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NOTABLE! former student of the foundation(dane maxwell) willing to answer questions

GregH

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Hey all

I am a former student the second class of the foundation by dane maxwell--

I totally failed hard..

anyway Im willing to answer any questions you all might have..

fire away
 

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GregH

GregH

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What was it like? why did you fail?

well MJ was right as were others when he said that the whole application process was just a marketing ploy; I don't think anyone was "turned" away

the information was laid out in a very sloppy manner honestly-- the info that was put was not bad at all-- just not laid out in any coherent way

everyone who did it with me was very cool and very excited to learn

people were very nice and bought in big time to what dane taught-- maybe too much for my taste ( but thats just personal), because towards the end it felt very cult-like .... you couldnt disagree with anything being taught and if you were failing it was due to "limiting beliefs"-- :/

I believe I failed because I went in knowing nothing about marketing/ business/ SaaS/ copywriting/ anything... I spent much of the first few months catching up-- half the time I didnt know what I was talking about or learning... It was overwhelming because to start a software business when you know nothing about software is kinda crazy in retrospect

its not impossible-- just highly unlikely

I took a ton of action... I made about 50-60 calls.. sent 2000 emails using the scripts they gave me-- did in person visits -- and tried to"extract" many problems in a business that were simple and easy to solve and no other solution existed

You had to totally understand a market like the back of your hand, and it was hard...

in the end.. I didnt get many ideas to work with and I kept spinning my wheels
I was lost,confused and frustrated and it topped off with one of the members starting his own info products and signing up other students and having them market for him in a MLM format in a very aggressive manner.. wasnt cool

do I think the foundation gave good info? yes I do... it was just laid out in a confusing manner

I dont think the foundation is for newbies or people without a background in software or business

also the cash needed to pay for software development was very high and the whole " get people to pay for you" thing was a little pie in the sky and Im not sure many people did that

in the end I think 10% of students had some success and I think only 1% did very very well... but to my knowledge they were already into software and business and this "system" just kind of helped them along

so my advice for anyone out there thinking about doing it is this...
if you know software or have a strong background in business then this might be for you, if not... stick to these forums

the basics are
- choose a market
- send emails/cold call and talk to the best people in that industry
- ask them about their day and see if there is any problems that could be solved with software
-presell them on the idea
- validate with asking for money
-build MVP
-get more beta users
-launch


I dont think Im giving away any secrets as Dane and Sam both said the same thing in many many many interviews

Id be happy to answer any more questions
 

MJ DeMarco

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theag

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I wish that there was a review like this before I started the foundation... It would have helped me know what I was getting myself into...
There was a big discussion here before it even started and the objections turned out to be true as far as I see from your review..
 

loop101

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Now that you are familiar with their basic process, do you think you might have more success on a 2nd or 3rd try? Or perhaps you can merge their process in to one of your own making?
 
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GregH

GregH

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I disagree.

I'd love to hear the story.
thanks MJ!

so I did a pretty good recap in my first long post about my experience-- but ill go into a little bit more detail


to begin I just would like to say that you were so right on the money about these types of info products sold by Gurus

there is always more money in selling the info than doing it yourself....

Also... looking back I cannot help but be amazed by the process/copywriting/launch/marketing tactics to sell people to get into the foundation by dane maxwell... he is very talented in this arena and if I were ever to do an info product-- i would try to do what he did with the foundation

so the story

--------

after you "apply" to get into the foundation... he sends you an email saying "you're in"

you feel almost honored to be let in and give them your money... (it reminds me a lot of colleges)

you are given access to the facebook group and hipchat community

you have to start by listening to a lot of audio-- in fact its a TON of audio ( i personally didnt like it because the sessions were very unpolished)

then you have to take a personality test ( im skeptical of this kind of stuff but I did it anyway)

following that you go through PDFs about how it all works-- that was good.. the PDFs were done very well and gave good info

stuff like
- the type of markets you should go after
- what makes a good market a good market
-how to actually interview people* ( this is the biggest aspect to the whole "system")

