Thanks to Facebook and Google being the “big brothers” that they are, monitoring all my searches and likes, they were able to glean that I’m interested in the topic of self-development, hence the advertisement in my Facebook sidebar for a JT Foxx Mega Speaker event in Montreal.
The title of the event was:
“So You Want to Be a…
Speaker? Coach? Author? Or Get Branded?
Welcome to Mega Speaker Montreal, where we are here to help you…
START Unknown & Finish Unforgettable”
Naturally, I was totally psyched because I’d love to be a speaker, a coach and an author – yeah I know I’m all over the place but I feel all three complement each other. I was especially receptive after just having done my mini speaking event on the topic of setting goals, and having a blast doing it at that! So I felt it must be a sign from the Universe that I should attend this event, I didn’t even think twice about registering. The following topics were supposed to be covered at the all day event:
Topic #1: How to get branded by speaking, even if you don’t want to be a sales speaker.
Topic #2: How to become a top platform speaker ($1 Million plus selling your product).
Topic #3: How to be a paid keynote speaker ($5000-$25,000 per gig).
Topic #4: How to become a top paid coach (Life, Wealth, Real Estate, Internet or Business).
Topic #5 How to get speaking engagements in the US and Canada.
Topic #6 How to get speaking engagements internationally.
Topic #7 How to speak with celebrities like Pacino, Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Zuckerberg.
Topic #8 How to become a promoter and create your own events.
Topic #9: How to become a New York Times best-selling Author.
Topic #10: How to become a celebrity in your own niche.
Topic #11: How to become a published author.
Topic #12: How to create your own products to sell on stage.
Topic #13: How to create a product and sell it online.
Topic #14: How to create an eBook as a lead generation.
Topic #15 How to become an Amazon best-selling author.
Topic #16 How to create your own CD of the month program.
Topic #17 How to build your database (List Building).
Topic #18 How to get onto other speaker’s stages.
Topic #19 How to create your stages for your own events.
Topic #20 How to hire other speakers to speak for you and your brand.
Topic #21 How to create your own radio show.
Topic #22 How to get PR and on TV.
Topic #23 How to become the authority on the market.
Topic #24 How to make $1 Million a year as a speaker/coach/promoter.
Topic #25 How to make $100,000 plus as a speaker/coach/promoter.
Topic #26 How to become a top female speaker (they are desperately needed).
Topic #27 How to build passive income as a speaker/coach/consultant.
Topic #28 How to close better than your competition each and every time.
The day started at 9am with a speaker named Rajeev Lahar, a Norwegian born Indian who had a pretty good job, but whose life was apparently dramatically changed when he started working with JT Foxx. He now earns tons of money and travels the world as a motivational speaker, an investor and as an entrepreneur. He basically spent most of his time telling the audience how amazing his life has become since his involvement with JT Foxx and his organization.
The next speaker was Damien Elston, once again he told us of his journey from a pretty good life to an absolutely amazing life after he made the decision to partner up with JT Foxx and become a coach and speaker.
When the illustrious JT Foxx finally came out I was on the edge of my seat, pen and paper in hand, ready to write down all the nuggets of priceless information that were going to change my life.
He started out by telling us his rags to riches story, how he’s a Montreal born self made millionaire who has been on the covers of Forbes and Fast Company, has been featured on CNN, NBC, ABC and others. He also shared video testimonials of some of the people he’d helped to create a life abundant in wealth and success. He even compared himself to the likes of Tony Robbins, stating that Tony Robbins is the #1 Performance Coach while he’s the #1 Wealth Coach. I don’t claim to know all coaches, but I feel that if you’re at the level of Tony Robbins then your name should at least ring a bell, and would you really be doing free seminars for crowds of only about 250 people? which was about the number of people in attendance that day. I guess I just found it odd that someone who is supposedly comparable to Tony Robbins in terms of success and notoriety would draw such a small crowd. But I was in my bubble and wanted to believe this event was the opportunity I was waiting for and so at the time didn’t really allow myself to think about anything that would cause doubt.
He threw out a lot of motivational phrases like: “Whoever is trying to bring you down is below you”, “Don’t Talk – Act, Don’t Say – Show, Don’t Promise – Prove”, “Make a decision today that you will be the best at what you do”. It wasn’t long before he started talking about his DVDs “Speak Your Way To Millions” on sale for several hundred dollar, and warned us that we had to act fast because they only had 30 copies at this special price.
