Alex Hormozi is an American entrepreneur, author, private equity investor, and “business guru” of growing popularity.
This article is a review of Alex Hormozi as a “business guru” (and how good his advice is), as a man, as a leader… And about Alex’s character and moral mettle.
Ultimately, we want to find out whether Alex Hormozi is a trustworthy person to work with or as a “self-help” role model.
My name is Lucio Buffalmano, expert on power dynamics, social strategies, and personal empowerment.
I founded this website that also happens to share the largest summaries and reviews of self-development resources on the web. I researched Alex Hormozi to further grow this website, grow in my entrepreneurial journey, as well as for sharing the results with you.
- Alex Business Strategy: Flip The Power Dynamics Against Target Companies
- Alex Genius Strategy For High Reputation: Give, Give, Give… And Never Ask (Openly)
- Alex Business Insights: 10/10 Cum Laude
- What I Like Alex Hormozi For
- What I Didn’t Vibe With
- What Alex Can Improve On
- Red Flags
- 1. Defends & Aligns With Sleazy-Sounding Characters (Grant Cardone)
- 2. Associates With “Thin-Content” Marketers-First Characters (Dean Graziosi)
- 3. Some Sales Advice Sound Sleazy And Unethical
- 4. Started Off With Scammy-Sounding Coach He Looked Up To (Seven-Figure Sam)
- 5. “You Can Learn From Anyone, No Matter How Ass*ole They Are” Approach
- SUMMARY: Is Alex Hormozi Legit?
Alex Business Strategy: Flip The Power Dynamics Against Target Companies
Make Other People Come to You – Use Bait if NecessaryLaw of Power N.8
Alex’s openly stated goal is to grow wealthy, and share his learning along the way for future generations of entrepreneurs.
And here’s the cool thing:
His second goal, the public sharing of his learning, facilitates his first goal of money-making.
And it’s genius, because:
By becoming a growing popular figure that more and more entrepreneurs look up to, Alex flips the power dynamics of business investing.
Let’s find out:
Problem: Alex’ Acquisition Efforts Would Normally Put Him Power Down
Alex had an issue.
Think of it from a power dynamics perspective between a business accelerator and a target company.
Think about “who chases whom” and “who needs whom”.
Alex is not going after distressed businesses, or startups strapped for cash.
Alex is going for healthy businesses.
Problem is: those entrepreneurs also may need him the least.
And of course, their incentive being to always give out as little equity as possible, what are Alex’s chances of snagging the huge deals that will make him a billionaire?
Furthermore, whenever Alex approaches them first, Alex has even less (negotiating) power.
And that cost him even more equity and money.
Alex is a smart and resourceful guy, and he came up with a plan.
A genius plan.
Solution: Alex Flips The Script By Becoming The Flame The Targets Go To (Pull Strategy)
What would change if entrepreneurs started going to Alex?
It changes that Alex gains power -options, and negotiating power-.
He’d go from power down to power up.
Alex would flip the dynamics on its head.
To do that, Alex should turn himself into a popular, in-demand figure.
If Alex managed to broadcast high-quality content in front of hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs, he’d hack the game.
The entrepreneurs flocking to him, in that 21st-century popularity contest game, are unknown nobodies approaching the popular VIP.
And that flips the dynamics.
Even by simple law of large numbers, Alex will start receiving bids.
Lots of them.
I bet you even sleazy characters, if popular enough, would receive plenty of bids. That’s the power of the law of large numbers.
But if Alex manages to successfully portray an image of competence, pickiness, scarcity, plus ethics, and honesty, he would 100x the power of the fame strategy (100x more bids, with 100x more eagerness).
So albeit the main strategic ingredient is fame, it’s the “prestige” side that truly empowers it -and that allows him to attract good characters with great products and missions that further improve his reputation, rather than a bunch of sleazeballs only chasing the quickest buck who’d instead ruin his reputation-.
If Alex manages fame + prestige, he gains the power and leverage to field bigger demands for ownership in exchange for “accepting” them into his business accelerator program (Alex can also play all the “in-demand”, “scarcity power moves” he wants and they’d either be true, or very much true-sounding to the entrepreneur who’s grown watching his videos and looking up to him).
Call it a “pull” approach -make people want to come to you-, rather than a “push” one -chasing them and convincing them-.
It’s actually true: besides a few cents for his book, Alex isn’t really selling anything, just giving tons of free, top-quality value. That doesn’t necessarily mean he may not want to see some kind of return on his time and effort (which is totally fair, and doing something for nothing is also wasted effort, in our opinion)
Fame May Be The Ultimate Power Strategy
it’s been a while since we first mentioned here that fame is the ultimate dating strategy for men.
Turns out, it works for businesses as well.