* its called "idea extraction" but its basically interviewing people and asking them questions-- i learned how to communicate with people better using this style... basically not being as timid and nervous all the time asking for what I wanted from people and that I shouldnt feel like im bothering people because im trying to help them solve a problem

so at this point im really liking the whole system-- its very fastlane ( find a problem and solve it)

the problem was just the massive amounts of information that was not laid out at all-- dane would always do interviews and help sessions and pretty much whatever was on his mind and upload it to the content section

this made the content section almost useless because you get bogged down with a ton of unactionable stuff

----

anyway they tell you to make cold calls using Chet Holmes style ( google it)
then send out emails using toutapp with the script they provided to set up times to talk to people

where I went wrong was choosing a market... i think a lot of people did to

the reason?

bc I think every market has problems that need solved BUT not every market seemed to have a problem that could be solved by 1 person who knows nothing about SaaS ( software as a service) and with a limited budget AND that only solves a simple easy problem such as making simple reports....

I was emailing and calling all the wrong businesses
parking garages, waste removal, golf courses---> yeesh I must have went through about 15 markets?-- I should have stuck with just one and roughed it out but thats where the system broke down-- I didnt have that one on one with dane to help me solve that problem

dane recruited tutors or teachers to give 1 on 1 sessions for help -- these teachers often didnt build saas of their own

also whenever you would actually talk with dane-- he was very new-age/ steve jobs/ therapist with you

"how does that make you feel?", "what does your heart/gut say?", "it sounds like a limiting belief", "does this problem root back to your childhood?"

okay maybe im being a bit unfair here but honestly I just wanted help with actionable steps not a therapy session

so I sent thousands of emails and cold called/ warm called about 50-60 people... I did get better at interviewing-- that was a plus!

(I learned about copywriting there as well)

the problem I kept running into was that if I found a problem people wanted solved i had NO IDEA if I could solve it or not ( remember im a newbie to software)

that made it hard-- i had dozens of problems and complaints but nothing that I think I could solve-- and when I told people I dont think I can tackle this problem I was met with " you have a limiting belief" GRRRRR dammit everyone is talking like Yoda now in the foundation

I kept changing markets-- kept calling, emailing, research, in person visits all having no idea what I was doing

The material was piling up ( audio of interviews. webinars ect) and I couldnt get through it ... I was behind ( as were many)

I think towards the end, I was just trying anything... I stuck with one market ( print shop owners) and pushed haaaard... I visited 10 in person and just tried to get ANYTHING out of them... nothing

I gave up for a week-- and came back and wanted to talk to dane-- i wanted help-- he did jump on the phone with me ( he does a good job of getting on the phone, he must of spent a lot of time on the phone)-- but his advice was just more limiting belief stuff

I finally just gave up--

looking back-- i was proud of how much action I took.. i read a lot of books-- learned about marketing/copywriting/ ect

and Im proud I worked hard-- I just think in the end it wasnt a fit for where I was in my entrepreneur journey

it also ( in a sick way) makes me feel good that almost everyone didnt end up with a business like promised at the start
I think I felt like a failure and stupid, but in reality it was just a losing fight from the start-- to think you could go from nothing to a saas business with paying customers in 6 months

I was taken in by the awesome promises and copy and talk of find a problem and solve it
but the whole process was too much for me

I hope I didnt talk too badly about the foundation or dane here-- it was just my personal experience and if I helped just one person make the right decision to join or not to join then Im happy

please ask me any questions you have

p.s

im currently looking into starting an e-com business--
 

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GregH

GregH

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Now that you are familiar with their basic process, do you think you might have more success on a 2nd or 3rd try? Or perhaps you can merge their process in to one of your own making?
okay so If I had to do it all over again--

here is what id do

1)I would choose a good market
2) Id start a blog geared towards helping people in that market solve their problems
3) Id ask business owners to interview them and post the interview on my blog so that they will get traffic/visibility/ect. aka something in it for them-- make them want to talk to me, rather than me pulling teeth like before
4) Id post a lot of interviews and blog posts and videos ect.. just solid and good content about problems in the market and how people are solving them
5) Id then start an email list and build it up
6) id try my best to find answers to problems they have and post good content
7) id wait a while and finally start to post surveys or just email my list any problems related to _______ ( anything that could be solved I think with software)
8) id do a quick mockup of what the software would do and ask my audience ( who now trusts me) if they would be interested in this product
9) It would be easy to sell/presell to my audience and validate the idea that way


