Divine Blog Post

I wasted my money!

Dear Anne:

I worked with a mentor for about a year in my business and I didn’t get what was promised. I’m upset and angry that I wasted all that money. In some ways, I feel like I was cheated!

It makes me all the more apprehensive about working with anyone again. How can I feel better about what I did?


Dear Divine One –

So many people are investing in themselves and their businesses these days with mentors. And some people get a lot out of their investments, and some people don’t.

Here’s why (and you may not like the answer):

Some people do the work.

Some people don’t.

It’s as simple as that.

Think about how you are perceiving your experience.  You are comparing your experience with someone else’s, and finding your experience to be less-than.

Here’s the thing:  not everyone gets the same results because:

  • not everyone starts out at the same place in their business;
  • not everyone needs to move through the same mindset shifts;
  • not everyone is clear about where they are in their business when they begin;
  • not everyone is clear about whom they serve;
  • not everyone is clear about the transformation they provide
  • not everyone can articulate that transformation well;
  • not everyone has the same skills in marketing their services;
  • not everyone has the same skills in building their business;

and the list goes on.

Get the point?

If you had to get clear or develop any of these pieces or skills, it is natural for it to take you longer to build your business or to get the results from the mentoring.  Building a strong, successful business is a time-consuming, skill-developing experience.  It doesn’t happen over night, or even in one year.

Plus, the more mindset shifts you need to go through with your mentor, the longer it will take you to build your business. The fact that you are upset and angry that you “wasted” money indicates that you still have some major mindset shifts to go through in order to build your business powerfully.

Here’s what I mean by that:


You are framing your experience as though you are a victim.

As though you have (or had) no power or control over the outcome.


Instead of owning that you made the decision to work with your mentor and that you made decisions during your time with your mentor to take certain actions, you are choosing to feel “cheated”; like you wasted your money.

You feel this way is because you are not standing in your power about the decisions you made – both with hiring your mentor and with following through on the guidance given.

This is like someone attending college, failing their courses because they didn’t do the work, but then blaming her professors.  

You attended business training but are now blaming your mentor for your results.  While I will agree that there are lousy professors and lousy mentors, it’s your attitude I’m referring to here.

A GiftOnce you change your mindset to recognize that you are not a victim, you will begin to see all of the lessons (i.e., gifts) you actually learned from your experience.

(One of these might be to recognize when you are giving your power away to someone else and feeling victimized.  And if you get that lesson, you will have gotten your money’s worth, multiplied!)

Sometimes, people think from a small, myopic view: if I invest x dollars, then I must see x results or else I’ve wasted my money.

The truth of the matter is, they actually need to learn x lesson before they can see x results.


They need to do significant inner work

in order to manifest the outer results.


Such is the case here.  Clean up your victim mentality, and see what the gifts were from the choices you made.  (I promise you there are many if you will choose to look.) 

Appreciate those gifts and the mentor who provided you the opportunity to experience them! When you do this, you will get the results you so desire!



Now go get your Divine ON!


13 thoughts on “I wasted my money!”

  1. A simple reframing makes all the difference. And sometimes the “training” we signed up for ends up being different than what we thought!

    Thanks for speaking an uncomfortable Truth.

  2. I invested in myself and my business by hiring a coach-mentor. I came to learn how to build a business. The biggest breakthrough that I had was not about doing business, it was about learning to tap into being more playful, creative and having fun…qualities that are already in me. At the end of our work together, my mentor coach asked me what my greatest take-away was, and I told her that it was about learning to have more fun. I really lightened up during that time. Yes, I learned a lot about business. My big shifts were all about how to live lightly and joyously, and to stand tall for who I am. Now I am refocusing my business to share that with others. Let go of who you think you are, and what you’re supposed to be learning, and be open to the magnificent opportunities that may await you.

  3. I am going to be the dissenting voice here. Your reply to that woman seemed quite harsh to me, and unnecessarily so. You may have had some good points to make to her (it’s hard to tell from your “tough love” attitude), but you could certainly have been far kinder about it. Perhaps your lack of empathy for the woman stems from never having had a similar experience. Or not. Regardless, several years ago, I was in the same position as the woman who wrote you, though my investment of time (and, no doubt, money) was far less than that of “Divine One”. But I also felt cheated, angry, and very, very ***hurt*** – as she clearly does – after the experience. My own disappointment and disillusionment was made far worse by the feeling of throwing my money away. I’m guessing that you didn’t take the time to get much more information than is provided here before you replied. If you had, you might have come to a different conclusion. Or…again…not. Where you got the idea that she “didn’t do the work” I do not know – but to :assume: (if that is indeed what you did) that she didn’t is SO wrong. She might well have given the work her “mentor” gave her everything she had! While it’s true that taking the position of a victim isn’t ultimately empowering, the woman (who came to you, after all, for SOME comfort, which she clearly needed) might have had very good reasons for feeling victimized – ones that didn’t involve money. Every situation is different. Further, anyone at all has a right to their feelings, and being condemned for them is anything but helpful! The fact is that straight talking is usually very limited in its effectiveness UNLESS it’s combined with compassion. I saw none of that here, rather blaming and shaming someone who was already in a great deal of pain – and doing it glibly, no less. Unfortunate. n

