Readers refuse to fall prey to the Get Motivated! scam

May 19, 2011 at 4:00 am

CAFE, MAY 5, 2011
What to eat: I really enjoyed this series ["C Notes," Ian Froeb]. I actually found out about a few choice items from here. Thank you!
Eric, via the Internet

FEATURE, MAY 5, 2011
Mystery, solved: Thank you for writing this article ["A Sucker for Every $1.95 Ticket," Sarah Fenske]! I had been hearing commercials/seeing billboards about this for months and wondered what the heck it was all about: a star-studded sales pitch, but why and how? Now I know.
Lilyjane, via the Internet

No such thing as a free lunch: I just want to thank you for this article. I attended this very seminar in Norman, Oklahoma, last year when it was "free," and it was the same get-rich scheme B.S. with the same "I'm already rich, but I came in on a boat with $9 to my name" B.S. people. At that time my business partner and I were new in our business, and she thought it would be good to go and for the others that worked for us to attend, too. She ended purchasing the James Smith $49 bullcrap, and we attended that as well.

Needless to say, we are using none of what he told us would make us money. It was more of the same: They get you there for $49 and ask you to buy another workshop for $1,500. I have since relocated back to St. Louis, and the current company I work for required everyone to attend. I am so glad I missed this waste of time, take my money after you soup me up event. By the way, we are a leasing company. "Gooooo lease apartments!" was the attitude when the regionals got back. It was so sad.
Anonymous, St. Louis

A fool and his money: I attended the seminar. This is a great article. Although I didn't "get motivated," it was inspirational to hear from some of the speakers such as Holtz, Powell and Warner. The others with the sales pitches I just kind of zoned out...and I wasn't one of the audience members to provide my credit-card number. Amazingly enough, there really were people lining up to do this.

I knew there had to by some type of "catch" for listening to such big names for $1.95.
cg, via the Internet

The end of the line: Amazing article. These people, the attendees and the speakers are unbelievable. Your last line is brilliant, ironic and sad.
Mwsdmb, via the Internet

Who suckered whom? A very belated congratulations on the RFT's May 5 cover story. Your story on the motivation seminar at Scottrade Center was excellent and beautifully researched. It's reporting that the RFT was once known for. I look forward to reading more of your work in the future.

Hey, this sucker was there! However, I don't think I fit that description. I went because, hey, for $1.95, I knew I would get my money's worth seeing all those famous names in person. At my age, it is a little late for motivation. It was very entertaining, and I know how they work since I have been to several of those old "no money down" seminars on buying real estate. I was also there without a credit card, so there was no way I could fall for their too-good-to-be-true offers. I think it's hilarious that (mostly Republican) people who didn't read the fine print would be charged a monthly deduction on their cards. Ha. Beautiful!

I was expecting the workbook to be mostly blank pages but was impressed at the content, which does, you have to admit, have some good tips. However, Rudy Giuliani, Colin Powell and Laura Bush were just there to reminisce, and they had little to offer in regards to the motivation theme. I agree with you that Lou Holtz was mostly impossible to hear due to his "speech impediment." I would have liked to get a CD of his talk since many people were laughing at jokes I couldn't decode. I did get a DVD of Zig Ziglar's, but I pulled a fast one by taking the DVD but not turning in the form. Aren't I slick?

Speaking of slides, were you able to read the disclaimers on the bottom of the graphics? You had to read fast. I would almost take James Smith's seminar just to jot down some those Rodney Dangerfield-like insult jokes of his. He was a hoot, but I'm sure he scared off and alienated most of the conservative audience! Surprisingly, Kurt Warner did a great job talking about his motivation as a kid.

After hearing the warnings about how they would try to sell you things, I was expecting the outer concourse to be filled with hawkers and vendors, but it wasn't. So, I got my money's worth! All $1.95 worth! Now, my mailbox may be stuffed in the future with their offerings — but so far, so good.

Keep up the great work.
Anonymous, St. Louis

Nicholas Phillips' May 12 feature, "House Trap," erroneously stated that Michael Litz's Ladue mansion had come under foreclosure — and that a company with the same address as Bellington had purchased the home at auction for a fraction of its value. While a home owned by Litz did come under foreclosure and was bought by a company sharing Bellington's address, it was not Litz's personal residence.