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Elite Clubs – Do They Make Sense?

When I was a kid, I always wondered why rich people would pay SO MUCH money to play golf at a private golf course.  It didn’t seem to make any sense to me.  Ok, sure, they are rich, I know that.  But even most rich people don’t like throwing money into the garbage for no reason at all.  A lot of them are surprisingly careful with their money.

In Canada, you can play golf at a VERY nice golf course for under $200 per time.  Sometimes it’s much less than $100.  And I’m talking about really beautiful golf courses, not just average ones.

So why then, would any reasonable person pay $100 000 per year for a membership?  It made no sense to me before.  Now it makes perfect sense.

These guys aren’t paying for how nice the golf course is.  That is only part of it.  It’s a small part actually.  What they are really paying for is the community.  Think about the other people who go to those courses.  Most of them are also successful business people.  They pay for status and ability to meet these people.  They talk and do business together.  They make friends and get their children in this rich group of successful people.  In some ways, the whole thing makes me sick.  I wish the world were a more fair place.  But the reality is that it’s not.  It does make sense for these people to stay together, meet each other, and network together.

It’s MUCH more likely that you will meet someone worth doing business with on one of these super expensive golf courses than if you were to try to meet these types of people at other places where “regular” people can go.

I was thinking about this because I was thinking about a social networking website for English learning.  These aren’t the exact same thing, but you’ll see what I mean in a minute…

People who speak English as a second language and are actually serious about improving their English, their business, their lives, etc, don’t have anywhere to go to meet each other online.  There are a lot of garbage websites that allow anyone on there.  If you want to speak with someone to “practice your English”, you can absolutely find a partner on a million free sites.

But the problem with this is HUGE.  These sites that allow anyone to join, attract people who aren’t really serious about learning English or really serious about anything at all.  Why?  Because most people in the world are not serious about anything they are doing.

If you want to meet a partner to speak English with, share ideas, share stories, share culture, you will want to meet someone who is at or above your level.  You want someone who can challenge you and you can learn from.  It’s not easy to find these people, but they exist.

Imagine for a second that you wrote on your Facebook page, “I am looking for someone to learn from, talk about business and life, and really challenge each other to improve our English skills”.  I can’t imagine you will find anyone.  Maybe, if you are lucky, someone will say “Yes” to your offer, but they probably won’t be the type of person you are hoping for.

As you probably know, Add and I have been making a new free video EVERY DAY at  

We are hoping to get people to get in the habit of going there every day for the new lessons.  We want to grow that site to 50 000 visitors per day.

But many of the people who find this site or that site aren’t super serious about learning English.  We also want to find the SUPER SERIOUS people and provide an opportunity for amazing English, business, and life learning that does not exist anywhere else on the internet.  That’s our goal.

The people who are not serious will not pay a small monthly fee to join the membership part.  And that’s great.  Our plan is to build a membership site for serious learners.  Everyone will have a great profile with an awesome photo, bio, linkedIn page, Skype number, where they are from…  A lot of stuff.  Then these people will be able to search through the other serious members and we can all have a really high level and private conversation.  Also, the members will be able to contact each other and set up high level language exchanges and other things.  It will be a real community.  I’ll be on there providing reading material, movie talk, technology stuff, and a bunch of interesting and high level topics for group discussion.  We’ll all push ourselves to get better and better in not only English, but in life too.

I want to have a lot of great free English learning content for everyone to enjoy, and a high level SUPER VIP program that is connected to this one and also adds a lot more.  We’re still talking about how we want the site to be.  And since some of you guys who are reading this right now will be interested in joining it, it would be great to hear your ideas now.  We are building it for you and other high level people like you.

What do you think of this idea?  What would you like to see in that program?

Help us design it with your ideas and then it will be much better that way!

And by the way, don’t worry, it won’t be expensive like an elite golf course!  It doesn’t need to be.  The only reason I used that example was to try to make a point.

Love to hear your thoughts guys.  By the way, does anyone here already have the great habit of going to everyday yet?  What do you think?  Have you shared it with your friends, students, or teachers?  What do they think?  We’re still in the beginning stages of developing this, and we’re sure this will be the best yet!

It will be connected in some way with VIP membership, so don’t worry about that.  We’ll take care of you guys and make it kick ass!  There will be tons of amazing free stuff for everyone and an insanely awesome high level private English learning VIP club.

Sounds like a win/win to me!  What are your thoughts on this whole topic?  Even the part about rich people paying so much for golf.  Does it make sense to you too?

Your comments are always appreciated.  You guys have been great lately with that.  Keep it up.  I read EVERY one!!

