You’ve been seeing his ads for years now and almost everyone under the age of 30 knows who he is. But is Tai Lopez really who he sells himself to be? Most people consider him a scam and I’m going to give you my take on his “scamming” in this post.
Before anyone says anything, this post is not sponsored or affiliated in any way with Tai Lopez. Only my personal opinions and experiences will be in here.
Who Is Tai Lopez?
Tai Lopez is a marketer, storyteller, and life-long learner. I’ve been watching and learning from Tai for over five years now (for free and through courses). One of the things that he gets hated on the most for is being so secretive about his upbringing and specific details about his life.
If you’ve watched any of Tai’s free content, you probably know about his mentors like Joel Salatin and living with the Amish. But he’s let in some other things that he mostly only talks about in his paid programs. But most people want to know how Tai Lopez got rich.
He started finding success when he was a salesperson for GE because he used Google Adwords before anyone else was. Tai outsold everyone in the company (almost combined) and started to earn some money. He then went on to become a CFP (certified financial planner).
After starting a financial planning company, he started building night clubs. That brought him out to California where he started investing, creating, and buying out businesses.
He said one of his strategies was finding really smart people in fields like tech and medicine and just letting them access his money to fund the things they were able to do with the resources and split the profits.
How I Found Tai
One of the things that brought Tai into this online world was doing a Ted Talk. That’s actually how I found him. I knew him before the Lambo ads and all the “fame”. Tai’s ted talk took off and he’s never said this but I think he saw the opportunity to do more online with that kind of online success which brought us to now.
Just like most people though, you see a video of someone telling a story, especially a Ted Talk and you don’t think too much about it. I checked out his social media and his website which back then was just a couple blog posts with a book club for an email list.
I signed up and got some of his emails and bought some of his book recommendations. I actually was just starting my personal development “journey” if you will so basically telling me any kind of recommendations or tips back then was well appreciated.
Fast forward a couple of months and like most others, I’ve moved on from really checking his emails. I’m on Youtube and I see his face pop up on a Youtube ad with that damn Lamborghini.
For most people, they thought, “who’s this idiot?” For me, it was, “hey what’s he up to now?” I watched the whole ad, checked out his site, which was obviously upgraded big time and was impressed.
I don’t expect most people to be impressed because I always think about businesses’ decisions first and how I feel about it after. So when I see a wealthy Tai a few months before doing well, and then an upgraded site running YouTube ads and churning lots of content, I get pretty impressed.
Obviously, the ad was for 67 Steps which I checked out but I didn’t buy it (right away). I actually remember really well that Tai got me into reading a lot and I was doing about two books a week. I was 19 years old and actually making good money off a different blog and doing websites for other people on the side so two books a week didn’t seem like too much.
I bought about 10 books right before Tai’s program came out and I told myself if I still wanted it by the end of those 10 books I would get it. Little did I know I would see his face almost every day until I cheated and got it before finishing all those books. In my head, $67 on a course was cheaper than buying my books for next month anyway.
Even back then, I knew what retargeting was so I figured that was why I was seeing it so much. I visited the program page and almost bought it right away. But that brings us to the 67 Steps Review.
67 Steps Review & Thoughts
Now I’m not blind. I’ve seen reviews in Facebook Groups and on his live streams of people not liking the courses they’ve bought from Tai, which is fine. Not everyone loves every product they buy from a store.
The thing is that you need to know what that product (or in this case, the program) is supposed to do for you. You’re not going to go back to Wal-mart and tell them you want to return a pair of shoes because you couldn’t eat them.
One of the biggest setbacks when it comes to Tai’s programs is that he markets them to so many people that anyone outside of a certain mindset thinks all his programs will show you how to become a millionaire and that’s not true.
The 67 Steps program wasn’t a money-making course and it even said that back then. In the ads and on the product page, it never said “buying this course will help you make millions”. It was a course to teach you mindsets on how to handle things for the rest of your life.
I think I understood this a lot better back then because I was already reading personal development books that in no way promised or even spoke about any ways of making money. I was reading Think & Grow Rich and 7 Habits before doing these programs so I understood the thought process that reading these books now will make my attitude and brain stronger in the future.
Ultimately, the course had lots of great steps in it. As you can imagine, some impacted me more than others. It wasn’t what I was expecting at the time. I kind of expected him to have a good set-up and a script of what to say.
That’s not how the 67 Steps was. Keep in mind, he wasn’t as experienced back then but I came to learn that Tai doesn’t do the reading off a prompter or worrying about things before.
