Personal development coaching & MLM problems
What is personal development to you?
For most people it’s the evolution of wherever you are at in life now, to wherever you are trying to get to. Within this journey there are many facets to personal development and many areas in your life that you can personally develop in.
Regardless of what personal development means specifically to you though, the idea that it can be taught or coached via a multi level marketing business is just downright misleading.
I was watching a marketing video the other day, just one of the many research activities I undertake when writing for OzSoapbox, and as I was watching it hit me square in the face.
I literally paused the video, thought about what was being said and concluded that this, right here, was the problem with trying to promote personal development through a multi level marketing business model.
The video I’d watched came courtesy of none other then Tony Rush. Rush used to be part of Polaris Media Group before departing with a whole bunch of other Executive Marketing Council (read: managers) late last year.
Polaris Media Group are in the business of offering personal development products via a multi level marketing model.
I think they call it direct sales but in reality it’s the same thing. You make big dollars if you’re able to sign up people who then sign up people who sign up people and so on and so forth. They call this your ‘business’.
Since leaving Polaris Tony seems to be trying to establish himself as a network marketing coach for the MLM or home based business industry.
In a video published to YouTube Rush uses a funnel analogy to explain how to create a sale or enrollment.
“That’s what it is, it’s a machine.”
Now this article isn’t about debating Tony Rush’s credibility, he’s an internet marketer doing his thing. I want you to forget any pre-conceived opinions who have about Rush and instead focus on what he is saying.
This is a guy who spent years in Liberty League and Polaris Media Group coaching others to achieve in the field of personal development. In the above video Rush is sharing with you the methodology of how that happened.
Marketing personal development with a MLM business model is simply put “a machine”. It’s a machine that can be applied to any other MLM product and that’s where the danger lies.
With personal development you’re playing with people’s lives, their dreams and their ambitions. You’re not just selling some toilet cleaner, herb supplements or vitamin kits.
From a business and marketing point of view there most likely is a systematic machine formula you can follow to churn out commissions and sales. From a personal development viewpoint however to suggest that there is simply a formula one can follow to achieve personal development success is ludicrous.
Now Rush doesn’t explicitly do this, he’s now marketing to a general network marketing audience and thus the video features a more general tone. However you only need to take a loot at just how the direct sales personal development industry companies market themselves to see this in action.
Over at Lifepath Unlimited (Polaris Media Group’s largest competitor and a company I’ve been accused of working for many times), they advertise their income opportunity with a certain air of guarantee.
Build your own business and earn a multiple six-figure income!
You definitely have the ability to realistically earn a multiple six-figure income with LifePath Unlimited.
The above are two of the sales pitches taken from Lifepath’s income opportunity sales page. Without a doubt here the focus is on income potential.
And fair enough, on this page they are advertising a business opportunity and the best measure for success in evaluating a business opportunity is profit.
So where does the personal development come into it? From the products?
The products marketed by companies in the personal development network sales industry are typically geared to drive you towards a top end conference of some sort.
The initial products are placed at a low entry price point and then get progressively more expensive.
This in itself isn’t unique to the personal development industry but what you’ve got to look at is the mindset of the person selling you the products.
Are they really going to be able to coach you? Are they going to put in the effort if you don’t turn into a viable cash cow for their business? Will they put their own financial goals second to your personal development needs?
Go back to the Tony Rush marketing video. Whether they use a funnel analogy or something else, the financially motivated mindset is still the same.
Their income, their livelihood is paramount and any personal development deviations you might have from their ‘machine’ aren’t going to take priority.
I’ve got 100 leads coming in a day, what do I care? I’ll just put you in the too difficult basket and move on.
This to me doesn’t sound like true personal development, nor the type of person you should be taking personal development device from.
Not that they’re horrible people or anything, just that their motivation isn’t in the right place for your own personal best interests.
If you want further proof just take a look at the distributors of Lifepath or Polaris Media Group themselves. It’s no secret that in the last six months or so there’s been a lot of people leaving Polaris Media Group for various other companies.
Some have gone over to Lifepath, some over to Wealth Masters International, some again to the Numis Network; wherever they’ve wound up it’s important to note that their still just chasing that elusive dollar.