And it makes sense: most higher principles of power dynamics apply across the board, after all.
Note: Alex May Still Be A Value Giver While Turning The Power Tables
Obviously, this is NOT necessarily a value-taking or lose-win strategy.
First off, Alex uses free business insights as bait.
Nobody is forced to consume it, and nobody has to pay for it.
And for that advice to work as bait, it must be good free advice.
The beauty of this world -and of capitalism- is that one can pursue some selfish goals while still being a top value-giver.
This is the case for such a strategy.
Alex can also turn out to be a giver if he takes a large slice of your business pie to let you join his incubator.
if Alex does deliver value by taking your business higher than most other people would, if he doesn’t take “too much advantage” of his leverage, and if you’re happy with what you get… Then that’s also a huge win-win.
Me for one, I’d gladly pay more equity to work with someone who aligns with this website’s mission (as Alex seems to do).
Alex Genius Strategy For High Reputation: Give, Give, Give… And Never Ask (Openly)
Alex’s strategy is that of the giver, and it’s rooted in solid social psychology.
As a matter of fact, it’s a textbook example of what we say in our The Social Strategist:
many of the happy givers who succeed at life don’t go around constantly “calling in their favors.” Instead, they keep accumulating credit and goodwill (tickets) from others because they’re happy to give value.Ali & Lucio, “The Social Strategist”
Alex says he looks up to prestigious figures such as King Solomon, an ancient powerful and wealthy monarch with the reputation of a wise and enlightened ruler.
And, bar the red flags below, Alex uses the perfect strategy for that goal.
Alex, who certainly doesn’t lack in brainpower, has a fundamental understanding of the social exchange model and of people’s innate “value accounting” computations.
And he righteously concluded that the marketer’s “jab, jab, jab, right hook model” of giving only to ask back depletes social capital and comes across as sneaky and manipulative.
That model can make you millionaire-rich, but not wealthy, in Alex’s words.
His model instead is based on giving, giving, giving, giving, giving… Until people come to you with a huge social debt because they want to give back.
Because they look up to you, and because they want to associate and do business with you (likely for many, even if that means they have to pay more to get in).
In this model, you never outright ask for anything back.
And people are free to decide whether, when, and how to give back.
That’s also tremendously empowering to his audience.
The give, give, give model without ask allows Alex to build a ton of social capital and a fantastic reputation as an ethical and “good” giver.
People look up to givers and tend to think of them as highly moral and ethical, the type of “prestigious leaders” they want to be led by.
So when young entrepreneurs approach him to grow their business, they may be very willing to give him a much larger slice of the pie than they would to any other investor that they’d perceive as less prestigious (and less ethical, and without any previous history of value transactions).
Again, this can be a very fair strategy even from an ethical point of view.
As a matter of fact, Alex IS a huge giver, so props to him.
Besides the foundations of free giving, and high-quality content, there are mot techniques Alex uses.
Let’s see some of them:
Alex Social Techniques Support His Strategy With “Prestige” Social Capital
Alex isn’t just a great social strategist.
He is also a great social tactician.
These various techniques empower his overarching “pull strategy” of making people want to go to him by displaying high-quality and ethical mindsets and behaviors.
They all add little bricks that each sub-communicate: “Alex is an upstanding man you can trust, a role model, and worthy of looking up to -and worthy of paying more, to work with-“.
There are countless of them, but just to name a few tactics and examples:
- Always give credit: Alex always seeks to credit the individual he learned from, a very good sign of a great character.
Example: he once said “I haven’t heard anyone else saying, so I claim it”. Think about what that sub-communicates. The sub-communication is that Alex always thinks first who he heard it from first, and only if he can’t find anyone, he then passes it for his own.
Those are the type of people we want to work for, because we know that he wouldn’t steal the credit, but give it to us.
- Power protect to avoid social costs, and be more likable, to more people: Alex constantly power protects his audience to make everyone feel respected and cherished.
Example: Alex introduces his takes on controversial topics as “strictly his opinions only”, and that he accepts different beliefs as equally valid. That way, people who hold different opinions on, say, as marriage, religion or the “meaning of life” never get defensive or triggered, but feel instead respected by him.
That prevents a “me VS you” opinion battle that wouldn’t benefit anyone. That way, Alex can share strong opinions, without being a divisive figure.
- Frame advice as “what worked for you” to make your advice unassailable, while also coming across as humble. Attention, this won’t work for everyone because it can undermine your authority in some cases. But for Alex it works perfectly because Alex’s advice worked great for him, for the businesses he acquired, and for the many people who follow him. Alex has the results to back up strong claims, so when he says “what worked for me”, he’s still being high authority, while still being positively humble -the stuff of the leaders we admire-
- Pull the audience up, rather than the cheap “pushing down” that some other gurus do.
