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!
Hey Josh. I know you’ve already heard my opinion since I introduced you to Berny. Let me just say for the record: I’ve been a member since 2004. I’ve been to over 40 forums and know hundreds, probably over a thousand members. I know less than a dozen who don’t absolutely love CEO Space. The ones I know who don’t love CEO Space fall into 2 categories. Either they went their thinking CEO Space would do all of the work for them, or they just went once and never went back.
As you are doing your due diligence and asking people their opinion please also check on these things. CEO Space is a club. There’s no one there to do the work for you, just resources and other club members to help you. Also, you buy a lifetime membership for a reason. If you only plan to go once you should not buy a membership. That would be like buying a membership to a gym and only planning to go once.
Anyway, good luck and I hope you will be joining our ranks. If you have other questions feel free to ask me.
Thanks Ed, I wanted to give you the first chance to respond to this but didn’t have the chance to email you because I hit the publish button for this post as I was running out the door. I’m glad you were able to find it first.
I also have a cousin who has been active in the group for a few years and I expect he’ll be leaving some comments shortly…
No problem. I actually got an email about it from someone who was concerned that you were being negative about CEO Space. I assured them that I know you and you were just doing your due diligence, which is what I did and what everyone should do.
I am curious, what did you decide? I am having difficulty making a decision myself and seem to only find two negative reviews (posted over and over) and then lots of company sponsored positive. I am struggling with finding real, relevant data.
I was considering joining either CEO Space or Vistage. In the end I was going to join Vistage, but decided I’m too busy for that as well. But I’m getting much of the peer to peer mentoring benefit from having brought on a new partner who is keeping me in line and giving me valuable feedback and nudges. I may come back to Vistage in the future. Still not sure about CEO Space.
CEO space is a giant ponzi scheme/scam professional networking event , everyone is paid to speak at the events. Yes you can get leads and make connections , but it doesn’t teach you real life situations. Yes the SEC and whatnot information is good. but having many many investors will not get you to the real large investors and VCs that start-ups need. What they don’t tell you is once you beg , borrow and steal doing their ” fund busting” and getting small investors and then go and try and get real investors and/or VC’s , they don’t want to invest in your company because you have so many small investors with their hands in the bucket there is too much risk for them to get involved with you. Berni is the typical sales person kissing your lower backside , then turns into an arrogant pompus individual and barely helps you afterwards. I know 9 people that joined in the last 15 months, and 8 of them said it was a complete waste of $15,000 for the membership, hotel, airfare, expenses, and valuable time. It’s obvious Ed has been paid like many others by Bernie to give a raving “life is great ! in the ceo space circle” … IE: Ponzi Scheme cult as many are calling it. My question is…. Is Berny related to Berny Madoff? Did they share a cell together? Are the brothers? Wouldn’t surprise me if they were/or are ” in bed” together.
If CEO Space were in fact, a ponzi scheme, would two Former SEC Commissioner’s be not just members, but also on our world
I always ask people that make such silly comments as you have, “What about the huge history of success that CEO Space members have had?”
“What about all of the celebrities, attorneys, public figures, etc. that have
way more on the line regarding credibility than you do Ryan?” “Why would they be associated, Ryan?”
“Why would Forbes Magazine, Investors Business Daily and all the other Financial Pillars recognize CEO Space, Ryan?” “Why do heads of Nations recognize CEO Space?”
“If CEO Space is all that you claim it is Ryan, how did it become the largest Lobby in Washington for Entrepreneurs?” “How could they stay in business that long if
what you claim is true?”
Some of the success that you’ve heard of that CEO Space members have been responsible for include:
– The Cloud
– Ugg Boots
– RIMM’s Blackberry software Obama uses
– Microsoft’s Lead Developer
– Chicken Soup for the Soul
– The Secret
– The Oprah Winfrey Show
– “The View”
– 911 Locator Systems
– Bugle Boy Jeans
– Robert Kiyosaki’s (Rich Dad/Poor Dad) “Cash Flow”
– Green Glider
– PrePaid Legal
– Magic Fountain
– The first all green city on the planet
– Prolong Super Lubricants
– The Old Spaghetti Factory
– The T.E.N.S. Unit
– The current #1 Pet Product
– The current #1 Education product
– The current #1 Automotive Product
– The current #1 Saftey Product
– The current #1 Music Product
– Hundreds of best-selling authors
– Emmy & Grammy Winners
– Leaders in nearly every single product and services category
– Thousands of others
There are videos at http://www.GlobalCEOspace.com with normal, every day people that have had success via CEO Space.
You are factually incorrect on many instances. 1) Membership isn’t $15,000 or anything near it. Further, your numbers are suspect… the bogus and unsubstantiated, claims of 8/9 unsatisfides.
Your claim of the Fundbusting process couldn’t be further from accurate and your half-cocked attempt at describing the investment process is far from truth.
Regarding Berny, can he match and mirror someone who is pompus and arrogant? Yes. It’s likely your experience with him.
Granted, you may know of one. As everyone can figure for themselves, one can only get out of something, what they put out of it. If anyone ever says they didn’t get anything out of it, I always ask them one or more of the following questions:
1) Did they seek assistance at the end when they were on site?
2) Did they call on their local Club President afterward?
3) Did they call the home office after arriving home?
4) Did they call any of the world-class faculty (many of which run highly successful companies and others that teach at internationally recognized Universities?
5) If it was as bad as you claim, why didn’t they ask for their money back per the CEO Space Guarantee that if anyone is disatisfied for any reason, CEO Space INSISTS on writing them a check before they leave the building.
haha very defensive response. When someone goes off an a tangent like you have , it’s an instant red flag for a scripted , paid , or delusional response.
