“Never Work Again” Seminar – Days 3 & 4 Review and Conclusion
This is the final part of my review for T. Harv Eker’s “Never Work Again” 4-day seminar. Be sure to read parts 1, 2, and 3 before reading this post.
As I mentioned in Day 2 update, I was running my own workshop on NWA Day 3, so I didn’t attend NWA morning and afternoon sessions. After my workshop, I planned to attend the remainder of NWA for Day 3, only to see Tatt’s sms that O and him have left the seminar as it was the same formula used in Day 1 / Day 2. Every new speaker was there to talk about his method of earning passive income (with supposedly massive results), followed by sales pitch for his program/course to learn more about it. The topics were also not relevant. Hence, I went back home as well to take a rest.
Separately, my workshop went well – I was training school students on the habits to get top results, and some parents even came to accompany their kids!! Talk about real dedication! I’ll be continuing part 2 next Sat on Plan Your Way To A-Stars. Most of the same participants will be back and with new attendees too, so I’m looking forward 😀
Here’s a run-down of the agenda for Days 3 and 4. Again due to intellectual property reasons, I’ve listed the subject of the segments but not the actual topic titles.
Day 3 Agenda
- Successful Investing*
- iPhone/iPad Mobile Applications*
- Payday lending*
- Better Trades System*
- Speaker Panels Discussion – Q&A session between all the speakers and the audience members.
Day 4 Agenda
- Lifestyle Trading*
- Membership Sites
- Pre-Development Land Investing. Tatt, O and me left NWA mid-way through this segment.
- T. Harv Eker NWA Concluding Video
* These are the sales pitch sessions. They follow this general formula: (1) A 10-minute introduction on why this particular method creates passive income (2) 15-minute brief sharing on how they do it, followed by (3) 20-minute sales pitch for their course/program to learn this skill so you can create passive income for yourself.
After 4 days, I give NWA an overall rating of 1/10. And here’s why:
1) Did not meet the workshop objectives
If we look back to the list of deliverables promised in the workshop description, pretty much none of them are met. Let’s review the description in its Promotional Brochure (text in blue are my comments):
- A) Proven strategies and investment techniques to develop and increase passive income. Not really. We are made aware of the methods people use to earn passive income and the basic steps they do so, but we do not learn the actual full set of strategies or techniques on how we can achieve the same outcome for ourselves within NWA. We have to sign up for additional courses/programs in order to learn that (cost between SGD $1,000 to $5,000, usually on the higher side).
- B) Practical earning strategies that guarantee you more time and money. No. See A).
- C) How to create businesses that work for you, rather than control you. Absolutely not. See A).
- D) Which businesses are the real cash cows. Not that I know of.
- E) How to earn $20,000 to $100,000 in passive income each and every month for the rest of your life. Definitely not. The segment which had this topic was about Membership Sites (refer to Day 4 agenda) and as I mentioned under Day 4’s agenda, it was just an introductory 101 module on what membership sites are.
- F) A wide variety of high return, low-risk investments normally available only for sophisticated investors. Not that I’m aware of.
- G) How to gather investment contacts and find rare opportunities. No!
- H) And much more!
- I) Plus you’ll leave with your own personal plan. Absolutely not. I did not leave with any personal plan whatsoever. Maybe it was covered as the last segment of Day 4 (which I skipped), but I highly doubt so seeing how Days 1 to 3 panned out.
#2) Misrepresentation of what was offered
There were 2 levels of misrepresentation in NWA.
a) At the fundamental level, NWA gave the impression that it was going to teach actual passive income strategies we could immediately apply in our lives/work/businesses. According to Tatt, that was how they pitched the NWA during MMI, and that was why he signed up. Based on reading the workshop brochure myself, I got the same impression as well, especially from points #A-#C. However, it turned out to be a pitch fest with barely any real content.
As I mentioned in Day 2 Review, NWA can be useful to people who (A) are open to different methods and tactics to achieve financial freedom, (B) are willing to put in real hard work and effort to create their passive income streams via the specific methods/tactics introduced speaker, and (C) are willing to spend more money to sign up for the respective programs (and bear in mind that it’s a grey area as to whether these programs will deliver on what’s promised, or will simply be fluff or worse still, further upsell you to more programs without giving any significant value).
