At the end of September, I attended Fabienne Frederickson’s 3-day Mindset Retreat in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Fabienne, a highly successful entrepreneur and business coach, is the founder of Boldheart.com (formerly ClientAttraction.com). Anyone who reviews and implements one of the many free ideas on her site or in her YouTube videos is sure to improve their business.
Before I go further, let me say that I like Fabienne. I like her approach, and I like the results I’ve achieved with her methods. She always gives me some new way to think about things in my business.
I spoke with her briefly at the conclusion of the Mindset Retreat. She asked whether I would feel comfortable speaking on camera about the event. At first, I declined, but, after thinking about it a few minutes, I decided I would leave a video testimonial.
However, I didn’t speak on camera for her. I did it for ME. Speaking before a camera was a way to move out of my comfort zone and do something new. I also considered that experience as preparation for my October presentation at the Georgia Romance Writers Conference. I said something like this:
Hi, I’m Karen Commins, and I’m a professional audiobook narrator. You can find my audiobooks on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes.
I have studied the Law of Attraction, but I have not heard it taught the way Fabienne teaches it. She brings together concepts from a wide variety of sources.
If you’re thinking about attending the Mindset Retreat, I encourage you to give it a try.
As a performer, I’m already successful in my business. I’m just not at the level where I want to be. The concepts that Fabienne teaches work for all types of businesses.
I don’t know whether Fabienne will use my video in her marketing. However, I wanted to write a balanced review about the event so that people can make a more informed decision about its value.
4 Aspects That Made the Event Totally Worthwhile
1) Fabienne lives the Law of Attraction, pulls from a variety of sources, and teaches these principles in a unique and compelling way.
Much of the material covered during the 3 days was already known to me. While it’s always great to get reminders of these ideas, I did have several “Aha!” moments where I heard some things I hadn’t heard or read previously. Per my notes, here is one big revelation:
When you ask, it is given 100% of the time.
Most people ask for results and expect the result to show up.
We get confused because we wait for the result to show up.
The opportunity for you to get that thing is what shows up.
Opportunities don’t come from a person but through them.
2) The structure of the event forced me and gave me time to deeply reflect on how I want my life to be and how my life is going at the moment.
Fabienne would speak for a bit before giving us journaling prompts and 5-15 minutes of quiet time for writing. For instance, one of the first prompts was the Ideal Day Exercise. Basically, if money were no object and you could do, have, or be anything you wanted, what would your ideal day be like? You have to write as much detail as possible to visualize where you are, who you’re with, what you do each day, where and how do you live, etc.
I first did this exercise in 1992 while reading Barbara Sher’s life-changing book I COULD DO ANYTHING IF I ONLY KNEW WHAT IT WAS. I’ve just about achieved the ideal day I wrote back then! It was helpful to write down a new ideal day vision because I hadn’t really taken that step and needed to do so. I’ve previously written about why it’s extremely important to WRITE DOWN your goals.
I originally was concerned because the chairs were set up in long rows without tables. I never like sitting so close to people that we touch shoulders or any other body part. I always chose an aisle seat so that I could move my chair slightly away from the one next to it.
In addition, being in such close proximity is a fast way to catch colds. Since my job is dependent on my voice, the risk of a cold is an even greater concern for me.
The room is set up without tables in order to accommodate the many times that we were also instructed to share what we wrote with other attendees. Fabienne encouraged us to talk with people we didn’t know. This tactic had the side effect of helping some people to gain much-needed confidence that they need to be an entrepreneur.
3) Through the exercises, I identified opportunities and subsequent concrete actions I could take to increase my business.
The subtitle of the event should be: You can’t get results from your opportunities if you don’t take action on them. This theme was often repeated over the course of the 3 days.
If I only learned and did 1 particular exercise, the entire trip was worthwhile:
50 Ways to Make Money Right Now.
The point of the 50 Ways exercise is to change your mindset from “I can’t afford it” to “How can I afford it?”. You have to write down 50 ways you could make money. They could be either in your personal life or business life. You can’t stop until you list 50 ways.
