I will admit that I’m not able to spend as much time on this website as I’d like to. In my “real life”, I work for a marketing agency – so you can imagine that takes up a lot of my time.
Anyway, I just finished approving a month’s worth of comments. I think there’s a lot of great discussion about some of the people I’ve written about, and in the interests of fairness and completeness I think it’s worth drawing your attention to some of the stuff people have been posting in the comments section.
Note: I have no idea if these are genuine comments or written by employees of the people in question, but nothing that was said seems to be unreasonable so I’ll accept it at face value.
Thanks to everyone who takes the time to contribute to the discussions surrounding the business advice industry!
There’s been a lot of support for Sam Ovens, both in my comments section and elsewhere. In particular, people seem to speak highly of his sales training.
- “Sam Ovens is totally different. He takes you through the setup and creation and management of a FB ad funnel, shows you how to structure your VSL, talks about how you should set up your business account, and well before that, he has a SUPER 2 hour sales call training that is among the best I’ve seen, it’s very similar to Jordan Belfort’s stuff (in terms of Alpha Positioning and having control of the call) and Dane Maxwell’s stuff on idea extraction (uncovering the REAL reason behind why they want a particular service) but it’s done totally in his own way and very unique. It’s focused on digging into the pain that the business owner has and marries your service as a solution to his pain. Essentially, how to price based on value and not time/price.”
– (turnnewleaf, from Reddit)
In good faith, I will grant that there is probably some good content in his courses. However, even some of his most ardent supporters admit that he is playing fast and loose with the truth.
- “The one thing I would personally fault Sam for is that he lumps all his earnings into the same boat and calls himself a millionaire consultant. In reality, he made some pretty good money from an app sale (not sure how much) and really only did as high as $300k /year as a consultant (to my knowledge) before moving into consulting training and making millions. I don’t think this disqualifies him from being a good consulting teacher, but it’s definitely the most misleading part of his pitch, although in his training he explicitly states that he groups course sales under the umbrella of “consulting”.
At the end of the day, though, I have yet to see a better course than Sam’s. He hasn’t re-invented any wheels, but he has included virtually everything you’d need to start something from scratch, and the production value of this training is really solid (as long as you click 1.5 speed. The man talks SO slowly).
Given how many scam artists are out there, I appreciate what you are doing over at bullshitbusinessadvice.com, but in my opinion, you definitely got this one wrong.
– (jmmarketing, from Reddit)
Here’s someone who claims to have run in the same circles as Sam before he made it big as a consultant:
- “I know guys in NZ who dealt with him a year ago before he moved to NYC and literally everything he said was a 95% fabrication with a sliver of truth. He claimed Citi was moving him to NYC to set up and run their own VC fund (okeeeey) and had seeded him $50mm. Yarrrrr.
This guy might have made $1Mm USD from fleecing idiots last year and he sold out of SnapInspect to his biz partner /50% shareholder for about $750k USD (SnapInsoect was a legit good small business- I don’t know why he didn’t stay with that , I guess scamming get rich quick idiots for $2k each is a whole bunch less work / easier). So he might have a couple of million bucks to his name and declining revenue from this consulting scam as more stories like this filter through FB etc.”
– (Tyler Durden, from the Comments section)
Based on all of this, my current verdict on Sam Ovens remains unchanged: I still believe he is a liar who sells trumped-up common knowledge to people under false pretenses. Even his supporters admit that he hasn’t come up with anything particularly innovative, and that he’s both fudging his own numbers and selling people dreams.
That said, there are people who have benefited from taking his training, so if you have $2,000 to spare, it very well might be worth it.
Unlike Sam Ovens, pretty much everyone who has commented on my Mike Vestil article has only negative things to say about him.
- “He never “worked” in the dental field. He never worked at all. He was a predental student at Marquette. Him and I got sold on a pyramid scheme (Verve, maybe you’ve heard of it) I left shortly after I realized what a joke it was, but once he became a part of it, it took over his life. He was so obsessed with the scheme he lost all of his friends after neglecting them, and stopped caring about school. He dropped out of college because he doesn’t believe in working – he thinks he can make more money with get rich quick schemes. He’d con his own best friend out of $100 given the opportunity, I’ve watched it happen. Guy has no integrity.”
– (ex-friend/victim, from the Comments section)
World Nate & Intrepid Introvert
A user left a very positive comment on my article about Nate & Hannah.
- “One of the key strengths to BCD is the online community Nate and Hannah have built up (currently just under 9K members). Two things are clear from the questions people ask.
1. No one asks anything they couldn’t find the answer to themselves if they did some research.
2. People want to hear the answer from another human being, not from Google.
This is why travel agencies still exist. There is nothing travel-related you can’t buy on-line, but many people still go to the bricks-and-mortar store to get that reassurance from another human being they’re doing the right thing – or to get another human they considered “an expert” to do it for them. BCD is no different. I even used it yesterday to ask about blocking spam registers from my blog. Yes, I could have researched the answer myself but (a) I was too busy and (b) when I did type in “Block spam on WordPress” into Google, I had 3,500+ hits. Much easier to ask in the community, the excellent Marcus Dace replied, and I was sorted in less than five minutes.
I think your review of BCD is very unfair to both Nate and Hannah, and to those who get so much benefit out of it. Check out their FB group “Intrepid Entrepreneurs Community”, and you’ll see I’m not the only one who gets so much benefit both out if the free-access group, and the paid-for BCD. No, they’re not telling me anything I can’t find myself on-line. But they’re saving me (and thousands of others) hours and hours of research.
In the half hour I spent with Hannah, she solved issues I’d spent a total of about 20 hours researching. If she hadn’t been in the same town, I could have found all that info on BCD in about two hours – so a saving of 18 hours. My charge out rate for tech writing is $80 an hour, so the opportunity cost of me doing the research myself for “free” so I didn’t pay their fee of $200 per annum would have been $1440. My half hour with Hannah has covered the cost of my BCD membership for the next seven years.”
– (Karolyn Timarkos, from the Comments section)
In this case, I am open to revising my position on Nate & Hannah. If they’re reading this, and would like to offer me a limited-time free access to their training to review it, I would be happy to do so. 🙂