However if you already know what you want to do and you want to learn how to create passive income streams around what you are doing, you will get pretty much nothing from NWA.
b) Overhype on the results one can achieve. Let’s assume the speakers are credible, legit and have achieved the successes for themselves. (Though I personally haven’t heard of any of them, including the guy speaking in the online marketing segment, except T. Harv Eker.) Suppose they did pursue passive income before and they earned massive amounts of it, and continue to do so today, via the methods they claimed. Suppose the claims are real and not skewed / exaggerated / selected snips of the bigger picture.
However, the general impression driven throughout NWA was that you can just sign up for the course (Google Adsense, Forex, Trading, Tax Liens, Mobile Apps, etc.), spend a few weeks learning the skill, and in no time you will be earning large amounts of passive income. In my Day 2 Review, I wrote in detail on how passive income does not come overnight (heck, I personally run a passive income business myself). True passive income requires hard work, proper strategies, proper planning, and deliberate action taking.
Speaking of which, I saw some middle-aged aunties seemingly putting down their hard-earned savings for the Google Adsense course, and honestly I felt a little worried as I’m not sure if they knew what they signed up for. Why? Because they didn’t seem English literate at all, much less tech savvy. The salesperson at their booth also did nothing to give them an objective assessment of what to expect. Rather, he kept telling them that they would learn everything to generate passive income online in their program, right from Step A to Step Z. The aunties, seemingly not knowing better, then paid the money, signed on the invoices, and then walked away with a slightly clueless look on their faces.
#3) Barely any content
Out of the entire 4 days, the only real content segments were:
- A) How To Write A Best Seller’s Book by Eker (Day 1)
- B) Literary Agent and Book Publishing (Day 1)
- C) Licensing (Day 1)
- D) Successful Investing (end of Day 2, start of Day 3)
- E) Membership Sites (Day 4)
By content, I’m referring to the segments with real value, sharing actionable insights/lessons and not masqueraded as sales pitches. Out of the 5 segments above, only (A) and (D) had concrete value. Eker’s segment on how to write the best seller’s book is the reason why I gave NWA a redeeming score of 1 over 10, else it would have been 0/10. Information covered in (B) and (E) can be easily found by doing a little self-research and reading 1–2 books on the subject. I can’t comment for (C) as I skipped the session.
With a seminar outline as detailed in #1, I would think they should share passive income principles for us to apply right away to our lives. But it was really just specific tactics covered and even then we didn’t get to learn anything about them that we could action upon (without signing up for more programs).
#4) Poor planning
As I mentioned in Day 1 Review, there could be an overall framework that maps out the entire 4-day seminar. But there was none of this. It came across as a random mish-mesh of different people/companies with passive income tactics to share with us.
There was also no agenda at all. None of us knew who the speaker was until he came on. Even when we asked the crew, they had to check, and at times gave the wrong information. Being a multi-speaker seminar hardly serves as a reason for no agenda. Hay House’s I Can Do It! Conference is a multi-speaker event and has its speakers and agenda planned out all till its events for the next year, and it costs nowhere as much as NWA.
#5) Dragged out agenda
There was a lot of energizer sessions (i.e., sessions where we are asked to get excited, dance around, shout, meditate, read declarations, and so on and so forth). There was one every morning (one hour) and then after every break (about 6 breaks in total each day) for about 15 minutes. These are fine for the belief breaking seminars where the audience need to be in the right state to make the maximum change, but since this was more like a pitch fest, it was quite a waste of time. Removing all these fluff, we could easily have had a two-day, if not one-day, seminar.
Update: Request for NWA Refund (Failed) + Terrible Customer Service
So after the seminar, my friend (Tatt) promptly tried to ask for a refund (after all he paid $1,995 SGD / $1,600 USD for what was a pitch fest). What ensued was one of the worst customer service responses I’ve ever seen. I’ll simply paste their exchange and let you be the judge.