I tried to make most of my ideas business-related, but I also listed ways I could utilize assets that I already have. I listed ideas I had already considered, like directing other narrators, and some I’d never even thought about, like renting out my pool.
Somewhere around idea #26, some really inspired and exciting business-related ideas came to me!
I ended up with 57 ideas, with 9 of them using some of Drew’s talents and skills. I have already taken action on a half dozen of the things I wrote on my list and am quite pleased with the results! I wrote in my journal on Day 2:
Those 3 ideas [particular ones on my list] are brilliant! Maybe I wouldn’t have had them if I hadn’t come, so I will hereby declare the trip an amazing success!
I am really getting the importance of taking action on my opportunities. I [took 2 steps] before going downstairs at 7:40am. It felt good to take actions before breakfast.
4) I spent time analyzing my emotions and belief systems and re-learned ways to improve them.
Fabienne gave us laminated copies of the list of 22 Emotions found in Abraham-Hicks’ landmark book Ask and It Is Given, along with copies of several powerful affirmations. While I had read these materials in the past, I realized that I need to work with the Emotions list every day in order to maintain a true positive mindset.
6 Aspects That I Didn’t Like
1) Many of the phrases, pictures, and segments throughout Fabienne’s presentation are highly manipulative to lead you toward a decision to join her Client Attraction Business School (CABS). In fact, the whole Mindset Retreat is a “sell” for CABS. The slides are almost subliminal advertising.
Without a doubt, Fabienne is a brilliant marketer. She encourages everyone to market themselves “with authenticity, integrity, and love.” I’m just not sure that she always uses her expertise in this way.
During the sessions, she talked about joining a “tribe” and being part of a “loving, supportive community”. On day #2, the late afternoon session was devoted to an Internet live stream of 8 (count ’em, 8!) of her CABS students gushing about their successes after joining the program. The session was supposed to be “inspirational”, but I considered it more in the category of “self-promotional.”
I checked out mentally while listening to the first of the 8 people. I wasn’t feeling well, so I checked out of the room altogether.
I wasn’t in the room when the cost of CABS was finally revealed. However, another attendee told me it was $8000 a year.
According to that person, Fabienne said that you would pay $40,000 for the same education at a traditional business school. Like I said, Fabienne is a brilliant marketer, and the “comparative value” is a tried and true marketing technique. A logical person could evaluate the statement and reach the conclusion that you could take that same $8000 and get a college degree that would actually mean something in the work place.
That attendee was torn about whether to commit to that much expense. I told her that she could get the necessary marketing tactics and increase the number and quality of her clients just by spending 15 bucks to get C. J. Hayden’s fantastic book on marketing, GET CLIENTS NOW! (I was wrong. The book only costs 10 bucks.)
2) The 50 Ways to Make Money exercise, while extremely valuable (pardon the pun), was scheduled for maximum manipulative advantage.
The evening session on Day 1 was labeled as a “Bonus Session: Juicy Stuff”. Over the course of 46 slides, Fabienne talked about how the company you keep and your environment directly affect your income level and success.
She stated that we must study the people at the level we want to be and learn everything we can from them. I wrote in my notes:
If someone in your industry is doing better than you, stop resenting them and start looking at what they’re doing. Whoever you want to be like, be with them.
On the surface, that point is sound advice. However, it followed numerous comments about taking action on opportunities. Looking back in the context of the session and those to come, it seems a bit like brainwashing people as they join a cult.
She led us down a path toward agreement that we need to invest in ourselves and our business. Then, we were told that people use many excuses, starting with “I can’t afford it”.
We were given the 50 Ways exercise at 9:45pm as we concluded the evening session. Fabienne said we needed to have it done by 8am the next day. Even though I was worn out, I stayed up past midnight working on that exercise. I listed 32 options before I just had to quit and finally get some sleep.
