This review is not sponsored or influenced by Tai Lopez or his team. I hope to keep it that way.
People are seeing a man called Tai Lopez run numerous ads on social media and selling courses that essentially promise to make you rich and successful. They’re wondering if he’s a scam. I have actually paid for his program and wanted to give my brutally honest review of him.
Who is Tai Lopez? What Do He Do and How’d He Become Rich?
As a quick recap, let’s cover who Tai Lopez it. Tai came onto the online scene in 2015, and quickly rose to become one of the top personal development gurus on the web.
How do I know? I’ve watched his whole journey from the start. I have consumed a ton of content (paid and free) from Tai. He has repeatedly admitted to these things. However, he been notorious for not revealing the specific details on how he made his money and how much he has.
Growing up, he found six mentors that helped him. One was Joel Salatin, a successful, wealthy farmer, known for his involvement in the documentary, Food Inc., and the book, Folks, This Ain’t Normal. Tai chose to work as an apprentice farmhand for Joel for a couple years.
He also spent a couple years living with the Amish, a group of traditional Christians living in the U.S. who live simple lives and avoid modern technology. This was a pivotal time for him because it taught him about happiness and simple living. He often claims the Amish have much lower suicide rates despite living such simple lives.
When he was a young adult, he found himself broke and sleeping on a coach. He went through the Yellow Pages (a thick book directory that gives you all the phone numbers of everyone in an area) and saw a huge insurance ad. He figured someone who can afford to run such a large ad must be rich, so he went in-person to the company’s founder and asked to work for free. This man replied, “I have been waiting 40 years for a man like you.”
Tai went on to post record-breaking sales numbers for the company by being one of the first to leverage Google AdWords. Back then, it was really cheap to get in front of thousands of people online.
He then went on to build and run a salsa nightclub. After being burned out from the nightclub business, he invested in online dating sites. Now, he is the CEO of an online education company where he sells training courses teaching people how to achieve “health, wealth, love, and happiness.” You can buy his stuff on his http://TaiLopez.com and his motto is “Everybody wants the good life. But not everybody gets the good life.”
Tai Lopez really started going full force with his online training company in mid 2015. He started buying video ads on YouTube and went from nobody knowing him to an Internet meme. He split-tested a number of ads, and this one caught storm:
His video ads reached at least 100 million viewers. People speculated how much he spent and how he could afford it. This video by the popular YouTuber H3H3 explains it well:
His ads went to a sales page where you could buy an online course. So most likely, he paid for more ads with the money he made from them.
In 2015, he moved into a new mansion in Beverly Hills, California, which he calls “Knowledge Society Headquarters.” Some speculate that he rents it and not owns it because it’s listed on Zillow.com.
Tai and his team releases a large amount of consistent content on social media (especially YouTube and Snapchat) and new ads to drive new people back to his site to buy stuff. It’s clear that all his time is now spent on his new online training business because his social media shows his entire day-to-day is spent creating content and promoting Tai Lopez’s programs.
You may be wondering, “Is he really rich?”
Possibly. At least for now. In 2016 and 2017, he has ramped up the expensive purchases and posted pictures of it on social. Part of that is clearly to attract more eyeballs and get more customers. He went from owning one Ferrari and one Lambourghini to renting a private jet and buying an Aventador, Rolls Royce Ghost, and Rolls Royce Dawn. His business has clearly made money and he employs an entire team to help him.
He has also been spending money getting Instagram models to advertise for him and to do prize giveaways. You will often see a flock of models with him in social media. He has claimed to give away cars, iPads, xBoxes, and more on Instagram. Will it last? Who knows? He’s also forming a lot of relationships with influencers; if he does go bankrupt, he might be able to reach out to them for help to bounce back.
How I Stumbled Across Tai Lopez
He was mentioned by a millionaire, Michael Sartain, who I conducted an interview with on my Youtube. I looked him up as I tend to do with every book or person of influence mentioned to me. He has his own youtube channel and website (search Tai Lopez, you’ll find him) where he teaches 4 main things: success in health, wealth, happiness, and love. Anyhow, I watched his videos and eventually bought his products. Nowadays, he has gained notoriety because he has spent tens of millions of dollars on Youtube ads to promote his products. He has gone far beyond the threshold of what is called “ad fatigue” and everyone I go online, people in the comments are hating on him or making fun of him. They are calling his stuff “get rich quick scams.” Many people have seen the same ad from him over ten times.
