6 Lessons Learned After Being Conned By A “Marketing Expert”

Below is the basic gist of the above video.

I was asking someone who had also been sold a fake bill of goods a year ago, how long it took for her to stop feeling angry. She said “I’ll let you know when I do”. It made me laugh, but I also understood.

Have you ever easily trusted someone only to realize, man oh man, you’ve been conned? Yep? Well me too. It really sucks, eh?

Lucky to be alive!

So here’s the background. After a car accident and a minor brain injury (all better now) the medical team insisted I get a business coach for support and guidance to re-launch myself in business after a long time away.

Well I found someone who was going to help me develop new marketing and sales processes. In fact, when I told her I was also going to redo my whole website and marketing materials she told me that was their specialty. Then she took my entire budget for my business coaching AND the website redo and offered to do both for a more “cohesive experience than working with 2 different companies”. That made sense to me.

She is probably the 7th or 8th business marketing coach I’ve worked with. I was excited. I was pumped. These are always enriching experiences. Until now.

I have never been treated more disrespectfully and arrogantly in my life. She kept talking down to me telling me I wasn’t understanding as she made changes to my business without even asking me my thoughts. She never asked what I wanted and referred to everything as “we agreed that…” She even went as far as to tell me that I was not to continue my speaking career because it wasn’t a real thing. Really?!? Well, tell that to my speaking colleagues in my Professional Speaker’s Association. Can you imagine someone dismissing your industry as “non-valid”?

In 6 weeks of coaching, this “marketing team” had gone over my elevator pitch over and over and over and over again. I kept asking for the next step. There didn’t seem to be a next step.

As for the website, after many delays on their part, I had handed all the requirements for them to design it. This woman responded by sending me an email to stop, reflect celebrate and let her know how this process and working with them has helped my business.

Clearly, I was being manipulated into writing a testimonial. I replied it was too soon to “celebrate” anything and that I was looking forward to the finished website. I had been staying calm and professional all the way through dealing with both of them.

Then she got mad Again. She told me to stop everything, focus and send an email about the benefits of working with them before they start putting the website together. Let’s just say, this was not pretty. My next email was clear that she was not to hold my website hostage to get a testimonial.

So I share with you what I did and what I learned so I could move on.

Here are 3 anxiety melting strategies you should do to move on during a bad experience:

  1. Talk to others about what was happening. If you are being gaslighted, like in my case, until you open up to someone unbiased about what your experience is, you will not see it. In my case, it was the doctors that clearly identified that the things she was saying to me about my memory being defective were completely false. She had me doubting myself instead of questioning my misplaced trust. Once others piped in, I was able to recognize her stigmatizing and manipulative behaviours.
  2. Review what can be salvaged. A month in, it became clear I was not going to get the business coaching and guidance promised. Because of the one-sided and incomplete contract, I was not going to be able to get any of the money back. However, the website, that is a concrete thing I could insist on. So that became my only focus and its all I wanted to talk about once I stopped and looked at the salvageable bits.
  3. Practice radical acceptance. I can’t tell you how hard this one was. When you realize you’ve been conned, as one of my speaking colleagues called it, it can really eat away at you. I felt foolish, embarrassed, infuriated, hurt and sad, all at the same time. But letting go is how to make sure that they don’t live rent free in my head so that I can focus all that energy into something of value.

Here are 3 things I would do to protect myself in a future long term coaching arrangement:

  1. Breakdown elements of the contract and consider paying in increments. I paid upfront for the whole 3 month coaching program with the website included, which I now realize did not exist yet. If I had been paying month to month or had a way of cancelling parts of the contract, I would have cut my losses, taken the money for the website and could have left this toxic relationship sooner.
  2. Contact people who had given them testimonials. After her coercive attempts to get a testimonial out of me, I wondered what others would say in a live interview. Do better due diligence.
  3. Have a robust written agreement with an exit strategy for both. We need to have more control over the agreement. For example, from now on, I want to be the one who will record our coaching calls. That was a verbal agreement that she would do our calls on zoom and record them. They were supposed to send them to me. That didn’t happen when the call was particularly disrespectful. Suddenly, “the recording didn’t work”. Build in more control.

So there you have it. 3 strategies to get out of anxiety and 3 lessons to protect yourself down the road.

I’m gonna be totally OK!

I’m so grateful to my former website designer who remained incredibly professional and took on the balance of the job even though she is incredibly busy. We figure they did about 75% of it, not mobile friendly, photos with water marks, full of weird sections. But she is carving out time to get it looking professional and live in 2 weeks. So grateful.

