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Trainers VS Entertainers: don't get PU if you're looking for easy & fun (this guy hated it)

This morning I woke up to a testy complaint on PU:

As someone who can be considered to spend a lot into courses and coaching (more than 25 grand USD as of now I believe), this is actually one of the few courses that I have refunded, and I can say it is the first time I have decided to refund a course that fast.
The reason are as below:
1. The whole course is just made up of articles. Quizzes are great but seriously? The whole course that costs almost one thousand USD has ONLY ARTICLES? This is very disrespectful for me, especially as a customer. The reason me and my friends buy courses are generally due to the following:
- You can have video tutorials by the man himself (where the videos you link seem to be directed to others, and those that you actually filmed yourself were short af)
- You can ask questions, privately. Nobody spends a grand on a course just to ask questions on a forum that can be accessible for cheap or even free. I know you are looking to generate a passive income, but this is not how you treat your customer!
From the advertisement shown below, it is VERY UNCLEAR that the whole course is in text form, and I would not have gotten it had I knew. It looks like there are analysis but one would typically assume that the course is based on videos.
2. The articles have a lot of links. You have linked here and there for the forum replies you have written earlier. This is such a bad move! I have yet to see a course so COMPLICATED and LONG.
I’m going to be honest with you. If I were to have to read a 30 minutes long article for every lesson, where you could have easily shrink it down to 2-2 minutes by cutting all the BS and just get to the point, this course is at least bearable.
Your life is so long that I would rather go to the internet and search for these resources myself. We both know that everything is online for free now, and the reason a course is valued is because it saves their customer’s time, not WASTING it.
I have read your written reviews on other courses and assume you have bought a lot of them. The question is, have you seen a course that is so long as yours? If there are contents then that’s perfect, but from what I have seen so far, they only consists of BS and could have been shorten drastically…
3. The course quality SUCKS. I mean, using WordPress to make the website already shows how much money you want to save and compromising the quality of the course itself. I have had friends who made websites for their courses and it only costs 10 grand or even less. That is only 10 copies of this course and yet, you go with the cheap option…. Do you realise how laggy it is on Apple Devices? You should try it for yourself. I can’t even go to the next topic without refreshing the webpage…
In addition to that, your YouTube videos quality sucks. I mean honestly you could have done a lot better without hiring someone. Even I take better YouTube videos than you. The Camera quality is so low and could barely hear your voice, let alone the stupid subtitling you have used for those videos in a foreign language. Seriously, this is a 1,000 bucks course and I expect GOOD QUALITY. Please.
Typing error could also have been avoided simply by using Grammarly or even pasting into MS Word for spelling check, but apparently you are too lazy to focus on the quality of the course...
You might be thinking I have a lot of complaints, but that is not all, but I think it’s enough to show you what I really feel for your course. As mentioned earlier, I have taken a lot of courses and this is one of the LOWEST QUALITY course I have seen and the contents are FULL OF THINGS THAT SHOULDNT EVEN BE THERE.
Now, I demand my refund backI don’t think you even deserve 9 dollar administration charge. I think you should even pay me for my wasted time in this course. However, a deal is a deal in contract and you have every right to deduct that 9 dollar from me. Good for you. It might even appear to me that you are trying to just earn 9 dollar from your customer…
If there are any points above you wish to rebut, please let me know. I am willing to hear from your POV as well.
Below is my reply.
I make it public as it can help people decide whether PU is for them or not, and thus save both of our time.
Also, as a note, the text above is verbatim, while my reply below might be different from the email I sent because I will re-read it before republishing here, so I might improve on it.
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Hello XXX,

Thank you for your detailed feedback.

As crazy as that might sound, people like you who consumed lots of courses and self-development information are the most likely to miss the true value of Power University.

And that's because most courses are aggregators, rather than groundbreakers.

And the good aggregators are built to entertain, more than to train.

Keep on reading.

Aggregators VS Groundbreakers: PU is Groundbreaking

It seems like you expected an aggregator that lays out publicly available information for easy consumption.

That's not PU.

PU is a groundbreaking course.

Of course some of this information you'll find disseminated in various books and researches: PU leverages hundreds -or more like thousands actually- of those.

