Thursday, March 29, 2007

Toronto Real Estate Wealth Expo

Last weekend I attended Trump's wealth expo organized by Learning Annex. I have attended some pretty amazing events with them in the past (speakers including Lance Armstrong, Bill Clinton, Sir Richard Branson) and this one, though mostly one big infomercial, had it's pluses and reinforced many of the things I have read about selling, psychology and finance.

There's quite a few postings about the disappointment people felt after attending these events.
  • I grew tired of all the “happy go lucky” types.
  • All the speakers pretty much told me things I pretty much already knew: buy low, sell high (brilliant)
  • One guy pointed to a curve illustrating when to buy a stock (the lowest point of the curve).
  • When to sell the stock (the highest point of the curve). I’m going to be rich now
    I almost smacked the person next to me, when they actually wrote that down — maybe some peopledo need help
  • I went back on Sunday, late in the day because I can only take so much idiocracy. I toned down my attitude a bit because I realize a lot of people were buying their packages.
  • One woman sitting next to me just loved James Ray (the Secret). She was yelling positive re-enforcementsback at him when he was giving his speech — I felt out of place.
  • I felt a lot of folks there were willing to try anything to be successful.
  • I felt that a lot of people were victimized this past weekend.

I caught myself writing down 'get out of debt' with everyone else before I stopped. For $50, I thought it was an interesting way to spend the weekend. If I had to pay for a hotel or any travel costs, or full price for the ticket it probably would not be something I'd do unless I personally knew someone speaking at the event. Take it with a grain of salt - there's no free ride to getting wealthy and buying someone else's training course probably won't do it.

Out of all the speakers I listened to this weekend, there were a couple of standouts:

  • Tony Robbins, an incredibly motivational guy - he is _the_ motivational speaker to listen to, and knows how to hypnotize a huge audience. If it was a hundred years ago, he would be speaking in tents and throwing snakes around. If I had $1 million I would probably go to his training course in Tahiti to kill a weekend.
  • Bill Bartmann, the billionaire you never heard of, who started his billion-dollar business from his kitchen with $13,000. (which he borrowed from a bank where he already owed $1m, to start a debt-collection agency). I saw him twice. If you want your kid to become a billionaire, make sure his first name is Bill and his last name starts with a B. Bill's selling a Billionaire Mentoring Program, and is a bit late in getting his reality TV show off the ground. You can sign up for his free evening seminar here. A review is here. He said that he'll be organizing a free concert event for 50,000 students at the Rogers Centre to combat drug and alchoholism abuse. Note to Bill, get rid of those extra exclamation marks and the announcer on your web site. NOW IS THE TIME!!!

And more than a few other "characters":

  • Don Burnham, who spoke like someone out of the Sopranos but was signing $1000 training contracts like he was signing autographs. Don't you want to get rich? Fuggeddaboutit.
  • The Secret is.... don't watch the secret. I walked out after they started rehashing Tony Robbins' meet-and-greet tactics. blech.
  • Free Money from the Government's Chris Johnson, who almost caused a stampede by offering his training materials for free to the first couple of people who rushed to the back.
  • Real Free Money from Robert Shemin, who was handing out $80-$100 to people who put up their hand. His was an interesting seminar, since many of the previous speakers, whom he called his mentors, attended, including..
  • Dr. Al Lowry. He's 82, looks 62, and shows how working hard and having fun can extend your life.
  • Raymond Aaron. He's 61 (I think), lives in Richmond Hill, and has an ego bigger than his paycheque, though it seems to be working for him. The mind can do some interesting things, and his convinced himself to do a 350-mile footrace to the North Pole next week. All the best Raymond, and bring lots of warm socks.

Plus, using his own innovative techniques developed over the last two decades, he shows you how to—step-by-step—take conscious control of your world so you can double, triple, even quadruple your income doing what you love to do.

What if I want to quintuple my income. Guess I'm out of luck with his program. I think to become a millionaire I need to at least tredecaple it.

The surprise for me was Harry Stinson, the condo guy of 1 King West in Toronto. He was probably the most down-to-earth of the bunch, and really spoke out about what he believed in and how others could do what he has done to succeed. He is on his way to billionaire status, just two or more bankruptcies and he'll be there.

This week, Mr. Trump declared he wished all of his competitors were like Mr. Stinson, who he alleged "was talking about how he was going to beat me and then he went bust."
Mr. Stinson fired off his own response, pointing out that Toronto's Trump Tower looks "like a parking lot ... My condo-hotel at One King West is full tonight, by the way."

When Tony Robbins was speaking, he showed how a 'demotivational' speaker would walk into a room (shoulders down, head to the floor, "Don't Worry, be Happy" playing) and how a motivational speaker would (head raised, fist pumping, techno music). Harry was walking in to Bobby Mcferrin, though he did admit he wasn't a trained speaker as he read his notes. You could tell that he spent some time getting ready for the event, and even cracked a few jokes at Trump's expense. (tallest nonexistant building in Toronto? Here's your nonexistant award.)

So to me, $50 to attend was better than $50 to go to dinner & the movies (or maybe just the movies nowadays). I'm not rich yet, so I guess I'll probably have to go again next year.

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