Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]

The following are answers to frequently asked questions about our company, programs, and methodology.

What is Transactional Competence™?

Transactional Competence™ is the knowledge and skill required to invent, present, fulfill and complete specific exchanges from a transactional approach.

This approach is grounded in the philosophy of Transactionalism (wikipedia) or Transactionalism.org.

Transactionalism: An Historical and Interpretive Study was written in 1966 by Trevor J. Phillips (1927–2016) and first published in December 2013. At the time of its publication, it was the first, most comprehensive account of the origins and evolution of the modern historical, philosophical, psychological, and educational philosophy known as Transactionalism.

Transactionalism is about the mutual transactions that make up our human condition. It is about the co-constitutive, reciprocal acts required to satisfy various unavoidable conditions of life. The philosophy of transactionalism appears across a wide range of disciplines from anthropology to zoology. Though “transactionalism” never appears in the works of the educational philosopher, pragmatist, and psychologist John Dewey, Phillips documents his conceptualization of “transactions,” which stems primarily from his work and collaboration with political philosopher Arthur Bentley in the 1949 book Knowing and The Known.

To thrive we must know how to transact to satisfy each of our Conditions of Life™ (unavoidable situations like the need for money or good health, etc). You are always transacting with others to satisfy these conditions (and they, you). Your specialized ability, expertise, and knowledge of this fact determine your capacity to thrive.

Influence Ecology teaches a proprietary framework that demonstrates a unique marriage of both subjective and objective philosophical thinking, speaking, and practices. This framework orients all parties to the location of specific aspects, narratives, and roles within any transaction and considers the Personality and Transactional Behavior™ appropriate for success. Students come face to face with a biological tendency towards the behavior they have always relied on to gain compliance and the opportunity to exploit that natural behavior.

Taking into account their unique aims, knowledge, specialization, and Personality and Transactional Behavior™, participants use an integrated and objective series of steps for thinking accurately about how to make highly-valued business offers that satisfy multiple Conditions of Life.

This fundamental model is then embodied as a platform for building and accelerating any successful transaction and its recurrence and expansion.

You could think of this as a practical and systematic roadmap to build a simple transaction (buying a burger) or a complex transaction (building a burger franchise). For an individual, these steps reveal how to think accurately about how to satisfy your most important career, work, and financial goals. For an enterprise, these frameworks help accelerate initiatives.

Guests may register for free 30-day access to review and study An Introduction to Transactional Competence™, a special guest study that demonstrates a small slice of our approach. Guest access includes detailed information about our proprietary content, private curriculum, and global membership.

What are the program results?

For all the Fundamentals of Transaction Program participants from 2012 through 2018, the average personal income (during that first six months of participation) was 47% more than anticipated.*

In addition to tracking income increases, participants target and track one health aim (weight loss, fitness activity, etc.) and one money aim (debt reduction, savings, etc.). The average results in 2012-18 were 87% of target for health goals and 99% of target for financial goals.

We don’t promise these results or that someone will increase their income; their business transactions may be faulty or ill-conceived—or they may not apply the education as instructed. These averages include those who performed better or worse than the average.

This program focuses on results in the areas of work, career, and money and encourages attention on one’s health as a foundation for satisfying these and other loftier aims. Our advanced programs continue to build on the results achieved in these aims and address the satisfaction of many other conditions of life.

All metrics are tracked confidentially represented by percentage increases over time. Metrics are inspected by program leaders for accuracy throughout the program.

*This increase is calculated against anticipated income, a figure which a participant determines by looking at the income anticipated during the program’s six-month time period. “Anticipated Income” is not based on what participants hope, dream, or aspire to produce; rather, this figure is based on what participants already expect to make, based on historical data and already contracted raises and increases. This allows us to track the impact of the program on their income. Extreme increases in income metrics that sometimes occur are removed, as outliers of this nature do not represent the typical outcomes of a typical participant.

Can I see some testimonials?

We have hundreds of testimonials from participants in a variety of industries, cultures, and countries. See our Testimonials page.

Who should participate?

  • Recommended current annual income level is minimal $100K USD seeking to earn incomes of $280-$400K+ annually.
  • Entrepreneurs and small to mid-size business owners seeking to build successful and sustainable businesses.
  • C and mid-level managers and executives who seek to expand their influence within their organizations, communities, and personal lives.
  • Business and creative professionals who seek the knowledge and practice required to reach their aims for money, work, and career.
  • Those focused on expanding an existing or new business endeavor.
  • Companies or teams who require a cohesive framework with which to accelerate initiatives.

Program faculty and mentors

Program Faculty are successful and accomplished business professionals who have completed our four-year curriculum and have been certified to facilitate our programs. Once certified, our global faculty participates in ongoing weekly training and development led by the co-founders. Link for Bios

Program Mentors are successful and accomplished business professionals who have been invited into our advanced curriculum and have been accepted to personally mentor our programs.

