Archive for May, 2009

Millionaire Mind Intensive Seminar

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

It’s been a week since Helen and I attended the Millionaire Mind Intensive Seminar and I’ve had these notes burning a hole in my desktop – so it’s high time I turned them into a proper post.

A bit of background

A couple of years ago Helen and I read Secrets of The Millionaire Mind by T Harv Eker. We enjoyed it a lot and we immediately made positive changes to our financial “blueprints”. Just over a month ago we saw T Harv Eker in person in Vancouver as he presented a 2.5 hour seminar about being a “Wealthy Warrior” in the current times of economic hardship. At the end of the seminar he gave us free tickets to the Millionaire Mind Intensive that we’ve just attended. You can read more about the book and initial seminar here.

Helen and Jake at MMI

Cost

As I mentioned before, we got the tickets for free and supposedly they are worth $1295, but of course everyone I spoke to was there for free except for those who paid for VIP seats right at the front. For us it was not totally free though because we had to pay a childminder $500 for the weekend (3 very long days) and although we took a big bag of snacks we still bought a couple of meals and a few Starbucks. We’ve actually logged everything as an expensive towards our new business (more on this later).

Was it worth it?

So was it worth it? Yes I believe it was but only if we make some changes to our lives based on what we learned and also start our new business as planned. Also the networking was great and may yield great business contacts and/or friends. It was an interesting and generally fun and empowering experience too although it was very tiring due to the long hours. Furthermore, observing the sales techniques and what was happening to the people was fascinating from a psychological point of view, especially as I’ve just read a book on the psychology of persuasion and another on NLP.

Day 1

We had to turn up at about 8am on the first day to register and then the seminar started at 9am. When the presenter was introduced I and many others were a bit shocked to find out that it was not T Harv Eker himself. However, this actually turned out fine because the presenter was really good and he didn’t shout as much as T Harv does. I heard someone else call him an “everyman” – certainly his temperament was more suited to us and that was a relief as I had been a bit worried about T Harv hollering at us for 3 days flat.

There were about 500 people in a very large hotel ballroom (Marriot Pinnacle in downtown Vancouver) with a stage at the front. It was pretty packed, all the seats were full. By the end of the seminar a few seats were empty, but most people stayed for it all.

The first thing you notice is that the presenter does loads of audience participation stuff; so you have to repeat words after him, or finish the end of his sentences, or lift you hand up and say “Good” or whatever. Also there’s tons of high fiving the people around you. At first this feels odd, but when you get into it, it’s good fun. It’s all part of the brainwashing which helps you to change yourself (and also helps them to sell you stuff later on…)

Hand waving

Breaks

About every 2 hours there’s a 15 minute break which is just long enough to buy something they’ve just mentioned like CDs or cards or whatever and go to the loo. Also they get everyone to stand up and do stretches every so often. There’s lots of other standing up though for “declarations” where you speak/shout an affirmation aloud and for working with other people.

There are also two meal breaks at around 12:30pm and 6pm. Typically the breaks are only an hour which is not quite long enough to find a restaurant and eat and relax and get back in time. You are better off finding a cafe where you can get served quickly (we went to Urban Fare a couple of times). Also at lunch time we just ate snacks outside in the sun, which was really nice.

Upon returning after breaks normally everyone was dancing to some cheesy music and waving their arms around and clapping etc. This was pretty weird to me, but at least it energised everyone. The presenter worked hard on keeping everyone energised the whole weekend.

According to the booking form the event was supposed to go on until 11pm on Day 1 and 2 and finish at 7pm on Day 3. However, it actually finished at 9:30pm on days 1 and 2 which was a relief because we were knackered. It did start an hour earlier on Sunday though, at 8pm instead of 9pm. I believe there’s a reason for these long days which I’ll elaborate on later.

Oh one more thing, take a sweater in case you get cold because on the last day the air con was cranked up and I needed the sweater some of the time.

The Training

Much of the training covered what was in the book but with repetition and group exercises plus there was some new stuff too. This certainly helped to cement it into my mind and made me realise that although I’d read the book and done some stuff from it I could certainly make more changes for the better (which I’ve done).

The presenter talks and writes stuff on a big notepad and gets you to repeat plus you have a work book that you write stuff down in. This may sound boring but it’s actually fine because it’s broken up with many group exercises, for example:

- Singing Mike and the Mechanics and Whitney Houston (seriously! I never thought I’d be doing that with 500 people at once, it was weird to say the least.)