As Rush’s video clearly points out, to your average MLM network marketer the profit model is simply a machine formula that can theoretically be applied to any direct sales based business.
This is precisely why the marriage of the personal development industry and the MLM industry simply doesn’t provide for those actively seeking true personal development .
Personal development takes time, commitment and a whole lot of work on your behalf. You’re not going to develop in the long term as a person by attending some glitzy 5 day conference or by doing a course over a couple of months.
Sure, walking on fire and breaking arrows on your neck might make you feel gushy inside for a few days. Hell it might even give you some fond memories to take with you, but is it really addressing any of the concerns or problems that drove you to seek out personal development in the first place?
Since I started writing about Polaris Media Group I’ve seen time and time again the disillusionment of distributors who signed on to really make a difference. A difference both in their own lives and that of their customers that went beyond the mutual financial opportunities to be made.
Time and time again this is where the MLM industry fails to provide beyond being able to provide a simple income opportunity.
If you’re in it for the money then there’s a good chance you’ll succeed, if you’re in it for personal development then you’re probably going to learn the hard way that you’ll either need to readjust your goals to align with the non personal development related financial interests of others, or move on.
Pyramid issues aside, MLM might work for some things; but when you’re playing with people’s lives, ambitions and dreams it is abundantly clear that personal development just isn’t one of them.
Yep that definitely sums it up.
“Want your dreams to come true? Need help with personal development? Follow my system exactly and you will be making money” is basically what every one of these scams suggest.
Of course, I think we know by now who ends up making all the money. Unfortunately many refuse to believe the warning until they’ve racked up ten credit cards of debt.
Nice makeup Tony 😛
Tony selling BS as a “science”??? Too funny!! Saw an ad on Craig’slist with Wendy Stevens hawking her same old story as a personal development and financial guru. She was working so hard at “convincing”. They are out there but looking more desperate. Stay away from them. Personal development?? Not even close…
TO QUOTE OZIE –
ALL MLM push Personal Development, I was involved in Amway and had so many god damn audio tapes, books and also attended conference that cost the distributor – I do not think it is fair to bag just the Personal Development business in general.
There are many many companies such as Bob Proctor that also offer business opportunity. Unfortunately LLI – which in the early days was a great company until various and obvious certain people e.g. Rachel Oliver came into the company, someone who was full of GREED, LLI was never about JUST the money in the early years.
Then add in the Founder Shane Krider who lost his mind and soul to scientology and it is a disaster, and yes many people have been hurt … it is very sad, not everyone in LLI was like Rachel Oliver and her team of puppets who are ONLY focussed on their own greed. There were many leaders who had the biggest hearts to help people, they were not top income earners but could sleep at night.
So I suppose what I am say as an ex LLI from the early days … things got F**ked up BUT we should not judge every MLM or Networking company for Personal Development – cos it is a FACT in life – what you focus on your will get more of.
Polaris Media Group will be bankrupt soon, and so will Polaris Global Marketing and both Rachel and Shane will lose everything – that is karma for GREED
Whatever happened to Brent Payne? Does anyone know? He seems to have disappeared right after he parted ways with Shane. I kind of expected him to pop up with another self-improvement company.
Give it time Zoe
@ Zoe, yes I have always wondered what happened to Brent Payne and if anyone knows it would be interesting to hear what he’s been doing.
The last I heard was at a LLI conference in Acapulco last year. I was excited to meet both Brent Payne and Shane Krider as my advisor had told me to make sure I “get what I came for” and spend time “masterminding” with the leaders and founders.
This task alone was not as easy as she made it sound at the time, but then the crowd was quite large back then so there was a lot of demand on the leaders.
When I got to Acapulco I was disappointed to learn that Brent Payne was not going to be at the conference.
I told my advisor this and asked why he wasn’t attending and she said that Brent’s first passion was music and wasn’t it amazing and wonderful that we are a part of a company where you can have the time and income freedom to just completely focus on your passion when you feel like it.
I remember thinking that he could have just taken a week out from his music to be a part of his own company event, where so many people who looked up to him and his leadership were expecting his involvement.
Though something didn’t seem right, I had stupidly become a part of the brain washing so I didn’t express that thought, got over it and went on my merry way to enjoy the rest of the conference.
