Getting burned sucks.
As a community of like-minded folks seeking freedom from our 9-5 torture, we may be susceptible to claims of “getting rich quick” or “making money fast”.
These ads, claims, videos, or Facebook posts arise once you start looking for opportunities outside of normal employment.
We end up in rabbit holes of schemes (Definition of Get Rich Quick Schemes)and scams that look to separate us from our money instead of teaching us great wisdom about making money.
Let me take you through what to look for and what to avoid when it comes to these schemes.
Getting rich is a dream that most of us have, so we look for advice or shortcuts to achieving this dream.
There are no real shortcuts to getting rich, and if there were, they would have been exploited and everyone would be rich.
Think about how high inflation would be if we were all millionaires overnight!
Promises of Prosperity
It all starts on a promise, a claim that seems unreal, but just believable enough to make you curious. These claims are set up that way for this exact reason.
Even if the claim is mostly true, they are giving you the best-case scenario that may or may not be duplicatable.
The goal of any promise is to entice you, the potential mark, that their product or service will give you the superpowers necessary to conquer the business world.
This product or service is the hottest new thing so you don’t want to miss out. The way to spot these dubious offers is to look into the veracity of the claims being made.
The guru in question is trying to sell you a simplified process to wealth. You will see adjectives like easy, simple, passive, or quickest.
The easiest way to hook more people into a get rich quick scheme is to get as many lazy people on the hook as possible.
This may sound a little insensitive but bear with me. The folks that are looking to get rich quickly and with little to no effort, are not the type of people that will ever be rich.
They don’t have experience in business and are looking to avoid the work necessary to create a lasting business.
This is where the guru or the offer’s promises hook them. Be wary of any and all “too good to be true” promises and claims.
Get Rich Slowly
Any business worth doing will need to be built from the foundation up.
You must have a product or service to sell or some expertise that can be leveraged for consulting or teaching. You must provide something in return for those dollars.
There are two primary ways they are scamming folks:
- Scammers will devise a way to sell low-value products or services to the public at large and then sell this scheme to you.
- Scammers will sell you a low-value product or scheme to make money fast.
The schemers are selling you a product or service of dubious quality or value, thus creating their own wealth at your expense.
When gurus are selling you an “easy”, “simple” or “quick” plan to success, they are giving you the bare minimum necessary to start your business.
Ask yourself: Is this product or course worth $997?
Answer: Almost assuredly not. Unless you are buying some form of proprietary information or software, no digital info product is worth anywhere near $997.
With the proliferation of the internet, anyone can set up an online business, but you should helping folks directly or providing real value to your customers.
Getting rich, or truly wealthy, is about creating different income streams that can pay you as they grow.
Passive income and some active income streams are necessary to become wealthy.
You may be able to create one business that can take you there, but it will need to be extremely successful for a long time to accomplish this.
Truly wealthy individuals have many income streams and investments that give them a portfolio. Truly wealthy individuals are also very good at saving money.
See the book The Millionaire Next Door(Amazon link to the book) for more on this.
The scammers and schemers are using you as one of their income streams for which they can proclaim their wealth.
Types Of Scams
The difficult part of avoiding these scams is that they have gotten good about hiding the fact that they are scams.
They can be disguised as courses, business templates, or even simple PDF files with all of the “secrets”.
A legitimate course will give you, upfront, all of the goals that the course is trying to prescribe.
You should already be getting free value from these creators before investing in them further. Most content creators will give you as much content and value upfront before ever trying to sell you anything.
Scams won’t always be readily apparent, but they are usually one full page of information with testimonials and outrageous claims.
Always be wary of someone you don’t know or haven’t seen a lot of content from.
Use your common sense and skepticism wisely and you will be able to avoid the most obvious scam phrases:
- Get rich quick
- Easy no work method
- Make money on Autopilot
- This one trick will make you millions
- Earn $100 your first day
- What they don’t tell you about making money
I don’t know who to attribute the quote to, but the sentiment is brilliant:
If the person selling the information is truly getting rich with it, they wouldn’t need to sell it to you.
The Right Teachers
Now that we have a general idea of what to avoid, there are good people out there creating legitimate help for us freedom seekers.
These courses and information tools should be from someone that you trust and has demonstrated that they have a lot to teach.
The scammers rely on the flash of numbers and success stories while keeping the intricacies of their plan away behind a paywall.
