My investor partner told me to wait until after Christmas to give an answer about whether I want to do the infomercial project. But I just sent him an email a few minutes ago which basically said this:
"While I really am appreciative and honored that you would have thought of me to do this infomercial project with, I regretfully have to turn it down for the following reasons:
1) I love the idea of being able to help people on a larger scale. However, when getting "larger" by name and brand -- until they have a cloning machine that can duplicate me -- I won't realistically be able to stay in touch with my students on the level that I am now by becoming that visible to many more people. Becoming "bigger" as in a household name means shrinking in my capability in offering one-on-one consulting while spreading myself too thin. And I simply don't like the idea of having to be disconnected which is the single reason I stay in the business of training and teaching: to be connected and to help people directly and personally; as you know, this is simply impossible to do when scaling one individual among hundreds of thousands if not millions of people.
2) The possible legal implications of doing any type of long-form (28.5 minute) medium in the financial/investing world may weigh heavily on the possible (profit) upside and I don't think either one of us has properly thought all of this out. While my view would be doing it the "legally responsible" way by showing real testimonials from real students who have bought properties, somehow when dealing with "bigger money people" I've found in my long-term experience that some of these black/white lines tend to get blurred into the legal gray areas for the benefit of profits. Sometimes this means making outrageous promises and guarantees that are not sustainable or realistic for the purposes of ensuring that the project is profitable (instead of a dismal failure). And I'm not saying that you'd be the type to do this but I've never worked on any other project other than real estate with you so I don't know how this would go. You suggested having an infomercial consultant come in and by the listing of projects you stated he's done in the financial world, having seen these infomercial myself, I find myself less than impressed with his abilities to keep things legally above board.
3) The image of some of these infomercial "gurus" has never been appealing to me. The last thing I want to become is someone viewed as a "snake oil salesman" selling a product that so few (in any) succeed in doing because you suggested selling a "stripped down" version of the Apartment Building Cash Flow System and this CANNOT be "stripped down" without losing it's effectiveness. So, essentially, I visualized that we'd be selling a series of thin stapled "books" with a couple of audios and a video, much like what Don Lapre offered many years ago (as you described). And if you know anything about Don Lapre, he ended up killing himself over some legal disputes/problems he was having over INFOMERCIALS. So...maybe that was a red flag (for me) by your bringing up the course looking like something he offered in the 1990s but...I could only think of the guy killing himself. Not over the guy making millions selling some "stripped down" scam-like "course" that really didn't do anything for anybody.
4) The "forced continuity" sales model you suggested has too many holes in it. We're supposed to auto-bill people $29.95 per month for...what exactly? I don't like "forced continuity" where people can't buy the product without becoming automatically part of some deal where their credit card is billed monthly. You weren't really clear on exactly WHAT they would be getting for $29.95 per month. I know you suggested some type of wholesale list but that just doesn't seem sustainable or worth $29.95 per month to me. I'm not in the business of offering people things that don't have a huge upside value to them so whatever I do offer for $29.95 would, in my mind, have to be worth over $100 a month in reality for ME to be happy with the continuity product. Further, I wouldn't want to force the continuity on them but rather it would be something they could ELECT to get/have based on whether they see the same type of value in it (for a discount, of course) that I do which...we're just talking loose semantics because we really don't have a clue at the moment as to EXACTLY what that continuity would be.
5) You indicated to me that you just wanted to inject the money into the project and let me "run with it." However, I have no interest in product fulfillment, monitoring the call center, processing credit cards and refunds, and doing all the "admin" for the business, as I was hoping this is something you would have set up. I offered you nearly ALL of the profits from this project with only one requirement: I get all the back-end leads and sales to keep without sharing or giving them up. You would get the proceeds/profits on the front. I get all the leads/customers/sales on the back. Very simple. Then...I started to think about it. This would lead into too many possible malfunctions of the business model by essentially "lending" you my name and therefore (and not to your intention) possibly destroying it in the interim because of the many product fulfillment and refund "issues" that many infomercial companies have faced and gotten in trouble for. Of course, this all falls back on my shoulders being the face/name on the product where customers wouldn't understand that it's "another company" selling THIS product and "Monica Main's company" selling THAT product, as it all becomes one and the same in the eyes of the customer. And this scares me. A lot. As you know, reputation means a lot to me having been in the position of taking "reputation hits" online in years past so I do what I can to avoid those tragedies as much as I can. I know you can't have complete reputation-damage avoidance, as there is always someone malicious who wants to spread rumors, hate, and misinformation but I do believe I can control it as much as possible. When you muddy the waters in the way I described above, it's impossible to control this element of the equation.
While I see the value in doing short-form (1-minute) commercials/infomercials on financial networks for the purposes of lead-generation, I don't feel the need of having an investor partner for this simple easy-to-implement expansion to my current marketing strategies.
Again, I do appreciate this amazing and incredible opportunity that you've offered but, at this time, I have to decline based on the comprehensive listing of reasons as stated above. But, as always, I'm always open and willing to do new projects as they relate to real estate including acquisitions, rehabbing, and new construction as we've been doing for too many years to count.
Yours truly, Monica Main."
This is probably one of the only times you'll ever get to see an "inside memo" that I've written to my investor partner on any project or opportunity. I hate telling an investor partner no but sometimes it's necessary, as clearly in this case.
I appreciate all of your comments and suggestions about whether I should do the infomercial or not. I don't think ONE of you sent me an email saying, "Yeah, do it! Great idea!" Instead I was barraged with hundreds of "DON'T DO IT" emails so...I'm not doing it. Again, thank you SOOOOO MUCH for all of your input because I could have very easily fell into...THE DARK SIDE. [Insert evil laugh here.] ;-)
See you at the top!
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