23 Responses to “Elite Clubs – Do They Make Sense?”

  1. pt Says:

    That’s a funny thing happend to me. I’ve been watching Happy Gilmore which is about golf and was wandering about exactly the same. Then took my mobile for a while and saw that you wrote a new blog… about golf! It was like.. oooo that’s pretty funny! And also Andy you remind me of Adam Sandler by the way. Have no idea why but when I put the dvd on, I just thought he reminds me of you :)
    Anyway. Topic brilliant. You guys going to be successful. And also you should think about classes for people who want to do some certificates in English. You would have a lot of people in these classes I guess. And you know guys what? I was watching some movies today, went to the gym, playing guirar s bit snd haven’t really done anything like learning English today… but I thought. .. that I don’t have today. Because with you guys I feel very motivated and I know that with 232 stuff I’m going to improve my English 10000 times better and faster than with anybody else. That’s kind of luck to me to know your stuff guys. Golf is boring… nothing going on out there. what kind of exercises do you like?

  2. Val Says:

    Hi, Andy! Thanks again for writing this post.
    Well,these high fees of golf club membership make sense for me. It’s not that I feel like it’s completely fair but if I were such a rich person I would definitely pay for the opportunity to meet people with same ideals, values, views on business and life in general. Because it’s important for every person – to have right people around them. If there are successful positive people around them they become stronger and happier themselves. They pay for this energy, this support.
    As for idea for the community of English learners, I would be much more interested to join the community where there are a lot of native English speakers along with English learners. I mean- you know better then anyone else that people must read correct English and listen to real English in order to improve their language skills. I’m not sure that communication with non-natives helps very much. It’s just my opinion. I found that it’s quite difficult to find native English speaker who would be ready to to communicate without romantic interest.=(

  3. Andy Says:

    Hey Val,

    I totally get your point and see where you are coming from. I do think that with the right group of people, it could work. The problem is, most groups of non-natives are thrown together in the stupidest ways possible. That’s why I’ve never seen it work so far. To be perfectly honest, some people here actually write better than some native speakers I know. Learning from high level learners can work when you are all practising together. Of course, there needs to be a native speaker who is running it to some extent, but there are lot’s of ways that non-natives can help each other, provided they are all working hard and committed to being at a higher and higher level. No garbage students. That’s what we hope to build as part of the program down the road.

    And regarding your comments on groups of native speakers mixed in with groups of non native speakers. That does make sense from the non native speaker’s perspective, but as you said, everyone has a romantic interest because there is no real incentive for a native speaker to help non native speakers. It’s just volunteer work. If it were to work well, it would and should be a very expensive program. When schools try to make these “English corners” and stuff like that, they usually suck because the teachers they get are usually awful. And the teachers don’t care because they just want to earn their money and go home. Great teachers are super expensive. Average teachers are pretty cheap, but they are almost worthless unfortunately. Hopefully I can think of something that works. But yes, I totally hear what you are saying and I appreciate your opinion.

    Add and I could offer PRIVATE lessons online in the future, but those wouldn’t be cheap. I imagine some students who have a fair bit of money may really like them. It’s an interesting idea.

    Thanks Val :)

    Great comment!

  4. Maribel Says:

    That’s a great idea. there should be a VIP room for people who are serious to learn English. Thank to you I have this great habit to go on your website every day. since you said we should oblige our self to take it seriously and study English every day to make a habit, I did that and now I am automatically learning English every day. that was a great advisement.
    you guys keep going! Im sure you rock! :)

  5. Ivan Kolev Says:

    Hi Andy !
    I’m late with this blog, but I hope my comments have been useful.
    golf, it’s always been to me a stupid game because I was unable to understand it,but as an idea and a good place to give a comparison with successful people is good. Andy problem here is that the world is not interested in English. Life is not English. Who wants to be up-to- date they teaches English , but most do not want. I know many places to practice English, websites, and I’ve tried and I say this from my experience is difficult. Andy you lose nothing if you try. In Bulgaria there is a saying … you can not catch fish until you get wet.

  6. Val Says:

    Andy, you are absolutely right about the lack of incentives for native speakers for helping English learners.

    Some of the native speakers DO actually say that they are interested in, say, other cultures and want to help with English learning. But there is usually another problem- these people are actually very bad not only in teaching but in the communicating. Some of them speak without stopping like live radio =) and don’t let other person to say anything back. In this case it would be more interesting and useful to turn on the radio or TV than to listen this person talking about themselves. Some of them, on the contrary, can say nothing but “um, yeah, no” to whatever stories you tell and whatever questions you ask.

    But there is no surprise- in real life when your speak your first language it’s also not so simple to find an interesting open-minded person with good sense of humor for the communication. Why should it be simple on the Internet?

