This is my honest, unbiased review of B-School. I am not an affiliate but I am a student and I did pay for and complete the B-School program. What I learned (and did not  learn) from B-school was rather disappointing as I expected much more. So I’m providing this review because I think it’s something you should consider before you give Marie Forleo $2499 of your money to pay for this 6 week business course.

And my review is protected by the Customer Review Fairness Act which specifically prohibits sellers or vendors from suppressing or otherwise limiting a customer’s ability to review their products and services.

I just made my final $239 payment for B-School and I could not be more relieved. Every month I have been dreading having to pay for the program that I haven’t accessed in months and that I have my regrets about signing up for. I tried the B-School experience because I wanted to learn some new marketing techniques and to see if I could improve my business processes. Since I have been online since early 2004, I have experienced a lot of changes in the online world. I was open to learning new strategies and applying some new procedures in my business. B-School is one of the most aggressively marketed online business programs and I was curious to see what it was all about.

Although I thought the $2499 tuition price was very expensive, I thought that the marketing training alone would be helpful since Marie Forleo has access to some of the top internet marketers in the industry.

I had read a lot of reviews about the program, all of them positive and glowing which made me somewhat suspicious. The old adage, ‘you can’t please everyone’ applies to all businesses and I wondered why I could not find a single negative B-School review. So I did a little digging and it seems that Marie and her team don’t like negative reviews. In fact, they have a clause in their terms and conditions, which you must agree to before signing up for B-School, which specifically prohibits you from posting critical reviews of the program.

Really? Aside from violating the US  Constitutionally protected free speech, it also violates the Consumer Review Fairness Act which specifically empowers consumers to provide reviews of products they purchase, positive or negative, and also specifically prohibits sellers from limiting customers’ ability to review their products.

So this B-School review is my lawful assessment of my B-School experience and is provided within the terms of the Consumer Review Fairness Act, as well as my expertise in the areas of business, economics, finance, technology, and law, which are all areas I have education, experience, and authority. Any attempt to intimidate, threaten, or harass me for this review will be responded to with civil and criminal prosecution.

The B-School website is well done and the course material is presented in the same way that most courses are. The course platforms are generally the same and provide a similar functionality – they deliver digital files on a specific topic. The introduction provided by Marie was my first indication that there might be a problem though because she said ‘Don’t start a business to make money.’

Yes that is what I heard. Now she may have meant that if you just want to make money that’s not a noble enough reason to start a business but that doesn’t make sense. If you are going to invest the time, energy, and money in starting a business, why wouldn’t you make money? In fact, if you are not making money you are not going to be in business very long.  And Marie definitely isn’t offering B-School for free.

There is a lack of any legal information which is a big drawback because legal issues like protecting your content, copyright infringement, trademark infringement, and how to avoid basic legal issues should be included. It is in my business programs that I teach. So many entrepreneurs think that business laws do not apply to them and they do. I have seen many ‘business owners’ steal others’ content and name their businesses in a way that creates confusion with another, more popular businesses. These are all illegal activities and every business training program should include this information.

B-School does not and this is a serious drawback to the program. They could provide basic business legal information without providing legal advice. Standard business law applies to all businesses as the new entrepreneur who chose a business name that infringed on my registered trademark, existing brand, and platform recently found out. He had to re-name his business and cancel his trademark application, a huge waste of time and money. But if he had done any research he would have known this.

The weekly Q&A calls were boring and extremely unhelpful. They were not well managed and callers were not made to stay on topic and on point. After listening to one caller try to justify their business and revenue model because of ‘the harm money did to society’ for 20 minutes of a 60 minute Q&A  call, I left the call. I thought they would be much more helpful if callers were given an outline to follow and a time limit of not more than 10 minutes. Some callers could not get connected, others did not have well prepared questions.  I found these calls to be a waste of time so I ignored the live calls and skimmed through the replays to see if there was any relevant information. Unfortunately, these calls constitute the majority of the support provided to  B-School students.

The lessons had a lot of ‘fun sheets’ that asked questions like ‘what’s your passion’, what kind of business do you want to create, what do people always ask you about, and general questions that seem to be the standard for online business training. This is not helpful and could be obtained from hundreds of ‘business coaches’ online.  What was lacking was real, actionable advice about how to do the things that someone could actually use in their  business, like creating products and services, generating revenue, and managing your business.

There was way too much philosophy and suggested strategy and very little in the way of practical tactical information and detailed process. What this means is there was a lot of fluff and not very much stuff. At no point in the BSchool training did I ever see a detailed step by step procedure to do anything. Lots of ‘fun sheets’ and a lot of very general information that you could get from YouTube, facebook, or instagram. xxx

At no point in B-School was there any mention of how to make to manage the revenue side of a business – the part of the business where you make money. It’s the important part if you want a business that supports you financially. It’s the important part if your business is going to be viable and successful. There’s a section in the training modules called ‘profitability’ and there is a single ‘fun sheet’ on that but it is lacking in real financial information or process.

