This is going to be long, but this is my story. I worked for WFG for a little less than three months, and I believed every word they said. I did everything they told me to do. I didn't make a penny. I figured I had nothing to lose and everything to gain, but I still managed to lose. Hopefully, someone out there in my own position will see this and learn from my own mistakes.
I graduated a semester early from high school to work and bulk up on money before I went to college. I had a miserable minimum wage job where I worked in a local bakery for 8 hours plus day. One day a woman pushing her kids came in and as I handed her the change she asked "How do you like working here?" I responded that it was simply something I was using to bide my time with until I went away to school. "Would you consider changing jobs?" Yeah, I actually am right now.
Then she mentioned her husband is starting his own new business and he's looking for new employees. He actually had a seminar that night and she invited me to go. I told her I would still be working, so we exchanged numbers.
The next day I received a call from her husband and we set up a time to meet to discuss the job and have an interview. I didn't think much of the seminar because California Pizza Kitchen had one prior to opening a new restaurant in the area. I also assumed they were looking for a receptionist or someone to run errands.
I've never invested money in my life. Needless to say, I was impressed by everything they told me about the company. They showed me the rule of 72. They told me the story of the Americans spending their way into debt. Then I was told a story of a person they helped from Peter(not his real name), a senior associate.
Peter told me how the company worked and the ways the company makes it cheaper to be licensed. I was a bit skeptical, but I was completely weak. I asked him the turn over rate and he merely replied "WFG isn't for everyone and it works for some people." I didn't think much of it at the time. I was 18, could you blame me?
Peter asked me what I wanted to do for my own career. I told him I was interested in being a school teacher for children in poorer countries. My dream was to be a UNICEF employee. He fed off of my dream of helping people and then showed me some of his thank you cards. It's a win/win situation between him and his clients. He won me over. I found a job where I could make really good money and help people live better lives.
There was nothing dishonest about what Peter told me. He was vague. I attempted staying strong by reading the contract he signed me to. I also gave him my debit card for $99 for the background check. I was hesitant to sign over the money and I wanted to have time to think about the job offer. Yet, Peter was very assertive, so I gave in.
They told me there was an event on Saturday that was extremely important.The event was about the company and it explained the way the company worked. They used the same chart Peter showed me a few days earlier. They had employees in high positions tell us their stories on how they got to their position. Afterwards Peter and his superior Mark gushed about how nice the speakers' homes were. I was impressed and extremely excited. One key thing they said at the event was "Don't quit." Things weren't going to be easy, but with persistence and dedication, you'll be successful. I took that to heart and decided I would work hard to make the money.
IT'S NOT COLD CALLING:
I made a list of everyone I knew over 18. I called my friends and family and their parents. I was told this would be the start of my business. They told me training at WFG is an interactive process. I would call my family and tell them I just started a new job and that I needed them to do me a favor by setting up an appointment with Peter. Then I'd give Peter their number and he would call to set up an appointment.
In the meanwhile, I went to their twice a week meetings. A insurance class was beginning and it was imperative that I go. It's cost me a total of $199 for the 52 hour class on life insurance and the study kit. I signed up for the class and I missed my grandfather's (who lives 5 hours north) 80th birthday party. I was really disappointed I couldn't go, especially after hearing that WFG places its employees' lives as "Faith, Family, Work." I figured it was a necessary sacrifice to be successful and it was only the beginning. As far as the $199, I was reassured that I'd make $2000 easily from my first home loan.
The MoZone or Motivational Zone was the biweekly event we invited everyone to. There were 3 levels of classes that we'd need to take. On top of the classes, we'd stay to go over news with the company and our office. I realized at my first MoZone that the man who recruited me really didn't just start his own company. I brushed it off as an error on his wife's part, because we were independent agents of the company and I saw how she could have been mistaken.
After going to a few weeks of Mozone, I saw repetition. They pushed me to be involved in the Mozone and to cheer and yell. I believed I was the only one in the room who wasn't sincere about the whole thing.
One thing about the classes was I didn't understand what they were talking about. It's probably why I didn't leave immediately like others reporting their experiences on this site. I didn't know what it meant to "refinance" a house. I merely observed and let the information slowly piece itself together to make sense. Eventually I learned and I began to see the flaws.
PROSPECT AND RECRUIT:
I offered the products to my family, but my siblings don't own homes. They still live in apartments and dream of the day they can buy a home. I was then told that we can't help people who don't own homes. My heart dropped and the picture of me saving people from the streets of Bakersfield was destroyed. Yet I already invested $300 in the company and I was determined to make it back. I also didn't know many people who owned homes or needed life insurance, so I need to go out and 'prospect'.