But it interprets it, analyzes it, and combines it with real-world experience in a way whereby the final product delivers a ton of "as concise as possible", life-relevant wisdom that you won't find anywhere else.


I see where you're coming from.

Most courses are aggregators indeed with very few groundbreakers here and there.

Aggregators are easier to consume because you're already familiar with 80% (90-99%?) of the material.

Groundbreakers place a higher cognitive load for the simple fact of presenting new information (on key lessons of PU, you're only familiar with 20% of it, and 80% is new).

Since most aggregators don't break any new ground, they then focus on marketing and delivery, making it as easy and entertaining as possible (keep on reading).
Good for business maybe, since entertained people tend to be happier, but probably not so much for the customer.

Entertainers, built to be fun VS Trainers, built to train

I find the current format is very effective to deliver the knowledge.

And I think you might have missed the point of the linked videos.
They are "directed to others" because they're meant to be real-life examples. They provide real-life examples to help people better understand and internalize the concepts / power dynamics.

But the format is not the main point:

Format is the gold mine structure: look at the gold inside, not the cave's structure

To revisit the training analogy before we bust the goldmine one:

When you train, the machines you use are secondary to actually working those muscles.

Format only becomes relevant when:

  1. One misses the true potential that power-awareness can bring into his life
  2. One has low motivation and drive to start with

Focusing on format is like looking at the goldmine structure instead of the gold.
Look at the gold mine, not at the structure (note: it's certainly possible that at your current stage there is no gold for you. Either because you're too rich / advanced to find value in more gold, or because you're too poor / beginner to even realize the value. But you're still better off looking at the gold mine, rather than its structure).

When driven people realize how much gold there is, they don't give a f*ck about the structure and how the digging is going to take place.

They see the gold and they're happy to get their hands -and minds- dirty while digging.

Moving towards a nicer cave structure: more pictures, shorter formats


I see your point as well.

Most good courses (99% of which are aggregators) are built to be "easy" to consume.

Call them "entertainers".

Entertainers are like comic strips: easy to consume, fun, and you learn something.

But PU is not built for being easy or pleasing.

To keep the comparison, PU is like an actual book (VS the comic strip).
It's not for learning something in a fun way, it's for cramming wisdom and learning A LOT.

Better than a book though, it's a course.

It's built for training and internalizing that knowledge -hence the quizzes, links to the forum for similar case studies, and the many videos linked as examples-.
That inherently takes some more time and effort.

As they say: more sweat in training, less blood in battle.

Harder time on PU, but easier life.


I get that one might do both.

So you have a great point.

PU's focus so far has been in developing the tools/weapons, not the packaging.

I understand that people who first open a lesson and see the time it takes might lose motivation.
That's why PU has already taken several steps towards providing a nicer structure. And more are coming -including more and better pictures and infographics-.
One of them is to develop smaller basic-level lessons and then adding more in an "advanced" module (here's the announcement).

That will make it more eye-pleasing and nudge more people to start and complete PU.

But the focus is still more on gold / product than structure.

And allow me to say again: even as it is today, the serious learners don't care.
And it's not my opinion.
I've had feedback from motivated people who used the wisdom to improve their lives and they wanted more material, not less.

Time & ROI: Time Matters, But ROI Matters More

As per the above, PU naturally requires some time.

But even if it took you two months, what's two months of ever-increasing power capabilities for a lifetime of those skills?

It's a huge ROI in my opinion.

Even if it were a whole year, it's still a huge ROI.

A power move now (and PU alumni certainly wouldn't need this note):

For sure, because of the time and attention it demands, PU is not a course for people looking for the easy and quick path (the entertaining comic strips).
There's plenty of other courses for that -some of which have been reviewed here as well-.

Not everyone has the fortitude to stick to the more demanding path.

But those who did became much better social and life operators (and a tiny fraction of them are around the forum).

Thank You! You're always welcome back...

Thank you for having tried PU man!

If you change your mind in the future, you're always welcome back.

As per basic psychology (cognitive dissonance) and power awareness, after this email, it will be very challenging for you to change your mind because you'd lose face and power.

But if you'll arm yourself with an antifragile ego and want to give it a go in the future, you're always welcome (and welcome to ask for a refund once again as well :).