To: Quantum Leap SRPL <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Monday, June 7, 2010 0:54:56
Subject: Feedback on NWA 3-6 Jun 2010 in SG
This weekend, I attended T.Harv’s Never Work Again (NWA) on 3-6 Jun 2010 in Singapore and it was my first Quantum-Leap (QL) course after Millionaire Mind Intensive (MMI). I agreed that MMI was one of the best life-changing seminars; then, I chose QL program to continue my journey with T.Harv’s courses. But this NWA was totally under expectation to me, my guests, and some of QL members I met here. It was hardly to recommend this to any of my business partners in the future. Key reasons are
1. Content – Too much over promising & selling without sharing insightful knowledge. Most of speakers’ contents were very basic – could be easily found from speakers’ or relevant websites. In addition, it was not localized for target audiences whom were mainly from Asian countries. We found that some of speakers just have a good network to bring great gurus under their teams and selling the courses much higher than the real gurus. We questioned if trainers had made money from training more than their investment, there would be something wrong.
2. Poor structure – No framework connecting during 4-day. There was no connection in each trainer; for example, you started with Real estate and came to Future/Options, then, went back to real estate again. Also, you did not provide any introduction or fundamental knowledge to each topic. I would say NWA was not a seminar but it was just a pitching stage for each speaker to sell their product/service. I am fine for selling “advanced” course but after you had provided fundamental & applicable knowledge first. NWA was not a seminar; it was like a “Investment/Trade Fair” which could be attended for $0 cost.
(Celes: Plus some other information I’ve already provided in point #1 of this article which Tatt used in his email; I’ve cut it out for brevity.)
In net, this NWA was just good for the eye-openers but not worth as much as S$1995 course. I acknowledge that refund policy might not be applicable for this case; however, I would like to ask full money back for NWA course (NOT the whole QL program). (Celes: QL is Quantum Leap, and the QL program is this $8,072.65 SGD ($6,500 USD) package of 5 programs under T. Harv Ever’s team that Tatt bought during MMI. NWA is one of these 5 programs, which is quoted as $1,995 SGD ($1,600 USD) in the package.)
I hope that this email would address my concern to the right person. Looking forward to receiving your reply within a week.
Here’s their reply, NINE days / over a WEEK later (which is terrible by customer service standards by the way; most of my customer service responses to any company are responded within a day, sometimes hours, with the longest being 3 days which is already considered slow):
From: stanley quek <email@example.com>
Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 16:55:27
Thank you for your feedback.
We understand your concern and your feedback to us is valuable. However, there will be no refund since you have attended the program.
Thank you for the support.
I’m not sure if this is typical of customer service responses from Success Resources or just Mr. Stanley Quek’s personal attitude. Either way this is one of the worst customer service responses I’ve ever seen. No attempt to address Tatt’s concerns (poor quality of seminar, misrepresentation of the content taught), no attempt to allay his obvious frustration, no refund (or even partial refund) for a service that was deemed heavily under-delivered by the customer, and some sweeping generic statement of “Your feedback to us is valuable” that says nothing except that he’s probably going to archive and ignore Tatt’s complaint right after clicking “Send”!!!
Note that this isn’t some $5, $10 or even $100 product, but a seminar that costs $1,995 SGD / $1,600 USD. That’s not chump change by any means. Also, Tatt is a Quantum Leap member who has purchased $8,072.65 SGD / $6,500 USD worth of Harv programs from them. That’s a good chunk of his life savings. He also had to get his own plane ticket (he’s not local), arrange for his accommodation, and pay for them (all out of his own pocket) to come to Singapore and attend the seminar (which turned out to be a disappointment). I don’t know, but I personally would expect much, much more.
Tatt responded right away on the same day (I’ve bolded key points below):
To: stanley quek <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 22:49:16
Subject: Re: Feedback on NWA 3-6 Jun 2010 in SG
I am sorry to say this is the worst customer service response I have received before. First, I have waited for your response over 10 days (since 6 Jun) and you did not mention anything about my concern or how you will improve for the future courses. Second, you mentioned that there is no refund if I have attended the program; therefore, I would like to desperately ask full refund for the balance courses for myself and my family member.
1. Refund Quantum Leap – Mr.
Total: S$8,072.65 Minus NWA S$1995 = Refund S$6,077.65
Note that I attended NWA as the first course in QL program
2. Refund Mission to Millions – Mr.
Refund full amount: S$957.65
If you would like to have conversation via phone, pls feel free to contact me on 17-18 Jun, 2-5PM SG time. Looking forward to receiving your reply soon.
After 2 days, no response. Tatt followed up:
To: stanley quek <email@example.com>
Sent: Friday, June 18, 2010 17:18:11
Reminder – please response.
