Ladies and gentlemen, I give you today’s topic of conversation… Mike Vestil.
Mike Vestil is a self-described “superhero entrepreneur” who claims to have made a small fortune selling t-shirts online. He now travels the world, giving people advice on how to “gain time freedom so that they can focus on growing the other aspects of life like health, family, and relationships”.
He also claims that if you give him some of your money, he’ll show you how you can replicate his t-shirt business model, which will make you rich and give you the freedom to travel the world.
THE CATCH: After reviewing his advertising, his free eBook, and his paid course, I can find no evidence that Mike Vestil has done any of the things he claims to have done. After making an honest effort to find examples of “weird niche” t-shirt businesses Mike Vestil owns, I can’t find any – nor does he provide any personal case studies in his online course.
In fact, it seems like his primary business is selling people advice, not t-shirts.
Personally, I think Mike Vestil is a fake entrepreneurship guru, a perfect example of everything wrong with the business advice industry, and a case study in how easy it can be to swindle people out of their money. I’ll lay out my case below – you are free to draw your own conclusions.
Today’s investigation includes:
– Analysis of Mike’s advertising
– Walkthrough of how people get sucked into his bullshit
– Review of Mike’s “20 Weird Niches” free eBook
– Review of Mike’s “Ecom Store Blueprint” product
– Update: How Mike Vestil steals other people’s content
– projectbestme.com (e-commerce advice)
– theyoungceoclub.com (possibly his first t-shirt website, founded very recently & has very low traffic)
– mikevestil.com (poor excuse for a blog… “Call me Oprah Winfrey”… okay there bud)
I first became acquainted with Mike Vestil as he ruthlessly invaded my Facebook feed with advertising showing him living the classic Gen Y dream – travelling the world, making easy money off the internet, and running his mouth about things he thinks he has expertise in. Some examples:
Pop quiz: what do the following headlines have in common?
- “How to create a rock-solid business online without any background knowledge”
- “How a 22-year-old made $5k his first month selling weird t-shirts”
- “How a 22-year-old runs a $100,000-a-month business while travelling the world”
ANSWER: They’re all full of shit. Everything this guy does is geared towards making it seem like he’s a 20-something who’s stumbled into some magic money-making formula that allows him to travel the world, make money, and be a jackass with no repercussions.
And out of the goodness of his heart, he’s sharing all those secrets with us simple folk. Here’s an example of one of his brilliant masterclasses.
As far as I can tell, Mike Vestil spends eight minutes in the above video giving us the definitions of drop-shipping and affiliate marketing, and explaining the importance of having a target market (without ever using the proper term for it). Bonus wisdom: moms like Pinterest, people aged 18-24 are probably on Instagram.
NOTE: Mike does not show us actual examples of his own work at any point in this video, except to stand up and show us a t-shirt he claims to have designed. He then spends the entire eight minutes pontificating in front of a whiteboard – this is important, and we’ll come back to it later.
Jackass on purpose?
Here’s an example of his “dopey guy goes from rags to riches” story on his website:
“I Used To Spend 8-12 Hours A Day In The Dental Field. Then I realized I was trading all my time away for money that I was never going to have time to spend… makes no sense right? So while working I sold t shirts in a weird niche on my own website to try and make some extra money… Here’s me with a ukulele while eating a sandwich… EPIC”
Although I have no doubt that Mike Vestil is an insufferable douchelord in person, it seems to me like he has intentionally crafted an online persona that makes him more accessible to the type of people he’s selling to. He purposefully writes his copy to seem unprofessional, and most of his pictures are him without a shirt in some exotic location.
My guess? Mike is targeting immature men, ages 18-24, who want to make money without having to put in actual work. Although the devil on my shoulder is saying “caveat emptor, let these punk kids spend their money on snake oil”, the angel on my shoulder makes a compelling case: “People like Mike Vestil distract from quality resources that could help these young men become real businesspeople.”
So, onward we go.
Mike Vestil’s Money-Grabbing Vortex
Mike’s Sales Funnel
Facebook Ads >> Website (projectbestme.com) >> Free eBook >> $7 ECom Blueprint >> Upsell, Upsell, Upsell
As a side note, it seems that a lot of these folks use clickfunnels.com as a service. There’s likely something to be learned from watching how so-called entrepreneurship gurus make their money.