He said in the end he had all the steps written down, which he learned throughout his life, and then explained them through storytelling and metaphors that you wouldn’t really get from someone just reading off stories or definition.
I did have one problem with the 67 Steps though…
30 days after I bought the program, just like lots of others, I got charged another $67. I didn’t see this anywhere on the product page that it was recurring even though they said it was in the terms.
I asked what it was for and they said the recurring monthly calls and VIP package and I politely said I didn’t want to be in it and they refunded me the money and everything was good. I can see why people think this looks scammy.
But in the end, the mistake was fixed and I got my money back for a product I didn’t want so no harm no foul.
Tai’s Accelerator Program Review & Thoughts
This is probably the program that I was very hopeful for and it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. I would guess around a year after releasing the 67 steps, Tai came out with his accelerator program.
I don’t even think he sells this program anymore but I wouldn’t recommend it anyway. The program was structured in three different levels, money, business, and psychology.
It was a weird set-up that made the buying process uncomfortable because you had to apply and pay for the money program upfront and then one of his reps would call you and talk to you about the other two programs.
The money program and application fee were $499 and I knew that the business program would be more. I remember getting the phone call and it was a negotiation. Kind of thrown off by the whole thing, the business program was originally $2,000 and I told him I would only do $1,000 and he said yes right away.
I remember actually negotiating the VIP package back into the deal as well without paying the monthly fee.
After telling the rep that I was using my “last” $1,000 on this he tried to sell me the psychology portion that started at $5,000 and I just held back my scoff and politely said no, thank you and ended that. No way was I paying that.
Excited to jump in and spending the most money I have at once for anything personal development, I logged in and checked out the videos.
We were promised lots of content for that amount of money and I was upset to see that on release they only had 14 videos under each category. To some people, this might have taken a while to get through but I remember finishing 28 videos within two days.
I knew there would be more because it said videos 15 - x coming soon but soon wasn’t really soon in my eyes. The videos that were in the money program weren’t that good in my eyes to begin with. Some videos seemed like remastered 67 steps paths that involved money and others were Tai’s takes on the Cashflow Quadrant and things like that.
The business part was actually good though because it had actual tactics in there. He brought in people like Mark Cuban and Neil Patel to ask them questions on certain topics depending on their expertise.
I learned a lot in the business portion and the money portion wasn’t that great. Looking back on it now, I probably shouldn’t have purchased this at 20 years old but I did and it still had a positive impact on me.
Credit Mentor Review & Thoughts
Fast forward two years later (2018), and Tai has put out a lot of programs. I honestly wasn’t interested in lots of them including the one that I’m going to talk about in the next section but this one did catch my eye.
Most of you know that I am very much into travel hacking and I’ve been doing it for about two years now. Around the time this program came out, I was around 3-4 months into learning and basically just getting started.
I knew who Stephen Liao was though from Reddit and things like that so once I saw him working with Tai, I took the bait.
Credit Mentor on the outside seems like a course on how to fix your credit but once it’s fixed, Liao teaches you how to use credit cards to your advantage. Travel hacking is basically gaining credit card points to get free flights, hotels, and more. Out of my last 40 nights in a hotel, I’ve paid for about three nights and I haven’t bought a flight with money since getting into travel hacking.
If someone asked me which Tai course affected my life the most, it would be this one. Only because lots of things I do now are affected by travel hacking and credit cards. I’ve done lots of learning and even teaching others since then but a good amount of this program carries over into my everyday life.
Social Media Marketing Agency Review & Thoughts
To start off, I haven’t bought this course so this won’t be as much of a review as the other programs. It caught my eye more than other programs but I bounce around so much now with all the businesses I do that I don’t want to go full agency mode as the program suggests. I do work for different businesses but I don’t go out seeking work and I knew this course would be more selling than any tactics.
In even more full transparency, I had a friend who bought the course and wanted my thoughts on a couple videos inside of it. There are probably over 100 videos in there and I watched a couple over his shoulder and helped him out with his planning for his agency so I’ve at least seen the course from the inside.
The course takes you through the four processes that involve an agency. Setting up the business, learning the tactics of social media, selling, and then growing overall.
Like I imagined when this course came out, the biggest section is on selling your services which in the agency world is 80% of the work. Some reviews say that the teaching about selling in here is kind of elementary and don’t get too caught up in it but that’s for them to talk about and you to figure it out if you really desire.