There are some people who still love him and fight for him, and I have got into heated debates with some of them. I would say he has gone way over the edge in terms of over-promoting his ads and compromising long-term brand value reputation for short-term gains. I don’t think he took into account over-exposure and there is a huge movement of people who have seen his ads dozens of times online and are sick of him. Countless videos on Youtube have been made making fun of his ads.
Is Tai Lopez A Scammer? Brand and Product Reviews (Including 67 Steps)
Is Tai Lopez legit?
If you don’t have time to read the big block of text that follows reviewing his stuff. The biggest problem I had with it was that it was too generalized, and took advice from successful people of different fields and applied it universally.
It’s easy to do that when you are promising success in so many different domains (health, wealth, love, and happiness). I just don’t think the secrets that made a chess Grandmaster win and those who made Sun Tzu into a famed war general apply to every domain. The laws that make someone a great Basketball player aren’t the ones that make someone a great insurance CEO.
Having said that, I think this is an issue that most personal development influencers out there share. Tim Ferriss tends to do the same thing in his podcast interviews.
The 67 Steps Review
Here are my thoughts on the 67 Steps. It’s worth the buy. It’s $1 per video. And each video, in my opinion, is well worth the purchase if you actually listen and absorb what he is telling you.
He gives you 67 steps lessons with good examples from successful people and books he has picked out. It was well worth it and I hope to re-watch all of them again one day to remind myself of things. Hopefully, he updated some of them because some videos are fairly old with old camera equipment but nonetheless good. My warning is make a commitment to watch all the 67 videos.
I downloaded the MP3 versions provided and listened to them at 2x speed on my iPhone. Some more than once. I have talked to many people who also purchased 67 steps and many stopped watching and listening to them a quarter or half of the way through. They give many excuses such as “I’ve heard all of this before” or “it’s common sense” which I don’t think is true.
Additionally, I got an Audible audio-book version of Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker (anything by this man is gold by the way) with my purchase. That is at least a $5 value. I listened to that book twice. It’s a VERY quick read so it may not be that valuable. The print version is about $4 including shipping on Amazon. You may not get this free bonus when you take the course.
Did I pick up anything useful? Yes. There was some interesting insights he pulled out that made me change how I thought of myself and stopped me from complaining.
One was his “Man on the Moon” video where he says that it took hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of astronauts to accomplish the impossible: go to the moon. So if that is possible, how can you be complaining that what you are doing is impossible when it’s probably much less difficult than that?
That shut me up since my goal’s are actually pretty modest in comparison (making six figures a year and then a million, leaving a positive impact on people online, becoming fit, improving my dating life, etc.).
One Year Update: I am leaving an update to this post after over a year since I bought and consumed the 67 Steps course. I want to leave a review of the product after the dust has settled and I had some time to clear my head from the hype.
Even though I listened to the course a few times over, I for 99% of it. All that remains is Tai’s general vibe and attitude while teaching it and the “Man on the Moon” lesson, which impacted me the most. Note: you have lifetime access to these videos so you can get a refresher when you want. And a different lesson may leave an impression on you.
Overall, after a year of mulling it over and reflection, I do feel he may have just pulled out these 67 topics from his butt. There was definitely some improvisation for many of these videos going on and no actual script. I don’t like that, especially for someone claiming to teach the secrets of life success. Having said that, he’s probably fixed up the videos by now.
As far as the Mini MBA program, I have some even more critical things to say…
Tai’s Mini MBA Program
At the time I bought 67 steps, his Mini-MBA program was offered at $1000 for the first 3 months. I learned from successful people to always try to haggle the price lower.
I emailed in and they were willing to lower the price to what I asked for, which was around $500. They were pretty quick to accept the offer and I should have pushed further but out of politeness I didn’t (Argh! I regret that). They were definitely still in the phase of testing prices. I tried it for the first 3 months and then cancelled.