Are you being paid by them? As far as the SEC Commissioners, are they also paid ? I don’t care about their past jobs, they were a part of the US Government that is SOOOOO truthful with the public, and have been proven time and time again to be corrupt system of lying, 2-faced , self centered people.
Yes I’ve seen the $15,000 expenses for a year of being a member of the CEO Space Cult, membership fees, flights, hotels, etc.
Fundbusting is the truth, I was invited to a ” fund busting call” it was a joke and a 1/2.
I’m done here, this topic, nor your defensiveness , false comments and it’s obvious you’ve drank the cool-aid.
Thanks for exposing yourself. You’ve demonstrated that you know nothing about the organization.
Oh but I do . I have exchanged emails with Bernie. And many other so called regional vps of the cult . I’ve been through the smoke and mirrors pitch . I have also spoken too a CEO of a CRM tool that was paid to be there this past weekend , and she emailed me ” stating its nothing more than a professional networking , pat each other on the lower back side for starting a business ” .
So when you sober up from whatever you drank or smoked and realize your just pissing time and money away , you’ll agree with me and many others on other websites stating almost exactly what I’ve seen , heard and read .
You’re very comedic Ryan. Not only are your comments inaccurate, you can’t even spell the man’s name and also won’t give disclosure to who you are.
Even if it were, “nothing more than professional networking and pats on the back” and creating business for folks, you’ve just supported my point…. it’s successful.
Anything/Anyone that has massive success will always have detractors that know nothing of the organization and have no experience with it, such as yourself and Don Loper.
The fact that the organization has a money-back Guarantee, simple shines a light on who you are…. nearly a hundred thousand before you and Don are members. Experienced it, knowing full well they could get their money back.
It more than paid for itself for those members, otherwise they’d have requested the refunds too.
I know of 4 people who have requested refunds over 25 years. At least two of those (One is an attorney in San Diego that needed to control 60-90% of a company for his Venture Capital Clients and CEO Space won’t allow those who want to take more than 20% of a company for investment and the other was someone that was suggested that they leave because they were not a fit.) are still referring their clients and friends because they know it’s a very viable place for business.
There are no legit websites out there that are stating what you are purporting. We are aware, however, of obscure blogs such as this one, of people who were kicked out, who are attempting to discredit the organization (to no avail) and of course, there are those who drink hater aide (such as yourself) with no knowledge or experience of the organization.
There are also the occasional Don Lopers of the world who participate in the Yellow Journalism exercise such as the original post of this thread, when they could have easily done what the legitimate news outlets are reporting from their investigative pieces. They then write positive pieces from their experience.
Thanks for playing.
Dave, you are flat out delusional. Linda requested a refund, and stood in line with 3 other people that also requested a refund.
Get a clue , I’m done you are so far in the clouds and high on the kool-aid it’s not funny. As far as his name, you can blame Siri for that because I was commuting to my office when I responded.
Good day and good bye !
LOL… the only Lindas that were in attendance for the sessions you speak of were those who either ran Regional meetings for CEO Space or were returning members using their lifetime membership.
I have many clues and I enjoy the Kool-Aid I’ve been sipping… I’m sure it’s much more pleasurable than the hater-aid you’ve been gulping. I prefer a knowing taste of pleasantry as opposed to an uninformed bitterness any day.
As for blaming Siri, I’ll leave that to you. I’m not one to blame (or falsely accuse, or hide behind an undisclosed internet personality, or blather)
Good day to you as well.
… and please for the sake of others, please stop Hating on your commute. It’s much better for others that you don’t 1) Pollute pleasant environments 2) put others in harm’s way.
As Mark Twain once said, “Visionaries see what others cannnot.”
I get that you cannot understand or comprehend what is CEO Space and that’s quite fine that you stay away. It’s not for those who can’t conceive that by helping others, you get much more in return. There are many other opportunities out there for those of you who would rather Bitch, Moan, & Complain and pick apart that which is successful.
Ryan, your comments are just silly. However, I’m not concerned that you’re going to stop some well deserving entrepreneur from joining a fantastic organization. Let me tell you why.
First off, I joined CEO Space in 2004 and have been to over 50 forums. The business that I had when I joined has benefited greatly, I’m currently also collecting a 6 figure salary from a company that I co-founded there and continue to get a return on my investment every year. This is first hand experience, not they hear-say evidence that you presented.
Secondly, because of my strong belief in CEO Space I’ve invited hundreds of people over the years to join. I’ve noticed to different reactions.
Some people hear the benefits of being a member, then hear the cost and immediately start looking for a way to justify not making the investment. They simply aren’t in a mindset where they can take the risk and they’d rather attend free events in their community and try to find the resources and support they need there.
Other peole hear the benefits and cost and immediatly start doing objective due diligence hoping that they will find that everything I told them about the Space is true. They may not even have the money to join right now, but they are not afraid to invest in themselves or their company if there is a reasonalbe return.
The comments people like you make are a godsend to the first group but have absolutely no affect on the second. I’m not angry or condescending. You have a right to your opinion and if it makes your day to trash CEO Space the go ahead. It simply doesn’t matter.
Joshua, you and I talked about CEO Space whay back when. I’ve been waiting to see if you would join. I’m tellying you straight up that everything I told you about it is true and I hope you will continue to look into it. You should also probably call this cousin of yours and get his input.
Good luck to everyone and let’s try to help each other and not tear each other down. 🙂
Sorry for all of the typos.
There is an “edit comment” button, stupid.
When someone “goes off on a tangent……”……….. it’s only a red flag if you are looking for a red flag Ryan. Otherwise you would recognize someone who is passionate about their business and doesn’t like someone else trashing it when they know little about it. Seems perfectly on spot to me.
Of course he is being paid by them. Why else would he make and defend an article so jam-packed full of lies and deceptions?
