It thus far appears that attending the Matrixx, organized by the Proctor Gallagher Institute AKA PGI, was the worst decision of my adult life.
The following is intended to be fair. I understand that some will interpret my poor results in this context as merely an indicator of my personal weaknesses rather than finding fault with any opportunity or it’s marketing.
Hey, maybe you’re right.
I paid $18000 or $18500 to become a consultant for PGI and the experience was not what I dreamed it to be while in the more open, and gullible, state of mind I adopted at the Matrixx. It was there that I committed to becoming a consultant.
Running through what we have now given PGI: I think my wife and I paid a total of $27,500 to attend the Matrixx, and then there’s the aforementioned consultant fee ($18,00), and then there’s a $4000+ non-refundable (why?) deposit for something called the “1% club” that she lodged into her heart but did not attend. We could not afford the full cost of that seminar.
I have certainly learned a lot from this painful experience and have met some interesting people. PGI is certainly not afraid to ask for money. The company charges an annual fee after becoming a consultant, and then attending the training in Toronto is required (complimentary but one has to pay for travel and a place to stay), and then if in about 8 months you do not meet some requirements such as securing enough clients then there is a fee to extend the deadline, and then in the Facebook group I have seen invitations by the company to pay for additional training.
So the company continues to charge people who are out in the world advertising for the company. This would be fine if not for my impression that few consultants do well in this profession, despite the opportunity being sold as a “business in a box” with the implicit likelihood of success one would expect from an offering by “America’s greatest prosperity teacher”, Bob Proctor.
Watch “Going To Zero” on Netflix before jumping into any “business in a box” opportunity. Many have lost a lot of money to Herbalife and it seems only a few have earned a nice compensation. Reminiscent of my current impression of PGI, people are dazzled into jumping into the opportunity by an appeal to their sense of awe. “Wow, I am a spiritual being who can do it all!” the person may think, and Bob Proctor says the right people and opportunities will come to you when you need them. I’m in!
Then you go home, are encouraged to take responsibility for your life, including the expensive business decision, and maybe you pull others into the opportunity, or maybe you blame yourself for not selling something you do not find sufficiently valuable.
This has been a humbling experience and I continue to work through my thoughts. I hope to publish more thoughts as I converse with other PGI consultants. I do know there are other disappointed consultants, maybe quite a few. Based on our weekly emails, it does not appear very many individuals are activating clients. Maybe 30 consultants per week activate a client out of the ~550 consultants, and I’m thinking many consultants reappear in almost each email. Setting up an analysis to confirm those numbers would take some time.
I know at least a few consultants love what they do, such as those repeater activators. My wife is still selling the personal development program we can sell as PGI consultants, which PGI describes (in my view) as a panacea for all : “Thinking Into Results”. Activating a client means getting someone to purchase the program (~$3000-$10000), which is expected to include some kind of consultation with the consultant – often a group Internet video-call but some consultants do one-to-ones.
The state-of-mind my wife and I adopted during and shortly after The Matrixx caused me to trust, again as Bob Proctor said, that the right people would come to me when I needed them. So we, perhaps in a poor interpretation of Bob’s ideas, jumped into two expensive business coaching opportunities to assist with Facebook marketing (more on that one in the future).
It turns out all three of these programs had redundant elements, particularly with respect to Facebook marketing and a sales technique that focuses on making a client believe you are an authority who has the answer for whatever key problem they have.
I am working towards forgiving myself. Part of that process includes helping others avoid the pain we have experienced while allowing that some may see opportunity in these words. My wife thinks “Thinking Into Results” (TIR) is ethical to sell to the right person. Conjoined with her consultation, TIR has helped at least two clients overcome important hurdles.
My wife and I certainly have some salient personality differences. I am not ready to explore that topic yet.
Some people attend The Matrixx multiple times. I may correspond with a few of those individuals and comment on what I learn. My guess is that Matrixx attendees that are happy with the $15,000 cost ($12,500 as I recall for a second member in a pairing) are those able and willing to adopt a worldview in which they feel less guilt about taking money from people in exchange for a good, service, or opportunity that [EDIT: a personality like mine would predict] would likely lead to disappointment. The satisfied attendee, in my clumsy generalization, may not even think about probabilities. “Statistics is for losers,” the celebrity Steve Harvey once said in an inspiring speech that suggested he was a believer in the Law of Attraction.
The Law of Attraction: your thoughts attract the results you want in life by the sequence (1) thoughts, (2) feelings, (3) actions, (4) results. This is one of the supposedly universal laws presented in “Thinking Into Results”, the popular success tome “Think And Grow Rich”, and other similar works.
Sounds good, right? Visualize yourself with a large amount of money and you will take the actions to earn it. Fail to earn the money you wanted? Your fault. Your results reflect your thinking by this law. And it’s a universal law, so you can look across history and space and apply it. Holocaust victims and trafficked children, did they just have the wrong thoughts?
