What follows is definitely a rant and I'll likely be "uninvited" from many stages as a result.
I just got off the phone with a woman who has followed about every fast cash, make a million overnight, fortunes on the internet with no education, no experience, no money, think good thoughts and the secret will set you free guru, huckster and snake oil salesman on the planet.
What did she want?
Well, she is just about to file bankruptcy, is devastated by the prospect, is unemployed in the worst economy in her lifetime and she wants the magic pill. She wants to know what she needs to do to make money fast to avoid bankruptcy and to save herself, she's living in her car. She was willing to do whatever it took to get whatever money it would take to get me to help her, she was sure I could because everyone told her I could, because everyone said when you need to make a change fast, that works, call Dave. More about her in a moment.
I feel really bad for her and the dozens of other people I talk to each month who are in the same boat.
Now this rant will seem a little odd since I sell in the same marketplace often but stick with me and you'll get an education that will save you tens of thousands (and may actually make you money).
I've gotten in and out of the speaking industry several times (well, I've never really left speaking, I simply transitioned my business from platform sales to corporate speaking) because of the bold faced lies and bullshit so many people present as truth in order to sell something. I'm going to make a big blanket statement here, the majority of people who tell you they are making a million dollars a year in their business online . . . are not. Now I'm not talking about the legitimate people who are running real businesses, I'm talking about the ones who appear out of nowhere and are gone nearly as fast without being able to show a track record, history, or quantifiable results. They learn how to tell a story that sells and then they go out and sell it. They are not focused on real results for anyone but themselves. They are world class manipulators who prey on people who will never ask them to prove it.
So here is my first piece of advice, if you are going to spend thousands of dollars with someone, don't rely on testimonials from their friends and family, do some independent research. Find out who is actually using their system completely and who is getting the results they promise. If it is as easy and replicable as they say, you shouldn't have any problem finding people who are successful to sing their praises, not just people that sat in a seminar and gave them a testimonial about what MIGHT happen if they got all the results that the business in a box, snake oil, or idea of the day would promise.
People get so caught up in buying the dream that they forget all the hard work it takes to get there . . . and it's not all your fault, but a big part of it is. Salespeople sell the dream because they know that is what everyone wants, everyone wants a big, nice house, a new car, a huge bank account and a beautiful spouse along with trips to Paris, Rome, The Pyramids and Machu Picchu, the source of all enlightenment (they are just sure of it because someone once said that they found it there and that person was semi-famous). They dream sale goes something like this. You've worked hard your whole life and slaved away, you've missed out on your kids soccer games, you've put off your dream vacations and you've struggled to make ends meet. But while you've been killing yourself hundreds if not thousands of people are silently building businesses that create millions of dollars in income starting with nothing, no experience, no money, nothing! And you can do it too. Simply buy this program and it will do everything for you, you don't have to know anything to be successful. Isn't it time that your neighbors were jealous and envious of your success, your cars, your lifestyle?
The second piece of advice is STOP BUYING LIFESTYLE. The chances of you ever being an international superstar celebrity if you aren't already are between slim and none. You can become well known in your industry and have celebrity like status but it will be because of what you can do, not because of what you bought! If you want trips to Paris then by all means, save your money and take one, it isn't that hard or that expensive and you can hype it and make it sound as glamorous as you like to your friends and neighbors (even better don't hype it, they'll do that all on their own). LIFESTYLE DOESN'T PUT MONEY IN YOUR BANK ACCOUNT, IT TAKES IT OUT.
People who visit me are often surprised that I don't drive the latest model car and live in a 7500 square foot home in a gated community on a private lake. My response is always the same. Why would I? I have a daughter who is five and me, why would I support such a massive over purchase of space? It doesn't make sense. And, the car that was good enough a couple of years ago when I got it still is. I don't need to prove how big my . . . well, you get the idea, there is no value in that unless I choose to be a porn star.