Hey, Josh – I somehow didn’t run across this post of yours until now or I’d have responded sooner. I just came back from the December CEO Space event and I have to tell you it was an amazingly good opportunity. In fact I am in the process of joining the faculty (that is unpaid, to be very clear, and to every extent I have been able to determine, speakers are not paid, ever, to present at CEO Space). I’m so glad I attended and I’ll be attending most all of the events in 2014.
I did run into the individual who was likely the source of the remarks about it being people there to pat each other on the lower back for becoming entrepreneurs. It was a woman CEO of a CRM company from San Francisco. She was pushing her product strongly (something attendees are actually instructed not to be doing, and which is counterproductive to strong network marketing) but even so, when I asked how her experience had been with CEO space she responded that she had come for several years, openly admitted she’d been fairly negative in her remarks, but in her next breath said she had just sealed a deal that morning with a member of the faculty team that in that one step alone made all three years of her participation worthwhile.
As to Berny’s background – I researched it thoroughly (had to, as I wrote about him in one of my columns for Forbes, toward the end of October) as did Scott Smith, an investigative reporter for Investors Business Daily, and I can tell you the concerns are not what they seem. I came away entirely satisfied. (the more recent experience Berny endured with the SEC is the subject of an upcoming movie, in fact, Malicious Prosecution). He has come out of that experience one of the most vocal and hard driving advocates for strong and clearly stated regulation by the SEC, as a means of keeping entrepreneurs safe within the explicit lines of that code.
Loved the faculty members I met. In one week’s time I was only able to get closely acquainted with a dozen or so of their full set of faculty members, but those I connected with are tremendous assets to me now (and friends most likely for life). I didn’t see anything that cam anywhere near the negative comments I’ve heard. So – there’s my $.02, on the record. Thanks, Josh, and if you decide to give it a try, let me know when. I’d really look forward to seeing you there.
Thanks Cheryl, I’m glad to have the word of someone I trust on this. I read so much weird stuff about Berny and CEO Space I felt I couldn’t join without more information, plus it wasn’t the right time for me anyway what with moving across the world. Your input is exactly the type I was hoping to get with this post, and I hope this post can serve as an objective source for people to get information about Berny and CEO Space. I certainly have no bias either way, I’m just trying to figure out what the facts are. Please feel free to post the link to your article and any others you feel might be helpful.
Thanks, Josh! Here’s that investigative piece I wrote – http://www.forbes.com/sites/cherylsnappconner/2013/10/08/twice-slapped-by-the-sec-berny-dohrmann-ceo-space-becomes-regulations-defender/
And here’s the most recent piece I wrote that recapped my experience there from last month. I actually posted this article from the conference itself: http://www.forbes.com/sites/cherylsnappconner/2013/12/12/can-cooperative-capitalism-succeed/
Happy reading to all.
Parents went to ceo-space. As did my brother. They bought magical stickers that made their gas mileage better. They were $40 ea. They also bought 4 pyramid schemes about real-estate. Though, one was about selling videophones.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND CEO SPACE A++++ GOOD COMPANY BEST PEOPLE 100% 111
Hahaha 🙂 Sorry your parents got so scammed 🙁
I thought it was more funny than anything else. They learned their lesson though.
Lessons learned the hard way will not be forgotten shortly.
Vistage is scam
I have been a member since May 2006. It is one of the best business investment I have made. I spend a solid week with experts (including attorneys) working on my business!!! Love it….
Hi Josh, This is Darlene Grimes – for some reason this post is posting as one of my projects, Oak Hall – I am an entrepreneur whose latest business is Belize Real Estate Tours. I just have to put my comments into this discussion too. I have been a member since March of 2009, and in addition to incredibly valuable education and mentoring specific to my businesses, I have created lifelong friends as well as alliances with people I would never have had access to if not for CEO Space. I know Les Brown, Bob Proctor, Greg Reid, Mark Victor Hanson, Sharon Lechtor and Jack Canfield, Cheryl Snapp Connor and countless others – if I walked by them in a crowded place, they would address me by name because of CEO Space: sharing meals, meetings and late night discussions with them, as well as social events. I have had access to people I never would have had. As far as Berny Dohrmann is concerned, he has assisted me personally with coaching me through some nasty situations I had with a former partner with great counsel and insight. He has been a great friend as well, helping me with emotional support when my daughter had cancer, encouraging all members to support her crowdfunding campaign for medical expenses, and coaching her to success as an artist. I cannot put enough praise on CEO Space – compared to spending 10s of thousands of dollars on other conferences, programs, and seminars the price for CEO Space as a lifetime membership is really really low. For 5 years now, for FREE at every forum, I speak to attorneys, strategists, marketing and tech experts, the list goes on and on. This would cost thousands if I was not at CEO Space at the time. There are so many programs way more expensive than the Space, and then once you are at them, they upsell you into other expensive programs. All CEO Space faculty members tithe their time and expertise, they are never paid. There is no back of the room selling – I love that – I learn at the classes every minute – no listening to endless sales pitches like at other programs. If you want to buy something – you can do so at the Expo on Saturday, where it is your choice to walk up to an expo table and ask the faculty member or member how much they charge and what they offer – it is never pushed on you. People who bash the Space went into it with unrealistic expectations, or were not intellectually or emotionally mature enough to tough it out as an entrepreneur – which is hard work and requires patience and perseverance. Or, they were not of the collaborative mindset, they were competitive and our culture did not work for them. Yes, it resembles a cult, because people get evangelistic once they have found their business tribe – something they have searched for their entire adult life. Yes, there may be some hard sell to get you to come to the space, but that is what all expensive programs need to do to convince someone to spend the money. Personally, I like the high entry point, it assures me that the people I am networking with and doing business at CEO Space are serious enough about their business they would shell out the hard earned money to go. And, they might have something to offer the community as well of some value. It is not all about getting – when you give you get, it is a law of the universe. I highly recommend CEO Space.