I hope I have this wrong.
Watch for a philosophy that communicates paramount individual responsibility and a devaluing of concern for others. This philosophy is strong in “personal development” circles including those of network marketing, “law of attraction” devotees, and “business coaching” as a category. Practitioners will say things like, “Focus on the use value of what you are offering”, which means focusing on the potential longoterm impact of a good, service, or opportunity even if in the short-to-middle term, most experience disappointment. The freeing feature of such a philosophy is that one can always say: Eventually, a person or company that pays you for something will derive more value than they paid. You do not have to see this play out, just trust. You also need not ask how people are doing. Just keep adding clients and trust the process.
“Spirit is always for expansion and fuller expression.”
– Bob Proctor
By that philosophy, perhaps I should thank PGI and those two business coaches for taking so much of my money and making me a more cautious consumer. I will say that PGI and the two coaching companies did offer something of motivational value, and if all had worked as my wife and I had hoped, maybe I would not be typing this post. However, given what I know now, I am sure that I would still be questioning whether my most ethical action would be writing my impression that most will not get a sufficient return on their investment into:
1. the Matrixx
2 becoming a PGI consultant
3. purchasing business coaching from anyone who dubiously calls him or herself “the most sought after digital marketing coach on the planet”. I know, I know…I made an embarrassing decision.
What I do not recall any of these three entities (PGI + two coaches) expressing is that I was investing in a high-risk opportunity given, as far as I can tell, most investors fail miserably. That “most sought after…coach” actually said in his advertising that most of his clients earned back more than their investment in the first month, which would have been $6000. I am extremely doubtful about that claim’s truth but I cannot conclusively falsify it. Perhaps authorities will.
Concealing and / or ignoring historic failure appears to be a persistent element in business. For example, most restaurants fail and yet people develop the faith to keep trying. People approach others about business opportunities all the time without communicating risk of failure unless pressed, and even then they may bias their remarks towards the optimistic.
We need to speak more often about ethics to avoid distrust fracturing our system.
Great confidence should not be assumed in these words because I am asking myself and others a lot of questions. I am appreciating more than ever the power of faith and indeed, if one maintains a belief in ideas such as:
“I am a creator like God so I can create the reality I want for myself” (paraphrasing Bob Proctor)
then a powerful motivation to take risks will be sustained.
I overhear my wife helping others to maintain their belief in their dreams and keep taking action. It sounds helpful and righteous.
On the other hand, this belief can also lead others to blame themselves and act destructively when things do not go well:
“Something must be wrong with me. I thought this would fix my problems.”
Exacerbating the problem, the communities that form around what I’ll call “coaching programs” have descriptions that speak to being positive and there’s the threat of being kicked out for being otherwise. This helps explain why I have rarely seen complaints or heavy-hearted concerns in those communities (Facebook closed groups in particular). In talking with others and sharing my shameful experiences, I have discovered others’ pain. Our shame has lightened through conversation.
Speaking to the healthiness of acknowledging negative emotions, a fellow PGI consultant today mentioned how helpful the book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F…” by Mark Manson was in healing her pain after having invested so much in the PGI consultant business venture and having told friends and family of her upcoming material success. She described Manson’s work as the “anti-self-help book for the ages”, a book that encourages one to acknowledge the full spectrum of their emotions and then with that more balanced sense of self, focusing one’s energy on their priorities. I loved her adoption of values less focused on material wealth and more on what work she would find holistically valuable at this time, teaching in schools.
There’s an opportunity here: A personal development program that prominently connects (1) material success to the (2) spiritual while communicating (3) ethical values and (4) social interconnectedness. When comedian Dave Chappelle said in a recent interview, “We are either fighting with each other, or against each other”, it did not sound like a false dichotomy.
Returning to The Matrixx: I do recall that there were a surprising number of people in attendance who were involved with network marketing. Common to network marketing, at least insofar as I have experienced that field, companies like the Proctor Gallagher Institute charismatically present material that stimulate the imagination of a life with greater wealth and therefore more happiness.
I say: Guard your dreams and your wallets.
I may have to delete this post because I am waiting to hear from a PGI leader whether my contract allows a consultant to post such thoughts. If I change my mind after further study and conversation and results, then I will offer my mea culpa.
I think all three of the programs into which I entered have contracts that restrict negative language although I read of a recent law that allows negative opinions to be expressed regardless of certain contractual language. I am grateful that a free country allows consumers to know about others’ experiences.
I hope this post contributes to a better assessment of PGI, “Thinking Into Results”, business coaching, any kind of marketing coaching, and investing thousands to become a consultant for the Proctor Gallagher Institute or attend their Matrixx seminar.