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  • Writer's pictureLucas McNamara

Get Rich Quick Schemes

Browsing through popular social media platforms, one will surely come across so-called “influencers” claiming to be gurus in the art of becoming rich. These experts present attractive graphs with large, bright green digits. Watching a few videos, one will realize that the secret to making money in the way they did is simple, as long as you shell out a couple hundred for their online course or e-book. The influencers sell the idea that their way of making money comes from newly invented stock tricks, real estate hacks, and even illegitimate storefronts selling a shady set of products.

The pitch is painless; the creator pays-off a stranger to create a testimonial video claiming that they have made hundreds of thousands of dollars effortlessly after following the purchasable class. After scrolling through a few testaments and a deluge of out-of-context graphs, you will soon begin to think that you should try it out for yourself. This false mindset of simple lucrativity is exactly what the salesmen covets. Inside each of the videos are deliberate psychological techniques that serve to push you to purchase their course.

While accumulating a fortune of wealth from your cell phone does sound attractive, the majority of people claiming to teach mystical profit techniques often fall flat. The methods that these “entrepreneurs” claim to teach you are about as effective as snake oil. Often, these suave, charismatic salesmen profit not off of real estate, stocks, dropshipping, or any other new method they claim to have found the secret to; but rather, suckers who fall prey to their high-margin courses.

Out of the infinite ways to make a profit off of the internet, selling poorly-written guides to financial prosperity has by far created the most internet millionaires. You may remember social media platforms being inundated with ads from Thai Lopez and Alex Mehr who are the most well-known and successful eLearning salesmen. While the popularity of the pair has fizzled out, the revenue generated by fools falling for their act has gone toward legitimate businesses. Combined, the two have created a venture capital company with the goal of reviving forgotten retail stores including Pier 1, RadioShack, and DressBarn. The actions of the pair represent the perfectly executed plan that has guaranteed a true lifetime of success.

Similarly, many budding entrepreneurs follow in the footsteps of Lopez and Mehr and create their own courses with a flavourful twist. The guides and books vary in an interesting range of sectors from eCommerce to real estate contracts. While the surface of these courses may appear different, the backbone supporting all of these influencers remains the same. First, they reveal their optimal lifestyle consisting of a penthouse apartment, an expensive car, and a personal jet. The promise of this way of life hooks a viewer in and guides them to explore further videos explaining how to achieve a state of luxury. From there, the psychological methods placed in the videos that are giving a brief description of how to start profiting in whatever the theme is begin to set in. As a viewer continues to watch the videos, the desire to try out the method for themselves persists. Finally, the sucker ends up purchasing the course only to reveal that it contains a poorly written, ambiguous guide that Wikipedia would have better provided. The influencer celebrates as he has sold a garbage product to another unwitting customer. The viewer, who spent their hard-earned money in the hopes of being able to enjoy the lifestyle sold to them, laments.

This scam is far too common and many of us have personally experienced friends or family members falling for them. There are many ways to make money, but the methods that advertise little labor and high returns are often baits of falsehood. When we see other people earning profits and living the lifestyle we desire, we become jealous and feel that we deserve to live the same way. Jealousy fuels the beginning of the pitch and is the key motivator used by sly salesmen. It is important to take the testimonials, charts, and graphs advertised to us with a grain of salt and look from a perspective of doubt. Something that seems too good to be true most likely is. If any clever business person found a niche in the market offering lucrative returns from minimal effort why would they reveal it to millions of strangers on the internet?

The goal of any person who dedicates a large portion of their time to creating content is most often to secure a source of steady income for themselves. Although some of these “gurus” do offer legitimate advice that could be useful to start a possible business, the value of that advice does not surmount the cost of a paid course. Instead, many thousands of free resources can be found online without a pesky paywall in between. A person who has the intent of starting a profitable and successful business is admirable, but basing it on the deceit of ambitious customers is shameful. More often than not, the people who sell these courses have little to no experience in the field and simply regurgitate fictitious figures. If you truly desire to pursue enterprise in a sector that is advertised by these salespeople, be warned that much of the market is oversaturated with similar budding entrepreneurs. The key to building a successful company comes from hard work, knowledge, and dedication; all three of these traits are rarely found in the people who follow a get rich quick scheme.

To summarize, one should beware of influencers on social media that claim to sell the key to success. Often, these creators sell a cheap product that is based on a lie, not a true form of education. These scammers are prevalent in sectors anywhere from real estate to the stock market, but none of their techniques offer a real guide to creating a prosperous business. Instead, the courses and e-books consist of a poorly written, cheap guide that offers nothing more than what a Google search could. If one truly desires to create a successful company, they should base it off of a dedicated, tireless drive for accomplishment, not some lazy hack. We should all be aware of the present danger that these schemes offer and should not fall prey to their bogus lies.

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