I say this process because a big problem when interviewing people the foundation way was nobody knew who the hell you were and didnt trust you ( I even had insurance adjusters thinking i was a spy for the government)

and its also way easier to sell/presell validate to your own audience

thanks for the question and I hope this helped clear it up


Im off software for now-- but I might go back someday
 
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GregH

GregH

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There was a big discussion here before it even started and the objections turned out to be true as far as I see from your review..
I actually read that conversation while doing the foundation-- i tried to ignore it thinking it was just sourgrapes from know it alls -- but honestly yeah id say 90% of the objections were true : /
 

SQT

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I was a also a student of The Foundation last year, an I pretty much agree with most of what Greg said here. My results were: I had an idea extracted from the Dialysis industry, but I wasn't able to really gain traction from the software idea from more than 2 or 3 people.

What I got out of it:
-Changed my marketing mindset. Dane Maxwell and Andy Drish really know their stuff when it comes to marketing and copywriting. I learned a lot about trying to do the least amount possible that you can get away with in order to get the results you want. The content they put out was not really organized, but the quality was high if you're just starting out. (however, I did see what they're building for this year, and it looks a lot better with more organization)

-It really opened me up to what is possible in entrepreneurship. I believe their main goal isn't really to get you to start a software company, but it's just to open up your mindset and get through your limiting beliefs to get you going. You'll start to be more open minded and you'll start thinking more like an entrepreneur. Where and how you can find the pain, extract ideas, and think up solutions to those pains. I know most of you on here are already there, but when I joined my mindset wasn't open to that way of thinking yet. Dane doesn't just want to teach you tactics, he wants to teach you the mindset, frameworks and strategy so you can come up with your own tactics along with what he provides. What I learned in the six months would have taken me longer to figure out on my own if I wasn't in The Foundation. So I'll have to see if the ROI is worth it.

The community- There was a lot of awesome like minded people in the group that joined and I still chat with a few of them now. It was really cool seeing them go through the same things I were. Also they tried creating smaller teams of members within The Foundation so it's easier to communicate and keep each other accountable, but it didn't really stick after the first few months even though we tried to meet every week but it kinda fell apart. I believe my group was around 15 people. 2 of the guys in my team became success stories of The Foundation, so that was really cool to see their progress every week when we were doing google hangouts in the beginning. Chatting with them definitely helped me through the tougher times when cold e-mailing and calling.


After my failure, I'm now looking at different models that could lead to a SaaS kind of like what Greg mentioned above.
I can start a blog to start a conversation with a market or use the blog as a platform to interview people. I was able to get people to agree to talk to me for creating a post about them on my blog. Just offering it got them to open my cold e-mail and set up calls, but none of them actually cared if I made the post or not.

Another model I'm considering is a product I heard Dane talk about which was his Broker Roundtable. You create a series of interviews with top brokers providing actionable insights that can helps brokers make more money. You sell the first interview for really cheap, then charge a higher monthly fee for 1 interview a month. I believe this model can lead to a SaaS because you're already getting to know the market so you can find out what kind of SaaS would help them. You can apply this model to a bunch of different professions/industries.

That's all I can think of right now, but if anyone has questions I'm open to answering them.
 

AdrianN

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Let's dissect the info a bit better, as I was a student of TheFoundation v2 too:

I agree with GregH in most parts and as we all know that 1000 people come in, few stick till the end and maybe 1 succeeds (in every training). But who succeeds most of the time? The one who provides the service/training/ etc, right? (the one who sells not the one who buys)

This program generated half of million $ in sales last year. From all the students, who generated at least $100k? (I'll let others who participated, answer this).