And Marie makes the mistake which non-expert business coaches and mentors do, using the term profit when she refers to revenue. While profit is one part of business, it’s more related to expenses than revenue. Since sales and revenue are such an important aspect of business why isn’t there any focus on that with helpful, relevant information and a well defined process? It is the most important aspect of business – if you don’t make money you will not be in business.

See my comment below about business coaches who are not business experts, do not have business training or education, and who have no experience in business.

In this year’s ‘Dream Business Bootcamp’ launch Marie mentions that there is a lot of bad business advice out there, and there is, much of it taught by people who have no business education, degree, experience, or background. Anyone who claims to be a business expert should have the credentials to support that claim. Andvv who does not know the basic business finance and the profit formula, which you learn in Accounting 101, or the difference between revenue and profit, should not be teaching business.

And anyone who thinks that someone can start a business in 6 weeks is not being honest. One more thing – Marie Forleo should know that payment plans fall under usury law limits and charging $239 for a 12 month payment plan on a program that is advertised at $2499 is a penalty of $369, just barely under the legal limit of 16% in New York State but it’s unfair and unnecessary. Payment plans are automated, there is no manual processing required. This is another example of how those in the online business market treat customers unfairly.

There is a serious lack of community and support in the B-School program and the once celebrated facebook group is no longer active. You can write comments in the lessons and get some feedback from B-School staff but it is not detailed or very specific. I found that to be a big shortcoming since B-School  is marketed as a community but there is no actual community. Students cannot interact with each other outside of the comment section in each lesson and the staff do not provide any individual support other than responding to comments during the initial 6 week program and on brief occasions after that.

The glowing B-school reviews are mainly provided by affiliates who are marketing their own affiliate links and products. With an affiliate commission of 50%, they can make a lot of money by selling B-School to their customer base. Several people have noted that the lack of B-School reviews is because Marie’s legal team aggressively pursues them and I believe that. With over 60,000 students  having taken the B-School program, per Marie, it is a stretch of the imagination to believe that 100% of them are happy with their results.

In fact, I would venture to say that if Marie and her B-School team did not suppress reviews that they disapproved of, there would be a far more balanced pool of information about whether past students benefited from their B-School experience and this would help others make a more informed decision about whether B-Schoool was right for them.

At $2499 B-School is expensive and it is unfair and unreasonable to not provide a more balanced array of reviews from students and limiting review to those people who are posting positive reviews to remain in Marie’s highly profitable affiliate program.

Marie says that she has helped over 60,000 people and I think that is false advertising. By ‘helped’ I believe she means that they took the B-School program. But how many actually fulfilled the B-School objective which is to start a business?

How many people who go through B-School actually get what they need to start their business? That information is not shared and it should be because it constitutes fair advertising and reporting. From what I have read and heard from others, the percentage of B-School students who feel they got the information they need to start and run their businesses and who do so while they are in the B-School program is nowhere near 100%.

Did I mention there was no support and no interaction with staff after the initial 6 weeks of ‘live’ training? I went through each module, did the work, interacted with the group by posting comments and sometimes responding to comments from others. But after the initial 6 weeks there were no more live Q&A calls and no interaction from Marie at all.

Since she is using her name and celebrity status to sell the program, there should be more support and cramming that much information into 6 weeks and then expecting students, most of whom are beginning entrepreneurs, to figure it out for themselves after that is irresponsible and unreasonable. You cannot start a business in 6 weeks and you cannot do it without support.

This bothers me because I read the comments from other students and saw the confusion, doubt, anxiety, and frustration they were feeling. Many of them could not afford the program but they took it anyway hoping that they would get what they needed. And instead, they were more confused, less prepared, and kept falling farther behind. The questions they posed in the comments asked about basic business information and processes that should have been in the program, and they are not.

That’s why I do not recommend Marie Forleo’s B-School to anyone, especially if you are a new entrepreneur. You need the kind of business information that gives you actionable steps to create a solid business foundation that begins with revenue and creating your business platform. That’s not what you will get in B-School and if you sign up and use the payment plan at $239 a month, you are going to get very tired of making that monthly payment for a program that doesn’t give you what you need to start your business. And you will continue to pay even though there is no support and no  interaction.

For what you get the price should be one fourth of what B-School costs. Marie Forleo mentions that before she started B-School she was a bartender and salsa dancer. I am sure she excelled in those roles but I am not too impressed with her role as a business mentor. And that is my legally protected personal opinion of B-School as a student of the program. I hope that by providing an honest, non-affiliate review I can encourage someone to ask the right questions and make a more informed decision about whether B-School is right for them and not spend money they can’t afford to be disappointed when they do not get the information and training they need to start their business.

This is my legally protected review provided under the specific terms of the Customer Review Fairness Act which prohibits sellers from preventing customer reviews of their products and services.

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