Though the inner circle obviously knew all the details, it is amazing to look back now at the behaviour of other distributors. In the team I was involved in, it was never mentioned again and his name never came up.
We clearly got an underlying message that this was not a welcome topic for discussion. We all acted like good little sheep and said nothing.
Brent always seemed to me to be the more dynamic of the two founders, but Acapulco gave Shane Krider the chance to step out and have the limelight to himself.
On the final night we all attended a barefoot black tie beach party. It was such a beautiful night and Shane made a speech that really had me and I’m sure many others quite spellbound.
I remember being really touched particularly where he began to talk about goals and the passion behind them and their meaning to each individual. He talked of having goals that can be very personal.
He did not share the specifics of some of these personal goals of his, but said that he had goals that involved his family, his relationships and the things he did with his children and his interaction with them.
I remember the emotion that seemed to come from him and I don’t think that there was anyone in that large crowd that was not drawn in to everything he was saying.
The goals of money and houses and fancy cars were not mentioned and perhaps that was what was so mesmerizing.
We were talking about family, commitment and the importance of focus and passion about the people that matter most. I left with so much respect for Shane Krider.
Now I look back and think “what happened to all of that?” How could all of that change in a matter of months and where did those goals go.
I’m sure when I listened to him that night that he wasn’t saying that his goal was to get out of his marriage, make sure the impact on his children was as little as possible, and work on his relationship with Rachel.
The whole thing is such a shock and so disappointing but such a valuable lesson, for me anyway.
I will never let myself lose trust in my own instincts again and when I have questions I will express them, no matter how unwelcome they might be. I guess that piece of personal development couldn’t come from a beyond freedom program.
Thanks for this blog OZ, I’m sure it’s helped many to get some clarity back, and stopped others losing it in the first place.
Brent Payne was pushed out of the company HE built, yes he was the brains and one with integrity!
I also remember Acapulco and Shane stood up there like the Messiah preaching all this crap … the lies that were told by all EMC about Brent and any other members of the EMC that refused to join this Scientology BS are disgusting, cruel they are sick, lost souls.
As far as I am concerned. The company went down hill from that day onwards … Brent was the brains. We all Shane’s preaching on families and his wife being his ROCK, with family being his most important thing in his life …hmmmmm …… within 6 months he is shagging Rachel Oliver?? Is that in Scientology?
Anyway I believe in karma and the day of reckoning with come…….
“Don’t let the opinions of the average man sway you. Dream, and he thinks you’re crazy. Succeed, and he thinks you’re lucky. Acquire wealth, and he thinks you’re greedy. Pay no attention. He simply doesn’t understand.”— Robert G. Alle
He’s right here … http://www.youtube.com/thebrentpayne
LOL. But I always did like the welcoming page/video on the LLI site with him talking against the white background. Looks like he is still into playing around with video effects. It should be interesting in seeing what he does.
Probably lost all his money and friends – possible even house, cars, etc. Didn’t LLI have a lawsuit pending against them when they changed names? Plus I strongly suspect that sales were dropping at that point so not as much money was coming in like it had been previously.
Perhaps not in the US but I find it hard to believe it wasn’t due to the fact that many of the ‘top’ earners were raking it in off the pyramids they started building years ago when LLI was formed. They weren’t building those pyramids out of good will, they had the sole intention of making bucketloads of money once they’d recruited enough levels in the pyramid to pay out.
I wasn’t judging every MLM or networking company but rather those that market solely on personal development. I’m not saying the personal development ‘training’ components of companies like Amway work or are effective but at least they market tangible products.
No it isn’t. I can quit my job and sit down and focus on supermodel vagina 24/7… doesn’t mean it’s what I’m going to get. Life’s rewards are what you physically work towards, no amount of wishing or focus without action will get you there.
As for the comments re. Brent Payne; personally I’ve got no idea. I’ve heard all sorts of things from the music career line to not wanting to join Scientology etc. The general consensus seems to be that he’s still on the pay books but as far as I know that hasn’t been confirmed.
I’d love to pen an article or track him down to answer some questions but like others have said he seems to have just completely vanished. Then there’s the issue of confidentiality agreements. If the EMC are made to sign them when they leave and not disclose anything about the upper management of Polaris then I’m sure Payne had to sign one too.