About technology/programming/hiring a programmer and so on:

By profession, I am a software engineer and I know the ins/outs of how to code. One of the "solution" for hiring a coder, that they gave, was to go to Odesk/Elance/Guru and post a job using a "text template" asking for the best coder. And then start filtering and decide on one programmer.

Now I'm telling you this: If you DON'T know how to code, or you don't know somebody (a programmer) who can assist you in monitoring the ones you're hiring, YOU ARE TAKING A TREMENDOUS RISK.

Why?

Well they will spot you instantly, that you're a newbie and they will play you all day long. Remember I'm not talking about web design or some fancy "javascript" tricks for your site. I'm talking about a software (either web based/cloud or desktop based) that can actually perform.

And after all this, there is the "testing" part. Some might underestimate it, but THIS is a continuous process for the SAAS. How come? Only when you start using the software you can actually detect bugs: overloads, memory crash, variable allocation and so on. At this point you kind of depend on your programmer (and the speed of execution they have).

Did you know that each programmer has an individual coding style? This means that you have to tell them to write a clean code and use a lot of ("//" comment lines) so the next programmer who will code, will clearly understand what on earth was coded there (I bet most of you didn't know this).

Back to TheFoundation, one of Dane's SAAS was "pipeline" something. Well rest assured that he didn't go blind in this market. He had family members who were in this niche for a decade and already knew the ins and outs.

Of course Dane was asking "how do you feel about it" and doing that "yoga/zen" thing because there's NO WAY to give a precise answer to a question, in a market you have NO IDEA about.

As you probably saw the new AMA from him, well I believe that's most likely because ( I can bet on this) he's going to launch the new Foundation soon. My inbox is bleeding with this kind of emails. They are pushing hard to launch.

The only thing that I really found valuable and interesting was the way that HE SOLD to us. The pre-sale funnel, email squeeze page, designs, interviews with big names. That's what has to be learned.

Yes MJ, you were right in the first place. Boy oh boy, this Internet is filled with lots of kids and sharks.
 

theag

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So you guys are saying that the foundation is a hyped up guru business where nobody wins except the founders? Big surprise.
 

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Greg... How much money did you spend chasing this?
 

skylizard

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Very interesting. Thanks for the honest answers. I was just about to check out the Foundation's website, but I'll skip on that now...
 

Disciplined

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Adrian/Greg,

Based on what you know now, do you feel like if someone has an understanding of business and the web space that the only thing the foundation offers is a group of like-minded people or do Dane and Andy offer their opinion on how to strategically position your solution?

I really enjoy the podcasts that they provide and feel like if anyone were to compile those lessons they would have a much higher chance of success rather than just going in blind.

When analyzing industries, did you stay in your geographic area or were you able to look in any market?

Also, thanks for your replies, this has been really insightful.
 

NVaz

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Thank you guys for sharing your experiences.
 

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I'll be honest with you guys.

While I'm never big into things LIKE the foundation (just not my style)
I tend to think the reason you didn't "make it" wasn't because the system was broken or the material unorganized...
It's because you just didn't hustle hard enough.

If Dane had made all your decisions for you, and you had been successful, it'd really be HIS product don't you think?
 

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Conversely, if you succeed, it's the program. If you fail, it's "self limiting belief."

If it works, it's them. If it fails, it's you. Any questions?
 

AdrianN

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DennisDuty, Vigilante I agree. The only one to blame, in my case..well..is ME. When I joined I didn't expect somebody else to magically hand over a 5-6 figures per year for me. I've been there once I know how hard it is to get even the smallest gain.

I joined because I constantly invest in myself, I want to learn more. The issue I see here is the "perceived value" and what it really is.

If I remember right, MJ said this: You walk in a fitness class (with the right mindset to drop weight to become healthy, to learn about it, etc) and all of a sudden a FAT guy comes and stands in front of you. That's your MENTOR. A FAT guy who know everything about the diet and getting that 6-pack abs.