- Something with a $100 bill but I won’t tell you what we did because we all made a promise.

- Breaking an Arrow on our throats (mine said “Procrastination” on it). I was the group leader due to having martial arts experience and was able to encourage those who had difficulty in breaking through their fears. It was pretty cool.

- Meditation

- Discussion of our issues and emotions regarding money. (Some people got very emotional)

- Role Play

- NLP stuff including Pain Aversion :-)

- Hugs. We had to hugs loads of people. This was actually really cool and I enjoyed it a lot. Another fun exercise was giving people compliments. I got really into this and wished I could do it to random people every day. I will try to incorporate more complimenting into my life though.

…and lots more. It was certainly a varied program. They recognised that people learn in different ways and so tried out loads of different things. All of it was designed to permanently alter your financial “blueprint” or at least make you aware of yours so that you can continue the process of change after the seminar.

My financial blueprint

At the start of the seminar you fill out a questionnaire which asks you what you think about money, weath, rich people etc. You use this to identify non-supportive areas that need work. Mostly I wrote very supportive things but there were plenty of people who had major problems and wrote stuff like “Rich people suck”. My two main issues were “It’s hard work to get rich and there won’t be much time for anything else like my family and playing games etc” and “It takes money to make money”. I had some other minor hang ups too. Anyway, I’m pleased to report that since the weekend I have erased those two non-supportive beliefs and it feels great. Helen also worked through a lot of stuff and she found it very useful. It’s amazing actually, it’s like living with a different person when we discuss money now (it’s great! The weekend was worth it just for that). Everyone else I spoke to made big breakthroughs too.

We also did an exercise where we identify if we are a Saver, Spender, Avoider or Monk. It turns out I’m a Saver, although it is possible to have a mix and I think that really I’m a Saver/Spender if that makes sense. Helen found out what she was and this has helped her a lot. The interesting thing is that often when you find out what your money type is you realise that you apply the same approach to other areas of your life too! For example if you avoid dealing with money, perhaps you also avoid dealing with other major areas of your life too like health, love, happiness.

Upselling

Because the seminar was free I suspected that they might do a lot of upselling of their other courses and products, which they certainly did. The products weren’t upsold that much, and I even bought a few good value ones (a deck of affirmation cards and a small Speed Wealth book, which I think I already own in e-book form, and Helen bought some meditation CDs that are really good). But the other courses were upsold BIG TIME.

On the first day they did a sales pitch once for two courses combined into one. The sales pitch lasted AGES, maybe an hour because it was interspersed with stories and information. On the second morning, after the “compère” hyped us all up the presented berated us for the fact that not many people bought the course the day before. There were two more upsells on day 2. We left early part way through the final upsell on day 2 because it was about health and we believe that we are pretty healthy and know quite a lot about it. On the final day there were two more upsells including one for their “Quantum” program which basically gets you access to all the other courses. Helen and I got pretty good at spotting these upsells from the first sentence of the sales pitch which was sometimes 15 minutes or so before other people realised what was going on.

Some people certainly found the selling to be annoying. I found it interesting to see how the audience were being manipulated although it was a bit tiresome after a while. But hey it’s a free course so I was expecting it, they have to make their money somehow right? Anyway, the constant theme was scarcity (limited places on the course, which is bullshit) and fear (if you don’t buy the course you’ll remain the same (crappy) person forever) and price reduction (from $9,995 to $1,995 for example). There were some other techniques used too. Most scary was the one where we were being sold to as we were meditating (hypnotism anyone?). Also by the end of the weekend most people were very tired due to not enough sleep, short rushed meal breaks and sitting in a room for 12+ hours a day of semi-brainwashing, which is bound to have made people more susceptible to sales.

Price reduction

Anyway, Helen and I resisted. I pretty much figured that I can do most of the research on my own for a fraction of the cost. I think the appeal of the courses is that a) someone has done all the research for you already and lined it all up for you to digest easily, b) you get to interact with other people and cement the learning in more strongly, c) you get to network, and d) you get to hang out in California or wherever the course is. But my concerns were: a) why pay for info that is probably free already, b) they might try to do more upselling on the actual course c) it would be a hellish long weekend again.

For me (and probably lots of other people) I would have found a more positive and genuine selling approach much better. For example they could have just outlined the positives that I mentioned above without all the fear-based selling tactics. I may have even signed up to something then, you never know. Perhaps though they’ve tested several selling techniques and found that theirs yields the highest return – distasteful as it is.