One of the pages on my soon to be launched website:

Once I started being honest about what had happened, I got so much love and support. I shouldn’t have kept it to myself for so long.

So I hope if things are rough right now, that you can also find what can be salvaged, learn to be radically accepting and move forward.

What about you? Have you been conned? What did you do to get over it? I’d love to know.

I’m going to get active here now that things are falling into place. If you have any questions about what to do with a difficult person, let me know. I’d be happy to give you my take.

Now go make it a great day!

Bio

Monique works with organizations who want to reduce conflict to create a culture of collaboration, engagement and productivity. The most successful leaders are not infallible when faced with someone who “drives them crazy!” Her strategies to empower people to better understand each other and have better outcomes, while having fun, are appreciated by all who meet her. She draws from 30 years of crisis intervention and mental health work, she is a Level II Accredited Trainer for DISC as a Human Behavior Consultant and a Certified NLP Professional Coach. She loves meeting people and getting to know them and their industry. So feel free to reach out.

From Second Guessing Yourself to Personal Power

We all want to be part of a dynamic team where everyone feels valued and feel that they can tap into their personal power. But if you are being honest with yourself, when you think of work, do you sometimes feel unheard, dismissed or even disrespected? I sure did for years and years. I second guessed myself, didn’t think I was worthy unless someone else gave me permission to speak or would validate what I had said.

I Became a Student of Human Behavior

While I was going around in emotional circles, I saw people around me who didn’t live in fear and anxiety like I did. It took a lot to trigger them to feel intense stress and they naturally rode the ups and downs of life with confidence. I set out to figure out what they did differently and it made all the difference to my happiness levels.  Besides my personal experiences, my 30 years as a crisis interventionist gave me a close up look at the distinction between those who remained stuck in the muck of bad emotional patterns and those who came out of adversity solid on who they were and what they wanted. So, after much reflection, I thought I’d share this model I created that goes over what people do successfully to deal with others who drive them crazy. I call this my “Ladder of Personal Power”

Where are you?

So these are the rungs to reach the top of our Personal Power Ladder

Confidence & Respect

Emotional Mastery

Action Plans

Values Clarification

Decision

Stuck & Dissatisfied


Let me ask you this. When you’re thinking of your professional life, do you recognize where you are on this ladder? 
Is it below or above the critical point? 

You know that you deserve to feel heard and respected! You also deserve to be recognized, rewarded or promoted for your contributions. 

If it’s time to teach people how to treat you with respect, then book your Discovery Call with me right now on my online scheduler and see if my Private Coaching Program is a fit for you to make your most difficult relationships more healthy and win/win.

Here’s what previous coaching clients are saying about having worked with me.

Working with Monique as my Life Coach has been an enriching experience. She is naturally intuitive, able to tap into your innermost wants and needs, then helps guide you towards enlightenment in the direction you want your life to take. She will work tirelessly with you in clarifying and simplifying steps needed to make positive changes and achieve yours goals, lending support whenever needed.
I would highly recommend Monique to anyone needing to make changes in their lives but who are feeling overwhelmed or apprehensive.


Hélène Paquet, Artist and Entrepreneur


I started my sessions with Monique during a difficult personal and professional transition period in my life. As a result of various setbacks, my ability to take action was greatly diminished because of self-doubt and negative thoughts. I felt stuck, unable to accomplish anything.
Working with Monique, I was able to clearly lay out my goals and dreams, and easily achieve milestones. This increased my self-confidence and enabled me to face challenges and take even more actions. I can look back today, a stronger, happier person, because of the help I received during that difficult time. And I know that the skills I developed have given me the confidence to face future challenges. Thanks Monique!

Mia M., Career Counsellor

You deserve to feel heard and respected.

If you’re tired of trying to manage difficult people’s behaviors and are ready to feel more more heard and respected, then book your Discovery Call today and see how I can help.

I’m really excited about meeting you and seeing how I can help.

Now go make it a great day!

BIO

Monique works with organizations who want to reduce conflict to create a culture of collaboration, engagement and productivity. The most successful leaders are not infallible when faced with someone who “drives them crazy!” Her strategies to empower people to better understand each other and have better outcomes, while having fun, are appreciated by all who meet her. She draws from 30 years of crisis intervention work, she is a Level II Accredited Trainer for DISC as a Human Behavior Consultant and a Certified NLP Professional Coach. She loves meeting people and getting to know them and their industry. So feel free to reach out.