No doubt the contract is valid for a bajillion years too (isn’t that the standard Scientology contract length?), so I doubt we’ll find out anytime soon either.
Oh jesus christ you have got to be kidding me.
Payne dissapears off into the wilderness and then reappears in a Youtube video looking like a hobo seemingly spruiking some new company he’s going to start.
WELL THIS IS GOING TO GO WELL!
Just watching the youtube video again, what exactly did he lose a year ago? The reigns of Liberty League or something else?
And he also mentions that ‘now he has nothing to hide’. This obviously begs the question of what he was hiding before…?!
Well if the ‘wah I hit rock bottom’ story is true, (and if it is I have no sympathy as these people dig their own financial graves), then that means all the ‘teachings’ from Liberty League were a load of crap? I mean the whole idea is to make money… if the founder and co-author flops at life then surely that should raise some alarms?
If he doesn’t have any money then I wonder who’s backing him this time. It’s not like you can just start up a new MLM network company with no initial investment. This is complete speculation and I ask it without seeing any hint of it whatsoever, but maybe the ‘new’ Brent Payne is a Scientologist?
You got to hand it these con men. They have no shame about ripping people off and when things collapse, as they inevitably do, it’s not their fault. So the new scam, with the new image of the penitent pilgrim in bare feet and stubble (remind you of someone recently risen?) is designed to do exactly what all scams do. Unfortunately, there are still people out there who will give this guy money and with it their own self respect.
The problem with so many of these self proclaimed gurus is that they leave such a trail of destruction behind them and then they repeat the process to the new faithful.
OZ can you seriously start deleting these, they contribute nothing to the topic and is just spam.
Yeah I agree, that’s a fair call.
Until Susan snaps out of sheep mode and has an opinion on something I’m just going to mark her comments as spam.
HAHAHA! That’s classic stuff right there!
“THE Brent Payne”? Arrogant much?
It’s still the same old crap… promising all the money and happiness in the world but neglecting to tell you how to earn it. I’m sure we all know the answer by now anyway:
Δ <– Pyramid, in case your computer doesn't display it properly 🙂
I know one person who definitely be on of the first to sign up – Susan Shaw
It’s not just ‘The Brent Payne’, it’s The all new and improved Brent Payne.
Y’know your old self must have been pretty bad when you basically attempt to rebrand your personality. Mind you this is the same self who apparently ‘helped’ thousands.
I kinda wonder if the company he’s launching is going to be as self indulgent as that Youtube clip was.
Fast forward>>> somehow I can picture Brent standing on some new stage, telling his story and how he survived and “came clean” while he picks the pockets of his new and fully mezmerized audience. Guess this is what a “visionary” looks like crawling out from his hole. Wish you well, Brent, but I would rather have my money back.
i posted a comment on his U Tube clip …pending approaval of course
Holy Cow! Battle with the Booze anyone?!? So this is what the 3 month beyond freedom course does to you after you’ve let make you believe that “just putting it out there” or “asking the universe” is going to make you succeed. Look at the state the founder co-writer / author and narrator is in?!?
He’s also had some help with the video to try and project the correct body language. Notice how it starts with him sitting down then after he gets half way through he is on his feet then he starts doing that triangle fingers touching but spread apart thing. This is supposed to be the body language for “I have the answer”.
Unfortunately id probably trust him more than Shane Krider, Rachael Oliver or Simon Haggard at this point.
Oh dear, looks like more lambs to the slaughter (again).
I see a few ex-Liberty League/Polaris Media Group associates are subscribers to this video and it seems Brent is still well respected by some, so no doubt he will make some money from this new venture, whatever it may be.
I have been quite curious about the elusive Brent Payne question.
I too saw the you-tube video about the new and improved Brent, and was curious to know if the ‘everything important to me” that he lost included his wife and kids? Or if he was just referring to the company etc. that he ‘lost’, because if I were Julia, I would be a little annoyed to have been passed over as second in importance to the company!
I also was interested that Brent was yearning for his opportunity to “come clean” and “tell the truth”, but as the video wound to its episodic climax, I felt that it distinctly lacked any tantalizing truths, facts, explanations or otherwise.
