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49. Sensing the Fine Art of Being Gypped

Updated: Apr 8

Here's something that has been happening to me over the last six months...

I wanted to share it with you because I think it brings up some important questions and points about life. And life living as a Dude.

Synchronicity - a good or bad thing?

I got a new client six months ago. She wrote to me and said she'd been given my name on a Zoom call by another member of their group.

I hadn't heard of this member and wanted to thank them. So, I did a bit of digging and found her on Facebook. So, I sent a message of thanks.

I got a reply saying that it wasn't her, however, by a strange coincidence she was part of another group who happened to be searching for a mentor and she asked if I was interested.

We had this great meeting. I had heard of the group and while I would be mentoring for free I would possibly get new customers and also sell some courses. And to be honest, life has been tight and I could do with some more money to make some house repairs and to help my kids.

It felt like a wonderful synchronicity.

I knew of this group. They had taken over from a much larger one that had disbanded. It had managed to keep over 3,000 members, which was 10 x the number of a previous group I had mentored. So, I thanked my lucky stars. I would likely be able to pay for things to get done.

But... I began to feel kicked in the gut

I needed to have meetings with other key decision-makers. And the main one never kept to our planned meetings. There was a time difference, I needed to leave home at 4:30 am to make my office in time to start the meeting.

Austrian winters aren't the easiest to navigate. So, it was a challenge.

And a little frustrating to find that the meeting had been forgotten.

A couple more planned meetings and I still hadn't heard anything the day before. No Zoom links. No emails. So, I would chase them up and get their apologies. Well, at least I hadn't been up at 4:30 am.

When I finally got to meet the decision-maker, she seemed a lot like the first person I met, who, I felt was a Buddhist, or something, filled with love and compassion and doing this for the right cause. But then things got a little weird. Nothing major but just a gut feeling.

Sure, there was the hassle with forgotten appointments but I wouldn't let that get in the way. They were downplaying what they charged clients. They said it wasn't about money. Yet, they wanted 50% of my course fees rather than the previously agreed 20%.

Any red flags here?

Well, I thought 50% of something is better than 80% of nothing. So, I agreed. I was due to do my first mentor session in February and I created a Powerpoint presentation and did a backup one in case they didn't like the first. They were supposed to get a guy from their group to go over the presentation with me to make sure it was on brand, and so on. A guy I never met. Day of the meeting, hadn't heard anything. No Zoom link. No non-disclosure documents. Nothing. Okay. So, I emailed them and got a reply from the first person I met. No. I have been pencilled in for March now and not February. Oh right, nice to be asked. So, I waited until March. I'd done the presentations so had nothing to lose. But my gut feeling was getting stronger. I suspected that this could easily become quite messy. This time, I emailed them two days before the planned talk to ask for the contracts. These came through and here is one of the first terms I read...

2.3. Defective performance

The Contractor guarantees that if there is a defect in the performance of the Services the

Contractor will remedy the defect or redo the Services at no additional cost to the Company.

Where the Contractor refuses or fails to remedy a defect in performance of the Services or

redo the Services within an agreed timeframe, the Contractor agrees that the Company may

arrange for the performance of the necessary remedial work and recover any costs from the


This includes but is not limited to the Contractor covering indemnity for all losses resulting

from the advice given by the Contractor to the Company’s Clients.

Those last lines were sharp, man.

To cut a long story short...

I wrote to them saying that this didn't fit easily with me and didn't seem to support their energy of trust and lovingkindness. While I respect the need to protect a brand, I am doing this for free, and if I am to sign something referring to defective performance, I would want some performance indicators that we agree on in advance, otherwise, I am leaving myself totally exposed to risk.


I was also told by a client that the group passed on leads to a larger competitor if they felt that they couldn't handle it themselves.

Here's the Take-home

You cannot rely on what appears to come as a coincidence or synchronism. You cannot take this as some sign from the universe that you should do this.

I had once thought this before and got embroiled in a scam that cost me thousands.

While this wasn't a scam it didn't feel right.

Should I have ignored my gut feeling and gone with the sign from the universe? Should I have gone for the money and signed the contract throwing caution to the wind?

Wouldn't I be selling my soul? And dudes, what would the Dude do? Not move forward with them, I think.

I chose to listen to my gut. My inner Dude.

I realised that I am content as I am, and even though I could do with the extra cash, I certainly don't need extra hassle.

I wrote another message to them asking to change or clarify some points. I explained the disappointment and was looking forward to helping people, and maybe there is a way of working around this.

I didn't get a reply. Which says a lot.

So, my brothers and sisters of the Dudeist world, follow your gut. Listen to it. Take care of it. Take care of yourself.

Be extra careful in business when people are masquerading under a sense of love and sharing. I've seen it twice now, and it seems that it was just a face for something darker.

I will see what life brings and trust in that, and of course, in my inner voice.

Go steady, friends.

Rev. Thomo


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