Spring Leadership And The Numbers

Well its getting close to that time again. Vancouver is really getting the sun finally and its gorgeous. I’m getting sunburns already! But then, being a red head I burn indoors anyway I’m sad to say. But along with the flowers in our yard blooming beautifully, we’re getting set to hit the road for Spring Leadership Thursday night. There’s going to be two busses heading out that way so we can sleep on the way there, get in for about noon local time and get ready for the evening. Man is it ever going to be a packed weekend. From the awesome responses we’ve heard from the Spokane function, Calgary is going to be nuts!

But as we get our group prepared we once again have a lot of negative online feedback regarding these “Major functions”.

Brainwash sessions!

Waste of money!

Those speakers make all of their money with ticket sales and not the business!

You’ll lose a lot of money paying for everything!

So, like I’ve been doing with everything else lets look at what some of these numbers look like and how they break down. I apologize in advance for the length of the post. Hold on to your butts.

Transportation
Normal greyhound bus ticket cost: $158.00 / person one way (if ordered online). $196.00 / person if ordered standard.
So for Nikki and myself that would cost us minimum $632.00 round trip. But we’ve booked a private charter for the teams out here going to Calgary – so we’re paying $125.00 / person round trip. So this work out to $250.00 for transportation.
Running Cost: $250.00

Admittance
Tickets: $125.00 / person (two guest tickets free) for a full weekend function.
This would come to $250.00 
Running cost: $500.00

Accommodation
Delta Bow Valley Inn: Normal room rates start at $249.00/night. So for two nights that would have run us: $557.76 after taxes.
However, WWDB gets us pricing at: 127.00/night x 2 nights. So we’re at $284.48 after taxes.
Running cost: $784.48 

Noms (aka Food)
When prepping for our trip we bring our own over the shoulder cooler which is stocked with veggies and dip for snacks while at the function as well as pre-made sandwiches etc. This is based on items we’ve budgeted for through our regular food budget.Same goes for drinks – we already have and are bringing our own XS and water. Obviously those don’t last the whole trip and when stretching our legs on the road its nice to grab a hot chocolate or something. Also we would have one or two meals that we would pay for. We bring as much as possible with us to avoid extra food expenses and save money because food and snacks are a huge variable expense that if not managed can wreak havoc on a set budget. So to be fair we’ve set aside $60.00 for additional food/snacks aside from what we bring on our own.

Running Cost: $844.48
Final Cost: $844.48 

$845 dollars! Oh. My. God. That is insane! Why would anyone spend sooo much money on this type of thing? How can anyone afford that? That’s terrible! That’s predatory! That’s a joke!

Well….lets look a the cost of a regular weekend of going to the Calgary stampede….and its not even during the stampede season!
Hotel (as per https://www.deltahotels.com/Hotels/Delta-Bow-Valley/Rooms-Rates)
$557.76
Transportation: $632.00
Guys….we’ve only gotten our rooms booked and our bus there and we’re at $1189.76!!! And for this example we’re not even going to a function! So cross out the function tickets. So lets say you instead went shopping….or to the Calgary zoo or something like that (you have to be going to Calgary for some reason, right?). Your costs will probably at least be going to $1500 if we stay conservative because on top of shopping, tourist things etc. you’ll be eating as well. $1350 if you bring a lot of your own food like us.
Lets say though that you have a fuel efficient car and you drove both ways and you got a cheap little hotel room maybe, you’ll be getting close to the $844 that we’ll be paying with our food included and our function tickets included.

Altogether through our line of sponsorship and via WWDB we have saved $372.00 on our transportation costs and $273.19 on our hotel costs. That’s a total of $645.19 that we saved and did not have to pay to make this trip.

Well I wouldn’t go anyway so that’s $844.48 I would save altogether!

Whether you’re going or not is not the point. If you wouldn’t be going then you wouldn’t have gotten through the process and never would be in business to begin with. The point is, that when making this trip, we’re getting a great rate and pricing overall. With that said, all of these costs have been paid for by our business revenue and tax return.
When we only had us in our organization and our bonus’ cheques were just our personal use and customer volume; because we knew this function was coming up  we could easily save for the bus tickets and the hotel bookings without breaking our budget or going into debt (like those negative people on the interwebs said we would.) and our bonus cheques would help subsidize it so it became an affordable trip.