Darlene, I appreciate your update on the posts, which were originally about two years ago, it seems.
In VERY approximate terms, if you wish to share, about how much would you estimate you have invested in time and assets in being a member since March of 2009?
Interestingly, you enjoyed all of the contacts when you attended the conferences.
And, as you point out, there is a very high entry point. Shelling out hard earned money to attend says something about the concept.
A question please? What have been the venue locations where you got the most out of attending?
I have been a member of CEO Space for just over a year, and plan to head back for my 4th forum next week. I am a professional with a doctoral degree. The upfront investment to join was quite large, but after my first forum I knew it was worth every hard-earned cent. In one year CEO Space has not only allowed me to develop my business (which started out as nothing more than idea before my first forum), but I have learned an incredible amount about the process of building a successful business from the ground-up and made an incredible group of life-long friends along the way.
There are others here who have clarified some of the points of concern, but I will second that a) the faculty are NOT paid (they even pay for their own hotel rooms & travel expenses, just like everyone else attending), and b) Berny is a good guy. Yes, he is a smooth salesman (those who call this out are probably jealous) and yes, he has a federal prison record – so does Martha Stuart. You can’t judge someone by a paper-trail alone. We are all human, and our justice system is not perfect.
What I would like to clarify to those who are concerned, have had bad experiences, or are even trying to decide if joining CEO Space by purchasing a lifetime membership are these few things:
1) CEO Space is a business club for business owners who would like an opportunity to learn how to grow their businesses to the next level or, like me, start a new business & do not have experience in the business world. There are amazing faculty with incredible amounts of experience & expertise on various business areas such as strategic planning, legal counsel, intellectual property, sales techniques, internet marketing/website techniques, capital acquisition, marketing, branding, networking, and developing corporate culture, etc. These people are top of the line, open, honest, and give all week long. I have truly enjoyed getting to know each and every one of them, and yes, now consider them friends.
2) CEO Space will not help you “get rich quick.” No one can do that for you, and few can even do it for themselves (there are always exceptions to any rule). It is a place to learn, network, and develop plans to take your idea into an actionable plan. If you go, you will go to learn and meet new people with similar goals. If you choose to use what you learn, you will leave with steps to take your business to the next level.
3) Returning is key. Going once will not make you a millionaire, unless perhaps you already have a business that is worth half a million & need help growing your customer base. If, like me, you go because you have a new business or an idea, in order for CEO Space to be worthwhile for you it is highly recommended that you go once and make a list of steps that you need to complete to get started. Once you do that, you return, and then you do it again. Each time you attend, you are able to climb higher up the steps you need to take to put your plan or idea to work. Each time I have attended, I have learned something new, and returned home with new action steps. If you are going to invest in a LIFETIME membership, plan on the fact that unless you use that lifetime membership, you are probably wasting your valuable time & money. Building a successful business takes time, and must be done in a certain order. It does not happen overnight.
4) There are very good people out there with bad ideas. Unfortunately, some of them spend the money to go to CEO Space with these ideas and they will not likely find success with their original plan. However, the faculty are kind, they have a way of helping people work around these ideas and structure them into something that may help the individual achieve success. This is not always going to be the case, and unfortunately some good people with bad ideas are not going to get very far, especially if they are unable to take the advice of experts. If these people with bad ideas join in with others who have come with similarly bad ideas, they may come home having spent more money on other bad ideas. Overall, that is a bad idea. Don’t go with the intention to build your business and end up spending money on someone else’s, unless your intention in attending is to invest – but then please, invest in the good ideas. Do your due diligence (something else you will learn about in attendance). There is a money back guarantee if you attend the entire week and are not satisfied, but if you don’t take the opportunity to learn from what is offered, you only have yourself to blame for spending money on a product & then choosing not to use it.
5) If you plan to go to gain customers or a base for your MLM (or whichever term you prefer), you will likely be disappointed. You may learn some marketing skills, but you may not earn the return on your investment, and it is very unlikely you will earn more than a few customers unless they are also seasoned MLM sales people who are always looking for their next project. If you attend to learn about business building & while there buy into MLMs…well…you made that choice. CEO Space did not do that to you.
6) This is a friendly & cooperative environment. Prepare to go and offer your personal experience & expertise to other attendees, as well. This isn’t all take. This is about helping each other out – that is the idea of a club. You may go with a need for a business and marketing plan, but you may have experience in commercial real estate and can offer another entrepreneur advice on how to find a good location. Prepare to give. You may realize while there that you need to spruce up your website, and another member may be looking for clients – hey – you just networked & found what you needed, and so did they. That is how it flows. You will not (or should not, if people follow the rules, as most do) be pressured into buying or hiring anything or anyone.
7) If you are serious about being an entrepreneur, have a great business idea or a business that you need help getting on track, and you are ready to put in a long, intensive week of learning & networking, you will be glad you made the investment. I have searched far and wide for help with my business near my home and have found no one who has the ability to articulate, teach, and guide me through the necessary steps that has even a small fraction of the knowledge of these faculty members at CEO Space. I have spoken with investors, incubators, small business development centers and commercial bankers. None have been capable of helping me through the tremendous amount of information that I have learned and put to use through CEO Space.
8) When you leave, you won’t be finished. This isn’t a business in a box. This is a place to learn and grow. You will continue to need to put time and money into building your business. Unfortunately we live in a society where people expect things to be handed to them and are not accountable for their own actions. Well, that isn’t how life works. You have to give to receive, and you have to work to get where you want to go. You have to use what you learn.