- Display love and affection for the audience, as well as framing his work “for humanity”.
Example: Alex often repeats “you guys are awesome, I don’t deserve you”, he says he gives free advice because he doesn’t want his audience to be poor, and he says his work is for humanity because “nobody is going to come and save us”
- Honest owning “darker” and most selfish goals, which makes him come across as honest with both himself, and the world. Alex can allow himself to do that and can only gain from it because he is still giving free his advice and huge value. So he wins twice with it: a giver, and an honest one.
He says in one of his podcast breaks:
Alex: So you guys real quick if you’re new to the podcast I have a book on Amazon called “100 million dollar offers” at over 8,500 5-stars views, it has almost a perfect score you can get it for 99 Cents on Kindle the reason I bring it up is that I put over a thousand hours on the writing that book and it’s my biggest give to our community so it’s my very shameless way of trying to get to you to like be more and ultimately make more dollars so that later on in your business career….
He ended the sentence by saying “so that later on in your business career I can push harder with you”, which was a mistake.
HOWEVER, think about the genius of the above quote.
It’s the perfect mix of honest and straight while also still gaining your liking.
He gains both respect/admiration, and liking.
When Alex says “my shameless way of getting you to like me” he also scores a double. He displays both high emotional intelligence and integrity.
Intelligence displays high value while integrity displays a high-quality character trait. Again, the type of people we choose as leaders.
And he STILL also gets you to like him because he’s still giving much of his stuff for almost free.
Alex Business Insights: 10/10 Cum Laude
Alex Hormozi’s business wisdom and insights easily score a 10/10.
Alex says that he wants to provide more value with his free advice than most other people with paid courses.
And how is he doing on that?
Well, from my experience, I can say that Alex has delivered more business value than any other book, author, or (paid) course I’ve ever taken.
And I’ll soon be adding both Alex and his first book at the top of the best entrepreneurship books.
Alex also hits it out of the park with many sub-categories of business and entrepreneurship such as copywriting, marketing, and sales.
I’d even feel bad to honestly evaluate some other big-ticket courses on sales, marketing, entrepreneurship, or copywriting because to honestly review them I’d have to say “but then there is this other guy who gives you a lot more value, and for free“.
So hats off to Alex for that, big thanks to him.
I hope that, on a much smaller scale for now, TPM does the same for social skills and self-empowerment as Alex does for business.
Note To The Critics: Is Alex Re-Hashing Well-Known, Same-Old Business Advice?
From a Reddit review thread on Alex Hormozi. Why wouldn’t you follow the advice of someone who’s more experienced, so you can get out and be more effective at whatever you do?
I’ve skimmed some “Alex Hormozi reviews” threads before writing here.
Of course, as for any public figure, you can find plenty of critics and detractors.
I personally know nothing about Alex’s exit numbers, Alex Hormozi net worth, and how well his portfolio companies are going, so not going to comment there (and P.S.: neither do 99% of those critics).
But to those who criticize him saying that he’s “regurgitating well-known business advice”, my answer is:
Get real and use some basic logic.
After hundreds of years of business literature there isn’t much scope for constantly creating new content, and what works is well established.
Alex STILL, from all the courses and books I’ve read, Alex adds much (new) wisdom, and packages it better than anyone else I’ve heard or seen.
Generally take Reddit’s advice with a grain of salt.
It seems to be the place where a lot of complainers, overly cynics, and mud-slingers like to gather.
What I Like Alex Hormozi For
Definitely a lot.
That’s the reason why I’ve been binge-learning from him, and writing this review in the first place.
Some of the “pros” of Alex Hormozi as a self-help “guru”:
- Great life role model as he’s based on giving and creating value
- Comes across as genuine, honest, straight-talking
- Straight, “eagle type” behavior, rarely if ever I’ve seen any nasty power move from Alex
- Rational and logical
- Pulls his audience up
- High-quality content (actionable, to the point, and real-world tested content), no fluff, naive self-help, or “empty motivation”
- Great general self-development (pragmatic, effective, rational, high-power) including some elements we also agree and even advice here:
- Positive nihilism, as in “you’re gonna die, whatever you do won’t matter, and that’s OK -and that’s even great actually, so you can choose to set up your life whichever way you prefer-“
- Empowered and rational approach towards psychoanalysis and past events: Alex says that most therapists and psychoanalysts are simply people and, as most people, many of them aren’t that bright or insightful. So their “work” of “uncovering your past” is more an exercise in sense-making and “coming up with random reasons and associations”, and not necessarily the truth. Instead of listening to random folks tell you who you are, choose for yourself instead (which also ties up to our take on trusting yourself more in “making of the ubermensch“
- “Fuck happiness” approach to positive psychology
- Framing “problems” as facts instead of problems, which works especially well with anxieties and psychological hangups. So whatever you have, the answer is not necessarily “how to solve it”, but to reframe it as “so what?”. When you stop thinking that you necessarily need to “fix” or address it, many “problems” stop bothering you and being problems in the first place (an approach he took from Albert Ellis, founder of CBT and an author we highly commended here)
- Owning your dark side, which is one of the most powerful applications of vulnerability
What I Didn’t Vibe With
Chasing money isn’t bad at all as a goal -or not any worse than many other more “neutral sounding” goals-. The only risk is if trumps other values on the way to get more of it
Albeit we’re so different, I share several mindsets and we reached similar conclusions on some important life topics.
