Do you see the bigger picture? Do you have the mindset of someone who will become rich?These were the questions asked during this fascinating BBC2 film – Money – the first of a three part series about our relationship with money.
And first up was a study in the phenomenon of wealth creation gurus – rich people who make a living out of ‘mentoring’ others how to get rich quick – and the wannabe millionaires who actually buy their books and attend ‘wealth seminars’.
From the outset two things quickly became apparent. Firstly, judging on the thousands of pounds people will pay to go on these wealth courses, writing and lecturing about how to get rich – as these wealth gurus have got down to a fine art – is possibly the most lucrative business of all. Secondly, the vast majority of these savvy wealth gurus put their money into the buy to let property market several years ago (when you could get a mortgage to buy a house without actually putting down a deposit) and are now able to sit back and let tenants make them money.
Confusingly, I wasn’t sure if this was a serious programme to show how some people have become rich beyond their wildest dreams or if it was a pop at those wannabes who actually got into debt by going on these courses.
After all some of the wannabes, who all wanted to earn millions ‘without working in a normal job’ seemed a little deluded. We met Nicky who had spent her £50,000 inheritance (and when that ran out more on credit cards) not by investing it in a business but by going to wealth creation courses. It had led her to the brink of bankruptcy but despite this, she believes within three years she will ‘make £7million.’ I was waiting for her to elaborate on how she would achieve this but she didn’t say.
Then there was Sarah, 18, and her boyfriend, Rhys, also 18, who despite being in debt (from spending too much money going to the same seminars) are hoping to become property investors. The last we saw of them, Rhys was shown sweeping the floor of a garden centre. When asked what he had learned from one of the ‘wealth creation’ seminars he said the guru was ‘a lot taller and bigger than I thought he was.’
And then we met nursery nurse Janice who spent a lot of her time chanting ‘I am a great money manager’, writing similar statements on post-it notes and doing’dance’ exercises to retrain her brain and give her the ‘mindset of a millionaire.’
As for the gurus themselves, some of whom were from the US, they showed us round their palatial homes, showed off their many cars and had a quick answer for every question thrown at them. At the same time they promoted their books – I can imagine a stampede to read ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ after this (I thought the BBC didn’t allow such blatant promotion…) And one retired British couple told how they not only taught the courses but also make thousands from their 29 properties occupied by DSS tenants.
Apparently the key to making money is to have assets – so if you rent out a car it is an asset making money – whereas if you are driving it, then it’s a liability as it isn’t making you a penny. It was also inspirational to hear how many millionaires had managed to gain their wealth without any inheritance or going to university or having dozens of qualifications.
But whether business acumen can be taught, I’m not sure. Even UK wealth guru and mentor Marcus struggled when asked if ‘anyone or everyone could be a millionaire’. After wrestling to find an answer his wife cleverly interjected they could – if they got some mentoring.
What did you think of Money? Let us know below…
Like many interviewees who come to Featureworld , it was the first time Cindy Jackson had ever had any dealings with the press. Here, transexual Cindy, whose story of how she used to be a boy and is now a girl like her idol Katie Price, appeared in the Sunday Mirror and several magazines, tells what selling her story was like…
Why did you want to sell your story?
I first decided to sell my story in May of last year. I felt I had a story to share with others and wanted to try and achieve my goals I had for the future. I wasn’t too sure who to go with at first but I contacted Featureworld with a general enquiry and Alison immediately emailed back.
What did you think of Alison?
She was really helpful and sounded like she knew what she was doing so it seemed like a good option to sell my story with Featureworld. I think everyone is slightly nervous about the article going into the paper/magazine because it is a first time experience and you want everything to go well, but Alison put me at ease.
Was your story read back before it was printed?
Yes, and through reading my article back to me and allowing me to say which bits I didnt agree with I was totally comfortable and therefore knew what to expect.
What did you think of your feature?
I was over the moon, the layout was brilliant and the piece had been written just as I expected – it wasn’t insensitive or anything and I was really pleased.
What did friends and family think?
I got a great response from other people who had seen my story in the paper and they were really positive saying how good I looked and how they thought I was an inspiration to others so that was a nice feeling!
Any advice to others?
From my own experiences in dealing with Featureworld I would 110% encourage others to contact Alison to sell a story. Alison is honest and does her best to make sure you’re happy and comfortable throughout the whole process. Selling my story was one of the best things I ever did and I don’t regret it for a second.
What’s happened since?
Since selling my story I’ve had loads of other work coming my way such as television and magazine appearances. I also fulfilled my dream and got to actually meet my Idol Katie Price and be on her television show, which was a dream come true!
Read more about Cindy here: Cindy’s stories.
If you would like to sell your story contact me here: Story to Sell.