    1. Charla, thank you for commenting here. Before calling someone a victim with resistance, find out if they really did the work or not. Assuming is hurtful and professional and makes a fool of the coach who should give all the money back.

  4. Thank you, Charla, for commenting. I really appreciate your thoughts. I have a few thoughts on this: 1) I have had this and much more happen in my own life as a mentee, and what I shared here was my greatest gift that I learned: that I had deep lessons to learn first. And the longer I (forgive the word) whined about it (and believe me, I whined!), the longer the lesson was not learned. 2) Please don’t mistake my unwillingness to jump into the river with this person and her unhappy emotions with a lack of compassion. Being lovingly straight with someone is sometimes one of the most compassionate things we can do.

    Truly, when someone is playing the victim (and yes, she is playing the victim here), there is always a very deep lesson to learn. (And we all play victim in various ways until we learn that we don’t need to do that any more. Including me.) 🙂 I am standing strongly that she will choose to learn the lesson (gift) she has given herself the opportunity to learn. Because when she does, she will thankher mentor, instead of being angry and upset.

    By the way, Charla, in one situation in my life, I played the victim for about 2 1/2 years until I learned better. I got a lot of juice out of being that victim, too, let me tell you! And I had EVERY reason to be the victim, by the way. But the bottom line is, that when we do this, we then create more victim energy – more anger, more hurt, more separation – everywhere we go.

    And that is so worth letting go of.

    1. Sometimes it is playing the victim. Other times it is legitimatize calling foul on an ineffective and possibly inferior method.

  5. I really don’t know where to go with this whole thing of “it’s the client” no “it’s the coach” because I’ve been on both sides of the equation. The first thing I hear is ‘she didn’t do the work.” or

    “The coach didn’t give me what I needed.”

    Anger and blame and shame. Coaches dismiss it. Clients sit with it.

    As a shamanic healer I’ve mentored several coaches who were in big name coaching programs that lost their soul of their business in the process. I’ve worked with coaches who were verbally attacked by clients that failed to thrive in their coaching programs.

    When I let my coach go we had a conversation. My truth didn’t make me a victim. Yet I’ve heard the word “quitter” bandied about and it just ticks me off.

    In review I recognized important aspects of my business were left sitting on the curb. That promises made were not fulfilled on both sides. It was such a big learning for me. My creativity dried up while I was under her tutelage. I did not blame… I dug deep for 90 days to figure out my part, where did I go off track.

    In walking away my creativity returned. I didn’t quit, I was complete.

    It sometimes means the coach wasn’t the right fit and it was time to move on.

    It’s just a complicated issue.

    1. This is so powerful, Michele Grace. Thank you so much for taking the time to write it. Listening to our own intuition (especially when it means walking away from those “non-fits”) is one of the most powerful things we can do. And sometimes one of the most difficult. Yet, what is available on the other side is often the freedom and serenity you describe.

      It IS a complicated issue. And it is made the more so by so many other pieces, like community, colleagues, gossip, and so on. It’s not as bad as a divorce, but in many ways similar to one. 🙂

      I loved hearing from you about your experience. Thank you, truly.


  6. This is serious blame game here. First, before accusing someone of a victim mentality find out if the person really did the work or not. Otherwise, this is defensive sounding and blaming someone who may have really put in the effort.

  7. Yes this is a complicated issue and no right or wrong answer. I like that you came at it from the point of making the person more accountable, but I can also relate to what others have said about the advice being harsh. I feel there is no one answer and it could be a little of ALL that has been said. Since I deal with people trying to accomplish fitness goals, the same can be said that a client may have “wasted” money using me. But where do they fit into the equation and what responsibility did they take on and share in the outcome? It all comes down to the fact that everyone isn’t a fit for anyone and we have to continue our search for the one that helps us to be great. In the search we will no doubt stumble upon those who make us feel that we may have wasted our money, but if we do not give up we will surely find the one that makes us feel that we can’t pay them enough for what they have done for us.

  8. Hi Anne,
    I just loved what you were saying. It’s so true. I see it on myself the victim mode… and it’s great to shift out of it and take back the power.
    thanks for this great article!

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