Why is Good News so Hard to Believe?

Readers of this blog know that I usually use this space to write about my experience in launching and managing one of the first spas in the world for men, called The Men’s PowerSpa.

I have also written a book about that experience called “Don’t Let Your Dream Business Turn into a Nightmare”.

The incident which I am going to relate in this post occurred during the time that I was managing the business, but it does not necessarily have to do with small business. It has more to do with what I will refer to as human perversity.

While I was still running my spa for men, one of my clients - who was also a good friend - was introduced to a nutritional cleansing program created by a company in the United States called Isagenix.

Isagenix is reputed to be the world leader in nutritional cleansing, and their flagship program is a 30-day cleanse, which not only removes toxins from the system, but also achieves weight loss in most people who follow the program, because toxins in the body are encased in fat.

My friend followed the 30-day program very conscientiously, and he lost 24 pounds in 30 days. Not only that, he reported that he felt great - had more energy, was sleeping better and felt less stressed. I watched the transformation with my own eyes and I can certainly attest to the fact that he looked like a new man.

I was intrigued not only because of the dramatic improvement that I saw in my friend’s appearance, but because I had started a spa, and the 30-day detoxification program seemed to be a perfect fit for a business that had as its mission to help men look and feel their best.

Within a few months of being introduced to the Isagenix nutritional cleansing program, I had the falling out with my investors that I chronicled in my book “Don’t Let Your Dream Business Turn Into a Nightmare”, and was no longer running the spa, but I continued to be involved with Isagenix. To this day - almost three years later - I have an Isalean protein shake for breakfast every day, and I attribute the fact that I have been able to remain healthy despite the stress that I have experienced over the past few years to Isagenix. I have also recommended the 30-day program to several of my friends - guys who had said for years that they wanted to lose weight and improve their nutrition - and the results that they have achieved have been phenomenal.

I have also asked several personal trainers whom I have known for many years to evaluate the products. One of them is Sheldon Persad. I have known Sheldon for over 20 years. He is one of the most straightforward, no-nonsense people I have ever known, and totally dedicated to his personal training practice. I asked him to evaluate the products in the Isagenix nutrtional cleansing program over two years ago. He spent the first year trying to find flaws in it and looking for reasons not to recommend it to his clients. Now, he not only recommends it to his clients, he has put his mother on the program. That is how much he believes in it.

Last night, I went into the back office of my Isagenix website and reviewed some of the training videos from Isagenix University. In video after video, professionals from the world of medicine endorse and explain the benefits of the Isagenix products - one of them is the former nutritional consultant to the White House, while another is a colorectal surgeon. There are chiropractors, gynecologists, gastroenterologists - all expounding the health benefits of the 30-day nutritional cleansing program and the other Isagenix products.

Watching the videos last night reminded me of an incident which occurred while I was still running my spa for men. I was having coffee with another of my clients -another gent who had said for years that he really wanted to lose weight. He had at least 30 pounds of excess weight that had accumulated around his middle - which is a serious health concern for men. Women tend not to develop a “bowling ball” of excess weight in their belly in the way that men do.

When I mentioned the Isagenix program to him, and the phenomenal results that I had seen in several of my friends, he was immediately skeptical - and rattled off a number of people that he would have to consult before embarking on the program - his massage therapist, chiropractor, physiotherapist - etc.

While we were chatting, he was consuming one of those frothy coffee concoctions which has been shown to contain more fat and calories than a cheeseburger and fries. As far as I know, he had not consulted with any of his medical team before pouring that into his body - but he wanted to make sure that the Isagenix products that had been endorsed by the former nutritional consultant to the White House were safe.

This incident tells you why it can be so hard to sell people anything that is good for them - whether it is a nutritional cleansing program or a spa service. We always believe bad news - does anyone doubt that the frothy coffee drink is really full of fat, sugar and caffeine and that it has absolutely no nutritional value? Everyone knows that, and yet people line up to buy it all day long.

But try telling people about a product that is actually good for them - that can help them eliminate toxins, lose excess weight, gain energy and reduce stress. Must be a con, they say.

We believe bad news and doubt the good news. Perhaps that’s why obesity has reached epidemic levels in our society, along with other lifestyle-related illnesses.

Call it human perversity.

One Response to “Why is Good News so Hard to Believe?”

  1. Drew says:

    What I learned Alan is you cant say the right thing to the wrong person and the wrong thing to the right person. Even though my dad lost 56 pounds on the program, my sister - who can easily drop 70 or 80 pounds -wont even discuss it with us. Thanks for this posting Alan. Just put the shake in the body and magic will happen. And it costs less then a frappachino.