My third piece of advice is: Leverage your money to make more money don't use it to try and show how much you have. Warren Buffet has lived in the same house for decades, he could afford to live anywhere and have the nicest house there but he doesn't. Money is a tool to be used to make more of it. Learn to leverage your money in your business and life and you'll have plenty to do all the things you want to do soon enough. Leverage it all to demonstrate your lifestyle and you'll always be chasing the next dollar.
When people ask me how terrified I would be if I had to start over with nothing and my answer is always the same, not at all. I know how to make money and I know how to make money grow, that is the skill to learn and to practice. I have no pride when it comes to what it takes to make a business grow. When I did turnarounds, I changed light bulbs, took out the trash, vacuumed floors and did anything else that was necessary that I could reasonably do to get the company back to profitable, same when I've started new businesses. Hustle is the key to success, learn to hustle and leverage and you'll find success quickly.
Don't be short sighted though, know what to spend your money on, make investments in technology or customer acquisition tools that work and improve your bottom line. Make everything be cost justified, Either there is a measurable return on investment or you stop spending the money, period.
The woman I talked to today was a big fan of the Law of Attraction. When she asked me what to do I told her the smartest thing she could do in her position was to get a job. Broke people who've bought into the brainwashing never want a J O B, that would be a sign of failure. And this woman told me exactly that, if she got a job, everyone would know she had failed and she'd never be able to go to another seminar and face them again.
Failure is part of success, I've failed plenty, I've lost plenty of money and I've learned a lot of very valuable lessons, I don't know any self made entrepreneurs who haven't. When I built my first million dollar business, I worked as a bartender and a police officer while I did it. In fact, I kept the law enforcement job way too long because I wanted the health insurance and retirement, as soon as I realized it cost me more to stay than to focus on my business I left. And, if I needed to grow my business right now and couldn't raise the cash from the business, the bank, or any other way, I'd get a job and do it that way. And, if it came down to me living in my car with my daughter, you can bet I'd be washing dishes at Burger King if that is what it took to support us.
But the woman that called wouldn't consider a job, she also said that it would be attracting the wrong sort of energy too her, that like the boy in the movie The Secret who locked up his bike and it was stolen, if she locked up her dreams and took a job she'd be punished too. She just had to find a course to take that would give her the missing secret. But it also had to help her make money overnight.
When you need money fast, you don't need another course, you need to learn to hustle. You need to do whatever it is that you are good at doing for money for as many people as possible as quickly and as well as you can. The art of hustle is being willing to set everything aside to get what you need and want. It is about doing what it takes in the moment to achieve what you need to move forward. It is about taking action again and again and getting better at it. It is about implementing and profiting.
I agreed to do two things for the woman if she'd make one agreement with me. I told her that if she'd list all of the personal development and money making courses (some unopened) on ebay for sale by the end of the day today I'd buy her and her 10 year old son a week's stay in a modest hotel and some groceries and I'd help her find a job in her area. She left the call incredibly reluctant to sell her courses because she couldn't imagine success without them.
My final piece of advice is this: When you need to make things happen hustle is the key to success, do what needs to be done, put your pride aside and get to work. There is no failure except in doing nothing. The surest way to finding your way to the top is not by standing on the shoulders of gurus, it is by getting up, working hard, and doing whatever it takes to get accomplished what you need to at this moment to move you forward. Success is a series of actions that you take even when you don't feel like it and don't want to, it is not something that happens by buying a box of anything.
Practice fearsome focus, work hard, do what others don't want to do, follow through, leverage your time and your money, keep what you earn and make it grow, take some time out for yourself now and then, reward yourself with a nice vacation or a new car once you've created a predictable income if you want to . . . or just make that money work harder for you and retire early and live how you want until the end.
Or, Wal-Mart will let you sleep in their parking lot . . .it's a good gig when you won't open the door and walk to one that will pay the bills.
At the end of the day the only person responsible for your success is you so be a thinker and be a skeptic, but most importantly, stop betting your hopes and dreams on what people promise, watch what they do and how they do it, that's where the money is.