    I think, you should try to create this club if you feel that it can work, because action is always better than inaction.=)

    The idea of private lessons is definitely good… for you and these lucky students with money.:D But not for everyone here. By the way, Andy, how about free webinars?:)

  7. kingfisher Says:

    I go to exactly every single day to find out if there is anything new coming out.
    I’ll be getting on the site as I used to. Plus, the videos are excellent.
    Not only the stuff you taught are useful, the way you teach is like chatting with
    the audience. That’s the difference than the boring lessons on the NET and BTW, most videos out there are completely something that we can hardly ever use in real life. So, please make even more jokes and keep being yourself even more. But still, I have seen the VIP podcast came out a bit late recently. So as you guys are committed to the best for us, maybe it’s not a good time to say this, but I suggest you should take a balance between the two sites. Anyways, what you guys hv been doing and giving to are very much appreciated.

    Talking about the sites’ development, we have different VIP members from all over the world. We’ve got the same goal of learning English. That’s for sure. Perhaps, the members might be interested in having some language exchange except learning English because each one here has their own language. That’s fun. If this idea isn’t attractive or practical, just forget it. No big deal. At least we had fun discussing all these. :)

  8. Argenis Says:

    Hi guys

    Thanks so much for your blog, I really haven’t thought about the expensive golf course but now i see that you’re absolutely right, and i also think the idea of a community with people who are serious about learning english is awesome, i hope it can be real pretty soom.

    I now know that you’re doing videos everyday, well i will see them as often as i can, thanl you very much for your efforts and ideas about how to teach english better


  9. soli Says:

    hi guys…
    you are perfect and easygoing….i really enjoy reading and contacting u…
    as you wrote on your comment, making a big community of those who are serious to learn English skills is a very very great idea and I for it. my suggestion is to make a good place to talk and find new English learners. face to face speaking is the best way but if it’s not possible because of far away distance, using Internet and having good guys like u who try to make learning English better and better is as well as touching the sky.
    thanks for all your attempts.

  10. paulo Says:

    fun facts about the life

  11. Dementoryea Says:

    I have nerver thought about the rich people elite before I read it from you guys, a lot of thinking you had generated to me. Thanks a lot.
    I like to say something about the how to gather the right people on the website is an universal topic, not only in business. Sometimes you can think of a gathering strategy that works and actually you can attract a bunch of people. However I think the true working stratagem of linking people is to make people think about it. How many of you guys have even thought about making people think of something they alone couldn’t ever make sense of. How many thoughts can you think in your entire life? A lot. And how many can you not think? Unimaginable thoughts. I’m talking about connecting people, I’m talking about ideas materialize in words.

  12. Petry Says:

    Hi guys,

    I think is a great ideea to pay a small prise for beeing a member of a learning comunity,but in my country it’s a bit difficult to pay online, you must to create an acount in dolars and the taxes are also expensive, so please continue to do some free lessons for people like me :( anks

  13. Anna Says:

    Hi guys,

    I think what you do is great. You are smart, by your lessons you give inspiration and incentives to learn english more deeply. I like your lessons very much. It is a good idea to pay a monthly fee, because when people spend money on something, they will really want to gayn maximum of it.
    Keep doing in the same attitude.

  14. iwan Says:

    Hi Andy….

    Yes elite club is make sense….it will connect us…networking is very powerful tool….just like pc is useful but with pc with internet is awesome ….that the analogy i can illustrate….cant wait….:)


  15. Hamid Reza Says:

    Hi guys,
    Great idea. You know I live in Sydney right now and I thoroughly understand what you guys are talking about. I am looking for this serious partner to help me to improve my English. I also tried to make a connection to linguistic faculty to help me to find some to practice English and if he/she is interested in learning my language, I can help him/her. But, I haven’t yet got any feedback. At the moment, I am trying to go to free English conversation class whose teacher is native speaker. They probably make a small group and talk to each other for 2 hour every week. This program is to be continued for 4 consecutive weeks. I also hanging out with native speaker but believe or not it is sometimes difficult to understand them but I am not disappointed. I am gonna be offering your website (i.e. to those who are really serious in learning English.

  16. Ersin Says:

    Hi Andy,

    I personally appreciate the way you try and help the people learn real English stuff. At least, I believe I get what I am paying for your VIP course. I quite agree with you that there is a ton of websites around pretending to be willing to teach something. What they do is just to pump out their old, boring and sucking garbage.

    I am trying to visit your website everyday to watch your video lessons.