Good teachers will teach you the basics, but need to be compensated for the more advanced strategies. The more you research a course or information product, the more you’ll actually learn from these good teachers.
It is perfectly acceptable to pay a creator for good information that adds value to your life and may help you reach your goals.
Focus on your pain points and break them down so that you can attack them. Once you are able to determine what you need help with, you can find help.
Ask yourself this: Can I find the necessary information online, or do I want it broken down step by step in a course?
Answer: This is totally up to you. The information can probably be found for free, but you may need to pay for a really well laid out plan.
The schemes will almost always advertise that they are the only source you need to learn everything about making money. This claim is almost assuredly false.
There is a myriad of ways to make money and create a business, you should have a confident plan or industry before reaching out for help.
Don’t Fall Victim
The pressures of life force us to do dumb things sometimes.
I get it, I have been there too. I have fallen victim to Multi-Level Marketing schemes and real estate no money down schemes. Both times I was lured in by claims of success and how easy it would be.
Luckily, both times I didn’t invest very much into them. As broke as I was, I just couldn’t “invest” in my future like they wanted me to.
Another claim that scammers use is to use the cost of their “product” as an investment in your future.
You should be able to scrounge up $997 because it will pay itself back almost immediately.
These tactics are dangerous and everyone’s situation may be different. You cannot tailor a business plan for every individual in a course, you can only provide information that can provide value.
That is where the promises fall flat and the sales tactics become apparent.
Scammers will use these marketing tactics to draw you into their snare:
- Popularity- “Look how many people we’ve helped become rich!”
- Scarcity– “You have 24 hours to make a decision before we close the program to new students.”
- Price– “ Today only, our product is only $997, we normally charge $1897 for all of these secrets.”
- Authority– “Our buddy Dr. John Smith approves of this course and recommends it!”
You may have seen these before, so make sure you avoid them.
Multi-level Marketing Scams
As with all marketing gimmicks, the claims made will be too good to be true or go against conventional wisdom.
Multi-level marketing(Wikipedia article on pyramid schemes) is especially dubious because they will make claims that could almost never come true. Their strategy is for you to go find 10 other people which will become a part of your “team”. This “team” then, in turn, earns money for you as they recruit more folks.
This “strategy” doesn’t work because the folks at the top of the pyramid always will make true wealth. They are the ones selling the products and reaping the rewards.
What they have mastered, however, is that they get your friends to bring you in, and then get you locked in with a cult-like mentality.
They “teach” you that your success is based on how much you spend, and that you are not successful because you aren’t trying. At this moment they will flaunt success stories in your face to show you that it is possible.
People inherently do not like disappointing others, so you will work harder to achieve what you think is possible.
Pyramid schemes will always benefit those above you. Don’t draw more flies into their web.
Create A Business
Freedom seekers should be looking for a way to enrich(Our tips on enriching your life) themselves through methods that have been proven to work.
This means to create a business, create content, add value to people’s lives, or do what you are most gifted at.
Your wealth will not be handed to you on a silver platter.
Once you are knee-deep in creating a business or service, you’ll understand there are no shortcuts. These “shortcuts” are the essential scams we are trying to avoid.
Credible teachers will be able to give you the mistakes to avoid or tips on overcoming objections(marketing), but there is no plan to circumvent real, honest work.
If you aren’t proud to sell your product or service, think of the masses out there that would be unhappy upon purchasing it.
There is no substitute for putting in hard work to create the life that you want. Once you understand what it takes to reach your goals, you will be less likely to be swindled by scammers.
We all struggle (Our article on financial anxiety)at some point in our lives. We then seek ways to change our life for the better. This is where we run into the scam artists and schemers of the world.
When you search for content on starting a business, real estate, or selling products online, you are opening a floodgate of advertising designed to draw you into schemes.
Almost every online platform allows these marketers to follow you throughout the web.
They lurk at the edges of our periphery and lunge forward to grab us at our most vulnerable.
Before you pull your credit card out, be very wary about their claims and promises.
Question every one of their statements and look for real value in the content they are providing for free.
Can you honestly say that they are going to give you enough value and teach you a valuable skill? If you answer no, then it is time to move on.
Have faith in your ability to learn online business and not take “shortcuts” to wealth. I really want to see you succeed and make a real living online.
Have you ever been scammed before? Have you wised up to the practice? What are some scams or schemes that I may have missed?