6 days later, STILL no response. Amazing. Tatt then sent another follow up:
Second reminder – please response
Then finally, a whooping 22 days / 3 weeks after Tatt’s original reply on JUNE 16, Stanley responded:
From: stanley quek <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Thursday, July 8, 2010 14:27:30
I am sorry that the program did not meet your expectation. However, you have attended the program and we can’t possibly give you a refund. We really hope you can understand our position in running this business.
You may still cancel the programs which you have signed up but it will result in a 20% of cancellation fee. The terms and conditions are printed at the back of your order forms. The following is the correct calculation:
1. Refund Quantum Leap –
Total: S$8,072.65 Minus NWA S$1995 = S$6,077.65
$6,077.65 – $1,215.53 (20%) = $4,862.12
2. Refund Mission to Millions – Mr.
S$957.65 – $$191.53 (20%) = $766.12
My advice to you is not to cancel because it will not benefit you. We certainly hope that you will find more value in the future programs. If you insist in cancellation and refund, we will proceed as the above terms and conditions.
Tatt subsequently tried to contact Peak Potential’s (T. Harv Eker’s company), but they said that since his membership and ticket were purchased from Success Resources, they couldn’t do anything for him.
In the end, frustrated by the 20% cancellation fee (no idea how they came up with it, and that’s a lot of cost for a cancellation fee for a service that’s not even delivered, plus the cancellation request was issued months before the appointment), Tatt realized that cancelling meant paying $1,407.06 SGD / $1,125.65 USD and getting absolutely nothing in return. Resigning that the fees paid for Never Work Again were sunk costs, he and O (his friend whom he tried to ask for the refund for) decided to proceed the remaining courses without cancellation.
I didn’t follow up with them on their feedback on the other courses, but I did meet up with Tatt when he was in Singapore again to attend one of the remaining courses in his package. He said that this was better than NWA since NWA was essentially a sales pitch seminar, and also shared with me the course materials which I found lacking for a course in the thousands range. In comparison, the MMI booklet is way more comprehensive and meticulously done, and the ticket price for that is only $100~200, even free depending on how you got your ticket.
I think after the very negative experience, none of us have the faith nor interest to join any such seminars. I’ve subsequently read many other bad experiences that you guys have shared in the comments section of this series (the experience seems consistent in other countries too, so they’re probably following the same template training model), so hopefully the information shared here will help others who are currently contemplating between taking such courses or not.
It was a disappointing seminar. I had a number of takeaways, but not on passive income generation — they were mainly on training, about what I should / should not do for my future workshops and seminars to ensure my participants get the most out of them. These came out of my personal observation of how the seminar was run, not actual content taught during the seminar. I also learned about general guidelines on how to write a best selling book from Eker’s Day 1 session. I had a series of reflections, which came more from being in mass seminar than specific to NWA.
Passive income IS possible – just that if you want to learn real, actionable strategies on how to create passive income in your life/work/business, you are not going to get that in NWA.
As reader Francis commented, “I find that mostly they (seminars) are either fluff or are just chock full of a marketing materials with the aim to upsell you to the next more expensive tier of courses/product.” A seminar like NWA is precisely the reason why many have such impression of self-help seminars.
Certainly, not all seminars are like this. I’m sure there are great seminars out there, say like Tony Robbin’s Unleash the Power Within (I’ve never attended it so I can’t comment). NWA has left me with a bad taste, though I understand that MMI is not like. Though, one can argue that MMI is more content- and value-driven since it’s meant as the low-to-no-cost introductory course to build goodwill and convince the participants to sign up for the costly “advanced” courses. Whichever way you choose to see it.
Would You Like Me To Continue With Such Reviews?
The point of this review isn’t for you to conclude that all such seminars are useless/scams, but to inform you about how it like and what to expect. (For what it is worth, I’m a coach/trainer myself and I have created many personal development courses with great reviews/testimonials from my participants.) There are genuinely good, high-value courses out there, and then there are the scammy, sales-driven courses which are out to get as much of your money as possible without delivering the value that commensurate with your investment. It’s about being discerning and making sure that you invest yourself in the former and stay away from the latter.
I hope you’ve found this review helpful. This is the first time I’m doing a seminar review on PE, so if you would like me to continue reviewing other seminars I attend, please let me know in the comments area.