A few things we disagree on, though:
- Money as top priority or measure of “how good you’re doing”
- Money as a yardstick to measure other people’s value: albeit Alex is too smart to say so outright, it often seems like he (subconsciously) ranks and values people based on how much they have or make
- Money as yardstick to measure skills, which may seem to make sense to at least measure business skills, but it’s far from a conclusive or even high-reliability indicator.
And it’s surprisingly non-rational for such a rational guy.
For example, had there been a major war during Warren Buffet’s life, he’d have lost almost everything since his skill is picking stocks. Or, since Buffet’s fortune works on compound interest, had he simply died earlier he wouldn’t even enter the top 100 of richest men. And you can bet there are countless parallel universes where Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos never made a single billion (also see: “Fooled by Randomness“)
- Money as yardstick to measure knowledge: in one of his podcasts, Alex said that believes that “if someone makes more than him, he is better than him (at the game of business)”.
That’s not necessarily true, since as Alex knows very well, they may have been in easier markets, enjoyed a lucky headstart, or lucked it out.
Overall, Alex’s strong focus on money may inadvertently lead him to overshadow some of his other values.
That matters, because it may lead Alex to disregard the quality of character -which includes morals and ethics-.
But let’s face the harshest truth now:
Nobody cares what I agree or disagree with :).
So let’s jump into something “meatier”:
Alex Hormozi’s improvement areas, and Alex Hormozi’s red flags.
What Alex Can Improve On
First, the obvious caveat:
Alex is an awesome guy, a top G, and he lacks in smarts as much as he lacks in muscles.
So he doesn’t need me to tell him what to “work on” -which would also be a hell of an annoying and disempowering teacher frame that I have no interest to fall into-.
That being said, if he were my coaching client and I’d have to come up with some notes and suggestions, here are some of the things I’d mention:
1. Alex Could Be More Careful (& Strategic) Quoting Studies
I’ve heard Alex say this one a lot of times:
Ultra-successful people have 3 things in common…
For example, here (or here):
Alex: they did this research study that said that ultra successful people have three common traits.
Number one is they have a superiority conflict. They think they’re better than everybody they think they they can do bigger things.
Second is that they are they have crippling insecurity of not being enough.
Third one is impulse control
I’m sure Alex took that for true because it resonates with him.
Alex thinks he can do bigger things than most others can -and he’d be right-. Alex had a sense of insecurity. And Alex has impulse control with long-term temporal horizon -he definitely has-.
However, it’s a cognitive bias to think that because something applies to us, then it must be true.
And turns out indeed, it’s not research, but comes from a book where the authors theorize -ie., speculate– about what may explain ultra success.
Turns out, there is instead actual research that disproves that theory (and insecurity was related to less success, not more).
So it’s pop psychology at its finest -and very possibly a myth-.
So I’d advise him to be more careful quoting opinions as a study.
Or even to frame studies as if they were facts for that matter, since single studies, especially when low-powered, often fail to replicate.
Alex lost a bit of authority in this author’s eyes, and he may lose even more as it becomes clear to more people that the “triple package” of success traits is probably BS.
Why “They Did” Is Low-Power Frame
To make things worse, Alex often introduces that opinion as “they did this research study”.
That is a low-authority and low-power frame.
Think about it…
Does it convey high expertise, or even enough grasp that sub-communicates you can take it seriously?
No, because otherwise, you’d be able to be more specific -mention the researchers, whether the source is a book or a paper, etc.- Instead, it’s the opposite: it’s nebulous and vague.
Does it convey any agency, such as critical processing of the information?
No, the frame is that “they did”, and you just took it for good. That sub-communicates low reliability cause you didn’t do the work to double check (and communicates naivete as in “taking any information for good”).
The probem with “they did that research” is that it’s the frame of the hearsay.
It sounds low-authority, and already raises suspicions about the source.
That is the reason why even before looking it up I was already half-expecting it was more of an “interesting opinion” rather than research -let alone high-quality research work-.
Finally, does it sound like a not-so-good power move, an attempt at sounding more authoritative, while not truly being an authority?
