Here at 48Days we field a lot of questions where readers want to know if something being promoted is a scam. Just today someone wanted to know about a Robert Kiyosaki business idea. The dictionary defines "scam" as to obtain money from somebody by dishonest means.
If someone asks you to send $4000 as a processing fee so he can release his uncle's money from Nigeria and share the windfall with you, trust me, you're being scammed. But most ideas are not that easy to read.
If you see a training course to teach you how to write your own book and after spending $495 you didn't get a deal from any major publisher, were you scammed? If you spent $1250 for a windshield repair business and never even recaptured your investment, were you scammed? What about if you went to an investment training seminar and then proceeded to lose your own capital? If you purchased a business opportunity to do medical billing - which included you buying an expensive computer system, and then you found out the only key to success in this is being able to market and sell your services, were you scammed?
I have purchased thousands of dollars worth of seminars, workshops, training programs and business opportunity products over the years. I consider this an integral part of my ongoing learning process. Yes, I have a library of "millionaire" tapes that provided little useful information, "business opportunities" that consisted of photocopied government forms, teleclasses where there was too much background noise to hear the presenter, and hot cashew vending machines that quickly produced moldy products.
But I have never considered that I was scammed.
The real key is to see the learning that takes place for you in this process. Not every college course offered any real value - but it was part of a larger process to help you clarify your best options. I recently worked with a young couple who had just sent over $20,000 to an invention company that promised them wealth and fortune. We know they will never see any return on the very ordinary ideas they submitted. But my counsel to them is that some people are sitting in classrooms spending $20,000 a year hoping to get a good idea here and there, and some people are getting their "education" in other ways. Either way, it's a legitimate way to be moving toward the right idea for your ultimate success.
Bottom Line: There's less risk from getting "Scammed" than there is from doing nothing.
April 12, 2010
Dan Miller is today's leading authority and personality on careers and 'Work You LoveTM'. As bestselling author of 48 Days To The Work You Love, and now No More Mondays, Dan reaches over a million people every month in his newsletter, podcast, and blog with the best trends and opportunities in the workplace and small business. For more information, visit http://www.48days.com.