That Winning Feeling


People will buy dreams. If you can present dreams well enough, it doesn't matter if you can deliver or not. People will be throwing their credit cards at you faster than you can say "do you want a cool down period?". And the more you talk about it, the more people are happy. They don't have to do it if you're talking about it.

Case in point: a conference about business in the 90s which shall remain unnamed (and let's face it there are heaps of them). I went as a volunteer, because one speaker was highly successful in an industry I want to go into. I didn't get paid, but I got to see some of the conference for free, a video of the conference and a reference. Most importantly, I met the guy I wanted to meet... got some advice about how to get into the industry.

Anyway, about 4000 people paid about $150 to go. I saw one woman taking her 14yo daughter in (c'mon... let the kid be 14! isn't that just a little young for "how to succeed in business in the 90s"? besides which she probably won't ever BE in 90s business - chronologically speaking).

Hundreds bought about $600 worth each of conference kit - books, tapes, vids etc... more of the same as they'd just watched.

The speakers were great - entertaining, interesting. But it still smacked of a religious ceremony when out of nowhere they got the audience to sing along with a song (some soppy inspiring piece of shit song). Everyone stood up and clapped and sang and stuff. Yeah, this is how we do business in the 90s.

I reckon maybe 5 people in total will put any of it to use. Maybe a few will try for a while, then slip straight back into their old habits. But whether they do or not, they still paid handsomely to have the dream given to them. If we're brutally honest here, people who are going to make millions wouldn't have gone anywhere near the damn place.

Well, unless they were giving a speech, natch.

Now, I'm not saying that this reflects on the organisers. That's your decision, your opinion. But the audience... ok, assume that all the advice being given by the speakers is good; follow it and you'll be more successful than if you're not using any of the strategies... People will still sit there, having paid bucketloads of cash (probably the company's cash, mainly) and listen and get all fired up... and then not do any of it. It's as if they love to listen to it, but don't believe it will ever happen for them. Or maybe they're just plain stupid.

And as for the other volunteers... well, that's a story in itself. There were several girls there wanting to meet the same guy as me. I (silly, silly me) thought they were just swooning about his (direct quote) "...piercing green eyes... he's so gorgeous..." as part of the deal. Nope. I asked one of them how he got to this ultra-sexy status. Answer: he's been on DOLLY magazine's "most elligible bachelors" list for the last five years.

She was falling about over him, and didn't even talk to him. That's the sweetest thing of all, seeing as I spoke to him twice.

But still, I can't believe that his "elligible bachelor" rating (from DOLLY, for fuck's sake) warranted spending all day (6:15am start) working for free... just on the off chance that she'd meet this guy.

You'd have to be weak in the fucking head, wouldn't you...

25-05-97


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