Jeff Walker, selling stuff, advertising, and ideas

A long time ago I signed up for some writing classes with Holly Lisle. That is, I signed up for one. I liked the class. There was a lively forum that went along with it and her exercises were very good. She kept offering more classes to sign up for, and changing stuff around to adapt to new and improved technology, which is fine by me. Sure enough, she had me signing up for another class and another, until I realized I couldn’t afford to keep signing up for classes like this.

Then she sent out a notice saying she recommended this guru named Jeff Walker. Jeff could teach you to sell anything, she said. She said he was her guru. She had taken his workshop, he had mentored her and taught her to sell her classes. So she said if you take classes with Jeff, you can sell your books, or sell anything, Even crap.

Yep, even crap, says Jeff. I knew already (from my publisher, actually) that a great way to win sales and win followers is to offer free stuff to potential buyers. Give stuff away. So there was Jeff, with fake mountains in the background, explaining how he was in the poorhouse and then, he got very rich very fast.

Listen, you can’t get very rich that fast without ripping off other people. However, that kind of behavior, the get-rich-fast behavior, is highly praised in our society, meaning that quietly ripping off or hurting others (without admitting it) is actually praised so long as you don’t admit it. Shove ’em aside so you can get ahead.

So Holly was recommending Jeff as her part of her obligation to Jeff. When she signed on with Jeff, this was part of the bargain, that she’d tell her faithful followers, “Hey, go to Jeff and buy from him!”

Jeff’s techniques also involve mentoring, well let’s re-word that one: The Pyramid Marketing Scheme. We know about that one. Tupperware. Mary Kay. Et al. If you have ever fallen for a chain letter these product lines work about the same. The way the money works is dubious at best. Whoever is on the top of that pyramid (and YOU can get there, too!) is getting mighty rich. That’s how Jeff got rich. The mentoring means that you take on new people and teach them: “Hey, you, too, can rip people off and if you sign up with me I’ll teach you how!”

Welcome to the new way of marketing worthless crap. Jeff Walker is not the only marketing guru out there. There are many. “Sign up with me and I’ll teach you how to rip off other people and get rich, let’s do it!”

Great.

Let’s look at overpricing first. I don’t respect this advertising that totally exaggerates the monetary worth or usefulness of a product so that it can be sold for a higher price or that a higher quantity can be sold, or to keep customers coming back.

Jacking up prices is actually a bad business practice and I’ll tell you why. You might think, “Oh, this is a great handbag, well made, so I’m willing to pay $150 for it.” However, those that cannot pay $150 can’t say that. The handbag, as a piece of merchandise, might be worth $15 dollars only, wiht the rest of the money from the sales going straight into god-knows-whose-pocket. Overpricing shuts out those that aren’t wealthy enough to waste their money like that.

Overpricing shuts the poor out of a college education. Overpricing shuts the poor out of the housing market. In some parts of the world, food is overpriced. In some regions there is a price on water that’s okay to drink, shutting out the poor and putting their lives at risk. Overpricing of organic food (whether labeled honestly or not) turns “health food store” into a rich people’s snob store.

Overpricing of services shuts out the poor and I mean this across the board. Day care for babies and young children, for instance, can be insanely expensive and not everyone who can’t afford it gets “benefits,” either.

That said, let me get back to the subject of how the get-rich-quick advertising scammers relates to medicine. Jeff promises he can teach you to market anything. He uses examples of what you might be offering the public, such as dog training, which is a service. That got me thinking.

A service has to be advertised. Same with, say, therapy or maybe The New Miracle Doc in Town. Actually, the Better Business Bureau was first set up to stop the Miracle Cures such as diet pills that didn’t work. Back when I was a kid there was a lot of marketing of bogus cures for male baldness, a handful of diet pills (I don’t know anyone who fell for them) and health cures with ridiculous claims.

Some 30 years from now we’ll all look back on Prozac and be laughing our butts off. “You fell for that one, too?” Or crying.

When it comes to therapists, the idea for marketing their services is to make it look like you have not been coerced. To make it look like you’ve signed on freely and that they’re so busy they have “squeezed you in” but probably you’re their first or second client to sign on and they are thrilled that finally someone’s falling for their wares.

Jeff’s marketing scheme is brilliantly designed just like the lectures I attended when I was a Moonie. 1) Convince the public of a deficiency or dire need. Whether real or not, they are hurting bad.

Baldness is horrible and embarrassing. Now convince these guys of just how awful it is to be bald and how much they wish they had their hair back, how deficient and depressed they are, and it’s all because of their baldness. It’s not true at all but you do this to sell your snake oil.

2) Guess what? Here’s the cure! Oh, but it’s only available for a short time and it’s only…..

Therapists do this, too. Convince you that your depression will last forever if you do not get help. Actually that’s totally untrue but most people buy into that one quickly because they’re desperate. Sadly, therapy often perpetuates depression and keeps people sick. The Catch-22 is that many people I know actually insist their therapists are keeping them alive!

When I hear that, I flinch. I really do. That was me, years ago. I was totally convinced that therapy kept me alive. I was convinced that I “wasn’t getting better” because I was “treatment resistant.” So I kept going to therapy thinking I badly needed this therapist to keep me, tx-resistant, alive. Guess what? It was total bullshit!

So now, when I hear other people saying the exact same thing, I know what is going on and it saddens me so much. I cringe knowing I said the same thing for decades until I awoke to the reality. Therapy keeps you sick, needy, dependent, and perpetuates the problem. Why? Your being “sick” keeps you in therapy. Yes, totally circular and that is why you are completely stuck.

After a while I went from one therapist to another, in state of desperation since the last therapist had stripped me raw, not due to any illness of mine at all! So one therapist harmed me in some way, and then, I’d go to the next one, totally unaware of the vicious cycle.

There’s only one way to stop the cycle. Don’t go to therapy to cure the abuse of the past therapist. You don’t owe it to yourself nor to another person nor to the abuser nor to society to “fix” the abuse with therapy which will only keep you perpetually dependent and perpetually sick and possibly unemployed and on disability as well.

I do think there are a few cool therapists out there that actually see you for only a few sessions.  Better yet, one session.  Such therapy has to have a clear cut beginning, middle, and end. And really end with the patient saying “Goodbye, so long, and thanks for thanks for the helpful information.”

I recently almost signed on with a non-therapist “coach” but ended up deciding against it. The basic prices were reasonable but the fine print was ridiculous. I laugh now because if I could make that kind of money I’d be quite wealthy right now, would have paid off all my bills, would own my own home, too. Just from having two or three “clients.”

I thought she was one of the “cool” ones but when I found out about the overpricing I was disappointed. That feeling of “dang, another one!” makes me feel kinda disparaged over the human race as a whole. Yes, it’s a rat-race out there. A rat-race I have no intentions of joining.

Is there a middle ground somewhere? I am not sure yet. I only want to improve my financial situation so I can get away from the constant boom-crash sound I hear at my living situation here.  It’s all day long Bang bang bang and I find myself at wit’s end silently begging a god I do not believe in PLEASE MAKE THE DAMN NOISE STOP but of course there is no one there to hear my prayers. With the money I have now, I can’t afford quiet living quarters. So far, all attempts have led to dead ends. I have made so many!

I’m thinking of moving to a hotel. Looking into that. I spent a couple of days at one a bit ago and it was like Heaven on Earth. Oh…somewhere over the rainbow, folks…..

Feedback and comments welcome!