With that being said I will once again point out that these major functions are all laid out to a business prospect before they even get into business. They are told the dates and the pricing and shown how they can fit this into their existing budget. If their budget cannot support these requirements we do not launch them. Seems pretty fair doesn’t it? Doesn’t seem very dishonest or predatory does it? That’s why we have the process so that potential new business owners are not blindsided or go backwards money-wise because of the business. ( See “The Process” )

So then what about all of that money / revenue for tickets? You’ve probably heard a lot about how the speakers make all of their money through the functions (certainly not the business – that’s not possible! Hrmph!).
Well, once again – lets look at the numbers.

Ticket Price: $125.00 (provides two free guest tickets)
Calgary Corral Capacity seating: 7,475 (assuming a sell out).
Tickets sold x $125.00 = $934,375
Now because each business owner gets two free guest tickets to give out, even with a sell out, not all seats will have been charged due to the free guest ticket rule. So I’ll try to be very conservative and say 35% of business owner will use one of two guest tickets….considering the Alberta market is going absolutely insane right now I’m confident that more guest tickets will be used but conservative is fair and safe. Last year the venue was for only 2,000 to 2,500 people and we’ve outgrown that. So,
35% of 7,475 seats = 2,616 seats will be revenue neutral.
As such that would leave us with 4,859 paid attendees.
So that adjusts our numbers to $125.00 x  4,859 attendees = $607,375 – and this is assuming there is a sell out.

Wow…..that’s a good chunk of change right there, isn’t it? That’s almost a low founders diamondship yearly income right there (As per WWDB Business Overview which has been approved by both Amway and necessary attorneys on all sides to be a legitimate claim).
Now we can’t be so naive to think that all of this is profit goes right into the WWDB coffers. So I did some research as best I could.
I used the cost of services for the Calgary Corral from the 2013 outline found here: http://venues.calgarystampede.com/upload/media_element/25/08/2013-exhibitor-order-form—may-1-2013-to-december-31-2013-inclusive.pdf

WWDB brings in and utilizes most of their own employees: but since I don’t know what those kind of employees would be paid I went with the next closest thing I could find which was the pricing for personnel from the 2010 Calgary Stampede venue guide found here: http://venues.calgarystampede.com/upload/media_element/17/02/event-services—planners-price-list-2010.pdf

As of this entry the Calgary stampede sales department has yet to email me or return my calls regarding the rental cost of the Corral. So I had to use a stand in as close as I could to the Corral – for this comparison I used the Vancouver PNE Agrodome. As of this entry the Agrodome holds a Capacity of 5000 people. As such the pricing for rental was advised at:
$5,000 move in (Friday Evening session)
$10,000 Day long Function (All day Saturday)
$5,000 move out (Sunday Morning/Afternoon session)

Because the Corral is bigger with a capacity of 7,475 people, I increased the numbers accordingly:
$7,500 move in (Friday Evening session)
$15,000 Day long Function (All day Saturday)
$7,500 move out (Sunday Morning/Afternoon session)

Pricing is grouped in categories. It took me awhile to pick out what stuff World Wide would use so I doubt you’ll want line by line. If you do, you can look at the pdf’s above. All costs (excluding employees/personnel) include Alberta’s 5% GST tax. So….here we go….

Parking services for speakers/employees: $1,469.63
Electrical Services: $1,168.65
A/V and general Equip: $5,245.01
Telecom (Internet/Phone/Fax): $1,254.23
Personnel / Employees: $9,166 ( Building Maintenance / Nurse and medical / A/V techs / Video recorders and CCTV / Parking attendant(s) / Security Guards and supervisor / Ticket sales and supervisor / ticket takers and supervisor / Forklift and Man-lift Operators)
Building: $31,500
3rd Party Speaker: Dr. John Maxwell: $42,000 (as per approximate rates from  http://www.bigspeak.com/john-maxwell.html)
Additional Insurance and/or non-refundable deposits may be levied on top of this but I don’t have a way of getting those numbers.

Total Cost: $91,866.23

So if we take that away from our projected revenue that leaves us with an excess $515,508.77 in revenue from this event. Wow! That’s still a good chunk of change for WWDB.

How much of that helps pay for the cost of administration / office employees at headquarters we can’t know. How much of that goes towards the utilities at Headquarters, we can’t know. But there are at least 40 employees at the head office over several divisions. We can’t know the salaries there but lets just average it out since some will be office admins, front desk clerical, audio/visual editing, managers and so on I’ll go with $40,000/yr per employee…keep in mind I’m being conservative here just to be fair. Some may make more or less than that based on what they do and so on so I figure that’s a fair average. So $40,000 / yr multiply by 40 employees = $1,600,000. So that 515 Grand that World Wide made at the gate for Calgary leadership only covered part of their employee overhead for the year. And like I said, we haven’t included property taxes, insurance, utilities and so on. So as we go through all of these numbers bit by bit, you can see that WWDB has A LOT of expenses to cover as a business. Which is what they are. They are a support, training and facilitation system to help people grow to be able to build a business powered by the Amway corporation.