I have to admit I can get pumped up pretty easily, I was already hooked and impressed by Mr. Foxx’s many achievements and his ability to drastically change people’s lives for the better in such a short period of time. The deal was sealed when I was told that as an added bonus the purchase of the DVD’s would allow me entry to an upcoming two day event in my area. So, at lunch I was one of many at the back of the room trying to get my copy of the DVDs before heading off to lunch. I wasn’t fast enough to be one of the first 30 so I thought I’d missed my chance but when I finally reached the front of the line I was told ‘no problem’ and that I could still get the DVDs for the ‘special’ price. Had I just fallen for an old sales tactic whereby you implant the idea that something is limited to create a sense of urgency to buy? Oh well too late now right?
Right after my purchase and before going to lunch, I wanted to meet JT Foxx and thank him for this opportunity and tell him that I look forward to looking over the DVDs. So I headed over to the front of the room where he stood looking at a laptop. I tried to introduce myself but he barely made eye contact with me, didn’t smile or even hear me out, he brushed me off and advised me to go and speak to one of his “people” at the back of the room if I had any questions and proceeded to shift his attention to someone who was part of his team who had walked up shortly after me and who was now standing beside me. ‘WOW’ is all I could think.
He had no appreciation for my attendance even though I’d spent 2 hours by public transportation to get there, in the freezing cold, wearing inappropriate footwear which left my feet like two blocks of ice, to conform to the “business casual” dress code. He came across as someone who felt he was too important to even look at me. I know this is simply my perception and not necessarily what he actually felt but if you read reviews of other people who have attended his seminars it seems I’m not the only one to get that impression.
The rest of the seminar went downhill from there, I couldn’t believe how much my opinion of someone could change so quickly. he talked about how Montrealers are so uptight and don’t buy things even if it could change their lives, how we are a skeptical and closed minded people. I suppose his tactic there was to make us not want to be seen as close minded and instead buy whatever else he might have to sell us just to prove otherwise. He also shamed women for wanting to speak to their husbands before making purchases, he talked about how going into debt is sometimes a requirement for making money, which might be true in some cases, but since he doesn’t really know each persons situation and can’t GUARANTEE success, I didn’t feel it was his place to encourage people to go into debt. What this whole spiel did tell me was that whatever was coming was going to be pricey.
Mr. Foxx also made ignorant impressions of foreigners (his impression of an African accent is awful by the way). I was pretty much having a serious case of buyer’s remorse by that time. I didn’t care how many people he’d helped, he just rubbed me the wrong way and I didn’t want to give my money to someone who came across as a used car salesman.
He actually did talk about one of his branding strategies, which was to use someone else’s credibility and reputation to boost your own. He talked about paying people like Al Pacino, Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Travolta and Vanilla Ice, half a million to appear at his various speaking events. I’m sure he makes a good portion of that back though, because he also talked about how he charges regular people like you and me $30,000 – $40,000 to have the chance to be on stage with one of these famous people and interview them. He gives you the chance to get a photo and video of yourself conducting the interview which you can then use in your own promotional material. He told us of a doctor and a real estate agent who became the top rated in their field in their respective towns using this tactic. Just paste a pic of yourself talking to Al Pacino on your website and that must mean you’re a good doctor.
I actually don’t think there is anything wrong with that, it’s no different than companies endorsing celebrities to boost their sales. What I could have done without though, were the numerous videos he showed us of himself with these aging celebrities at his speaking events, we get it, you hung out with celebrities, I didn’t need to see the video of you rapping Ice Ice Baby with Vanilla Ice, or forcing John Travolta to sign songs from Grease following the shouts and cheers from a goading audience or having an arm wrestling match with Sylvester Stallone.
Later, Mr. Foxx received an incoming message and was looking at his phone DURING the seminar and felt the need to share with us that it was Sylvester Stallone texting him, even going so far as to show a member of the audience his phone and saying “see doesn’t that say Sylvester Stallone.” As if you can’t save ANY number under ANY name. Maybe it was Sylvester Stallone who knows, in any case the display was pathetic.