I miss the old Beyond Freedom style Brent Payne videos, beach-side residences, ocean crashing on your window-sills, sunsets and smiles. I liked that the all-American golden girl, Julia and her Cheshire smile took the edge of Brent’s Chiseled persona. Alone, in the new, stark heroine-chic setting, just didn’t have the same touch of charm.
Also, has anyone else noticed the hard-out sunglasses-and-hands-on-thighs posed photo that Brent is displaying as his new avatar.
Also I heard a rumor, (and at this stage it is just a rumor) that Brent was forced to leave the company by EMC and Shane after an alleged fling with Cassandra Rigby???? If this were true, apart from revealing further indiscretions by company leadership, it could implicate some sort of master Kroliver plan for company domination? Who knows just how far the rot goes?
Anyway, OZ, it would be awesome if you could do some private investigating to enlighten us all, hopefully if enough people can be warned in advance, then less of this particular history can be repeated.
Rigby and Payne? Not that it would surprise me at all but where did this rumour come from lol?
There seems to be so many accusations within this group of people both currently involved and at one time involved in Polaris/LLI that they have had naughties with eachother. It’s quite amusing.
As for private investigating, I don’t think anything short of those involved airing out any dirty laundry is going to confirm it either way. I’m certainly not going to present it as truth without anything concrete.
As the grapevine goes .. through ex EMC – Rigby was paid to make Brent LOOK bad by Krider, all a plan to push Brent out so the Scientology cult could take over.
How true this is? All I know is I smell a rotten egg around Krider, Oliver, Berry, Molina and any other EMC — oh i heard they are not called that now, it is Polaris Global Leadership Team (wonder why some of the EMC e.g. Gaye Morgan, Shane and Jo-Anne Johnstone are no longer on the team – did they see the light and not GO SCI???)
What happened to all the USA EMC and UK EMC??? Has Polaris Global head office gone in hiding in Australia? Or is it Oliver is running to USA to avoid prosecution in OZ? This is Like Days Of Our Lives!!!!
Let’s go easy on the rumour treadmill, especially when it revolves around people’s personal lives. I’ve heard all sorts of reasons about why Brent Payne left Liberty League but as yet don’t believe he’s ever released an official statement.
Hopefully that changes now that he’s decided to resurface.
Is this the latest Polaria scam? Looks suspiciously like one of their set ups and many of their members are plugging it:
Found a YouTube clip:
No not related to Pmg or whatever they are called now. Compliance is smacking some hands
Got this today –
Polaris Global Compliance Notification
We would like to remind everyone that cross promotion of any kind is breaking the compliance rules that you agreed too when you joined the company. Cross promotion includes promoting any tool, service, product etc. Many times a distributor may do this innocently, such as promoting the recent Your Night opportunity to others within the community. This is a classic form of cross promotion. As per the compliance guide, you can only promote any such service to those that you have directly enrolled into the business. We have these rules in place to protect your individual organization’s from being raided by opportunists and Polaris has a zero tolerance policy for such activities. This offense can result in termination. If you require clarification surrounding this rule, please revisit your compliance guide in your Polaris Business Manager Make it a great day!
Polaris Global Compliance Department
Oooh seems it’s been confirmed then that someone in Polaris Global has been a naughty distributor.
Might have to do a writeup of Your Night on BehindMLM.
One of those getting their hand slapped will be Simon Haggard himself. You would think he would know better. Unless he has bailed from PMG? After all his wife is back at her old job so maybe it’s time for a new scam.
Heard John and Shannon Lavenia are raiding the Polaris nest also with some
new business they are launching this week Oz .. everything is secret about it
with anyone wanting to know details signing Non Disclosure Forms … interesting,
another scientology source of income??
here is the latest of Brent Payne and his new biz coming soon…
there are several ex-LLI folks joining him in the new venture.
Have a look at the photos of Brent. He looks like a washed out hobo. Whoever is paying for the fitout of the office better watch out cos I suspect his money is going down the drain, just like that of most people who have dealt with Brent in the past.
Cross promoting is what people do when they’re ready to leave an “opportunity.” For Polaris Global’s Compliance Dept. to send out an email to all of their distributors is a bad sign for them. They’re out the door, which is unfortunate for anyone who has purchased event tickets or paid for the Beyond Freedom Departure program – which hasn’t been fully released yet.
