- The Bachelor -'Bachelorette' Contestant Karl Smith's Motivational Speeches Unmotivated Me To Root For Him
Well, it only took four hours, but Karl Smith is officially the most hated man of Katie's Bachelorette season — and he has nobody to blame but himself. His vague allegations that one to three men aren't "here for the right reasons" sent Katie into a tailspin before the second rose ceremony, and honestly had me wondering how this man makes a living being a "motivational speaker." This was the longest conversation he and Katie have had and it left her in tears. So, after gathering my emotional strength, I went online and watched Karl's motivational videos. Here's what I learned.
Karl is the founder of a company called Next Level Success, which, according to their website, is "the premier business coaching and training company." They work with entrepreneurs to help develop their business plans and goals. Now, you're probably wondering, that sounds great, but what does it actually mean? I have no idea! Like Karl himself, Next Level Success seems to be full of buzzwords like "success" and "business breakthroughs," without actually elaborating on what those things mean, or the steps NLS plans on walking you through to get you there. And, looking at Karl's motivational talks, there doesn't really seem to be much else to it.
Karl Smith's Highlight Reel
- The B-roll footage here is so painful — the slow-mo, the whiteness of the stock images, the wannabe powerful music. I cringe.
- "The biggest difference is going to be you. Who are you? And what leadership skills, attributes, and traits are you bringing to the table to experience the success that you truly deserve to experience?" I guess this is nice, but what does it mean?
- Karl's secret to success: "Find out who are your biggest role models, find out what makes them them, and then you become them." So, basically his big idea is to find out how to be the person you admire and copy their life? Sounds like the exact opposite of what you were just saying, but OK.
"THIS IS FOR YOU"
- OK, first of all, this all caps title is aggressive. Any video with an all-caps title starring a man in a backwards cap speaking to me in front of pretty mountains is most definitely not for me.
- Second, again with the B-roll! I just think the quality of the B-roll footage makes the quality of Karl's monologue look bad, and therefore the entire thing looks absurd.
- Who thought this backwards cap look was a good idea?
- "First thing you've gotta focus on is how you're going to become The One [NOTE: he never explains what "The One" means]. The second aspect is, what are you going to start doing to leverage and duplicate your efforts," he says. This sounds like some pretty basic business pep talk, but it's just really hard to believe he knows what he's talking about.
- The footage of LeBron James, as if he actually employed Karl Smith's services, is hilarious.
THINK LIKE A LEADER
- Again with the all caps title and stock footage... that's a no from me.
- This video pairs Karl's "inspirational" speech with clips from Remember the Titans and Wolf of Wall Street, which raises a lot of questions. First, does he think that Wolf of Wall Street is a success story? I get that Leonardo DiCaprio made a lot of money, but wasn't he... a criminal?
- I don't know when slow-motion clips of football players running onto the field became synonymous with success, but I would like to say on the record that it is absolutely not.
Everything Else I Learned About Karl's Motivational Business
There are more videos, but honestly, it's just more of the same platitudes and stock footage combo. However, I did learn a few other things about Karl that I think you need to know:
- Next Level Success claims it's been operating for "over 10 years," which means that Karl founded it when he was only 24-years-old. What 24-year-old has any business telling entrepreneurs how to run their businesses?
- Karl's official website in his Instagram bio, ksmithinspires.com, appears to no longer be functioning. (I received error messages when I attempted to connect.) I would assume that someone serious about their business would... I don't know, update their official bio? Especially considering the fact that right above that it says he's "team #katieandswizz," so we know he's edited this since The Bachelorette premiered.
- Karl wrote a manual called "Lifestyle Entrepreneur: 5 Things To You Need To Know To Start Your Lifestyle Business And Replace Your Existing Income," which you can download for free on Next Level Success' website. (Yes, there is a typo on the website graphic, I did not add that extra "to.") Sure sounds like he's itching to be an influencer.
- The pricing is a little difficult to find on the site, but Next Level Success charges $400/per month at least for 1 year of coaching under the "REINVENTION Mastermind Community" program, which seems like a lot considering Karl doesn't offer any reason he would be qualified to offer this kind of service.
- Before starting Next Level Success, Karl worked for ACN, a company that has been accused of being a multilevel marketing scheme (MLM). ACN also has ties to Donald Trump, who reportedly appeared in promotional materials for company recruitment. It's unclear if he still has business ties to the company.