Yesterday I had an hour-long phone call with Bernhard (Berny) Dohrmann, founder of CEO Space. CEO Space is a sort of networking/training organization. You pay $7,500 or thereabouts to join, and then you go to all sorts of events. The pitch from Berny was effectively that I would walk out of an event with several new clients for my business. I have to admit, Berny is a good salesman. But with anything requiring that kind of cash up front and a decent time commitment, it’s a good idea to do some research.
I understand that with any business that has a lot of customers, a few aren’t going to be happy. You can’t make everyone happy all of the time. Just go look at any bestselling book on Amazon.com and you’ll find plenty of one-star reviews for that book, even if the positive reviews outweigh the negative 1,000 to 1. As I started doing research on CEO Space I’ve found a few things that have concerned me, see here, here, here, and especially here). But there are also positive reviews out there (see here). And CEO Space has all sorts of celebrity endorsements. Maybe I’m naive, but it seems like if it were a total scam it would be difficult to line those people up to give the endorsements they give. It occurred to me that the endorsements might not be legit, but the way CEO Space touts those endorsements it’s not as though they couldn’t have come to the attention of the celebrities themselves. They would have to know how their reputations are being used to promote CEO Space.
A large part of the criticism about Berny stems from him being convicted as a felon 40 years ago. That’s the least of my concerns. I believe people can change, and I’m not exactly the most staunch believer in the justice system of any government. I don’t have the information to judge whether any of that has a bearing on who Berny is today or what CEO Space is, so I lean towards giving him the benefit of the doubt.
I hadn’t read any of this when I talked to Berny yesterday or I would have asked him about it. I believe in being up front about this type of stuff, and getting the straight scoop from the source. Not that hearing things straight from Berny or anyone else would affect the reasons why I’m posting this. When someone asks for $7,500 to join an organization I’ve never attended and makes lots of grand promises about the results I’ll get from it, of course I’m going to ask around.
Have you ever been to a CEO Space meeting? What did you think? Are you a member? What do you get out of your membership? Want to try and sway me one way or the other? Now’s your chance.Liked it? Share it!