When we got back I did some googling and found this very interesting blogspot about the courses. I highly recommend that you read it if you are thinking of attending any. Of courses many people we met there said that they really enjoyed the courses they’d been on and got a lot from them. So make up your own mind.

Conclusion

Anyway, don’t let the upselling stuff put you off going. Just don’t take a credit card and steel yourself against the sales pitches. The bulk of the course (although a tad long-winded) was good fun and definitely made us aware of things that we need to change. We’ve immediately put several things into action including brainstorming a new business that will be a monetised blog just about positive thinking – an area that I’m passionate about, and Helen is a writer/editor, so it makes sense. Keep an eye out for that, I’ll be announcing it officially when there’s something more concrete to show.

At the end of the course they give you a workbook to follow each day for 90 days. I’ve started mine and I’m finding it useful. My favourite part is listing 5 or more successes I’ve had each day (I often list more until I run out of space).

I believe that some people got a HUGE benefit from the course. How much you benefit is probably related to how much you are living in the dark regarding your own financial blueprint. I was already pretty aware of mine. But then again if you are already making good money and you set yourself for an even higher level, then the course could be very valuable indeed!

I recommend going, just for the experience if anything, but I bet you’ll gain something from it. It could even be life changing.

The end

Free tickets

As per usual they gave away free tickets to other Millionaire Mind Intensive seminars. I have 10. Each has a little code on it that can be used when signing up for the seminar, so I don’t think you even need the ticket, you can just enter the code online or say it on the telephone. So if anyone wants a code, just email me and I’ll send you one!

I hope that you have found my report useful. I’ll report back how my “reconditioning” is going over the next few months.

Also if any of you have been on the MMI or other Peak Potentials’ courses then please post a comment. Thanks!

I’ve made £100,000+ revenue from games so far

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Last night I logged another payment on my accounts and I was overjoyed to see that I have finally hit the awesome milestone of making £100,000+ ($160,000+ at today’s exchange rate) from selling games. This revenue excludes my salary at Big Fish Games Vancouver.

My first game was sold in December 2005 so I’ve made £100,000 in 3.5 years. That’s about £28500 salary a year which is OK. Of course in the first few years I didn’t make much money, most of the money is in the last couple of years since I hooked up with BFG as a contractor. The money comes from 7 products which includes 6 casual games and 1 game framework.

It’s worth noting that, based on last year’s revenue, this year’s revenue (including BFG salary) will probably be close to or higher than the £100,000 mark (depending on if I can get some more passive income streams on the go that I’ve been planning – watch this space). So the moral is keep working hard and get really good at what you do, and it’ll pay off. Oh and also “Think Positive” of course! :-)

Now my next game sales target is to reach 100,000 units sold and I’m very close to that. I’ll post again when it happens.

Another 100,000 hits and counting…

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

In February I reported that my site had had 500,000 hits since I started it. Well I’m pleased to report that it’s had another 100,000 hits since then in only 3 months. That’s 33,000 hits per month! It’s definitely growing. Also when I recently checked my blog’s Page Rank I noticed that it had gone up from a 3 to a 4.

The growth may have been natural, although I expect that using Twitter has helped. Also I started using Feedburner and put the RSS feeds in more prominent position on my blog.

Often business and success coaches say what you measure grows and I know that this is true of things like money so it’s interesting to watch my web traffic stats and see them grow (due to me taking action and implementing things that make them grow).

Page Rank Drop

One major bummer is that I just checked my page rank again and the blog is 2 (down from 4) and the main site is 0 (down from 3) !!! So I believe that I’ve finally been penalized for selling links to gambling sites. My friend Juuso at GameProducer.net warned me that this was a possibility but the money was too good to refuse and way better than the peanuts I get from Adsense. I’ve made nearly $2000 from selling links this year so far (and good money in previous years) – it was easy money because the advertisers approached me and adding a link to the site only takes a few minutes. I never knew it was frowned upon by Google until Juuso told me. Perhaps I “manifested” the drop just by knowing about it ;-)

Anyway, I guess that means that I probably won’t get many more requests for ads whilst my Page Rank remains low. Maybe when the ads expire it will pick up again. I think you can request a reassessment from Google so I could try that in a year. I’m not too bothered by this issue right now because my site is still linked to by lots of others and it still shows up well on Google, plus I have lots of loyal visitors who I’m sure will keep on recommending my site. I think the Page Rank is mainly just a number that other advertisers use to check your viability for placing ads.

However, if any of you have advice about this issues, please comment. I’d love to hear from you. Thanks!