  17. Charl Says:

    Hi guys!
    my teacher told me about china232, and i love it the first time i log in your website. it is really happy to see that you do into Serious things. Because no many people take things seriously, sad but so true. i always keep up on china232 though i am not a Vip member now. i don’t know how to pay for it.But still lucky to have you!Good day!

  18. Artur Says:

    Hi Andy and ADD!
    I just want to tell you guys! What are you doing is good, but you have to make it more professional. With all due respect, just look at your concurrent, sometimes they doing better, with some extend. For example I like this guys
    I think they do very well. Of course you told that it’s boring to talk about grammar, but you know this video is very useful and fun actually.
    Guys I have to admit that china 232 it’s very useful for me, and it’s fun too, thank you guys!

  19. Andy Says:

    Thanks for all the awesome comments guys! Great stuff. I read them all and loved them. Much appreciated. I wish I could address all of them but I don’t have time at the moment because I’m making more videos! Anyway, I did want to comment on the last comment. I appreciate the support Artur. Great to hear you like China232 and thanks for being honest. I respect that.

    I looked at the link you sent and personally thought it was pretty bad. Everyone has different tastes. I’d like to become more professional and get better and better. In my mind, the video you provided was much less professional and less useful. I’m very curious what you liked about it. I’ll be happy to change styles to fit the tastes of you guys, but I really don’t get what is good about this. I’d love to hear why you like it and also whether or not other people feel the same way. I don’t mean to sound negative one bit. I promised on one of my recent blog posts that I’m going to start being more like the real me. I’m going to say what I really think. So again, I don’t mean to sound harsh, I’d just like to hear what in fact you or anyone liked about this, and what you are finding could and should be improved about our current style.

    We are still thinking of how to create new video styles, so the more clear the ideas are from you guys, the better. Thanks everyone! BTW, based on the comments here, we’re definitely going to be making a “SUPER VIP” section with an elite club of international serious learners. We’ll add a lot of stuff in there, the awesome community will just be one aspect. I think it’s gonna totally kick ass once it’s done!

    Andy :)

  20. Val Says:

    Hi! I’ve watched this video, and want to ask you, Andy- please please please don’t pay attention to Artur’s comment. First of all, your lessons for the advanced students, who wants to get good stuff from you without any damn childish trash. The video at the link is for beginners, and, in my opinion, not very intelligent beginners with bad sense of humor. It seems like these guys don’t respect their viewers, they’re not interesting and not funny at all.

  21. meme Says:

    Long time No C, I know I’m late 4 this topic and I’ve been a while since I didn’t visit ur both web cuz I’ve been in BIG TROUBLE that cost me LONG TIME to solve it, BUT NOW I;m HERE
    and I miss U GUYS ;)

    SO Tell me about it, it’s a great and brilliant idea and I like the how u think to help us
    seriously I need to improve my English I visit many site and sign to many courses and I pay a LOT BUT OMG the way they use to teach us is awful and didn’t take seriously!!!!
    The problem IS THAT I can understand from the native and what R saying BUT worst is that
    I cant say any thing I cant reply I got confuse and act like an idiot or dosh and the words come out of my mouth like lab la lab la ????
    WHY I DONT KNOW!!!!!
    The IDEA that U come out is really helpful making small community for those who want to
    improve or learn E is the ONE demand
    BUT there is a problem
    in my country it’s a bit difficult to pay online cuz I live in Gaza Strip in Palestine
    and my salary is about 100$ and it’s barely enough 4 me and it’s hard 2 me to make earn 4 a living??!!!!!

    I like UR idea and I wish U could find a way to help people Like us :)

  22. ali Says:

    hi guys
    I really appreciated what you are doing.To be honest your blogs put new life to us.I just want you to know one thing ,I am going through with YOU to the end ,sweet or bitter.of course time and your amazing work alone can show guys.I lost of words.I owed you with thanks.I wish you a successful work.
    your sincerelly bro Ali Ahmed
    Best Regards

  23. maciek Says:

    All what was said by you makes sense. No matter what club, service you are going to join in you do not want for sure be bothered by people who happened to be there by accident. So any kind of payment seems to be the best way to make kind of preliminary selection. Personally I do not mind it, I am not going to join any elitary golf club ; ) either. The example you gave was golfing club. What comes to my mind are clubs where everything seems to be quite expensive although it should not be, for example I need to pay double price for beer, drinks etc. It is all about making impression of elitism. People tend to show off, they want to be around people who are in some way similar to them, at least in terms of money. I do not mind it, either. I do not want to be around people who do not want me to be around them ; ). The only problem I can see is that sometimes that kind of elitism can prevent some people from fulfilling their dreams. Some sport disciplines, for sure golf and tennis are the ones are so elitist that “regular” people can not afford to practise them. And that is sad.

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