Yep, and that’s the ultimate problem: it may not just undermine authority, but also some trust, making Alex come across a bit more like a “salesy salesman”.
Advice: How To Speak With High Authority, Even Without Quoting Any “Research”
I’d advise Alex to completely remove the format “they did X”.
He may turn it into, for example, “there is a book”, “I stumbled upon a study that in my opinion truly explains…”, “I read about this concept that totally made sense to me”.
If he’s not sure it’s actual research, he may even say so:
“I think it’s based on research but don’t quote me on it, do your own research, HOWEVER, it made complete sense to me, and reflected my own experience, and it’s this…”
If he stresses the “however” and what comes next, he’d still be high authority, plus gain long-term authority, and trust points.
The 6 human needs pop psychology
I’ve also heard both Alex and Leila mention more than once about “human needs”.
And it turned out to be a reference to Tony Robbins’ 6 human needs.
Robbins is great and even the model is insightful.
However, Tony’s speculations on basic human needs don’t make for a high-reliability resource (also because, just to mention one possible issue, Tony’s “needs” don’t even include survival, reproduction, or drive for status, three of the most ingrained human drives).
So Alex loses authority and loses some of that “wise” aura when he talks about those 6 “human needs” as if they were a proven exhaustive list (plus, he risks coming across as “just another self-help guru re-hashing what other self-help gurus say”, and there’s a lot of those already).
Advice: How To Quote Self-Help Gurus, While Still Being High Authority
So he may preface it by saying something like:
“Tony Robbins lists 6 human needs (and albeit of course that’s not an end-all-be-all list), I found it a useful framework to analyze what makes us fulfilled”.
2. Alex May Focus On Further Learning Power Dynamics To Read People
Alex is generally doing well in terms of high-power behavior.
He generally is:
- Socially high-power
- Confident in both verbal production and behavior
He comes across as a typical alpha male in both aspect and psychology (and Leila Hormozi a typical alpha female).
It also seems like he got tremendously better at power and authority over time (maybe with conscious study and effort as well? Would love to talk to him about his self-development work).
Of course, there are always some opportunities for improvement.
For example, with Chris Williamson, he may have not read the power dynamics and ended up being a bit too approval-seeking and comparatively lower power.
Alex also displays lots of self-awareness and a strong grasp of judge power dynamics in his family.
Specifically, how his father demanding and “never good enough” attitude shaped him to be who he is (which is exactly what Karyl McBride describes as one of the two typical paths of narcissists’ children).
Even there though, I suspect he may still be too much on the naive and well-thinking side, and underestimating the incidence and severity of nasty power moves, covert aggression, and dark triad.
So Alex could gain in:
- Reading people
- Deepening his understanding of social power dynamics
- Recognizing dark triad folks around him
These are all super useful skill for any entrepreneur, by the way.
See the entries under “red flags”, for example.
But also, check out:
- How reading people well would have accelerated Alex’ business success
- Alex fails to recognize a potential frenemy and ends up acting too low power
- Alex misses his family’s nasty power moves (including the belief that his father wanted the best for him, which I’m afraid isn’t always true for dark triad individuals, not even towards their own children)
3. Alex, Man… Stop Defending Sleazy-Sounding People (It’s Hurting You)
And this is the main one.
Not only reflects badly on him, but may as well undermine his all strategy.
One above all: Grant Cardone.
I’ve heard Alex mention multiple times his calls with Grant Cardone.
And multiple times I’ve heard him defend Cardone against his own audience -really a bad idea-.
“People hate everyone who’s very big” said Alex.
Except… That’s not true and sounds a lot like a great excuse / gaslighting attempt of an ass*ole.
Just to mention a disproving example: Alex is very big now, and getting even bigger, and people really do not hate him.
As a matter of fact, most people love him.
Dont Poo-Poo On The Wisdom of Crowds
So here’s a different take I’d suggest Alex to consider:
When lots of people think someone is a scammy ass*ole, it’s either everyone’s wrong, or… That someone may at least give off scammy ass*ole vibes.
It’s entirely possible those people are wrong, of course.
But, often, it’s not the most likely scenario.
Psychology indeed tells us that many people are good at assessing people’s character.
As David de Becker says, assessing others is crucial for our own survival and thriving. And to protect ourselves from takers.
People can’t exactly pinpoint what makes one person come across as genuine, and another as sleazy and untrustworthy. So they ascribe it to “vibe”.
As this commenter says in Alex’s own video comment on Cardone:
Commenter: I love Alex’s content. Grant just seems like a super sketchy guy to me (…) there’s just something about him
Yeah, if you feel that way, it may make sense to heed your intuition, instead of following the contemporary PC trope of “not judging others” (or else you’re “bad”, racist, or something).
The way I see it, this isn’t even about personal opinions.