I have spent even more money on other online courses. For this one, I was not satisfied. $500 is a lot of money to me and I definitely feel I could have gotten a better return on investment elsewhere. I went through all his videos loyally multiple times. But I can’t say there was anything that great that you can’t get online or anything that made back the money for what I studied in there. It’s been a couple years since my purchase, so I can say that for sure.
Along with a video library, it comes with weekly Q&A live calls with the members that are recorded for later use. Around 30 people showed up in the calls when I was a part of them. You could tell the groups were growing as time progressed. I was able to get in questions but he would not always answer them. Sometimes, he would but it is understandable given the amount of people in the call. I found the videos fairly informative and they talked about some general and specific principles. The topics were all across the board and sometimes fairly general. Some of the videos were on specific books read and how they related.
I thought it was not worth the price I would be charged every month so I cancelled after my first 3 months. The course was not really structured and it was just access to a bunch of videos. I couldn’t really see any structure or how I could earn the “graduation certification” I heard about. I was a bit disappointed about the Mentor interviews. There were only a couple available. These include the man who played Superman (in the movie before the last Superman movie.. the black and white one) and Joel Salatin, Tai’s mentor. I definitely think I came out of it better than I was before. But for me personally, the lack of structure, tangible knowledge, and nature of the material left me without a deep sense of displayable skills or knowledge I would think to get out of a MBA or anything like it.
The Mini-MBA material is really easy to understand and no level of complicated math was used in it at all. Basic math was as hard as it got (which could be a good thing if you suck at math). There were a lot of anecdotes he used in his videos from his readings in books and some from his personal experiences with other people. I think it is better than nothing and you will come out of it better than you came in if you listen and are willing to learn. Is it worth the excessive price? I am not sure. If you have plenty of money to spend, maybe.
It seems he has been making upgrades to his camera and microphone equipment lately. I think the Mini-MBA program could use a bit more structure, key things to teach, an upgrade on the user interface for members, and provide more tangible/specific skills, knowledge, and abilities. The style is a bit too informal for my taste. It is him lecturing in front of a camera for around an hour per video. It is unedited and he tends to ramble a bit, get off track, or proceed to anecdotes.
The categories were kind of clunky and it made me feel like things were missing. Some were organized into different karate belt colors yet some belt colors were missing. When I inquired, they said that was another program (it seems to have discontinued as I couldn’t find it on their website. One of them was a persuasion program). Other categories were organized into big topics like Mentor Interviews.
Regardless, it is cool to see how Tai has built this sales funnel program through his YouTube and social media. He’s doing a decent job testing prices and using it to do other things. I’ve seen him sell a conference through this. I saw how he booked a ballroom and hired professional cameramen to record it. I admire his landing page and notice how his site actually works enough for people to buy a product online through him if they want to. Those are things that I’d like to do one day. If anyone has any interest in what value you think I can provide to you that may help your life, let me know and I can start working on a product. It is nice to see that Tai is not afraid to take action and release his product/business without the fear of inadequacy or failure.
TLDR: It definitely felt like he was just throwing together videos about whatever he wanted to talk about and doing a mediocre job of organizing them into some system. I can’t say it was worth the $500 I spent.
Tai Lopez’s Social Media Marketing Agency (SMMA) Course Review
Lately, Tai has released a new course that will supposedly teach you to “travel the world and have fun” while making thousands of dollars managing other’s social media. The payoff of being “a traveling CEO” is plastered all over the sales page.
It teaches you (over 4 months) to start and run a social media marketing agency and gives you a certification. Supposedly, it will let you work virtually and travel the world.
I haven’t bought the course, but I have talked to dozens of people who work in social media marketing and advertising as agency employees, managers, or individual consultants. Recently, I wanted to investigate if this was legit, so I reached out to tons of people on LinkedIn for phone interviews.
Two big patterns emerged from all of my interviews:
- There’s a lot of smoke being blown up people’s asses. Businesses who don’t know anything about social media but think it’s interesting get burned and scammed by people who are trying to make a quick buck.
- Businesses really only want sales and customers from social media. It’s really hard to deliver these by just posting social media content or managing ads. It is possible, but it’s very difficult and competitive.