With this exercise, Fabienne proved to everyone that they COULD find a way to afford anything, just in time for the next day’s opportunity to sign-up for CABS.
3) The 30 to 60 minutes we spent on the first day in the fund-raising drive to support a village in Africa was inappropriate.
It’s Fabienne’s personal cause, and I didn’t appreciate her using time I paid for to have this pitch be a part of the content. It’s not like we were at a fund-raising dinner where everyone knew the appeal was coming. It was in a section called “Unstoppable Giving” that meandered and morphed into this unexpected request for funds.
I have my own philanthropy goals and avenues, so I didn’t contribute to this campaign. I was astonished that the Retreat participants pledged a staggering $115,000!
Those committing money signed a Client Attraction banner. Fabienne showed a video of her taking such a banner to Africa. The banner makes it look like Fabienne’s business is actually donating the funding (and potentially taking the charitable deductions on taxes) rather than the many individual contributors.
Not only was I flabbergasted by the large amount, but that outcome was totally incongruent with the next point.
4) The event is billed as “Mastering the Inner Game of Abundance” yet is managed as a conference for penny-pinchers.
Prior to the event, attendees could access a Facebook group. Most of the messages I saw in the group were from people looking for roommates at the hotel and shared rides to/from the airport. The rooms had double beds, and many attendees were staying in a room and potentially sleeping in a bed with people they didn’t know.
The sessions extended well into the evening each day. Day 1 had a session from 7:00-9:00pm and then HOMEWORK. Day 2 had a session from 7:30pm-9:30pm. The last session on Day 3 was from 4:00-600pm, but many people had already checked out of the hotel and left the meeting by that point.
Why have a conference at a luxury hotel on beautiful Ft. Lauderdale beach if the attendees will never have the time to enjoy the beach except at sunrise and lunch? This question deserves a close look.
Ft. Lauderdale beach is a definite draw. Many attendees flew in from other countries. Presumably, they would have been less inclined to attend if the event were held somewhere less beautiful, luxurious, and exotic.
Once the people are there, though, Fabienne obviously has learned through the years of hosting this event that a large percentage of her audience will not pay the hotel bill for more than 3 nights. Therefore, she has to cram the most material into 2 very long days. If she dropped the fund-raising pitch and the self-promotional live stream from Days 1 and 2, both days could have ended at normal conference times, like 5pm.
One person told me that she didn’t have enough open credit on her card to pay the hotel. She felt hassled because the hotel staff demanded a security deposit of $300 because she had to pay part of her bill with cash. Not to be unkind, but I wondered why she was attending this event if she was maxed out on credit. Perhaps she would say that it was a leap of faith to be there so she could get in an abundance mentality and start earning income to erase her debt.
The attendees were charged differently depending on when they signed up. You paid more for the event as it drew closer. I would have preferred that all attendees were charged the same price.
5) The constant up-sell spiels for VIP Access were as frequent and annoying as Florida palmetto bugs.
Attendees could pay an additional $199 above the event fees for early entrance to the meeting room, reserved seat cards, a bonus Q&A session one day with Fabienne and her husband Derek, and lunch each day. Every communication about the Retreat included a “reminder” about the VIP Access.
When I registered and picked up my badge, the girls manning the registration table told me it still wasn’t too late to upgrade to the VIP experience. I said, “That’s okay. I’m a VIP as I stand here.” I don’t think they were too amused.
6) If I never hear Katy Perry’s song Roar again, it will be too soon.
That song is Fabienne’s theme song. Don’t get me wrong — theme songs are great. I have used them myself. I didn’t even have anything against this particular song.
My issue was that it was PLAYED SO **LOUDLY** that it could be heard in the next county! We had to hear this song — in its entirety — BLASTED at the beginning of each session, 4 times a day, so that Fabienne and the CABS students could sing and dance to it. It also was played during the breaks. Enough!