My friend that bought the course actually quit his job and is doing this full time. He’s not making 130k a month like some of the students Tai has but he’s doing well and growing every month. In his eyes, this course changed his life and it’s definitely not a scam to him.
Overall: Scam or Not?
Let’s break this down a little bit.
I like Tai Lopez for a couple different reasons. The things he teaches all resonate with me well. It helps that within the first couple months that I really started getting big on personal development, he showed up as one of the biggest gurus in the industry.
In the beginning programs, he breaks down processes and mindsets of people like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Stephan Hawking and more. I would read a book on Warren Buffet that Tai would recommend and his explaining of the book and what it teaches would give me more insight than actually reading the book.
He taught me entrepreneur things that I couldn’t learn in the conventional world. Things like leasing houses and cars, which he gets a lot of hate for, even though 99% of big business guys do the same. When to save, when to invest, and why saving shouldn’t be a priority all the time.
I’m also just a big advocate for someone that likes to help people and like him or not he’s helped a lot of people. Some he helped become successful and some he just helped by giving them some handouts or some things they needed to get by.
Now for a couple of things I don’t like.
Once you start watching him as much as I did at the start, he started just repeating things a lot. He honestly said a couple of times he does this on purpose because 80% of his audience was always new so they never heard these tactics before but for me and others it got kind of old. This is really only for the free content though so can’t complain much.
I honestly didn’t like the format in his courses. One thing that people complain about in all courses (not just Tai’s) is that you can always find a lot of the content for free which is true. But I buy courses a lot because they give you a concise order to doing everything.
For example, look at his SMMA course. If I told you to start a social media marketing agency, you can honestly find free content on every step but the thing is if you don’t know already, you won’t know the steps to take first.
You would know to start the business, pick a name, and then what… Do you start pitching to businesses? Do you figure out your niche first? Do you evaluate what your agency will do and won’t do?
This is the main reason I like courses like this because they have that kind of guidance. Tai’s courses do and they don’t. He has modules that tackle the order but inside the modules, he’ll have the sixth step you should take as the first video and more beginner steps at the end. I think they just put in videos by the order they’re made instead of my way which frustrates me.
By this point, I might be spoiled by all the other courses I’ve taken but that’s one small thing I don’t like.
The last thing I don’t really like with Tai is one of the reasons he’s so hated. I don’t like the marketing he got into. It was tolerable at the start for me with the Lambo in the garage but once it turned into more of a Dan Bilzerian vibe than anything else, I got turned off by it.
He shows off every pair of expensive shoes he gets now and just walks around with bands of money. Just not my style anymore.
My one thought on this though, is that Tai Lopez in the big scheme of things is a business. He wouldn’t be doing all this if there wasn’t data behind it that it’s working. We watch Super Bowl commercials and wonder why they pay so much for it but the businesses have the data to back up their reasoning and that’s all that matters.
Overall, if you’re going by the actual definition of a scam, which is a dishonest scheme or fraud, then I don’t think you can call Tai a scammer. But everyone kind of took on their own definition of Tai and scamming.
In my own opinion, a scam is when I purchase something and don’t get what I’m expected in return and if you’re buying something online there’s a certain level of skepticism that comes with it just because anything could happen.
If I get more value from a program than the amount of money I spent on it, then I consider that a success and I can honestly say that every program I did from Tai exceeded the value I paid, even the accelerator which I didn’t like much.
To Wrap It Up
Tai Lopez overall doesn’t give bad advice and his free content is better than lots of peoples’ paid content. He does get into too many topics though and this makes it so he just dabbles in a lot of different subjects instead of making you a master at any.
One of the best things going for Tai is all the people that back him though. Mark Cuban, Lewis Howes, and Neil Patel all say he’s the real deal and even though their business plans are almost exact opposites Gary Vaynerchuk loves him.
I do think we are kind of at the backend though of his reign on the market which I predicted two years ago in my Tai Gary Grant Comparison. I can imagine around two more years of him really milking this and then he’ll have to find another way to keep this going.
What's your opinion on Tai Lopez? If you've taken any of his courses, did you find it useful?
Let me know in the comments down below.
I talked a good amount about travel hacking in this post. If you're interested in learning about it, I have a post on the Ultimate Guide to Travel Hacking for 2019 that will surely help you so be sure to check that out.
And if you know someone that would find this post interesting, please share it with them because maybe they'll have a good take on it. Thank you!