Here's a thing I NEVER SEEN, EVER in any webinar, marketing /seminar, you name it:

Man, if you did this ONCE, the SAME WAY you teach us, then fine - START WITH US. We start from 0, you start from 0 with us. You fail, we fail. We ALL learn. Great thing that we have something to relay on (that you already did) but you start with us. People teach you to do this, do that, go talk to X, Y, Z bla..bla...bla...but it's actually one thing to GO TALK and other thing to simply lay out a beautiful plan. In my opinion if you don't take the same steps that we take, you're basically telling a nice story on how you succeeded. But what about that 100 A/B tests you took on the Landing Page or those 40 people you interviewed?


If the intention is to help people THEN why on earth do I see these *marketing signs* in most sales funnels (big launches):

- "We are not sure yet if we are going to accept you in the program. We'll have to think about it and send a reply in a few days"
- You JUST pay 3 payments of 997, or 97, or 1997 $ and you can have access to the program (Ohh really? Why "97" or "197" why these digits "9", "7" and not simply $1000 or $100. BECAUSE IT SELLS. That's why. X GURU discovered this. Let's follow him)
- ACT NOW. BUY NOW. ONLY 3 PLACES LEFT. CLOSING TONIGHT.
- P.S. and P.P.S at the end of the letter with the CEO signature or face
- This BONUS that it's worth $999999999 but because we are BUDDIES I'll give it for $9
- 30, 90, 365 MONEY BACK GUARANTEE
- Pay 5 figures to meet the GURU, the CEO, the MASTER in a SUPER SECRET LOCATION where..hmm...maybe you'll drink some coca cola and play football and see how great it is to be a CEO.

I've NEVER seen any of these so called "marketing tricks" at MJ. Why didn't he promote his book like this? There's no need to. It's such tremendous value inside the book.

To end this, I have nothing against Dane, it's just I can not trust what he says. I've seen too many of these "marketing tricks" that I'm sick of. It's almost to the point where it's chaotic. Don't believe me? Try your spam folder. Reverse the path of any offer you have there.
 
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@GregH ; @SQT

From what you have written, you both have learned a lot. Maybe you failed indeed, but you were just millimeter off. Look how much action you took. Remember, you were both noobs in copywriting, marketing and hustle in general. You can just change your approach and try again on your own now.

It's easy to say the foundation didn't deliver as promised, but hey, are you the same after that experience? I bet it will be a lot easier if you start now again, even if it is completely different business model.


Another model I'm considering is a product I heard Dane talk about which was his Broker Roundtable. You create a series of interviews with top brokers providing actionable insights that can helps brokers make more money. You sell the first interview for really cheap, then charge a higher monthly fee for 1 interview a month. I believe this model can lead to a SaaS because you're already getting to know the market so you can find out what kind of SaaS would help them. You can apply this model to a bunch of different professions/industries.
You don't need another products. Those 6 months with the foundation were enough. Change your approach and fix the mistakes you did the first time, or find another market or need and try again.

okay so If I had to do it all over again--

here is what id do

1)I would choose a good market
2) Id start a blog geared towards helping people in that market solve their problems
3) Id ask business owners to interview them and post the interview on my blog so that they will get traffic/visibility/ect. aka something in it for them-- make them want to talk to me, rather than me pulling teeth like before
4) Id post a lot of interviews and blog posts and videos ect.. just solid and good content about problems in the market and how people are solving them
5) Id then start an email list and build it up
6) id try my best to find answers to problems they have and post good content
7) id wait a while and finally start to post surveys or just email my list any problems related to _______ ( anything that could be solved I think with software)
8) id do a quick mockup of what the software would do and ask my audience ( who now trusts me) if they would be interested in this product
9) It would be easy to sell/presell to my audience and validate the idea that way
What are you waiting for?


Use that experience with the foundation. I can't focus on the fastlane at the moment, I need to hustle, but you can. Don't wait.
 