Our aspiring membership includes an international assembly of accomplished business professionals, entrepreneurs, and faculty from a variety of countries, industries, and cultures. As students begin the successful completion of the Influence Ecology curriculum, they often seek to continue their mastery by teaching or mentoring others.

Next class group start date

Next Class Group Start Date: February 12, 2020
(closes for registration Janaury 31)

Webinar sessions are held on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month starting February 12, 2020, 4:00pm–5:00pm Pacific Time.

2/12, 2/26, 3/11, 3/25, 4/8, 4/22, 5/13, 5/27, 6/10, 6/24, 7/8, 7/22

Webinar sessions are scheduled for 60 minutes.

An Invitation to Participate

This is a small segment of a webinar led by Co-Founder and CEO John Patterson

If you’re ready to satisfy your ambitions, apply for a free strategy session and let’s see how we can help. Your personal 45-minute strategy session will outline an approach to building transactions that get you more of what you want.

How are your programs delivered?

Delivered internationally, our study programs are a combination of e-learning and webinar real-time attendance (GoToWebinar). Our study modules are offered through a website-integrated learning management system (“LMS”) to organize, track, and simplify the learning process. The webinar sessions are co-led by seasoned program faculty and successful advanced mentors and members and are fortified by peer-formed study groups.

The LMS systematically offers the study module content and its application, lesson by lesson, topic by topic. Any work you complete is saved as you have last completed it. This means that you can write something and return to any aspect of it throughout the program (and the entire curriculum) to edit it as you evolve.

The Fundamentals of Transaction Program study modules are date permitted, meaning that they are only available for your class group to coincide with the webinar session schedule of your class group.

Our programs are currently only delivered in English.

Webinar classrooms are scheduled for both the western and the eastern hemispheres time zones to allow participation from anywhere in the world. Webinar classrooms include the live presentation of program content, visual diagrams, video, and other materials during the training session.

We currently use GoToWebinar as our portal for webinar classroom. When first using this software you may be prompted to download a required Java Applet Plugin. This process may take up to five minutes for first-time users. Participants are required to have 24-hour access to any computer with internet access. Your computer will need to be capable of viewing Adobe Acrobat (PDF) and Flash files and reading and writing Microsoft Word and Excel files. You will need an e-mail account that supports sending and receiving attached files. Participants are also required to purchase up to five business books.

The audio portion of the webinar classroom may be joined via telephone or your computer’s audio system. To use a computer audio system, you will need a computer that has working speakers and a microphone. View GoToTraining virtual classroom system requirements.

Where are your programs delivered?

Programs are held via webinar classrooms scheduled for both the western and the eastern hemispheres time zones to allow participation from anywhere in the world. Our programs are currently only delivered in English.

We also hold live local workshops in areas with expanding student populations. Workshops help you construct new solutions, reach elusive goals, and connect with an expanding resource of ambitious professionals from diverse industries and occupations.


We hold our global flagship Annual Member Conference each January in North America and host a July Mid-Year Member Conference in both North America and the Asia-Pacific.

What is Transactionalism?

Read about Transactionalism on Wikipedia.2000px-Wikipedia-logo-v2-en.svg

Read the book Transactionalism: An Historical and Interpretive Study by Trevor J. Phillips, published in 2013 by Influence Ecology.

What are the origins of this curriculum?

The Influence Ecology co-founders are John Patterson (CEO) and Kirkland Tibbels (Chairman); founded in 2009; they both reside in Ventura County, California and met in Austin, Texas in 1991.

This approach is grounded in the philosophy of Transactionalism (wikipedia) or Transactionalism.org.

Co-Founder, Kirkland Tibbels

Co-Founder, Kirkland Tibbels

The formal study modules used in this program were originally contemplated and began their construction in the mid-1980s by Co-Founder Kirkland Tibbels and a group of young entrepreneurs who dedicated themselves to learning the specialized knowledge required to fulfill their chief aims in business and in their personal lives. Through their commitment to study and their involvement in many social and specialized business organizations, educational programs, and combined work, they dedicated themselves to learning and accomplishing highly objective goals. Kirkland began to compile and organize the material for management and sales training programs used in varied business enterprises, educational programs, and community organizations for over the past 30 years.

Co-Founder, John Patterson

Co-Founder, John Patterson

The company management, program delivery, and much of the environmental and organizational principles taught in the programs are a result of the many years of practical experience gained and developed by Co-Founder John Patterson. With a degree in environmental design (the art and science of the human-built environment), his history includes work in corporate curriculum design and the delivery of a highly specialized leadership and performance curriculum for a leading global training and development company. Since 1987, he has led programs, seminars, and conferences to tens of thousands of people globally and specializes in the construction of consequential educational environments which produce the practical application of abstract knowledge and behavioral re-orientation.

The combination of their specialized knowledge and practical experience launched a unique membership curriculum that has evolved to be known as “Influence Ecology.”

Influence Ecology is the leader in the field of Transactional Competence™, having published and contributed to the only comprehensive text on the subject, Transactionalism: An Historic and Interpretive Study by Trevor J. Phillips. Co-Founder Kirkland Tibbels has authored more than 500 papers on the subject, study, and discipline of transactional competence and the philosophy of transactionalism and is a sought-after lecturer at universities, major corporations, and civic organizations around the world. 

