March 24, 2007

Secrets to Billionaire Success

I'm sick to death of seeing things
From tight-lipped, condescending,
mama's little chauvinists
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth now
--- John Lennon (Just Gimme Some Truth)
(Live from the Real Estate & Wealth Expo)
So many sales pitches. My brain is getting numb. And it's only the afternoon of the first day. I need a refresher. So I head to a session with a billionaire: Bill Bartmann. The topic? Secrets to Billionaire Success. Great, I think. No sales pitch this time :)

Lots of presenters have the same basic story: humble beginnings, modest successes, big failures, successful again now, desire to educate others. Bartmann was no exception.

One secret is using other people's money. He explained how to write a loan proposal. The lender has a pool of money that will be lent. There are others who want that money too. Your proposal must be better than theirs. There are 12 steps, most of which I didn't know. So there were good points.

The slides were difficult to see because of the room layout (using bottom of screen, not top). The PowerPoint used a standard template. There was a typo in "profesional", which even the PowerPoint spell checker would catch.

The content was good but far from the printed agenda, which promised

  • hidden keys to a successful business
  • negotiation tactics and strengths
  • leadership and vision

Bartmann is speaking at 100 high schools. He's back in May to talk to 50,000 students at the Rogers Centre about self-esteem and drugs. That's wonderful. Here's hoping he stays on topic.

The last 5 minutes were the biggest disappointment. There was a pitch for a two day seminar. The cost? An astounding $13,000! That's good in the sense that he normally charges $100,000 per day for consulting.

The price dropped to $6,500 then $3,250 and finally $1,995.

So there was a sales pitch after all :(

By the way, there's a reality show coming this fall: Billionaire Quest. I don't understand this fascination of having a show on TV, but I'm not a billionaire.
On to another session ...


Promod said...

Mystery solved. Bill Bartmann isn't a billionaire anymore. Here are two interesting articles.

Fortune (How To Lose A Billion): Bill Bartmann amassed a huge personal fortune building a wildly profitable company.
Too bad it was all on paper.

Business Week (I Was A Loser, Baby, So Why Don't You Pay Me?): Bill Bartmann milks his losses on the motivational circuit.

Promod said...

For more about the expo, read
Lessons from the Real Estate and Wealth Expo