Saturday, August 18, 2007

Getting Rich Quick

Did you ever notice that people who sell books on how to get rich in some way, usually do so by selling us the book? I was lying awake again last night (many might assume that it's my guilty conscience keeping me awake at night for reasons that I choose not to remember or deal with, but that's another story) and unfortunately all that seemed to be on the TV at that hour were really bad movies and infomercials on ways to "get rich quick". In the hope of boring myself into unconsciousness, I surfed a few of the channels to see what these current paths to riches were and whether I might take advantage of them. Here is what I found:
  • Buying real estate for little or no money down. (I wonder if this is how Donald Trump got started?)
  • Working at home buying things on the web that I would in turn sell to people who would buy them from me. (this one seemed kind of confusing, though everyone doing it certainly seemed to be happy and well off)
  • Inventing something and bringing that new invention to the marketplace
Each one of these endeavors had sincere and attractive people enthusiastically trying to help me understand how simple all of this could be, how well it had worked for them, and how it all seemed to involve very little work. Quite frankly, it all seemed very attractive. It occurred to me however that if any of these situations was a sure-fire as they appeared to be, the people who had come up with them wouldn't want anyone to know about them (at least I wouldn't). Anyone who knew of a fast and simple way to accumulate wealth would want to keep the idea to themselves, accumulate a large fortune, and buy an island somewhere to retire on. Instead they seemed bent on spending their own money for infomercials (though obviously not a lot of money, or they wouldn't be putting them on in the middle of the night) to inspire me to compete with them for the money out there. I wondered at the kindness and generosity (and perhaps even sainthood) of strangers who were willing to share such information with me, then I went to the dresser and checked my wallet.
I had realized in that instant of clarity, that while all of these people were willing to share information with me on how to achieve a potential fortune, they were looking for me to pay them in order to gain this knowledge. This in turn, caused me to ask:
  • If the keeper of this knowledge was making so much money, why would he need anything from me to share it? After all, they were already rich?
  • If this information was so valuable, how could they sell it to me so cheaply?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not accusing anyone of lying (not while there's a chance that I can be sued for defamation anyway). I am sure that someone, somewhere has made the money talked about by following the plan outlined, whatever it is. I am equally sure that there is a much higher percentage of people who never made enough money to break even with the money they sent in for the program. I am absolutely sure however that the people passing on this knowledge were making out pretty well by doing so.
My recommendation therefore is to remember that someone has to pay the electric bill for all the lights in Las Vegas. You should try very hard to accept your lot in life if you must, work hard to better yourself if you can, and remember that anything that seems too good to be true usually is. Watch the bad movies instead and count yourself lucky. Maybe the money you seek (or at least the sleep) will come when you least expect it.

By the way, what ever happened to Amway?

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