9) By the end of the week, you may determine that you need expert assistance to help you grow your business to a higher level. The faculty are all experts who are available for hire AFTER the forum. During the forum, all of their advice, help, one:one meetings, teaching, etc, are absolutely free, and in my experience they do not hold back. They really do work hard to help members become successful. It is your choice to determine wether or not you want to hire any of them to help you. You may decide to do so, or you may decide that you know someone back home that you feel can help you do the same thing (but like me, you didn’t realize you needed that type of help until you learned about it at CEO Space!). This is not selling – this is networking. If you can’t do a job that needs to be done, you cannot complain if someone asks to be paid to do it for you. However, again, those who are there during the week are offering their expertise without any compensation – faculty are NOT PAID to be there. If you cannot afford to pay for this expertise, then plan to return to the next forum with a plan to get the help you need during the week. This is what I have done and it has worked well for me (extremely well) and I couldn’t be happier.
I realize this is an old post, and the author has gone on to do other things. However it popped up fairly quickly on my google search as I was preparing to register for the next forum, so I thought it might do the same for other potential new members. This is my absolute unbiased opinion of CEO Space from the perspective of a member who went to learn and not to buy or sell. I have been pleasantly amazed at my personal and professional growth while being a member of this organization. I have seen others who likely should not have attended, but not because CEO Space is a scam, but because they have unrealistic expectations. I look forward to returning again and again. Yes, it is expensive to return, even for members if you live outside of the area. Travel isn’t cheap, and neither is time away from work and family. However, if you are really serious about growing a highly successful business, I can’t think of a better investment or opportunity than as a member of this organization. If you are an investor looking to meet some phenomenal new entrepreneurs, inventors, and seasoned business professionals, this is also a great place for you to sniff out some pretty amazing ideas, and can do so in a fairly undercover manner if you so choose. There are some up & coming projects that I have learned about at the space that are so amazing, I can’t wait for the day when I can tell people, “Hey, I knew the person who invented that X” or “started that company.”
One last thing…the celebrity endorsements are real. Bob Proctor, Jack Canfield, Lisa Nichols, Greg S. Reid, David Gruder, Wendy Lipton-Dibner, David Corbin, Sherita Herring, Aaron Young, top-notch attorneys, authors, speakers, and business giants – I have met with many of them, shared meals with them, and grown as a new CEO thanks to their advice. ALL of these specific people listed will NOT all be present at every forum, but they do come and teach. As a member, you have the exact same opportunity to learn from and network with them as I have had. Every name listed above is of a person who has worked on the faculty within the past year with the exception of Lisa Nichols. However, I do know that without CEO Space, she would not be where she is today – she attended over 40 times & look where she is now.
Peace. Good luck with your personal venture. I hope to see you in the space.
I just back traced this guy’s email, it is actually an email of one of the scam artists who runs this company. You can safely ignore his lies promoting the CEO Space scam.
That’s very interesting. I wonder about your methods of email tracing. I’m not a guy, but rather quite female. Nor have I ever worked for CEO Space. I haven’t even volunteered for them. I would not have responded to your comment but that I need to make one correction to my post from 4 months ago- about the MLMs. I have met a few people since I wrote the previous post who have done quite well there with MLM, although I still would recommend that for the majority of people in that line of entrepreneurship, it isn’t likely the place to grow your business. At any rate, I hope you can find something that makes you happy to spend your time and energy working toward. I hardly believe that complaining about an organization that several others are here defending is getting you anywhere in life. With that, signing off to do something worthwhile.
You’re also probably the same guy.
Same scam artist still trying but failing
Here is a basic break down of what CEO Space is. Pay x amount of money, (dollar amount varies but usually several thousand dollars), and we’ll(CEO Space) tell you how to ask your family for money. If your family already has money, why would you need to pay someone else $1,000s to ask your current contacts for money? So from the get go, the rich get richer. The forums consist of 3 days of training. The training focuses on how to get your business formed and what fees youll need to pay to the CEO Space chosen attorneys to get all of your funding paperwork in place. The paperwork that CEO Space states that youll need. Cost is usually another $25,000. The week long forum is $130-160 per night for the hotel, times that by 8 days, give or take for your first forum. There really are not any other hotel options near by. In total, you’ll need approx $40,000 before you can really network with anyone in CEO Space to raise capital for your business. Once the $40,000 is paid, this is the point that CEO Space is worth something, well not CEO Space itself but the contacts that are there.
I founded CEO University to address many of these issues. No upfront cost to join, a month-to month membership, so if no value is delivered do not renew. We are a peer-to-peer advisory organization build by CEOs for CEOs. Simple and effective. http://www.ceou.org
Nice thought but sadly scams like “CEO Space”, “Income Builders”, and “Vistage”, among others, have made people totally lose faith in all “business networking” pyramid schemes.
It’s a total scam, do not waste your time, and ignore the advertisers in the comments below saying total lies like “I know hardly anyone who doesn’t like it”, yeah, because there are so many people who LOVE paying $7,500 for access to sales pitches asking you to pay $10,000 to attend their seminars which are also sales pitches to take even more of your money for nothing in return.
“CEO Space” = “Income Builders”, and both are total scam rip offs.
I already had a successful business selling used industrial machinery, but since I worked from home, I felt isolated from my peers and wanted to make some new quality friends. In the recruitment meeting, Berny suggested that I should join to be a mentor to the newbies. I was not about to pay $7500, but they were running a 3 for 1 special at the time, so I decided to give it a try for $2167.
My first forum was 12/09. It was exciting meeting all those new people, but the schedule of classes was grueling. I had to take a nap from 4:30-6:30pm just to make it thru each day. Reminded me of the sleep deprivation stories i had read about in other cults. Then there were prayers offered up before members entered the plenary sessions (not Christian prayers). Dried ice created white clouds and fog to set the sacred mood. Cutting edge multi-media was employed to create a perception of excellence. Reminded me of Willow Creek Community Church.
