In January 2019, I made a bad financial decision.
The reason I’m sharing this with you is in the hope that you don’t make the same mistakes I did.
From my experience, I would love for you to take something away which will help you make a balanced choice when signing up for any coaching, courses or mentoring.
Everything I’ve written contains my views and opinions based on my own experience on the program “Thinking into Results” produced by Proctor Gallagher Institute. Specifically, I’ll refer to my experience of the course and program as being offered by Dr. Nana Jokura, an independent consultant of PGI.
How I came across Thinking Into Results offered by Proctor Gallagher Institute
Personal development has been a key area of learning of mine for many years, and when I started gaining knowledge about money management. I read many books, watched a range of videos available online, and learned about some of those people who were respected in the personal development fields. Coming across the offering of the “Thinking Into Results” program, it had a legacy associated to it from one of these great educators I had read about and watched, so the course felt like it had some history, value and authority. This course is exclusively offered by independent consultants who run the course as part of their own business, and are responsible for their own coaching practice.
From our first introduction call, Nana Jokura confirmed the fee for attending her offering of the program would be $9950 paid fully up front, and this would allow me to take part in 12 months of this mastermind/coaching program. It was emphasised that any money handed over was non-refundable and was supplied a contract to be signed agreeing to those terms. As with many businesses driving sales, the focus was on time-limited pricing; the importance to sign up immediately; and focus on what you could be missing out on. Outlining that the price would nearly double if this offer wasn’t utilised was also used to drive a fast decision.
With persuasion, I signed up for the program, paying in full, without seeing the course content or full detail of the offering from Nana Jokura.
What “Thinking Into Results” contained
In addition to the program total fees, we were encouraged to buy the course book (approx.. $90+ dollars). Within it are concepts and exercises that use the idea of repetition to imprint on our subconscious minds and thereby make easier the confidence in your goals, following up from support material we had access to in the form of 12 online videos.
When I did get access to the material the day after signing up, I found that the personal coaching offered by Nana Jokura was a weekly call with the other students, and we could have 1:1s for 15 minutes with her if we wished, with additional access to her via Whatsapp. However, it was made clear that she would become less and less available outside of the weekly calls as she was becoming too busy.
At this point, it didn’t feel like the program was quite the value for money I had expected.
My particular circumstances during the course
At the time of signing up, my mental state was compromised, trying to find solutions to life problems. Around 7 days after signing up on the program, I had a mental breakdown caused by acute stress and was sectioned for 3 weeks in hospital for recovery.
Due to this very unique circumstance, within days of this event, and over multiple messages, calls and conversations over the months afterwards, we requested a full refund for the course as my ability to take part was limited, and the signup occurred during a period of high stress and mental instability. These refund requests were denied by Nana Jokura every time, and was also denied again when the issues were raised by a third party complaints company.
Over the few months after my discharge from hospital, I attended a few of the group calls and tried my best to take part. However, due to my experience, I just could not engage with the consultant. With no compassion, understanding or embodiment of the program teachings shown from Nana Jokura, it meant that I was unable to engage in the material or take on the teachings. I didn’t feel that the program offered to me offered any duty of care, or truly wanted the student to succeed on the course, or consider their best interests. From reading and researching in the subsequent months after signing up, it became apparent that many students are disappointed by Thinking Into Results (TIR) but are encouraged by their coaches to persist, hoping they will one day believe in the offering.
Prior to sharing my experience publicly, I decided to reach out to the Nana Jokura to check her current business policies to see if there has been any change since my experience. Of course, one thing which has changed in those 2 years was my online presence, which I believe determined the response I got on this final occasion.
In emails that followed, I was offered my full refund (with admin fees removed initially then this was reversed) from Dr Jokura, but only in exchange for signing a legal non-disclosure agreement detailing that she nor I could discuss each other businesses, products, services or past conversations/interactions on any public domain or to others. This indeed confirmed that the business is still very much run with the no-refund policy for students at time of writing.
I DID NOT sign any such NDA agreement (therefore not allowed my full refund either as it was exclusively tied to signing a NDA contract when I contacted her two years later) as I wished to share my experience with others for a balanced view of positive and potential negative experiences.
My final thoughts
I do not believe the course is the problem for lack of quality, but rather than the consultants are focussed on getting a volume of signups for the program. My experience, and that I’ve read of others, suggests that there is no mechanism to ensure that the program is right for the student, or that a coaching experience worthy of the high ticket cost to the student. Particularly, with the legal framework documents of no refunds under any terms, it seems to not allow for those very rare circumstances where a more humane approach to business should be applied.
In my research, I also found that the same 12 week coach/mentorship can have fees ranging from $3-$15k+, with the volume of 1:1 coaching, group coaching, handouts, books and determined by the consultant who runs it.
Ultimately, I hope you are able to take a few small things away from my experience.
- Don’t be pressured to sign up for anything, especially when it’s quite expensive, due to the offering being time limited. The course/mentor/program/product will be made available again. You will not miss out on what’s right for you
- With regards to this particular program, Thinking into Results, you may find the same thing available elsewhere with a different consultant for a better price. If you are interested in the “Thinking Into Results” program, then shop around for consultants offering it. Prices vary vastly, and based on my own experience, more expensive doesn’t mean it’s a better offer. Find someone you resonate with. Take time to research. Sign up at a price which works for you.
- Understand fully any courses or program structures before signing up or exchanging money for it. Ensure you are getting full value giving up your resources and time ahead.