One of the more entertaining parts of the seminar is when he channeled Miss Cleo and began giving psychic predictions about audience members and what type of personality they had, based solely on the information of whether or not they were an employee or business owner. The first two people seemed to be in awe of his accurate description. I felt like he was trying to imply that with his help he could fix all our character flaws that were holding us back from success. Things got a little heated when one person made the mistake of saying he was completely wrong with his assessment of her. Oh boy, did she open a can of worms, he proceeded to humiliate her in front of the room for daring to challenge him. He asked her what was he wrong about, and before even giving her a chance to really respond, he said that he saw how her and her friends weren’t even taking notes and therefore weren’t serious to begin with, then he started asking her what was the last business book she’d read, who wrote it, how many pages it was and what it was about. She stumbled over her words trying to answer, as he mocked her half assed responses, now I don’t know what that had to do with anything, I aldo don’t know if she actually read the book or not or if she was just too nervous from being put on the spot, either way it was uncomfortable to watch. Her and her friends left after the public beratement. JT Foxx on the other hand seemed proud of himself, reminding us that he had the microphone, therefore he was the one in control. It seemed more like a threat more than anything.
Now, there is ALWAYS an upsell, I knew there had to be more for sale than just the DVD’s, and I knew that it was going to be expensive after all the grooming he did of us audience members, in the form of putting us down, showing us how great his life is and how he gets to hobnob with celebrities, and trying to make us feel like inferior individuals if we weren’t willing to go into debt in order to let him make our lives amazing.
How expensive you ask? Well, he was offering various multi day coaching sessions ranging from thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. The cheapest package could get you a few days of coaching with one of the other coaches on his team, in their home. The most expensive package was a couple of days in NYC where you’d get the chance to interview Al Pacino at one of his events, this option also included a one on one coaching session with JT Foxx himself.
The icing on the cake was when the next speaker, Francie Baldwin took the stage and right in the middle of her presentation JT Foxx walked in the room, didn’t even excuse himself or apologize for interrupting her, asked the room if we were cold, said a few more things, turned up the thermostat, then left, again without apologizing. He was just so rude and cocky.
At about 6pm I decided it was time for me to go, I should have left at lunch like a lot of the audience did, but I was trying to give it a chance. I ended up leaving with two people who agreed to give me a ride downtown saving me the two hour trip in the now even colder temperatures. One of them showed me all the negative reviews he’d found on his smart phone about JT Foxx. I really regretted buying of the DVDs after seeing that. He said JT Foxx even refused to shake his hand when he’d crossed paths with him in the hallway.
Here’s my final conclusion:
He did not cover 99% of the 28 topics I listed above (unless he covered it all in that last hour I missed after I left). I found him very unlikeable and regardless of how many people he’s helped I personally wouldn’t want to work with him or attend another one of his seminars. I returned the DVDs as there was a stipulation that I could do so within ten days of purchase if the seal hadn’t been broken. Does that make me stupid? Should I have at least checked out the DVDs? Should the results a person can give you trump whether or not you like them or not? Maybe, but I’m just running a small blog with barely any followers, I was not willing to spend $500 let alone go into debt for someone I didn’t even like in the hopes of getting ‘branded’. Ill stick to growing my blog, learning along the way, helping others in any way I can and waiting for an opportunity that feels right to me.
All wasn’t lost though, I did meet those two guys who dropped me off at work after the event and both are into martial arts so that’s awesome! JT Foxx did share a few tidbits that I believe could be useful:
-Be unique and creative at your speaking events, give it your own personal flair (I guess thats what the rapping, arm wrestling and singing was about at his events, I still feel we didn’t need to see SO MANY videos of his shenanigans)
-Don’t be shy to show off any achievements or accolades (There is a way to do this where you don’t come across as obnoxious as I found JT Foxx to be, I mean I didn’t need to know you no longer have trouble getting laid thanks to how rich and awesome you are)
-Focus on what value you can provide to people (that was sorely missing at this event, like I said most of the topics weren’t even covered)
-If you have an informational book written turn it into a manual or home study course
-Sell courses and books FIRST to see how much interest there is THEN create the book or product rather than the other way around.
-Whatever the topic of your book or course make sure the results are measurable, it sells better that way e.g.: Lose 20lbs in 30 days.
-Try starting with a webinar if an actual speaking event is too intimidating, this is also a good way to hide how few participants you may get at your first few speaking engagements until you become more popular
-He explained the different seminar models and which are best for newbies and the pricing schemes that work the best if your upsell is going to be for a longer workshop
-He explained what info you should put on the slides of a powerpoint presentation, and in what order to have the best impact on the audience you are speaking to
So that’s it! I encourage you to do your own research on the man if you’re thinking of attending one of his events and come to your own conclusions, maybe his style does suit other people but it certainly wasn’t for me.