I am Woman, Hear me Roar

Do you know your employment value? I learned about the emotional benefit of getting an unbiased opinion when I helped someone write her CV around 30 years ago.

On International Woman’s Day, I stop and think of these many women I have met who remind me how we can transform our lives when we take a few different actions.

In my new home typing venture in 1989, my first client worked at a local bank. She was a lovely, nervous woman who wanted to know if I could provide a confidential service and help her write a new CV. (more…)

5 Reasons You Need Better Boundaries

Join me

In the video below, join me while I explore how poor boundaries impact your family and your professional life.

If you’ve wondered what do do first, we will review the first steps you need to take to develop healthier dynamics in your relationships.

Five Great Reasons explored:

  • 1- Your Health
  • 2- Increases Compassion
  • 3-Feel Less Disappointed
  • 4-Be a Better Parent (Leader)
  • 5-Be More Promotable

Is it time to get better results? Are you more reserved and don’t know where to start? Maybe I can help.

BIO

Monique works with organizations who want to reduce conflict to create a culture of collaboration, engagement and productivity. The most successful leaders are not infallible when faced with someone who “drives them crazy!” Her strategies to empower people to better understand each other and have better outcomes, while having fun, are appreciated by all who meet her. She draws from 30 years of crisis intervention work, she is a Level II Accredited Trainer for DISC as a Human Behavior Consultant and a Certified NLP Professional Coach. She loves meeting people and getting to know them and their industry. So feel free to reach out.

How to Communicate with an Angry Person

I was having a conversation with this amazing construction manager with higher than usual emotional intelligence. Since the projects he does are huge, with up to 250 people to manage, he ends up with different quirks and personalities woven into the mix.

On his current project, he talked about getting several complaints about one person who was overly aggressive. (more…)

What do you mean “Just”?

I have a client who is dealing with a bad boss. Her boss gets hysterical over inconsequential things, doesn’t plan well or communicate with the staff and is putting the organization at risk.

Her life is spent putting out fires while his is spent lighting them.

Although she has bravely spoken up and alerted the people above him, this will take a while. (more…)

Check Your Assumptions For Better Outcomes

People always want to know how to have a better outcome with those horrible, difficult people in their lives.

I gave 2 keynotes on my topic of increasing collaboration within a day of each other.

After both of them, people came up to me to tell how one simple tool struck them.

I was a strong reminder of what regularly sticks is this small piece of information I share with folks: (more…)

The 4 Secrets To Making A Difficult Situation Better

coping

Anger or anxiety disables our thinking brain. We need to re-calibrate what we are thinking in order to reclaim our emotional balance. That being said, when someone is putting pressure on us or elevating our blood pressure, stepping back and approaching things differently can help improve the outcome. (more…)

How To Weeble Your Way To Success

Resilience(Published in Huffington Post)

Years ago, as a single mom I was working very hard to reinvent myself with very few credentials to my name. My financial and emotional bank accounts were constantly being drained with demands and responsibilities. There were days where I would have preferred to stay in bed for a month, but I got out of bed, painted on a smile and picked up my boxing gloves; just like every under-employed single mom I knew.

At work, I had a colleague named Raj. He had a Master’s degree in Mathematics, came from a prominent family, and was newly engaged to a professional woman. They were living the dream and had life by the balls! (more…)

Where Is Communication Training Prioritized In Healthy Companies?

While networking, I asked an HR professional of a mid-sized company (150 employees) when would she hire a communications expert like me to come and train her employees. She told me she never has because there’s no budget. Then she added that all training budgets were for technical training and only the C-suite folks do retreats, team building and leadership development.

Oh?!?

(more…)

“Not my problem” escalates anger. Do this instead.

De-escalate angerAs we patiently wait for the admin assistant to call our number at the clinic, a man at the desk is asking her what’s taking so long for the doctor to see him and that he has to get back to the office. He wants to know how much longer. She abruptly says they don’t give times. He asks how many people are ahead of him. Instead of answering, the girl dismissively points to the sign next to her desk and goes in the back where the files are. The sign reads “Aggressive behaviours will not be tolerated”. (more…)

You are Amazing! Wait. What did you say?

Out of the blue, someone I know professionally wrote me a quick Facebook private message telling me he thinks I’m amazing. Truthfully, I didn’t even know how to respond. I read it and sat with it for a couple of hours before I responded. It truly confused and bothered me.

He was not pointing to anything in particular I had done.
I expected he was most likely responding to a Facebook opinion post. (more…)