Time to start asking for refunds… remember, a lot of those purchases were made through Polaris Media Group, and Polaris Global Marketing is a “new” company. I’m willing to bet that Polaris Media Group files for bankruptcy soon, so they can renege on any previous debts.
Is this saying that anyone in Polaris can’t have another business?
Polaris has truly evolved into a “mind control” community. How do you control the members? Forbid them from promoting other opportunities. There is a culture of guilt and shame that comes from the EMC if you “dare” look outside. The silly Facebook accusations. “Bob” cannot be friends with “Bill” because “Bill” decided to leave Polaris and market something else. Crazy. I called several EMC and asked for help over the last year and the common answer was: “Work on yourself” and “Go out and make it happen.” Has anyone else experienced this?
I think having another business is ok as a Polaris Distributor, but promoting it to Polaris distributors is a no-no.
I believe you can have another business, and when I was a distributor it was OK to talk to your direct down line about it but you were never to promote it to people who were in another person’s down line even though you may have become friends with those people.
Your direct down line is anyone you enrolled personally, and so does not include your entire down line which also consists of people who others in your down line have enrolled.
This would be taking away their time and focus from their Polaris business which would in turn affect their enrollers business.
Having said that, anyone who was known to be a part of another network marketing business didn’t smell so good anymore and it was frowned upon. Definitely a culture of control.
Absolutely!! I’d be confident to say nearly every person has experienced this. It is the stock standard regurgitated response that passes from advisor to distributor.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH POLARIS GLOBAL: Yesterday browsing the web looking at different online income opportunities I came across Polaris and posted my email address for them to send me info, which led to a phone call from a Simone Wylie (don’t know if she’s got any rank in the company or is just one of Polaris’s punters trying to make a buck???).
Simone was very nice (aren’t they all???) and offered me the chance to find out more tonight on a “Live & Interactive Business Presentation Call”, where all would be explained to me, what their organization was about and how for little effort I could make lots of money – well, immediately after the “Live & Interactive Business Presentation Call” I replied by email to Simone – following is a copy of said email:
To the original poster, you comment on messing with people’s personal lives.
Are you not doing the same by painting what can be something positive in their own live negatively?
What alternative solutions do you offer?
Everyone int he media loves negativity. It draws attention. People like to cry. And journalists love it, which is what you’re paid for, right?
So, the final question?
Have you actually tried the personal development product to know if it can or cannot help? Or do you just want everyone to assume because it has an optional business opportunity it cannot help in the areas of personal development?
No, because I’m providing an opinion as opposed to a way of thinking or lifestyle.
My opinion is just that, you take it away and come to your own conclusion – I’d never suggest simply replacing my line of thinking with your own without some afterthought on your own personal behalf.
Personal development is about changing the way people engage their lives, for better or worse – I’m in no capacity attempting to do that in sharing my opinion.
None. BehindMLM is not a site on personal development.
Wrong. BehindMLM is not the media and I’m not a journalist.
Business opportunities always come with ulterior financial motives. This in itself detracts from what could be a genuine personal development experience for people.
Well these posts have been posted some time back, but if you are interested in the inside story, I was there in it all… and was also there the night Cassandra Rigbye and Brent Payne got it off (yes, that is not a rumour).
Shane was heavily involved in Scientology at this point, and all EMC members who refused to go to training ran by Scientologists were made leave the company (and that has come directly from Michael Hamburgers mouth, and my own, being part ofthe EMC).
Since Brent was not involved in Scientology, Shane wanted him out – and as he was cofounder, the Cassandra Rigbye fling seemed his only option. It only came out later that Cassandra was infact paid to do this – even Brent wasn’t aware of it in the beginning – but he was forced to also step down by his wife, following the Cassandra Fling.
I have no idea how Polaris is still going, being ran by Rachel and Shane. I left as soon as I was asked to for not wanting to follow Scientology! LLI was great, loved it and had a great experience, but it was all distroyed by Shanes conviction for Scientology and his choice to leave his wife for Rachel Oliver.
And that is all….You can all move on! 🙂
@PMG & LLI ex
So why does nobody talk about this, even those that have gone onto other opportunities?
I mean apart from being obvious, the whole Scientology thing to this day is flatly denied. Are the non-disclosure agreements the EMC are required to sign really that restrictive?