If you’re looking to make more money, either online or in the real world (almost had forgotten about that place), then you are going to encounter unscrupulous people that create illegitimate schemes to extract value from you and give you nothing in return.
In other words, SCAMS.
The huge question when we venture out of our basement suites to try to find a better way of life: how do we avoid these scams?
In this article I’ll go over a tactic that I personally used to judge business opportunities. There are scams in every industry, but I’m going to use the example of biz-ops, but the skill set can be applied to anything.
So, how do we avoid scams?
Here’s the answer.
Critical thinking, which is not critical theory (don’t get me started), is the skill and ability to dissect ideas and concepts.
This means we do not use our emotions to judge opportunities, but rather we bypass our emotions and use logic and reason.
This is not a natural thing for a lot of people to do, and that means a lot of people actually to get scammed or just don’t engage in any opportunities whatsoever.
This is kind of like never leaving your house because you might get hit by a car.
Yes, there is a chance of that happening, but you will not move forward with your life if you never take a step forward because of what might happen.
I have a friend that calls everything a scam. Everything that is not established in an old institution like Education will naturally raise suspicions. This is normal.
But jumping straight to the conclusion that suspicions automatically mean “scam alert” is a fallacy, and it also means you will miss out on great opportunities.
The proper way to navigate around business opportunities is to break down the opportunity into its parts and see if they make sense at every level, and to see if there is anyone being left “ripped off” in the end.
It is also useful to find reviews about opportunities and see what other people are saying about the biz-op. It is especially easy to do this now with the internet. Of course, we must also be critical of what kind of criticism is being offered as a lot of criticism is just the rantings of a hater.
Breaking Down The Opportunity Into Its Parts
This is the general guide on how to breakdown a biz op into its parts.
Business is simple. Business will always be the offer of value in exchange for money. The idea is that what we are spending money on is worth more than the money itself. We are more likely to buy something if we feel like we are getting a “deal”.
Basically, the first part of breaking down a biz op is to see if there is actually an exchange of value.
Are both parties benefiting equally? Is there longevity in this benefit or is it something that will crumble over time?
A lot of pyramid schemes (Ponzi schemes) are a great example of a scam because there is no exchange of value, just the movement of money upwards.
Think about it, you pay into a system in the hopes that other people will pay into the system so that money will go to you. Where is the value other than the promise that money will eventually be given to you because you have given money to your up line? It is false value.
Eventually, there won’t be enough new people feeding into the system and a lot of contributors will be left without a ROI.
These types of business opportunities will often be presented as legitimate practice so it will take a deeper level of thinking to figure out what they are really about. They will even successfully trick smart people into taking part because of this.
Whereas scams like phishing are easy to detect to the internet savvy and only fool the elderly or naive, false business opportunities are dressed up in a way that make them seem appealing to someone that wants to put effort and money into their very own business.
It is important to always break down business opportunities into:
- Value provider
- Product (value)
If you have a hard time doing this, then you are probably the product.
On Reading Reviews
There are plenty of reviews on the internet.
A lot of people have tried things and are happy to share their experiences.
Of course, we must take every review with a grain of salt.
We must ask:
- Does the reviewer have an ulterior motive?
- Is the review done professionally so that an unbiased opinion is produced?
- Is the reviewer being emotional?
As you probably noticed I have a tab on the website menu that is called “recommended”.
Yes, I do have an incentive to sell you on the course that I recommend. And yes, there is an affiliate disclaimer in the home menu.
This, however, does not mean I have an ulterior motive because the review I wrote for the product is my legitimate opinion of the course, and is a logical breakdown of what you will get with the product.
An ulterior motive is often dressed up as extravagant claims or fancy wording to alter facts.
Let’s take, for example, a negative review.
There are a lot of reasons someone would write a negative review about a product. One of them is that the product is actually poorly made.
Another reason could be that the reviewer is unable to discipline himself to practice the skills that are taught in the product and is blaming the product itself instead of his lack of self-discipline.
Another reason could be that he is not well-educated in what the product is actually about and came to a hasty conclusion (this could be because he is promoting a product that is in competition).
As you can see, we must also be critical of these reviews themselves.
The nice thing about all of this is that when we do come to a positive conclusion about a product, or business opportunity, it will often align with the well written reviews online. This is when we know we are on the right track.
Personally, this is how I’ve come to learn valuable skills online, and also how I’ve met a lot of awesome people and communities that are all about growth and prosperity.
Hopefully this article has helped figure out how to tell if a product or biz op is a scam or not.
This is something that you will have to practice and experience for yourself, but eventually you will just have a finely tuned intuition about these things (that’s different from a snap emotional judgment).
Let me know in the comment section what kind of scams you’ve avoided and how you found out that they were scams! I’d love to discuss the various unethical things going on in the business world with you!