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Meet Serial Entrepreneur Patrick Bet-David: Inspiring entrepreneurs and launching The Vault 19

Patrick Bet-David does not mince words.

“I made the decision a long time ago that I’m going to question everything. Every. Single. Thing,” Bet-David recently told “Advisors Magazine” during an interview, pausing for emphasis between each word. “And, believe it or not, it’s made my life happier. We need to be more comfortable stepping away from the status quo.”

Questioning every single thing appears to be Bet-David’s strong suit. His YouTube channel, “Valuetainment,” mixes interviews with a diverse array of public figures – Kevin Hart, Mark Cuban, Jordan B. Peterson, and Steve Wozniak, to name a few – with complex advice for entrepreneurs and real-talk about how to get motivated and making money. The content combination serves to inspire, motivate, and warn – his video 10 Signs You Won’t Be Rich comes to mind as the sort of content that tells harsh truths – and Bet-David has gone all-in expanding the channel.

“You may not put your life on the line, but let me tell you, you put your salary on the line,” Bet-David tells an audience of emerging entrepreneurs in one video. “You know what happens to an entrepreneur when he goes to sleep? He has a lot of anxiety attacks. He has worries. She stresses out. They think about their bills. They see their savings deplete. They see, all of a sudden, things happen. But do you know why they do it? They do it because they have a dream.”

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It is that sort of content that has drawn more than 1.2 million YouTube subscribers to follow “Valuetainment” and Bet-David is busy preparing for The Vault 2019, the firm’s first conference. He recently spoke to “Advisors Magazine” about the initiative which serves as “Valuetainment’s expansion into a bonafide media company, and shot back at the recurring criticisms of his insurance firm, PHP Agency, Inc.

Only the Few Survive

Before starting up “Valuetainment,” Bet-David founded PHP Agency, Inc., an insurance sales, marketing and distribution company that bills itself as one of the fastest growing in the financial marketplace. PHP attributes its growth to targeting markets that were traditionally neglected by the financial services industry.

“America is changing ... Does the 59-year-old white male necessarily connect with the immigrants? I don’t know if somebody that’s gone through the route of Harvard, Yale, or Northwestern can connect with the community college graduate who’s just trying to get it together for themselves,” Bet-David said, adding that he chose to target consumers who had little exposure to financial services after researching what the major industry players were doing. “The top of these companies look like Connecticut, they don’t look like Miami, they don’t look like Chicago.”

pbd400x500The average PHP associate is a 34-year-old Hispanic woman, Bet-David said, and likely more reflective of the up-and-coming consumers the firm has made inroads with and hopes to continue pursuing.

“We got this market and now we have momentum,” he said.

The perspectives of the often-excluded are well-known to Bet-David, himself an immigrant from Iran whose family fled the country in the years following the 1979 Islamic revolution.

PHP has taken criticism in the past for amounting to little more than a multi-level marketing or pyramid selling scheme that relies on current associates recruiting new members in order to earn commissions.

Anonymous reviews posted on – a prominent employer review site – present a somewhat mixed picture, with some former associates describing PHP as a “scam.” Others, meanwhile, describe the company as a difficult, but fair, employer that requires dedication.

“It does require a high level of commitment, an understanding of yourself and your goals, dedication, study, and hard work. And patience,” one reviewer wrote.

For what it’s worth, 77 percent of anonymous reviewers did note that they “approve” of Bet-David’s performance at the helm of PHP. Bet-David also fires back at PHP’s critics by pointing out that companies in the insurance and real estate space routinely expect employees to recruit new associates.

“When you get into the insurance space or you go into the [property and casualty] business, or you go into the real estate business, it’s all recruiting,” Bet-David said. “Everybody says New York Life is [multi-level marketing], but everyone knows New York Life isn’t MLM.”

Bet-David concedes that PHP associates washout or quit in high numbers, but maintains that is a fact of life in the high-pressure insurance industry.

“That typically happens because, on the one end, the world of sales is incredibly difficult … It will give you mental and emotional torture,” Bet-David said. “Only 10 percent of real estate agents even make it. Only 10 percent, if that, of insurance agents really make it.”

Opening the Vault

The Vault 2019 promises to be, if nothing else, an impressive show. A promotional video on “Valuetainment” lists media mogul Peter Guber, former Netflix executive Patty McCord as headliners alongside “highest paid mobster” Michael Franzese and “number one illusionist in the world” Frederic Da Silva, who is billed as the event’s special entertainer. More than 1,000 people from 36 countries are expected to attend, Bet-David said.

One group of people will not be attending, however. Bet-David forbid anyone who sells for PHP to attend the conference to prevent it appearing like a marketing ploy. The “Valuetainment” channel also never mentions PHP or even the insurance industry. Bet-David created that distance deliberately, to make sure “Valuetainment” stayed focused on its core mission.

“If you watch my content, you’re not even going to realize that I do insurance,” Bet-David said. “You’re not going to find one piece of content that’s saying hey you should come to my insurance company and buy a product from me.”

By the same token, Bet-David is running another conference later in the year for his insurance associates, which will be closed to the public. That, again, is by design to ensure that “Valuetainment” does not take on the look of a marketing tool.

“I think when you respect both audiences, they look back and say ‘Okay, this guy knows how to differentiate between the two, I like it, and I’m going to do business with him,’” he said.

The Vault 2019 promises to deliver more of the hard truths and self-searching fans of “Valuetainment” have come to expect. Whether it’s videos on running a small business, interviews with thought leaders, or listicle-style shorts on building better habits, the “Valuetainment” channel pushes viewers to consider where they are, where they want to be, and who they want to be when they get there.

“I don’t see a purpose in [a nine-to-five job], I don’t think the creator gave you all those gifts that you’ve got so that you can go out there and be a regular person,” Bet-David tells the audience in one video on entrepreneurship.

Vault attendees likely will hear that and more from the conference speakers, and Bet-David hopes they leave with a better understanding of what they want. To get there, however, they will need to ask themselves a lot of questions – and answer honestly.

“Unfortunately, the scariest thing in the world isn’t Kim Jong Un from North Korea,” Bet-David said. “The scariest thing in the world is the truth, that is piercing to our soul. In life, we are all one or two questions away from having a breakthrough, but we don’t because we don’t question everything.”

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