See this video from Coffeezilla to assess Cardone’s moral mettle:
Grant Cardone (many years ago, starting with legit advice): save money, don’t buy sh*t with it
Grant Cardone (recent, paraphrasing): if you have one 1k left, invest in my 10x conference
If you’re willing to take your audience’s last dollar just to make one more sale when just a few years earlier you (correctly) suggested people they ought to save for rainy days… Then you’re most likely a POS in my book.
Alex Is Putting His Own Prestigious Reputation On The Line
This is risky for Alex’s reputation.
Remember that Alex’s overall strategy largely rests on being a trustworthy, prestigious man worthy of being looked up.
This is the opposite of it.
And it’s already costing him.
For example, I searched for “Grant Cardone review” on YouTube and besides the various scam-artist reviews I expected (see below), this also came out:
Alex is being harmed by his association and defense of Grant Cardone
Aaron Marino there says what many others think:
Alex does NOT come across as sleazy and he seems awesome.
But then… Why associate with Grant, then?
It just raises a doubt that shouldn’t need to be raised, and can severely handicap his whole model.
I’d say to Alex:
Alex, you say that you choose company founders that you’d be proud to be associated with, right?
And you mentioned you look up to prestigious men of integrity such as Buffett and King Solomon, right?
Well, lemme ask you.
Do you think those types of men would associate with or defend scammy-sounding characters?
Ultimately, this not only harms him by association, but may also raise a red flag.
Speaking of red flags…
Please let me say this first:
We’re focusing on red flags here not because there are many, but because it’s the whole point of this review.
There would otherwise be far, far more “green flags” about Alex.
Overall, these “red flags” are far and in between, and Alex comes across as a solid, reliable, honest, straight-talking and even ethical character that’s worth looking up to.
That being said, let’s start:
1. Defends & Aligns With Sleazy-Sounding Characters (Grant Cardone)
As per above:
Alex Hormozi had a call and, supposedly, an interview with Grant Cardone.
Alex also often credits Cardone for some insights he gained, or strategy he adopted.
Apparently, Alex’s audience wasn’t all too happy to see that.
And Alex Hormozi often took steps to actively defend Grant Cardone from criticism.
So let’s see:
We have Grant Cardone, who many people consider a sleazy money-grabber with low morals.
And then we have Alex, defending him.
Grant Cardone’s reputation is apparently quite poor
How does that look?
It looks like either:
- Alex has little people reading skills, very possible, also see the “power intelligence” section and previous mistakes
- Alex may not care much about ethical consideration (when judging others), which allows him to feel closer to Grant and admire the hustle because, as Machiavelli would say, the end justifies the mean
Alex clearly stated that he picks mentors and vendors based on skills, work ethics, and ethics.
However, he doesn’t seem to apply that.
Unluckily, that may come across as a red flag to an attentive audience.
2. Associates With “Thin-Content” Marketers-First Characters (Dean Graziosi)
You can divide creators as:
- Marketing-first, who spend more time, money, and effort on ads, copy, media exposure, networking, celebrities pics, etc. etc.
- Content-first, who spend more time, money, and effort on their products, articles, or videos to make them as thorough, truthful, useful, groundbreaking, and life-changing as possible
Funny how I later realized Alex says the exact same thing in “3 paths of an entrepreneur”.
This website is content first because we spend a lot more time and effort on product and content than on marketing.
Guys like Tai Lopez and many others who have no previous high-quality content production but that show up in your ad feeds are probably marketing-first sellers.
And then you have the best of both worlds, who combine both.
Think of Tony Robbins, or think of Alex Hormozi himself who’s also getting there.
The marketing-first sellers prioritize marketing as a tool to make money.
And the worst type don’t even care, or don’t even have much content.
Now, where are we going with this?
Enter, Dean Graziosi.
It’s up to you how you want to rate Dean Graziosi but, at heart, he’s a marketer.
And in my opinion, not even the “good’ kind of marketer.
He has lots of marketing fluff, and no real content.
However, Alex seems to disagree.
It sounds like Alex Hormozi and Dean Graziosi are friends, and Alex even mentions him as a sort of mentor.
Funny enough, Alex himself may have displayed a more realistic side of Grasiosi with this interesting (Freudian) slip:
Slide quoting Dean Graziosi if getting harassed and attacked is the price I have to pay for the income I want to have, I’d pay the price every time
Alex (speaking in his speech about his mistake to write “income” rather than impact”): that was supposed to say “impact”
Yes, maybe it was supposed to say “impact”.
But, in my opinion, it was far more correct with the word “income”.
You can see more of Dean Graziosi’s critical reviews by Coffeezilla, Spencer Cornelia, and Mike Winnet.