This leads me to the conclusion that this course (and social media in general) is a great area to build a short-term pyramid scheme: scam people so that they can scam others. Again, I could be wrong.
I really don’t think Tai Lopez’s certification is worth as much as people who actually can produce results or follows on social media (as is the case with most online marketing certifications)
Time will tell. In five to ten years, we will know whether it works or not once the general public has become savvy. The smoke will have cleared and those who actually deliver results will remain. Right now, we’re still in the stages where it’s a new thing and people can be tricked. If this course actually delivers results, then it will still be here.
My Overall Thoughts on the Whole Tai Lopez Ordeal: What I Like and Hate
What I Like
I have seen a couple millionaires outwardly admit online that they like him. Jeremy Frandsen of Internet Business Mastery even admitted in a Facebook group that he spent thousands of dollars on the guy, and really liked his Persuasion course. At first, I was a bit outraged even he would fall for this guy. But then, he explained how he liked a lot of the lessons Tai teaches, such as “the more you learn, the more you earn.”
These are the subjects that initially got me attracted to him in the first place. These were topics I was deeply interested in, and no one else I knew in real life really cared for it. I loved his emphasis on learning from the best in the world, science, and his admiration of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger. He clearly talked about a lot of important principles to success, like honestly assessing your weaknesses, hard work, and giving back.
His emphasis on books has really leveled up my game. He has introduced me to a lot of useful scientific books and increased my love of learning.
He has also still maintained some level of conservatism. Unlike Dan Bilzerian, another rich guy who likes to show off his life, he hasn’t shown any level of sexual activity with any of the models in his content.
But something about him is rubbing me more and more in the wrong way.
What’s Rubbing Me The Wrong Way
His behavior and business model is what is repelling me.
He has been showing off more and more expensive possessions on social media, which goes against any philosophy he used to have about “knowledge being more important than possessions.”
As for his business model, I think it may be flawed. A get-rich-quick infomercial scheme is nothing new. Every couple decades, someone new comes along with an ad showing off his expensive possessions and promising a formula where you can do the same. Tom Vu was the famous guy for doing that. Here’s one of his old ads:
But they inevitably get exposed over time, when customers aren’t getting results. They disappear along with their businesses. In Tom’s case, he was also sued. These business models don’t last for decades or grow to billions of dollars because they don’t deliver true value.
Tai Lopez may just be the modern version of that, and he won’t be the last. Maybe he was able to convince the latest generation of naive, young people who don’t know any better. Already, he’s gotten a lot of backlash and skepticism for being a fraud. Almost immediately after his 2015 ads came out, tons of parodies of his ads came out that got hundreds of thousands of views.
Time will tell.
All I know is that I’ve been studying tons of billionaires and successful people for years, and my gut feeling is that something is a bit off that’s preventing him from ultimate success and repelling me away. What’s shocking is how many successful millionaire influencers online have pledged allegiance to him, including John Lee Dumas, Lewis Howes, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Jeremy Frandsen. Maybe I’m wrong. Or maybe I’m right and they’re too caught up in this age of “make friends with everyone because it expands your network.”
Too Long Did Not Read (TLDR)
Here’s the summary:
- A lot of the time, it seems like he is just churning out rants about whatever he wants to talk about. There is a lot of quantity inside his vault, maybe too much.
- It is better than nothing. If you were to compare it to getting advice from a homeless man or sitting at home doing nothing, it is better. But there is a lack of structure, focus, and accountability to what he does.
- The topics and objectives he tries to cover are too broad. It’s everything from getting rich, to improving your body, to reading more books, to nutrition. This may not be good because the lack of focus leads to no accountability or check-in’s on if you are actually getting results.
What Top Entrepreneurs Have To Say
Neil Patel and Eric Siu are top online entrepreneurs who have consulted, met, and worked with Tai Lopez and similar people. They disagree with me and believe that Tai is in no way a scammer. Here’s what they have to say:
21 Patterns of Successful People
On a similar note, if you like studying and taking action on advice from successful people, I have spent years documenting patterns I found in successful people. When I boiled them down, they came out to 21. If you want this, you can get it for free by clicking the button below and entering your email.