And if not, I wish you all the best anyway.

Valentin and Matthew Whitewood have reacted to this post.
ValentinMatthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

I think there is a fair share of diagrams and videos to be honest.

And WordPress is a good content management system for websites.

I have made a website that costs USD 5/month to maintain with WordPress.

I'm not a full-fledged Apple fan.
But I am writing this with an Apple device and it's not slow.
I think we can leave this to Google to decide whether this website is fast or slow.

Posted before Lucio's second message.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

My biased point of view is that I agree.

The lessons seem to me to be pretty much as "marked up" as the articles with just as many pictures, video embeds, dialogue transcriptions, etc. (it's possible this person came from YB rather than the website).

But to get some lessons learned from a power dynamics / business / persuasion point of view I wanna point out at the answer here.

There is a mix of:

  • Frame imposing: PU is great

the foundation of this reply is an absolute refusal to accept PU is not great

  • Evidence to support that claim to greatness, but strategically placed

It leverages some evidence to make the point PU is great, so it doesn't feel like a personal opinion.

But if you overdo it, no matter whether it's true or not, it comes across as touchy and defensive and you look bad.

You don't want to over-invest in proving him otherwise.
Just a bit, and strategically placed and framed.

  • Goodwill rebuilding

Frame imposing sours relationships and escalates things.

And while this reply might lead to an escalation -especially if one has a thin skin-, it certainly lowers the odds of escalations by rebuilding social capital and goodwill with various concessions and bridges:

  1. Acknowledging his points: Lots of big "BUTs" that acknowledge he has some good points. It agrees with him, and concedes to him. That increases the warmth and "collaborativeness" of the answer
  2. Validating and normalizing his experience: The frames are that "it's normal that he might have missed on the value",  rather than framing him as a weird exception
  3. Face-saving for missing the value: it says that "people who are into self-development like him are more likely to... " that's a good frame to miss the value. It's not "superficial people" who ask for a refund within hours (a terrible frame). And it shifts the blame on the general market for courses, rather than on him (a great face-saving frame that also indirectly boost PU's status)
  • Leading-pacing-leading: higher power, without fully breaking rapport

Several replies start first with disagreeing, but then agreeing with him later on -and then re-ending on positive for PU-.

Leading and pacing is higher power than pacing and leading, and more suited for a public answer that can impact the business (pacing and leading is better suited for 1:1 relationships).

  • Room for U-turning: giving him the chance to change his mind

The face-saving lays the ground to make a U-turn possible.

The last paragraph points that that U-turn possibility and increases the odds by implying "it's difficult you may change your mind, BUT... maybe you can do it, and if you do, you're welcome".

Low chances individual customer will change his mind, but thanks to that paragraph, not zero.

In any case, that paragraph is important because...

  • PR strategies:

The reply goes from defending against a possible negative, to great advertising for PU and TPM's general attitude towards those who can't find the gold in PU.

There are 3 important PR frames:

  1. Groundbreaking: this complaint mistook PU for a run-of-the-mill course. Don't make that mistake, implies the reply
  2. Gold to be found, independently of the cave: this complaint focused on the cave structure. Those who want to reach the top 1% should focus on the gold, not the cave structure, implies the reply
  3. A course for winners who know the value of hard work: this complaint sought entertainment. Those who want to reach the top 1% should focus on learning and training, implies the reply

Funny enough, all of this reply is an ad for PU as it's all based on persuasion, power dynamics, and some Machiavellian strategizing (the positive version of Mach).

Valentin, Ali Scarlett and 2 other users have reacted to this post.
ValentinAli ScarlettDreMatthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?


Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on October 17, 2021, 1:27 pm
  • Leading-pacing-leading: higher power, without fully breaking rapport

Several replies start first with disagreeing, but then agreeing with him later on -and then re-ending on positive for PU-.

Leading and pacing is higher power than pacing and leading, and more suited for a public answer that can impact the business (pacing and leading is better suited for 1:1 relationships).

Maybe this could be its own framework, like DESOE.

The "DAP" framework for public responses to negative comments:

  1. Disagree
  2. Agree
  3. Positive Ending/Close

And, perhaps we could come up with one for the pacing and leading approach too.


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