I have a love hate relationship with the myths that seem to manifest themselves in the business community. Potentially there is a whole book of myths that have been propagated, promoted and sold to a relatively innocent, yet willing, audience of wannabe millionaires. Dare I say, lambs to the slaughter! Do people still fall for them?
Here are 10 of the best:
1. “Get Rich Quick” I have never come across a real ‘get rich quick scheme’, by real I mean one that actually delivers on its promise. I know they exist in name but they just don’t do what they say on the tin! If they were that good then why would you be privy to the special knowledge (most of which is actually freely available on the internet, if you know where to look!) I suspect they just want your paltry fee. The get rich quick scheme ironically has you as the victim. Just think what 100 people paying the so-called guru £10,000 creates (not for you but) for the guru. So, tell me, who does get rich quick?
2. “It’s a bit like MLM or pyramid selling” I am a pretty optimistic person, but the number of people showing me photos of big houses and the Ferrari that “Fred who got in early now owns” who subsequently write and complain that they have “not made any money quite yet” makes me wonder who is making the money? Again, like get rich quick, Fred will have taken £100 or £1,000 from 100 people etc. Just do the sums. And I am sure that the product is world-beating multi-use, environmentally friendly blah blah blah… They always are.
3. Too Good To Be True See the two above. As my mother always says,
If it looks like it is too good to be true, then it probably is.
4. Talent = Success Look around yourself at the next meeting. Ever wonder why people who are seriously stupider are doing so well despite you having an amazing education and training? Well I’m sorry to say that success does not go hand-in-hand with talent. Some people just have the X factor and understand how to make money (Jack the Lads) and some people simply put in the hard hours that eventually pay off. Intelligence is not enough.
5. Success = money As the joke goes, “If you want to know what God thinks of money then look at who he gives it to”. Seriously, there is not a graph on the planet that equates more happiness with more money. In fact, quite the reverse. Money may be a simple metric but it does not reflect success or happiness; it simply reflects your ability to inherit or make or keep it. Not the same as happiness at all.
6. The Secret – the Law of Attraction Why would obsessively focusing on something actually make it happen? Yes, have a vision and a dream. Yes, become single-minded and focused on it. Yes, envision working towards it and seeing it happen before your eyes. However, wake up and smell the coffee: you need to take action to make it happen. The key words are YOU and TAKE ACTION. Belief is belief but action is action! And results speak for themselves.
7. Create a niche “But I joined the programme, paid my £10,000, then we created the niche, ran the Google ads, sent people to the squeeze page, showed them the videos and testimonials, sent them the long double-money-back guarantee letters, automated the heck out of it and yet… and yet we have only had 53 views…” Again, perfectly respectable and earnest wannabe entrepreneurs fall for the marketing pitch of people who are great at selling what they sell and show you their secret etc… despite the weasel words and snake oil, the basics always have to be in place: great product… an appetite to buy… great, compelling marketing… right time… right place…
8. Social media works Sometimes! Show me the money!
9. Networking really works Sometimes! Show me the money!
10. Create a money-machine – enjoy a four-hour-workweek Yes, you can automate and monetise every process, but the idea of a four-hour-workweek is a marketing creation – it doesn’t mean one actually lives it! It is simply something to aspire to or work towards…
A World without Myths?
I am afraid that for 99.9% of the population the normal laws of money and physics apply: you know, inputs/outputs, cause/effect, supply/demand.
There are no magic bullets, no short-cuts, no universal solutions, no real secrets. There’s just a lot of common sense and tried and tested methods and approaches that will work over time. The trick is to weed out the woo-woo mumbo-jumbo from what actually works. And what will work for you.
Create a product or service that people want or need… that solves a problem, hurt, itch or complaint… that has a defined and accessible customer base… demonstrates an overt benefit… demonstrates the real reason to believe that you will deliver… demonstrates why you are different… delivers remarkable legendary service. Be prepared to pivot if things aren’t working… be bold… move fast… be decisive… be prepared to fail (a bit)… And enjoy the journey!
Of course there are some short cuts and cunning ways to speed up and fast-track the process. Of course some “been-there-done-it” people can help you achieve bigger and faster… help you to avoid the pitfalls and classic early/first-time errors. Just be realistic.
Maybe I should hire a Ferrari and have my photo taken driving it before being videoed in front of an LA swimming pool… would you believe me then?