and over and over again was, "I hired a coach. I did everything they told me. I was pushing like crazy, and nothing happened."

Here's why that happens. Because coaches like Dan Lok and his kind steal content from people like me to hook you into buying their product. And on the back end, it's empty. There's just nothing there. And so maybe don't pay as much attention to all of the followers and the likes and the subscriptions. Maybe what you pay attention to is the body of work around that person. Go look and see, is there actual historical stuff online that adds up with this story? Go and ask other people who have worked with that person, are they legit? Did they help you?

And be careful, because it's crazy out there. What I said earlier about hacking and using swipe files for inspiration has literally become straight up duplication, and people are promising results they don't know how to get you. I want you to be safe in this industry. I want to be proud of this industry. Cadey and I have been in the information products industry since 2007. We have sold tens of millions of dollars. We've helped hundreds and thousands of people. We've been given credit with helping our country, the United States, resolve the foreclosure crisis five to seven years early, and I'm proud of what we've done, but I want to be proud of our industry. I want to be able to say I have an online marketing company and be proud of it, but sometimes I'm embarrassed to say it, because there's so many people who are acting in a way that is completely out of ethics, unintegral, and damaging all of us.

We need to put a stop to it. Do me a favor, share this video. If you know somebody who is buying information products right now, is going to go get coaching, share this video with them, tag them here, let them know that they should ask the questions that I shared with you earlier, that they should understand where the person that they're going to buy from really is coming from, and that I want them to get the help that they need. Because for me, there is nothing more challenging, more frustrating, more concerning, than one of us, an entrepreneur, someone who has a hard time asking for help, finally raising their hand, making the commitment to buy something, which I know is hard and vulnerable and makes you feel exposed, and then being let down. We're talking about taking time out of people's lives. We're talking about taking away their productivity. We're talking about making it hard for them to feed their families and pay their bills. This has to end. Share this for me. Can't wait to hear what you think, and thanks for being here tonight.

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