3. Some Sales Advice Sound Sleazy And Unethical
Let’s first talk about the norm, rather than the exception:
Generally speaking, Alex Hormozi’s sales advice is FANTASTIC.
It’s actionable, effective, and even unique.
His videos also go straight to the point, so they have a ratio of time to usefulness that is unparalleled from all I’ve seen.
AND… They’re generally very much not unethical.
That being said, there are a couple of red flag videos.
For example, this one:
Alex: If you’ve ever heard I left my wallet at home here’s the easiest way to avoid that happening in the future.
Rather than asking some further credit card ask them for their ID first. What happens is that they take out their wallet so you can see the actual cards. You take their ID and then say “hey let me trade you for whatever card you want to use” and you can flick it like this back towards them. And at that point they’ll trade you for the card.
If for whatever reason they then say “I don’t have the card I want to use with me” just say “hey, well if you have your phone with you, open up your banking app real quick”, then click see statements and on the top of the statement we’ll have their account number and you can actually do a direct ACH to the account without even needing the credit card.
Damn man, I wasn’t even sure whether it was fair to publish that because Alex’s advice is usually the opposite and anyone can have a brain fart.
And that was next level sleazy.
To the point that it doesn’t even work with most people -let alone work ethically-.
Most people with a shred of assertiveness and power awareness wouldn’t show you their ID in the first place, let alone allow you to play that full game.
In this case, effective sales means to treat “I forgot the wallet at home” as your cue that you may have pushed too much, too soon, and that the customer need more space, comfort, warmth (and probably more selling to appreciate the value).
I understand the goal of producing more content and potentially more “shock and awe content” to drive engagement.
But if reputation is king, then Alex should be careful with putting out that type of “advice”.
My advice here would be to always filter content through the lenses of the main values such as “respect for the prospect and his free will” and “respect for the prospect’s best interest”.
Gaining Trust With Low Margin Products To Make Bigger Sales After
This advice was also borderline.
The advice itself is FANTASTIC.
But the ethics of it, well… Depends.
The idea is to gain trust first by telling the customer what they “don’t need” or “where they can get it cheaper” and then sell them more easily when they have their guard down and soon after you tell them “but this one, you really need (from us)”.
Alex applied those techniques to supplements.
Issue is, most reliable sources tell you that supplements are at the best your last 5%.
Hence: they shouldn’t be a priority for most people. (Alex himself only takes a multivitamin, so…).
In that video, Alex says the difference between persuasion and manipulation is in intent.
Partially yes, but not only.
The main difference is whether you add value to the customer, or not.
I personally think this sales technique as it was used was a grey area.
And it can easily lend itself to pushing cr@p that doesn’t align with someone’s best interest.
Charlie Houpert Also Raises Some Ethical Questions On Alex Hormozi’s Approach to Selling
One more example from a third party this time.
This is Charlie Houpert on in his podcast, referring to a sales video he saw from Alex:
Charlie Houpert: I was watching an Alex Hormozi video, and he was describing his sales process (…) the part that I personally didn’t like is that (…) he says “you seem like you would be a really good fit for our thing let me see if I can put you in touch with one of the people who actually delivers this” and they put the person on speakerphone and have a scripted fake conversation where they go “hey do you have some time” and this guy who’s full-time job is to close by the way “it “says I don’t know I’m pretty busy right now” which is not true (…) positioned to give an aura of authority (…) that are what I think he would even say straight up lies
Then, as it’s often the case, Charlie wanted to hedge a bit his opinion.
However, that definitely was outside the grey area and well into the unethical area to me.
4. Started Off With Scammy-Sounding Coach He Looked Up To (Seven-Figure Sam)
First off, let me say this:
I don’t know anything and neither do I claim to know this “Sam Bakhtiar” AKA “seven-figure Sam” Alex started with.
And neither am I interested in spending any more time in getting to know more about him.
All I go from, is Alex’s own story.
Getting good at reading people and assessing characters often means you may need very little data and time to make a fairly good assessment (“thin slices“).
And, at least to me, that whole story was very telling of a “taker personality”, so I share it with you.
Says Alex of his entrepreneurial beginning under “seven-figure Sam“:
Alex (shows up to Sam’s door): he was like “I’m going to lunch”
Alex shows up to his door to work for free and learn after he traveled across the whole country, and the guy basically brushes him off.
Compare what a more collaborative individual may have done. A more welcoming person may have said “come to lunch with me”. Or at least suggested where Alex could go so at least he could display some warmth. And instead he brushes him off.
Tells a lot already about Sam’s attitude.
Alex: but right after he came back from lunch he was like “alright, so you should join my my mastermind”
Notice again: first meeting, and this Sam already seems to be squeezing a kid like a lemon.