During our sharing circle times, I would listen to each pitch and be supportive as possible. When i gave my pitch, people were also supportive. However, i was not raising funds and no one knew anyone looking for my product, so there was really nothing in it for me other than trying to make new friends. Then some of the club leaders starting introducing me to people who needed investors. Having drunk the Kool-aid of “cooperation, not competition,” I was vulnerable. In order to really connect and belong to their “team.” I had to invest money.
Friends warned me to be careful. Don’t invest alot. I followed Bernie’s advice and invested in 9 different ventures during 2010. I attended a total of 4 forums. To this day I have never gotten ANY money back. Every single one is a bust. Some claim they are still working on getting funded. Whatever.
I reported one company – Wisdom of the World – to CEO Space because they folded shortly after accepting $50,000 from me. They had to have known they were going broke, but they took my cash anyway. Berny got all defensive because I accused HIM of playing a crucial part in providing credibility to Gary Malkin, CEO of WOW – which he clearly did. He threatened to take legal action against me and blackball me from the club. And he defended his buddy Gary Malkin instead, refusing to investigate.
That is how it works. I never bothered reporting the other 8 bogus ventures. The scam artists who run them are probably all still in good standing and still attending looking for more suckers. As George Carlin said, “It’s a big club – and you’re not in it.” In this case, I was in it – but i wish to God I had never joined.
Hi there, I signed up and paid $7500 and I’m a “member”. Honestly, my purest honest opinion toward CEO space is it’s NOT worth $7500. They tell you about celebrity endorsement but there weren’t any celebrity when I attended the forum. Instead, there were “instructors” or coaches that were there to sell their business. I truly regret of paying $7500. The pricing is way off. the advice I got from supposedly experienced coaches and entrepreneurs can be found on any business type of books on amazon and they’ll only cost you $20. I really have no idea what the hype is about. I truly from the bottom of my heart feel that I got ripped off and that it was not worth $7500.
Those people who are there to answer questions were telling me such great things about CEO space before I had made the decision to go there but later I realized that they were getting commissions! So of course, they want to tell you all the wonderful stuff about it. I wish I had done my research rather than just simply calling and talking to their affiliates.
I don’t know either of these places personally, but I tend to stay away from “pay-for-play” models generically. In my view, if you’ve got the goods, you can let people know on your own, and if you don’t, then spend time getting the goods and repeat the first step.
Naturally, professional organizations are not what I’m talking about. I’m now or previously have been a member of the National Defense Industrial Association [NDIA], the Association of the United States Army [AUSA], the Project Management institute [PMI], the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers [IEEE], the American Physical Society [APS], the Association of Old Crows [AOC – the electronic warfare professional society], the American Association for the Advancement of Science [AAAS], the National Democratic [Party] Club [NDC] and the [Republican Party] Capitol Hill Club [CHC]. These organizations charge between $40 and $500 per year, and in my view, all were worth what I paid for them. Their dues support only a portion of their costs, and they must work continuously to stay afloat. This creates a form of fiduciary-dependency relationship which, I feel, keeps them working hard for their members.
But for $7,500, an organization does not actually NEED to do anything for for its members but keep them feeling warm and fuzzy. They MAY do more, naturally, and probably do, but — as a nuclear physicist / accountant / CEO — the nature of the relationship – [a large upfront payment with a promise to deliver in the future] – just bothers me.
Alright Josh, So I went once when I was 14 because my mom took me, what I noticed is that CEO space is potentially great depending on how successful you are before you decide to go. However, if you’re a small business owner trying to build a network of connections, it is nothing more than enchanting, CEO space successfully calls living advocates, and Cinderella story examples, to the floor to speak. Which employed a teamwork makes the dream work mentality, but the thing CEO space is great at is side tracking their “club members” dreams. It slowly turned into a life seminar, life coaches giving sermons, members confessing tragedies, it then finds the dreams of its members. CEO space thrives off the people with unrealistic dreams, or who seem desperate, and because every member believes their dream is achievable via the life seminars, the senior members end up making money off of the hopeful naive.
I have been attending CEO Space as both a student and an instructor for 22 years (I run the teen program at CEO Space sharing these principles with the young adults). IT IS THE REAL DEAL. Every single aspect of my life has been improved from being involved with CEO SPACE from my personal life….great life long friends, to my business life…raised capital for our business there and learned how to raise capital from other sources, learned how to structure deals, have received IMMENSE value from the instructors (both celebrity and the regular hardworking business experts as well as the WEALTH of members who have immeasurable value and experience to share), to my spiritual life, to my home life—I got great advice on how to structure an unusual real estate deal that allowed my husband and I to purchase our adjacent property on Maui. I have been educated and inspired there.
As for the conviction, Berny talks about it from the stage. He is making a movie about it. He is very upfront about what happened and why. One hour with Berny is only the tiniest tip of the ice berg…..no way for him to tell you everything in that amount of time.
The truth of any matter is “you get out what you put in.” Ceo Space isn’t a magic pill that makes you rich and successful, rather it provides all the ingredients you need to do so…..but it is still your job to select the right options, put them together and do the work. I went to CEO Space as a school teacher, I now am the CEO of a Retreat Business on Maui, Heart Path Journeys, and a speaker, author of 6 books, I own 9 acres on Maui, am the executive director of a Non-profit that serves tourists and locals alike.
Can you find people who DIDN’T do the work, who didn’t apply the principles, who didn’t follow up with their contacts……yes you can….but that isn’t about CEO Space, that is about them. I have changed the meaning of “CEO” as it relates to CEO Space……it is a space where Creativity and Enthusiasm meet Opportunity……. I cannot imagine what my life would be like if my husband and I had not had the influence of CEO Space in our lives……
I’ve been a member of CEO Space for nearly 5 years.
