Intuitive Coaching 101–All that Glitter isn’t Gold

by Patricia Herlevi, October 2013

by Patricia Herlevi, October 2013

We receive an invite in the e-mail box mentioning a free webcast set to transform our lives. But wait, is this another info commercial under the guise of a free gift?

When I’m feeling desperate about the direction my life is heading, I fall prey to a season of free webcasts and teleconferences calls. While we reap benefits from information and activation given during these calls and webcasts, we also endure 30 minutes or more of manipulative marketing techniques employed to get us to click on the button below which will take us to the fee-based online program at a discounted price, of course.

I’ve listened to numerous free webcast series and while each webcast host says he or she has the secret formula to a successful online business venture that reaps millions, sad to say that all the formulas sound exactly alike. Last night I listened to an otherwise compassionate healer cough her way through her sales pitch, telling the listeners that she was offering a course for a small fraction of the regular $50,000 price tag. Well, if I had $50,000 to spend on a program, then I wouldn’t require the program, now would I?

I didn’t even look up the current fee for the program since that would have forced me to scroll through more marketing pitches (these folks layer those pages with testimonies, videos, and program benefits) to reach the bottom of the page where the fee is finally mentioned. It’s the same deal each time and here’s the usual scenario. We receive a free invite to a webcast series which features both renowned and emerging healers or spiritual teachers. At first, it’s fun to listen in to the interviews, receive free spiritual advice and we can easily take a bathroom break during the 15 minutes of sales pitch which starts with, “If you would like to go deeper with this healer then let me tell you about their special offer.”

The following weeks, your e-mail box fills up with invites to take a free online business course (which is just an info commercial for the fee-based course). The host offers individual coaching sessions and other goodies with the fee-base course if you sign up by clicking the button below the webcast. Now, for someone with extra money to spend and leisure time on their hands, taking the course wouldn’t do any harm.  However,  it might just echo other online courses with a similar format. However, these hosts target people with chronic illness, chronic money problems, or lonely people who search online for virtual communities so they feel validated.

This brings up another trap. The webcast hosts always have gregarious and outgoing personalities while giving the impression that everyone who shows up for the webcast is part of a special community and therefore dear friends. Wouldn’t it be better to find healers and teachers in our own communities or sign up for a session with a healer we’ve been following on YouTube or Face Book for several months or years? Personally, I choose healers and teachers who don’t make promises or make a grab at my personal power with marketing pitches that cause me to doubt my own strategies or skill set. I tune into my body and if I feel queasy or my head aches while listening to a sales pitch, I turn the webcast off.  All that glitter isn’t gold.

Yet, these hosts claim that their methods for making money which combines heart-based work with earning millions of dollars without effort is the best, “You can make money while you sleep.” However, producing webcast, hiring and firing employees, working with video production teams, and creating webcast series, not to mention, products is far from effortless. And what’s so wrong with having a modest intuitive coaching practice that allows for a comfortable life? When these hosts, (who are otherwise excellent healers and teachers corrupted by dollar signs etched into their pupils), make their pitches, I see images of that scene from the movie “Tommy” where Ann Margaret rolls in baked beans on a bed, except the hosts roll in thousand dollar bills.

I have nothing against spiritual teachers and healers making a living, but I have a problem with this online business model which appears to come from the corporate world with the same manipulative marketing pitches. It’s one thing to make an honest living offering services that transform lives and another to charge $50,000 for a seminar and that’s on the lower range. Personally, I healed my relationship with money but I still don’t desire to have millions of dollars, a large home, and a wasteful lifestyle and I don’t require to heal my beliefs of modesty and humility. I also have a problem with people who pretend to be my friend so that I’ll buy their products and services. That just makes my skin crawl.

So then what’s a person wanting to start their own business to do? By all means, take the free courses and glean the free information which usually appears in modules on a website.  Stay clear of the webcasts though since you will receive an hour or more of sales pitches, usually saved to the last webcast in the series, but sometimes sprinkled throughout. I also question if the programs are so worthwhile and valuable then why do the hosts and producers of these programs bend over backwards with sales pitches? Wouldn’t we know a good deal?

Check out business books from a local library (make sure they were published recently), look for successful business people in your community and interview them. This will costs you the price of a coffee drink or cup of tea. Better yet, look for free business mentor programs in your community. Look into community college courses, and if you’re income falls below the equator you might qualify for a worker retraining program which covers tuition for business and marketing programs and sometimes covers the cost of books too. Hire a business coach in your community which will costs you a fraction of what the internationally renowned business teachers are charging. It’s not a sin if you don’t take courses with a business trainer who works with Fortune 500 executives. In the end, you probably know more about starting a business than you first imagine. Besides, there isn’t just one successful business model or formula that leads to success. That’s like saying that there is only one perfect pair of shoes or one perfect dress.

The last thing I want to mention is the language that all of the webcast hosts I’ve listened to or watched have used.  They all use the words, “amazing,” “miraculous,” “awesome,” and sometimes appear to have orgasms after a free activation of one of their special guests.  Every activation is the “best one thus far,” which must make the previous hosts feel bad. The stories the hosts tell also don’t make any sense and they all seem to focus on the underdog story aimed at people suffering from chronic illness and living in debt.

For instance, I am supposed to believe that a webcast host who once made millions for software entrepreneurs with marketing and business strategies had her own business fail on her. And if that’s true, then why would I take her program, other then I can learn from her mistakes? And in 2014, I followed another webcast series of a different host (who I once respected), who laid marketing pitches so thick that I found myself gagging.  She kept offering deadlines and then extending them. She even created a new free webcast to promote the same series, which didn’t quite reach its potential as far as attracting students. She had mentioned earlier that she was in Hawaii looking at real estate so was her new program created so she could buy a new home?

My response, Thank you for your free webcasts, but I’m not buying into your business model which I just find exploitational and targeted at vulnerable segments in the world. Besides, I already know that I’m special and I’m living during a transformational time on the planet.


5 thoughts on “Intuitive Coaching 101–All that Glitter isn’t Gold

  1. It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only person who feels this way. I thought if I spoke about my feelings on the topic, people would label me negative. However, I find it a negative experience when healers charge astronomical sums of money for seminars, workshops and products while in the next breath say that their gifts come from God or something to that effect.

  2. Patricia, this is a powerful post – you’ve pulled back the curtain to reveal ‘the machine’ behind these tele-summit and webinars. As you’ve described so well, there’s a real difference between an experienced, integrity-centered healer or coach sharing information to help people who can benefit from his/her experience find their way to them.

    But the ones you’ve highlighted are a whole different beast, centered in the very manipulative and integrity-lacking neuromarketing approach as they are. They all do follow a template or model learned in the ‘marketing bootcamps’ on how to use neuromarketing to ‘push the fear buttons’ and compel people to buy from that place of fear and insecurity that’s been intentionally activated by these approaches. No wonder they feel so ‘slimy’ to those who are listening!

    This is where knowledge is helpful – if we’re aware of what’s happening and that ‘fear and insecurity buttons’ are being deliberated triggered, we can ‘just say no’ and find a more integrity centered coach, consultant or healer who is interested in more than having us simply be ‘cash cows’.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!


    • Yes, you hit the nail on the head. I knew something was wrong because my body felt sick listening to the marketing tactics. It’s sad that otherwise talented healers and teachers get involved in this dark side of new age. I guess they don’t yet see the wizard behind the curtain.

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