Entrepreneurs: Choosing A Business - Beware Of Get Rich Quick Schemes
Walsh Enterprises Business & Financial Advisors
Huntington Beach, California USA
Choosing a Business:
Beware of “Get-Rich-Quick” Schemes
I love entrepreneurship. I’ve been intimately involved in three successful
startups, and I’ve advised & coached many others. I wish any new
entrepreneur the best of luck with their venture.
Unfortunately, many people get themselves involved in schemes that they
shouldn’t. I refer to certain of these as “Get-Rich-Quick” schemes,
and they’re all around us; especially on the internet.
Such schemes have been around since the beginning of time. Insurance
“hooks” and pyramid schemes are typical examples. I’ve known
people who just keep bouncing from one scheme to another; making
money for others while they pursue a false dream of easy personal
wealth. The proliferation of the internet has made it the main platform
for such schemes.
These schemes follow predictable formulas, and they’re fairly easy to
recognize, but many people get hooked in because they appeal to us
on a basic emotional level; especially to people who are desperate, as
many are in this lousy economy.
“There’s a sucker born every minute” – PT Barnum
“ A fool and their money are soon parted” – 16th Century proverb
“Get-Rich-Quick” Schemes appeal to our greed & avarice and desire for
easy gains. They use sparkling headlines and “hooks” like:
• “Make $500 your first week”
• “Make thousands per month”
• “No cost to join”
• “Foolproof formula”
• “Only takes an hour a day”
• “Anyone can do it”
• “We do all the work”
• “Complete – Ready to Go”
• “Act now – won’t last long”
• “Exclusive – only available here”
• “The ultimate secret to personal wealth”
Some just sell you a simplistic “book” telling you how to “make your
fortune”. Others offer websites and other complex tools.
All of these schemes count on one thing: The person who sold it to you
will make money whether you do or not; even if there’s no sign-up fee.
They know most participants will drop out at some point. They don’t care.
If they can get people onboard, and each one just makes a couple of
sales, they can make a lot of money. Of course, if you pay to join they
make money right away even if you don’t do another thing.
Many of these schemes offer “lists” or other means of identifying and/or
attracting “qualified buyers”. Take a hard look at them.
• Are they just pumping out random lists of email addresses?
• Are all the participants getting the same list – and competing with each
• If you don’t receive sales leads, who are you going to sell to: your
family, your friends, your internet contacts? They’re going to get sick
of that real quick - then what will you do?
If the scheme is so easy and lucrative, why don’t they just keep it to
themselves and make more money? Beware the self-proclaimed
altruist who claims to be “giving it away” or “sharing it” as a favor.
There may be some, but I haven’t met one yet.
Not all deals are questionable. There are legitimate internet schemes out
there. There might be a few true altruists. There are worthwhile
offerings. Choose carefully.
When reviewing a business scheme, get valid, complete information and
ask yourself some hard questions:
• Ask for a complete list of participants, and choose some at random to
interview. Don’t let the scheme-offerer choose who you talk to.
• Take a hard look at what you’d be doing, and ask yourself if it’s
something you’re equipped to do. For instance, some people just
aren’t geared for selling.
• Is it a business you would enjoy? You’ll generally do much better if
you’re involved in something you enjoy doing; you’ll wake up each
day eager to get going and you’ll bring more energy to it. Conversely,
if you hate what you’re doing you’ll shrink away from it and eventually
As suggested earlier, “Get-Rich-Quick” schemes are a “numbers” game.
They try to hook-in as many people as possible and make a little
money off each one. They anticipate and expect high turnover.
Most won’t help you assess whether or not the business is right for you.
If you’re a warm body, and they can make money off of you, you’ll do.
Whatever you choose to do – you want it to work, you want to enjoy
doing it, and you want it to last.
I’ve only raised a couple of the many questions you should be asking
yourself before committing to any business. Hopefully I’ve given you
food for thought to raise your own extensive list of questions that you
should ask yourself – and the person offering the scheme.
I’ll leave you with one last proverb: “If it sound too good to be true, it is.”
These old proverbs stand the test of time because they accurately reflect
the universal human condition. Please don’t lose your good sense in
the heat of the moment. Please don’t be another victim.