Alex: and I was like “I don’t have a gym” and he’s like “that’s okay” -it was a gym mastermind-
Notice again: this Sam is selling something that doesn’t even seem to be useful to Alex.
But he doesn’t give a sh*t whether it’s useful to Alex or not. He does care about getting his money, though.
Alex: I was 22 and did not have a lot of money, and he was like “well it’s 10 grand” and i was like “I don’t know”
I guess you start spotting a trend now: this Sam was out to take as much as possible from Alex, no matter what.
It’s fair to ask the eager get to pay his ticket into your circle, for sure. However, there are ways and ways to go about it.
Alex: and he’s like “you need to f*cking commit man”, he’s like “you’ve been waffling back and forth”
Think about that, how manipulative that is.
Alex, the kid who quit his high-paying job, drove across country to meet you at your door, to work for free… Has been waffling?
Not only he’ll work for you for free, not only you brush him aside, but you’re also manipulating and strong-arming him into spending 10k he doesn’t have, for something that turned out to have no value for him (I bet no refund, also?).
From this story, this Sam seems an ass*ole of first-degree.
His mastermind wasn’t even useful.
Says Alex just a few seconds later:
Alex: got around a whole bunch of other fitness professionals and I learned way more from all of them than I ever learned from sam (laughs as if to say “Sam was useless didn’t even teach me anything”)
That 7-figure Sam sounds even more like the prince of assh*les.
But in that same video, Alex says he looked up to this ass*ole-sounding Sam.
Again, it’s either:
- Alex doesn’t recognize poor characters (the all-too-common trap of falling for the high-charisma dark triad types may be at play here)
- Alex is veeeery forgiving and “tolerant of poor behavior”
- You guess what else…
Usual caveat I share in the forum:
I wasn’t there, so I can’t be sure.
All I’ve got to judge is Alex’s own recounting of the events.
So, he knows better. But based on what he shared in that video, I believe my take is valid.
5. “You Can Learn From Anyone, No Matter How Ass*ole They Are” Approach
This is a common approach among many super-driven gurus.
Tom Bylieu is the same, for example.
So consider this red flag more “up to interpretation”.
My take though is that the character of the person you’re learning from does matter.
And my take is also that whether someone cares or not about the character of his teacher does say something about him.
Anyway, back to us.
Alex says in this podcast:
Alex: and a lot of people will throw out stones and be like “that guy doesn’t have ethics, or that guy doesn’t have morals”
Dan Henry: I’ve never understood why someone sets a requirement to personally like someone to gain value or knowledge from them
Alex: oh yeah I wrote that down it’s really good tweet you don’t need to like someone to learn from them that’s great
Here’s a different take that reflects my different point of view on this:
If you learn from a lame teacher, don’t be surprised if you’ll later find yourself limping
So to translate that into business: if you learn from a sleazy marketer, don’t be surprised if you yourself turn into a sleazy marketer.
SUMMARY: Is Alex Hormozi Legit?
Alex Hormozi is 100% legit.
He is currently one of the best if not the best entrepreneurship teacher, and he shares his wisdom in a way that is actionable, clear, and for free.
The quality of his advice also extends to sub-categories of business and entrepreneurship such as sales, marketing, copywriting, scaling teams, etc., etc.
That puts him in a category of his own.
Alex also comes across as a high-quality man: ethical, respect-worthy, and a great role model and leader.
That arguably makes Alex (and Leila) a resource for humanity and a force for good in the world.
That’s what I personally thought when I first stumbled upon him: “this guy is a resource-gift to the world”.
MJ DeMarco (The Millionaire Fastlane, Unscripted) is the only other comparable “business & entrepreneurship author”.
Of course, nobody’s perfect and neither should we expect them to be. So we did notice some improvement areas that shouldn’t be ignored, and we listed some of them here.
We hope Alex can address them so that we can continue to recommend him as both the #1 business “guru”, as well as a fantastic role model for personal self-development.
My Personal Strategy: Turning The Power Table Back On Alex 🙂
I’ll take a leaf out of Alex’s book now.
And I’ll disclose my strategy and goal.
Beyond my usual drive to share great resources with TPM’s audience, I also see this review as an opportunity to put TPM on Alex Hormozi’s radar.
I’m on the “path of the artist” in Alex’s own description of entrepreneurs’ approaches. And albeit business also very much interests me, it’s just lower priority and not part of my focus and mission.
So if we’ll have the pleasure to ever have Alex or his network reading here, then we may talk in the future about potentially scaling TPM with his business accelerator (P.S.: and if you find there was even a half-useful thing here feel free to get in touch, got more potentially useful personalized notes on reputation and connecting with the audience, also for Leila).
We can definitely use some scaling know-how to better achieve our grand mission of putting more good people in the world’s power seats.
And if that means giving away some equity, it’s a small price to pay.