Peter taught me how to walk into stores and feign shopping. Then I'd approach sales people and invite them to the Mozone. The very lines used to recruit me into the company were on the script they gave me when I approached people. I did as I was told and I invited everyone I could get a conversation out of to meetings and I made phone calls.
Peter and Mark announced my hard work at meetings. I was constantly receiving praise. I had quit my bakery job because I believed.I thought that $2000 from my first home loan would happen soon.
CONVENTION OF CHAMPIONS:
I was hired in June and their yearly company convention was at the end of July. Peter told me I needed to go. The convention was to be held in Orlando Florida. They charted everyone who was going. If I did one loan, my trip would be covered, but ticket prices were going up, so I needed to borrow money to pay for the trip. They said the convention would "expand" my vision and I would regret not going. The convention was the missing ingredient to my success. I told my best friend about the company and she loved it. She was able to talk her parents into coming with me. So knowing I would have a friend, my parents decided to pay for the trip. At the very least, I was traveling with my best friend and seeing new places. I reassured them I'd pay them back and I'd have the money for the trip in no time.
But days and weeks went past and I couldn't find a single person interested in refinancing their home with me. I earned my Life Insurance license and hoped to make money from that too. I had hired 2 people, but they were just as unsuccessful as me. (If they did well, I would received some of their profits).
By the end of July, I began to feel really burned out. I hoped going to Orlando with the company would reignite my original passion. But the meetings were the same and everything was scripted. The smiles were fake and the jokes were bad, especially during prospective recruits and clients.
I went to Florida. There was a problem with the credit card purchase of my ticket into the convention. I figured if there was a problem, I would be contacted. I wasn't. I was supposed to know there was a problem because I didn't receive a packet. I paid over $500 for the new ticket.
Also take into consideration that my plane ticket and hotel was over $600. At this point, I paid $1400 with hopes of making big money. I had only made $0. This excludes the extra things like nicer clothes and food and gas.
The convention began at 8am everyday and ended between 6 and 7. It lasted for 5 days. I stayed for 7 to enjoy what Florida had to offer. One night they had an awards ceremony for everyone in the company worldwide who received a promotion and all of the top players. The enthusiasm was amazing, but mine was wearing off.
Top people in the company gave speeches on how to be successful and that's where some of the truth unraveled. They encouraged ambiguity. There were things NOT to say when you first met someone about the company. My interpretation was that you needed to hide facts from the person you've met until they've either signed up with the company or signed up to refinance their house. This was okay because it would be better for your client anyways. They would thank you in the end.
WHAT MADE ME QUIT WFG:
I hate to make Peter and the other associates at the Bakersfield office sound bad. They were good people and they treated me well. I was naive and I didn't ask enough questions. That was my fault. I sincerely don't think they were making money off of me from all the things I paid for.
They speak of financial freedom in the company, but you're bound to days of driving around hoping to find someone to invite to the Mozone. Information is given at a slow rate in order to not to scare anyone away. I was approached by Mark who asked me why I was wasting money on college after I found WFG. I was told by another associate that college degrees don't have much value these days anymore. Yet during meeting they spoke of the financial ability to pay for their own children's college education.
Overall, WFG was incredibly flawed. I blame the top members of the company but not the people at my office. I know they really believed they're apart of something good. They don't do anything out of legal bounds (as far as I know). I think it's more so that this company structure isn't for everyone as Peter told me initially. There are some people that I have no doubt could be fantastic WFG financial advisors.
A month after I began school in October I received an email from WFG telling me I owed them $40. I ignored it because I figured they owed me money since I left my hourly job for them and spent money to go to their events, and I received nothing in return. By December, they contacted me to let me know I now owed them $100.
Because I never officially quit and I was life licensed under them, I had to pay the bill regardless of me making money or not. That really ticked me off. All of the money I lost and the apparent money they had, I still owed them money.
So make sure when you quit to fax in a notice!
But for whoever's reading this, if you're considering WFG, keep in mind that it takes a lot of work to make money. Hopefully it'll come easier for you than it did for me. WFG isn't for most people, but you think you can really do, don't let anyone's negative impressions of WFG tear you down. I went to the convention and there were tons of people who really did well, but those people are far and few. Be careful on what you spend you money on. Overall, I spent over $1500 on WFG. I believe it was probably closer to $2000-2500. This is a warning to be careful.