When Shared Values Diverge: Responding to Betrayal and Blackmail

At VIP Ignite, everything we do aims to uplift aspiring talent by providing coaching, training, community and access to industry contacts. We get incredible letters from participants about how our program changes lives. That’s why it shook us profoundly when a once engaged participant turned to blackmail.

We share this story so other business owners facing betrayal know they aren’t alone.

The Honeymoon Period

Natalie first joined with such excitement. She did our full enrollment process, signed the program agreements, invested in our services and attended workshops actively posting glowing sentiment across her social media. We featured a raving testimony she offered about her experience on our website. She felt like family.

When Shared Values Diverge: Responding to Betrayal and Blackmail

Whiplash of Reversal

Out of the blue one day, Natalie requested we reimburse her for the investment we made on her behalf to attend an industry event, unable to attend any longer due to financial difficulties she was facing. Regretfully, we had to uphold our strict no refund policy per all participants’ signed agreements. Instead, we offered equivalent credit or options to transfer to a future event. Natalie’s demeanor abruptly shifted.

An Attempt to Coerce Through Threats

In response to our policy enforcement, Natalie sent aggressive emails threatening to smear our name publicly across review sites and through contacts unless we refunded her immediately in direct contradiction of the signed terms. She gave a deadline implying destruction otherwise. We were shocked by the demand coupled with the unexpected betrayal.

When Shared Values Diverge: Responding to Betrayal and Blackmail

Seeking Wise Counsel

In crisis it’s easy to react, yet restraint paves the path of wisdom. Despite immense frustration over Natalie’s threats, we disengaged her further communication per our attorney’s advice. We instead documented the exchange in detail and reported the blackmail attempt to local police.

Ongoing Efforts to Undermine

Even after cutting contact, Natalie persisted by emailing participants directly to undermine the program. She leveraged once positive connections into vehicles for deterrence. We discovered she posted scathing reviews under aliases too. Yet despite the whiplash, we stood firmly in integrity.

Maintaining Strength of Values

The situation shook us as trusted environments were exploited. But vision, heart and purpose persevered. Just as we uplift aspiring talent, we ourselves drew resilience from the community surrounding us. For when values unite, pettiness holds no power. We clung firmly to higher ground, continued leading nobly and truth prevailed as always.

When Shared Values Diverge: Responding to Betrayal and Blackmail

VIP Ignite functions similarly to a talent broker. Here’s how it works: Just as a financial broker invests your money and earns a commission, we invest in nurturing talent. When an individual invests in our services, we use our established connections to develop their skills. This involves coordinating and compensating various professionals like speakers, photographers, hair stylists, and makeup artists. Additionally, we manage the logistics of securing venues for events. As an agent, our compensation comes from a modest percentage of the initial investment made by the talent. Just like a realtor, we are compensated based upon the success of our talent.

Hardship only clarifies sacred vows. We recommit wholeheartedly to our mission of empowerment through compassion, ethics and devotion to craft. From darkness, light floods even brighter.

If you are contacted by Natalie and feel that you are being harassed, we strongly recommend that you contact the police directly. Here is their number: (540) 261-6174

If you want to work with a company that holds high standards in working with the right talent who have strong work ethics, morals and who want elevate your success in the entertainment industry, click this link to join our next live call.

If you have ever been a victim of cyberbullying, we ask that you make a donation to the Cybersmile Foundation: https://www.cybersmile.org/donate