Making the First and Second Million in the Silicon Age
It is said that the first million dollars is the hardest to make. What I'm about to express agrees with that statement. In perusing social media of various platforms, I am inundated by posts of successful entrepreneurs that "just want to help you."
They know just know to spin it.
They say all the right things.
Each statement is a new line of text in their emails.
You've seen it all before. And you're seeing it again.
Wait, shit! I'm doing it too!
What bothers me about pitches like those is that they make me feel like I'm being lured in. The author gives sleight detail but adds of mystery with every line. Lots of optimism but ultimately you as the reader are kept in the dark. "Want to know how to have a guaranteed successful financial future?" They say. "Want to engineer your next relationship?" "Want to materialize your dream life?" "The program you're about to discover will deliver that desire into your life, or I'll eat my dead great grandmother's shoe."
No one likes to feel like they're being taken advantage of. Which makes me surprised at how effective some of these campaigns are for "Achieving Your Dream Life with Dr. Myles K Phitz." Maybe they've got dozens of youtube videos, it might show them speaking at seminars or Ted events, and they've got pictures next to Tony Robbins and Oprah. It makes me wonder: where the hell did they come from? It seems so deathly simple to take an old idea and spin it in a new way, only to become a New York Times best selling author and get to start your very own pyramid scheme.
Posts like sources by individuals such as these seem disingenuous. As a financial blogger who actually wants to help people, I feel that such behavior is poisonous to sources like Financial Jiu Jitsu and those who else I consider dedicated to the cause.
Ever notice that our titles don't sound click-baity? That's intentional. We want to reach audiences by providing real, helpful, insightful information based on our thoughts and experiences, and I think that when it comes to delivering a superior product, the ideas sell themselves. When authors and bloggers resort to click bait and line-by line email hooks, they've done worse than sold out. They've begun taking advantage of people who simply have the good intention of getting ahead and improving their lives. Some of those people inevitably take the bait and buy the $40 E-book, the Life-Guide Mega Series, or some other such nonsense.
Now, there are certainly products and programs out there that really do help people, and there is nothing wrong with selling something that you came up with that helps other people. We do it too - with the ads on our site and in our pages. In fact, we'll probably eventually incorporate some contracted sponsored ads and push certain products or services - so long as we morally believe that the product or service is something we legitimately use/ would use.
So this got me thinking - these guys that cruise around in Ferraris and have crazy instagram accounts with 600K followers, they've all got a pitch as to how you can do it too, and all you've gotta do is buy their e-book. They must have earned the first million somehow, but in terms of what I'm talking about the first million is irrelevant - you just have to have it. The second million is so much easier because all you have to do is sell people your recipe for the first million. It doesn't even have to work - people will take it on faith that following your recipe will get them the first million, the first 50K followers, the first successful product. And guess what? I'm telling you that they made their second million because of all the suckers that bought into it and trusted them.
So here's my pitch:
How to make your first million:
Convince everyone you're a millionaire. Go all out with a Pontiac Fiero with a Bugatti Veyron body kit (you may have to settle with the Ferrari panels.) Pay some local college models to hang out with you and take pics of it. A fake Instagram account that you pay Chinese bots to comment and like on. Pictures with tigers wearing gold chains is an absolute necessity. Consider paying someone to photoshop you into Dubai every few months. Really spare no expense (who knew faking a millionaire could be costly?) Once you've successfully built an audience of (real) suckers, you write and e-book and make some shit up about how you became a millionaire (even though you're not one). If your following is big enough and no one sees through the facade, then you'll actually make your first million selling the "how to become a millionaire" e-books. All it takes is 10,000 people giving you a $100 dollar bill. That's a million dollars. Or 100,000 people giving you 10 dollars.
It's so simple!
Now, since I just gave everyone this information for free, am I a sucker, or a philanthropist?
Who cares. Always be skeptical my friends. Always.
Now I'm off to make my third million..... anybody want to buy a bridge?