Influence Ecology’s curriculum includes webinars, online tools, podcasts, and mentorship utilized by men and women in 70+ countries around the world. Our membership includes an international assembly of accomplished professionals, faculty, and peers from a variety of countries, industries, and cultures.

What does our name mean?

“Influence Ecology” is an abstract concept for the reciprocal, co-constitutive organism/environment relationship; we are organisms within the environments we influence and are in turn influenced by the environments we cannot escape. This is the very meaning of ecology.

Our ability to survive (and thrive) has always and will continue to depend on our competence to transact within the consequential environments we occupy, build, or maintain. Our unique curriculum offers an immersive study and practice which allows any business professional to both understand the asset and liability of their current behavior—and to construct the environments required to meet their highest aspirations.

Our fundamental philosophy is the concept that human beings are inherently, and always, transacting to satisfy a variety of Conditions of Life.

Can the tuition be paid in installments? Is there financing available?

In most cases, part of our interview process is to determine if participation is something you could or should afford. We recommend you not participate if you cannot afford it. For those who seek to pay in installments, appropriate fees will be included. These options are discussed during the interview process.

In the United States, financing is available almost everywhere PayPal is accepted by Bill Me Later, a credit line on your own PayPal account. Approval takes only seconds and is subject to credit approval and offered by Web Bank, Salt Lake City, Utah.

How long does it take to complete a study module?

For our Fundamentals of Transaction Program, participants report an average of 6.5 hours between sessions (every two or three weeks) to complete a study module. For you, this will depend on your own capacities and aims.

What kind of time does it take to participate in the Fundamentals of Transaction Program?

All in, you might expect to invest an average of five hours a week in the study and development of this specialized knowledge.

There are 12 one-hour webinar sessions over six months.

Our participants report an average of 6.5 hours between sessions (every two or three weeks) to complete a single study module.

There are other ways you might participate that may include your own research or voluntary involvement in a 3–5 person study group, which is recommended.

Your investment in your own education determines your success.

I heard you "remove" people from your programs; is this true?

Our member curriculum takes advantage of the hidden influence of social ecologies where ultimate success (or failure) is a matter of the environment you build. Our intent is to offer a consequential environment of study and a culture of ethics and accountability.

We tend to this environment by holding high standards for participation. We decline 36% of those who apply for our programs and remove 24% of those who begin them. Most aspiring people understand themselves enough to seek membership in business and social environments where exceptional results are demanded of them. Membership in any worthwhile organization is earned and maintained through a recurrent demonstration of the ability to transact powerfully within it. Influence Ecology is no exception. Those who qualify and complete our programs enjoy the benefits of, and gain access to, an international network of ethical and accountable partners.

We state in the participation contract submitted with your application that we may remove you from the program without refund. In fact, it is this consequential environment that makes our programs so highly valued and unique. As such, we remove people who do not comply with our contract for participation. This includes the timely submission of study modules, participation on scheduled webinars, and being respectful of others’ participation. In all cases, you will know well in advance if your participation is in question.

How do I invite someone to participate?

Link to Refer Someone

Influence Ecology is a private member curriculum. We ask that our members be sensitive to the specific customer we seek for our programs and offers.

Members may invite a guest to local workshops or to register for 30-day access to review and study a primer on the Transactional Approach, a special paper on Influence Ecology program and offers. During this period, guests will also have access to some of the special content on program pages.

Who should participate:

  • Recommended current annual income level is minimal $100K USD seeking to earn incomes of $280-$400K+ annually
  • Entrepreneurs and small to mid-size business owners seeking to build successful and sustainable businesses
  • C and mid-level managers and executives who seek to expand their influence within their organizations, communities, and personal lives
  • Business and creative professionals who seek the knowledge and practice required to reach their aims for money, work, and career
  • Those focused on expanding an existing or new business endeavor

Live events require business attire. What is "business attire"?

We request business attire or informal business attire at our live events.

Business Attire – Traditional business dress. For men, this would be a business suit with a tie. For women, dresses or suits with either skirts or slacks. Appropriate footwear for men includes wingtips, loafers, or rubber sole shoes with socks. For women, heels, loafers, or rubber sole shoes with socks or hosiery.

Informal Business Attire – Slightly less formal than traditional business attire. For men, this would be dress pants with a dress shirt or polo-type shirt worn with a jacket but no tie, or a dress shirt worn with a tie but no jacket. For women, this is a skirt or dress slacks with a dressy blouse and/or sweater or another type of top with a jacket. The intent of informal business attire is to ensure that personnel are dressed appropriately to meet with the public at a moment’s notice.

Please, no business casual.

For additional questions or for a private presentation please contact our Office of Admissions:

Liz Smiley
+1-805-285-2900 ext 11.

The leading business education in Transactional Competence™.

Those who transact powerfully, thrive.™