SQT

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You don't need another products. Those 6 months with the foundation were enough. Change your approach and fix the mistakes you did the first time, or find another market or need and try again.
you're right Eagleeye, I'm not giving up. I'm currently taking action on the same processes that have worked for me during the foundation and fixing and analyzing what didn't.

The product I was talking about was just a different approach to a business model that I can create, not another product I'm considering buying. I have enough knowledge now to be successful, its just about the hustle and the burning desire to want it that will carry me over to the top.
 
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GregH

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Greg... How much money did you spend chasing this?
-the fee for the foundation was 4,000 ( excuse me 3,997)
-they had us use tout app at i think 20-30 bucks a month x5 months - $100
-other fees were just stuff like skype bills, copywriting books ect nothing expensive 20-50 bucks

so roughly $4,000
 
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GregH

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Adrian/Greg,

Based on what you know now, do you feel like if someone has an understanding of business and the web space that the only thing the foundation offers is a group of like-minded people or do Dane and Andy offer their opinion on how to strategically position your solution?

I really enjoy the podcasts that they provide and feel like if anyone were to compile those lessons they would have a much higher chance of success rather than just going in blind.

When analyzing industries, did you stay in your geographic area or were you able to look in any market?

Also, thanks for your replies, this has been really insightful.
sure no problem , glad I could provide any help at all

to answer your question...

even if you had a good understanding of business and the web space I wouldnt join just to talk with like minded people-- I really think you can do that on here.. Just let people know you are trying to start a SaaS and then ask for specific advice-- also there are blogs and e-books out there you can read that provide good info

Dane/Andy Ive seen offer opinions on strategy with some of the more advanced students and Im sure there were many many talks I wasnt privy too-- that being said, thats atleast $4,000 ( and I think the price is going up this year) to ask someone who doesnt know your market at all for advice... my feeling is mehh i dunno I wouldnt

Dane is a brilliant marketer but in all honesty I dont think hes a great SaaS starter/owner-- his "mindset" is geared for marketing and for some reason now helping people overcome "limiting beliefs" like a new age doctor ( he did help many people to be honest..i think)

if you were going in blind-- just re-read what I said about the process and what Id do if I started over again and you're pretty much caught up... any missing pieces I would ask people on here for advice

when analyzing industries I actually paid no attention to local businesses-- I just used various websites to contact people

I cannot stress enough how much I think starting a blog would help jumpstart the process and make it easier on a whole

best of luck and if you have any more questions dont hesitate to ask
 
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GregH

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I'll be honest with you guys.

While I'm never big into things LIKE the foundation (just not my style)
I tend to think the reason you didn't "make it" wasn't because the system was broken or the material unorganized...
It's because you just didn't hustle hard enough.


If Dane had made all your decisions for you, and you had been successful, it'd really be HIS product don't you think?
Im not sure how to answer that Dennis,

on one hand I think there is always room for more hustle and hard work and thinking through problems-- I think if someone held my family hostage and said they would kill them unless i started a SaaS business that I very well might have had a few paying customers

but on the other I dont think its fair to simply say " not enough hustle" I worked really hard and tried every single thing they suggest I do-- I read many books, learned many new skills, overcome shyness and executed all the factors that suggested-- and its not like I was super close to succeeding-- i wasnt anywhere near where I thought Id be and neither were many people who worked harder than I

yes I totally agree Dane cant make the choices for me, but I also paid him a good amount of money to teach me a system on how to do it-- when you say " its not because the system is broken its bc I didnt hustle enough" --then what happens is that Dane's system can never be shown to be ineffective... if I succeed, it was bc of the foundation, if I failed its my fault

I think the system should have been better organized and many things should have been different AND I should have used my own mind to think outside of their system.. but I was a noob and I knew NOTHING so I was just doing what I thought was the right thing to do
 
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GregH

GregH

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Oct 16, 2012
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Conversely, if you succeed, it's the program. If you fail, it's "self limiting belief."

If it works, it's them. If it fails, it's you. Any questions?
this is exactly how I felt at the end of the program-- many students told me I just had limiting beliefs -- it did have a cult like vibe to it...
 

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