After clicking on one of Mike’s ads, you’ll be taken to a website called projectbestme.com where you get to view a pictorial essay of Mike’s ascension from frustrated dentist’s assistant to king of the douchejungle. You’ll also be prompted to download his free “20 Weird Niches” eBook, where he will share the “top 20 weird niches that has made me the most money”.
“20 Weird Niches” eBook (FREE)
Helpfulness Rating: Cheering up a refugee by saying ‘things could always be worse’
Bullshit Rating: Starting to contaminate the water table
I wish I could say more about this shitty eBook, but it’s actually a five-slide PowerPoint using a basic template, and only one of those slides has actual content on it. The rest is either information about how awesome Mike is, or a sales pitch for his stuff.
And the best part? The ‘content’ he provides is a one-slide bullet-point list of 20 “niches” that he’s sold to. No other information is provided, such as sales figures, examples of products, or websites where he’s actually selling these products.
Remember when I observed that Mike Vestil showed no ACTUAL EXAMPLES of his work in his YouTube video? This behaviour continues in his exclusive email content. In this sense, all the photos of him travelling the world may serve as distractions from the fact that he might not have actually done what he claims.
Anyway, the last slide in the “20 Weird Niches” eBook points us towards a landing page for Mike’s training course, which he calls “The ECom Blueprint”. So we’ll go there next.
The ECom BluePrint ($7)
Helpfulness Rating: Drinking salt water when dehydrated
Bullshit Rating: Stinks to high heaven
So, let’s assume that you’re dumb enough to fall for all Mike Vestil’s bullshit so far, and you click on the link in the “20 Weird Niches” eBook. What will you get?
“A precise and simple, step-by-step video course for creating your own online store from scratch.. without having any background knowledge what so ever”
Okay, seems fair. A lot of people would benefit from knowing how to create and operate an e-commerce platform. For the purposes of this research, I clicked ‘buy’.
What is “The ECom Blueprint”?
Now, I realize that I’ve written a pretty long article about how awful Mike’s advertising and free eBook are. So, in fairness to Mike, I actually sat (or skimmed) through every video in Mike’s course. And unsurprisingly, I was not impressed.
Essentially, Mike’s “ECom Blueprint” is a video series explaining the very basics of e-commerce, paired with a Shopify tutorial. The production quality is pretty low – Mike clearly put this together by himself, with PowerPoint and a half-decent computer mic.
Having a low-quality product would be just fine by me, IF MIKE VESTIL WAS ACTUALLY AN E-COMMERCE EXPERT. But even in his paid course, he can provide no examples of businesses he has successfully started and operated.
Example Businesses Mike uses in his lessons:
– TeeSpring.com (not his business)
– iHeartDogs.com (not his business)
– iHeartCats.com (not his business)
– WelderNation.com (not his business)
– tuffntiny.com (not his business)
As part of this course, Mike walks us through the creation of a new Shopify store called ‘Proud to be a Filipino’. But since it’s just an example, it looks like garbage. And after searching for the store on Google, it’s not even operational.
Verdict: Mike Vestil is a punk who is trying to scam people looking for expert advice on starting an e-commerce store. In his advertising, free eBook, or paid course, he does not provide a single case study of an online store he has personally started and successfully operated.
Upsell, Upsell, Upsell
Once you agree to fork over $7 to this fake-ass kid, you’ll be prompted to waste more money in various ways:
– $10 for a private webinar where Mike will teach you “how I made $5000 my first month”
– $37 for a case study on TheYoungCEOClub.com*
– A last-ditch effort to sell you the case study for $27
TheYoungCEOClub.com is a t-shirt business launched in December 2016, which received less than 5000 website visits in January 2017. SimilarWeb estimates it’s got a 42% bounce rate… hardly a blowout success, and definitely not something anyone sane should pay $37 to learn how to replicate.
Note the opt-out: “I’d rather get aids”… classy, Mike Vestil. Classy.
How Mike Vestil steals other people’s content
Speaking of classy, check out this Medium Article by someone who discovered that Mike Vestil was stealing their content.
This guy is beyond sad.