But….but those dirty diamonds and those cheating speakers downline from them! They’re getting paid to talk at those functions. They make money off of those attending! How dare they do that!

If a speaker gets paid at all, a term “supply and demand” comes to mind here. When there is a demand, there is a price. Why should these people who have a successful business take time out of their lives, time away from their families, away from their hobbies, away from their friends to train and speak to other people who are not part of their organization? They have already successfully helped many others create wealth and financial benefits to get to their level. So why should they do that? Simple answer – there’s a benefit to do so. A benefit to them and their family. They are providing a service. I don’t know about you but I was brought up to pay people for service rendered. They have already spent hours with their downline to help them or else they wouldn’t be a Platinum – Diamond.

Let’s put this in another light to make my point.
Dr. John Maxwell is a world renowned author and speaker on the topics of Leadership. On top of authoring many books he also does training workshops and seminars.
As per http://www.johnmaxwell.com/events/public-workshops/ you will find that a one day seminar will cost you $349.00. That is for one day and does not include transportation to / from the event, accommodation or food.

Now, please allow me to sit and wait for all of those people to start screaming foul and howling about the unfair way that John is cheating his clients and attendees.

***

Oh there’s not? Now that seems quite odd. I wonder why that is….
Lets look at another example. Tony Robbins.
Tony has a conference called “Unleash The Power Within” and its taking place in Chicago this July. Details can be found here: http://www.tonyrobbins.com/events/unleash-the-power-within/#ordernow
You have five tiers of pricing – General / Executive / VIP / Diamond / Diamond Premiere
They range as such: $595 / $795 / $995 / $2,095 / $2,595

That’s not including your accommodation or transportation to Chicago guys.You do get two free lunches with the Diamond and Diamond Premiere, but everything else is on you.

So….lets get this hate train started…..hmm, whats that? There’s no hate blog being updated daily on how Tony Robbins is a scam artist? No daily diatribe on how the people who go to his conferences are being brainwashed? How it’s a waste of money? No? Nothing? Can you see the sense of hypocrisy here?

These two men are well known and come very highly commended and recommended. They garner a very high price for their services because they have created a demand for what they know and what they teach. World Wide Emeralds and Diamonds have done the exact same. They have created a demand for what they know and what they teach. Would you expect Tony to do a few talks over a weekend for free? I’m sure you would be laughed at if you even mentioned the thought.”But he’s sooo successful already…” So? Does that mean he should now do his work gratis? That would be kind of stupid of him, wouldn’t it?

So why the hostility towards WWDB leaders who may or may not earn a kickback for taking time out of their life?  The teaching they provide can be directly applied to the business their listener’s are involved with. Other conferences have great mindset and attitude teachings. But a person could easily walk out and ask himself, “I’ve learned all of this great mindset and attitude stuff!  But….what can I apply it to?” Because there’s is no “guarantee of results” would that not also fall under a “scam alert” from these negative bloggers? The question is rhetorical, but my point remains the same.

If you were asked to fly to another city to do a talk on your job and how to succeed in it, would you go? Would you pay for your flight and hotel for that privilege? I doubt it. It would cost too much and you’re too busy working your job anyway. Now, what if your company told you they would pay for the flight. Well, the hotel still isn’t cheap….it still wouldn’t be worth it. So what if the company paid for your flights, your hotel and paid your regular wage for going there to talk about being successful in your profession and a bit more for the time spent away from home. I’m pretty sure 90% of the time, you would say yes.

So for WWDB speakers, that’s the scenario. Why would they spend their own money to fly somewhere when they don’t need to or have to? Why would they pay for their hotels? Their organization is set. World Wide covers those costs. Where do you think the money comes from to pay those expenses aside from all of the other costs for World Wide Group? Major Function revenue. Its not like its a one time windfall where a speaker gets $75,000 to speak for one function.

I like to challenge people to really look into why they think the way they think. Thinking that World Wide speakers are total filth for possibly getting paid to provide education, training and motivation for their direct industry, but for others its totally OK. The hypocrisy is entertaining to a point, but also quite sad. This will be my third Spring Leadership. And so far I can easily say that I have learned new things each time. I have been able to directly utilize some of these lessons in my own growth as well as my business growth. And that is easily worth the 125.00 ticket. It certainly beats the price of some of those other conferences. I can easily say that what I’ve heard, witnessed and learned can be used directly to help both me and my business grow.

Have a great weekend! I know I will!
~ C

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