How I Deal With School Owners Who Are Fiscally Lazy

I get one or two emails like the following every week:

“plase call me i am ready to join”

That’s the entirety of the email. No greeting, no signature, nothing but a request for my time.

Here’s another one:


i “X” school in “X”. please guide me. i am thankful to you.

yours truly


While this is as likely to be a phishing email as it is to be a real person asking for guidance, it’s basically the same thing as the first email – a request for something for nothing.

The thing that these types of people don’t get is this; I don’t look too favorably on people who ask for a piece of my time without being willing to give something up first.

Now, with the membership site, I’ve set the ante pretty darn low – $17.95 is not a lot to spend, even with the gas prices being high and what not right now.

(NOTE: Eight years later, the program has morphed from a large discussion forum with a ton of members into a smaller group with a focus on online coaching. It runs about $150-$200 a month now, which is still a steal.)

So, when a person contacts me out of the blue and asks for my time for free, I look at it the same way as when someone walks in my school and asks for a free lesson.

That person is not qualified to be my student, because they don’t respect my time nor do they really value my expertise.

And, I know from experience that this type of client or student will get everything they can from me, sucking up all my valuable time and knowledge, while spending as little as possible and resenting that they had to pay me in the first place.

So, here’s my typical response when I get an email like the ones I shared with you earlier:

“Thanks for the email.

I understand you may have some questions with regards to joining the membership area of the site at:

If you are looking for personal, one-on-one guidance, you’ll have to join the site. Besides, it’s only $17.95 – like I tell everyone who is sitting on the fence for one reason or another about joining our site, if you can’t bring yourself to spend $17.95 on your school, you deserve to fail.”

Am I being a little harsh?


But I know that until that person learns about the Law of Exchange (that everything worthwhile has its price) they’ll be doomed to failure.


  1. steve siverling on January 14, 2009 at 7:07 pm


    By the way, as a former member of mike’s community I will say that there is a lot of content on his membership site. I have an Associate of Science in Business Management and still learned a thing or too about how to start a martial arts school. So it is a good value.



Leave a Comment