Have you ever been swiping around on Tinder and saw "entrepreneur" as someone's career? How about an ad on Instagram for a mediocre clothing line, or a water bottle for $27? Have you ever been hit up by a friend from high school who's suddenly interested in your life because they actually want to sell you something?
With everything from online ads, to fancy websites and electronic marketing strategies, there are a ton of ways to make money from your computer with almost no capital or investment.
Problem is, a few people have taken advantage of this, and are using it to make money in ways that kind of make me want to write my own Black Mirror episode on network marketing.
Let's first define who is behind all this, and outline some ways where you can stay far away from their entrepreneurial pursuits to sell bullshit.
1. Anyone With "Clickfunnel" In Their Vocabulary
Sorry, Russell Brunson. But if you didn't want to be called out by name, maybe run fewer than 700 ads on my Facebook timeline so I didn't reluctantly memorize it.
I don't know who coined this term, but I think it's safe to say that Russell has become its frontman. And it was definitely a huge trend in 2017.
Now, I gotta say, my man Russell has pulled in a shit ton of money with this business (way more than I have with this blog). I also have to admit that everything he did was legal, moral, and pretty honest.
My issue is that the main goal of his venture, and everyone who bought into his marketing techniques was to make fast money.
The focus wasn't on delivering value or listening to the audience. The goal was to convert visits to sales. Which is why Clickfunnels were so 2017, and won't be around much longer.
The concept of drop shipping is great. Hell, I've even tried it myself. Basically, you take a product that isn't yours, modify it somehow, and re-sell it on your own platform using a service like Shopify. You can also sell original products, and just take a portion of the profits for making the sale.
Pros include allowing people the opportunity to practice a business without any overhead or capital. Everything is done online.
Cons include getting people so wrapped up in making fast cash on internet sales that they'll do anything to ram their product into as many faces as they can. This is where we get the Instagram and Facebook ads for products that are cheaply made and similar to a product that's already out there.
Whole clothing lines, custom t-shirts, basic things like water bottles, posters, coffee mugs, etc. - you get the point. Dropshipping is great for someone creating other content like videos, photos, podcasts, or any established personal brand because it lets you create merch to go with that brand.
Dropshipping lame products that are selling because they're priced low and marketed on social media are annoying. You can't sell product without delivering value first. If you do, it won't last long.
3. "I Made It" Teachers
Have you ever seen that dude who's experienced success in their life, and then tries to market online classes on how they got there? I'm willing to bet their success involves real estate, an early investment in social media, the word Bitcoin, or some stroke of luck with online marketing. 99% of those people are full of the same crap McDonalds puts into their McNuggets.
We don't usually call out names, but we need some solid examples for your educational purposes, right?
First, I would like to mention that the guy reads like a whole flipping book cover to cover every day, so there's no doubt that he's brilliant. He's also nailed down YouTube ads in a way that still makes me want to watch until the end. He's got talent we can learn from.
Photo By Tai Lopez
HOWEVER, Tai, I wanted to love you. I wanted to believe that your cars aren't really the focus (like you say), your online classes deliver value, and there are mostly successful results from your subscribers.
But sadly, I have more faith that Frank Gallagher will quit drinking before I learn any legitimate lessons from your content.
I got roped into believing that a multi-week course led by Tai himself might educate me on some techniques I could use with investing. I quickly found out that most of his "classes" were spontaneous rambling about a surface level topic that didn't show me anything I didn't already learn in the 4th grade.
I dropped almost $800 on these classes, and mostly received emails to sign up for additional "bonus" classes for even more money - before I ever had the chance to try to learn anything from the damn classes I already bought.
Long story short, I had to get the money back, and it was about as painful as being a UGA football fan.
Bottom line: if they got rich quickly, they probably are going to get richer by quickly leading you into the false sense that they can provide true valuable guidance.
4. Shell People
Lawd Jesus. I wish this category didn't exist, but on an annoying scale from 1 to 10, these people are a Millie Bobby Brown.
These guys are the ones who post tons of photos of their exotic cars, maybe an Insta post of them hopping on a private jet, or a selfie in front of their big ass mansion.
Except none of that shit is theirs.
They look for photo opportunities to give the illusion that they're rich and successful.
Also, for those of you who think I don't like my fav actress Millie, that was a reference to the number eleven - dummies.
Shell people are also notorious for running marketing schemes that earn money based on the performance of those they sign onto the same company. They promise you success because their success depends on yours.
Honest. Fair. Legal.
But coated with the lies of a lifestyle that isn't theirs makes them only part of a true successful individual. More specifically, the shell.
Ok, government-paycheck-making-average kid, your rant is over. Time to direct the readers to people who add real value:
Photo from entrepreneur.com
While I was skeptical at first (since this guy can come across as a bit of an asshole), Gary has become one of my favorite people to watch. The biggest key is that he gives away everything he knows for free, and the advice he gives are actionable techniques we can use right away.
Photo by Tom Bilyeu
Tom's weekly show, Impact Theory, has risen to the top of my list as the best content to follow online. Period. If you don't believe us, check out this video with one of his guests.
Now, while it's important to avoid some of the people we described in this post, there's still value in learning from them. Even if we don't agree with how they made their fortunes, they still made one. So there's something to gain.
Our suggestion is to take what they've done, and focus on things like delivering value, focusing on the customer, and improving your product. Just for the love of Moonstruck Traveller, please don't tag yourself in a photo by a Ferrari and caption it, "Grind Harder".
Like being unpredictable? SHARE this so that we can grow our community. #BeUnpredictable