I saw a gentleman one time who brought in several of his many business ideas. He showed me a letter he received from “retired attorney, Phillip A. Brown.” Mr. Brown carefully explained how he had been shown this wonderful system for success. All he did was mail out 200 copies of this same coffee-stained crooked page and he had precise records of earnings that totaled $968,494.00!! And the letter says clearly “YOU WILL RECEIVE OVER $800,000 GUARANTEED!!! Yes, in all caps and with the exclamation marks. And “This is 100% legal service.”
This was one of those where you have three listed addresses with instructions to send one $5 bill to the person at the top of the list, then delete that address and move the other two addresses up, and finally add your name to the bottom of the list. The letter goes on to state that you would receive several thousand dollars in five dollar bills within two weeks if you sent the letter out with your name at the bottom of the three-address list.
So my client decided (prior to seeing me) that he wouldn’t be greedy but at least $100,000 would be kinda nice – and it all seemed very logical. So he made his own copies, invested his $300 and waited for the mail. He was afraid the mailman may be upset at having to deliver so many new letters with checks in them.
Well, after his period of waiting, he counted up his cash. So far, it totals $5.00. After I picked myself up off the floor from laughing we started to look for some better ideas. Yes, it’s the old “chain letter.” It does sound logical but – it just doesn’t work. It’s based on people’s stupidity – and contrary to observation, there’s not that many of them out there.
I share this to say I would rather work with someone who lost $295 in a mail scam, or who ordered a guaranteed roach killer for $29.95 only to receive two small boards with instructions to place the roach on one board and hit it with the other, or someone who invested $300 in vitamins with a network marketing company and still has $295 worth – than with someone who always played it safe and never lost a penny.
It’s by risking out of our comfort zone that we “find” new opportunities. You can be safe and your life will be the same 5 years from now. Or you can explore, experiment, plan, try and act your way to your own unique success story. Ask me about my hot cashew vending machines (I lost $1800 I had gotten as grant money for college as an 18-yr-old). Did I hang my head in shame and vow to never again risk an investment – nope. Today our 48 Days Personality Profiles are delivered through an electronic vending system – people put money in and out pops their profile. It continues to be our most popular and profitable product.
What “scams” have you invested in? What important lessons did you learn?