I’m not sure why anyone would call it a scam since you are actually buying something (at the minimum an education) that has a money back guarantee at the end of the week. How could you possibly be scammed?
Like anything, you need to make sure you know if this is right for you or not. It’s for entrepreneurs – people in all stages to starting a business of all different kinds and sizes. What is CEO Space? It’s several things.
1. Education – You get real nuts and bolts course on starting and upping your knowledge of running a business. There’s a lot more to having a business than just your product. Learn about legal structures, protecting your finances, branding, accounting, marketing and more.
2. Motivational – Yes, there are motivation speakers to help keep you positive and focused on moving forward through the difficulties.
3. Collaborative – Everyone is there to help each other. That’s the culture. If you want to back stab, steal business, etc, this isn’t the place for you.
4. Business development & networking – meet people who are customers or who may know your customers. Some people attend and get contracts or develop relations that will lead to business deals.
Like anything in life, you will get out of it what you put into it. Really I can’t recall every hearing anyone who’s been complain about it. At worst, recognize it was valuable but not what they needed. Money back.
I also cant say enough about the teen program. From helping teens better understand who they are as well as provide them with tools for dealing with their own personal issues it is invaluable. Add on to this the skills learned in the teen program will help them grow and adapt in today’s world of constant change, the gig economy and the need be an entrepreneur as large companies continue to shed workers. Quite frankly everyone should bring their teen to the program several times. The first time to get introduced to the ideas and the next times to develop a deeper understanding and reinforce the knowledge and skills.
CEO Space is undoubtedly one of the best investments you can make in you – if you take action on what you learn.
My husband and I are both former counterintelligence agents. We attended CEO Space in March 2012 with our 2 year-old daughter and became instructors in December 2012. The three of us have attended 5 times a year since. This May conference was the first one we missed and, ironically, it was because of CEO Space that we were unable to attend. Our businesses are getting increasingly busier, making it more difficult to attend. The irony comes in the fact that both businesses were formed at or through CEO Space.
When we came out of government we intended to be corporate trainers. The CEO Space members had a different idea. Many of them asked us to do for their businesses what we did for the government. When we finally saw the need to provide due diligence and vetting solutions to small businesses, we fell into a really unique business model that adds a layer of credibility and integrity to B2B transactions.
In addition to educating and mentoring CEO Space members, we worked with the leadership to implement due diligence throughout the entire organization. CEO Space is the only conference of its kind that can boast a fully vetted faculty. In fact, many have voluntarily chosen to operate in transparency through our CLEAR Business Directory (ClearBusinessDirectory.com). Our business gets contacted repeatedly by people who want CEO Space vetted because it does seem too good to be true and there is discrediting information on the internet. We, too, had reservations prior to joining (I’m not sure there’s a more paranoid profession than espionage) not just for the business aspect, but we had a young child with us. That child, now 6, is on her fourth business (NevaLeeRecla.com).
And, of course we vetted Berny and the entire organization. At the end of it, our take is similar to the federal governments. If someone is willing to talk about their indiscretions, own up to their mistakes, and build something better because of it, the results should speak for themselves.
But, the biggest point is the one Eve Hogan mentioned in her comment. We advise thousands of businesses annually and the biggest issues from both members and non-members always circle around business owners’ willingness to grow themselves and do the work. CEO Space offers education, support, mentorship, advisement, discounted services, and a business family that is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. The $7500 price tag is a very small price to pay for the experience of being part of this vast network that encourages business owners to hold to their visions and create sustainable, innovative, collaborative businesses.
I attended CEO Space when it was known as IBI, in the mid-90s. I became a member of the faculty and taught for several years, never missing a program. I would often open the week with the basics of how it worked, etc. I always said that the most value the attendees would receive would be in the people they met and the lessons learned from them. The networking, if they did it, would pay dividends far beyond their tuition.
The analogy for me was that the instruction is golden but the networking is platinum. To this day, over 20 years later, there’s hardly a day that goes by that I’m not in touch with a fellow grad or instructor.
If the attendees aren’t proactive and willing to meet and interact with everyone and anyone, they should attend. The instructors set it up, so that unlike the usual kind of networking, this is easy and filled with a camaraderie that that carries through for most of us, for many years ahead.
I have been a member of CEO Space since 2013 and it has been the greatest business resource I could ever ask for. I have received everything that I need to build my company as well as life long friendships. Recently I have become the Executive Assistant for CEO Space because I am so passionate about giving back and helping it help more business owners. Berny’s past experiences help fuel his passion for educating business owners on operating in integrity, cooperation, and over-compliance.
There is no way to describe what happens at CEO Space until you go. There just isn’t. The local meetings are a small taste of what happens at the event. Of course, just like anything else you have to be committed to your business and be willing to show up, and if you are you will find everything you need and more at CEO Space.
When I first came to CEO Space in August of 2015, I had just profitably exited a company I co-founded and wasn’t sure what would be next for me. When I heard about CEO Space and after having a conversation with Berny, I was advised by a mentor to “Take a deep breath, go to the forum, and if it wasn’t all that had been promised, I could get my money back.” So I took the leap.
Since that time, I have clearly defined my business, entered into a collaborative arrangement with CEO Space to help members gain even more momentum in their businesses, been asked to attend the Power of Collaboration Global Summit at the United Nations with a fellow member who was a speaker at this event, been asked to join the faculty of CEO Space and as recently as yesterday was asked to be a Power Speaker at another member’s exclusive and sold out event in June.
