Today’s post is inspired by one of my “virtual” mentors, Seth Godin. He’s put up a very eloquent post about making a quick buck—a lot of bucks actually. I’m posting his entire piece with his permission as stated in his Blog but I encourage you to visit his site.
There are two guiding principles to always keep in mind when you see an offer that just seems incredible:
1. If sounds too good to be true, it probably is (too good to be true).
2. If this is so great, why is it being offered to me?
Mr. Godin writes:
Too good to be true (the overnight millionaire scam)
You probably don’t need to read this, but I bet you know people who do. Please feel free to repost or forward:
Times are tough, and many say they are going to be tougher. That makes some people more focused, it turns others desperate.
You may be tempted at some point to try to make a million dollars. To do it without a lot of effort or skill or risk. Using a system, some shortcut perhaps, or mortgaging something you already own.
There are countless infomercials and programs and systems that promise to help you do this. There are financial instruments and investments and documents you can sign that promise similar relief from financial stress.
There are four ways to make a million dollars. Luck. Patient effort. Skill. Risk.
(Five if you count inheritance, and six if you count starting with two million dollars).
Conspicuously missing from this list are effortless 1-2-3 systems that involve buying an expensive book or series of tapes. Also missing are complicated tax shelters or other ‘proven’ systems. The harder someone tries to sell you this solution, the more certain you should be that it is a scam. If no skill or effort is required, then why doesn’t the promoter just hire a bunch of people at minimum wage and keep the profits?
There are literally a million ways to make a good living online, ten million ways to start and thrive with your own business offline. But all of these require effort, and none of them are likely to make you a million dollars.
Short version of my opinion: If someone offers to sell you the secret system, don’t buy it. If you need to invest in a system before you use it, walk away. If you are promised big returns with no risk and little effort, you know the person is lying to you. Every time.
Thank you, Seth.
Chris Reich, Author of TeachU’s Business Talk Blog