When I first went to CEO Space, I knew no one personally (literally, not one person) associated with CEO Space and I didn’t have a business to speak of. Less than a year later, all of the above has happened and I have a growing business and a network or highly successful colleagues, friends, professionals and above all, family, who generously open up their rolodexes to help me get whatever I need to continue growing my business.
I will agree. It does seem too good to be true. But every adage has an exception, and CEO Space is the exception that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. CEO Space delivers EVERY time, and in my opinion, each forum gets better and better, with an incredibly high-level membership.
For readers of this blog and for those who will stop at absolutely nothing to be successful in business, I highly recommend coming to the July Forum, July 24-31. It is literally guaranteed to accelerate your business (again, if you are willing to do the work), or you get your money back.
My heartfelt thanks to Berny and September Dohrmann, who tirelessly work to make this the best possible place to be for entrepreneurs. I wouldn’t have had the year I’ve had without them, their staff and the amazing members of this community.
CEO Space is an inspiring powerhouse of practical biz education and networking – all the stuff that school and that expensive MBA forgot to mention. I’ve been a member since 2004, going there as an engineer and coming back a businessman. CEO Space stresses cooperation and teamwork, building the right structure for growth. My only minor criticism after all this time is that local chapters may over-encourage some that (IMHO) are destined to fail (but what do I know? They seem to get as much out of it as the rest.) Is it for everybody? Of course not, it’s not a magic pill and those that don’t follow through are presumably those that have a lot to say. Does it work for someone with a good idea and the passion to make it happen? Yes, and I’ve seen it many times. CEO Space has given me lasting friendships, priceless education and a pool of networking talent. Best money I’ve ever spent and I will be back.
I have attended as a participant and as an assistant… I met Bernie through “our” mutual friend who is now an angel. CEO space is exciting and eventful and brings people from all over the globe together to be part of a big picture when it comes to business. The instructors are highly trained and you walk away with a mind full of useful information. I have not been in a few years as life is a choice.And as with anything you have good people and some a bit crooked so cross your T’s and dot the i’s when putting together a team/deal. And if someone “steals” or does something to damage your business — you can CALL and report the “whats so with proof” and they will terminate memberships if necessary to keep integrity in. The concept is brilliant and has helped hundreds get to the top of their game.
I’ve been a member and a instructor for over 5 years at CEO Space and it has utterly changed the course of my life and my business.
From the connections and lasting friendships to education and critical information that has helped my businesses flourish beyond what I could have ever expected, CEO Space has resulted in a greater ROI than i ever expected.
The above and more than I can write here is why I, and so many others keep going back for years, and decades to come.
I just got back from ceo space and it was the greatest investment of my life. I already have commitments from people who want to do business with me, and i will 10 fold my investment over the years from going.
Yes Bernie gave me the grand salespitch that sounded too good to be true, and i was blown away that i am on track to create exactly what he said i would create.
$7500 or what ever price you pay is relatively inexpensive compared to all of the other courses, seminars, and programs out there that dont deliver a fraction of the value or benefit.
Same scam artist still trying but failing
Could you please elaborate? I admit I am a bit skeptical of these comments which seems to be primarily from people who are now part of the CEO space organization. Why do you say CEO space is still failing? Thanks.
I had a meeting with Berny Dohrmann about 9 years ago. I remember speaking to the staff member who set up the meeting telling me that Berny will tell me things about my future and has a gift to “know things”. When I met with him he asked me about my idea’s about a product or business I wanted to start or was doing. When I told him, he started to hint that he thought it was a great idea and that he thought I should talk to Lisa Nichols and that he could arrange it along with other well known people. I met him in the suite of a nice hotel. It was staged to create an arena of influence. After the meeting I was pressured into paying for the program. Even though I knew that the meeting was staged to create “influence” so that I would pay the program fee, I felt compelled to put a payment down. When I left, I felt like something was off about the organization. I researched the internet and the first 10 or so pages were all glowing testimonies. I knew that the other side of the story would be buried deep into the internet by publicists. That’s when I saw the diamond scam operation and the felony and complaints about CEO Space. CEO Space in my opinion was just another operation built on the same mindset and intention as the Diamond scam. The experience felt cult like, like Godfather, and had a high degree of mind control feel to it. It felt like once you were in they owned you, and you would be asked to do much for the organization (like asking for large amounts of money from others and recruiting). I asked for my money back and they at first said no. They tried to talk me into giving them more money. I finally got my money back after fighting them. It’s just another version of Money, Power, Influence. As long as people are given the hope they can have some of it, the influence on their actions and behaviors can be controlled.
As a former member of CEO Space, I will have to say it is a real place where you can conduct business. CEO Space itself provides a venue where you network and meet with other business. That part is real. There are some slick tricks, like upselling you and shit, but honestly it is a real place and it does hold value. Whether or not it is valuable to you as an individual and business, and you can create $$ out of the experience is completely individualized. For me, it did not and I do not attend it anymore. But that’s not to say I could see it being valuable for others. It is a real place, not a scam. You’ll find shitty people there, you’ll find excellent people too. But CEO Space itself will hold the venue where you meet others. Overall if you just want to flat out network with people who are needing to network, and keeping an open mind that there will be a bunch of people there and you may or may not find what you need, go for it.
Vistage Sued by Long Time CEO Group Member for $5.3 Million. Please See Press Release at http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/press-release/vistage-sued-by-long-time-ceo-group-member-for-53-million-445387.php. Please Call Attorney Bill Keith at 619-209-3053 if you have had a similar experience.
Vistage Sued by Long Time CEO Group Member for $5.3 Million. Please See Press Release at http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/press-release/vistage-sued-by-long-time-ceo-group-member-for-53-million-445387.php. Please Call Attorney Bill Keith at 619-209-3053 if you have had a similar experience.