It used to be easy to detect the “get rich quick” schemes – they were limited to the back of comic books and informercials. Not so today! In 2009, I’ve seen an exponential growth in the number of self-professed experts who purport to have all the answers to today’s economic woes — by hiring them!
Everyday I get at least 5 to 10 pitches by these so-called experts hawking everything from workbooks and webinars to full-fledged thousand dollar workshops. They promise insane ROI (return on investment) for hours and money spent – yet most of it is a scam. The longer the economy flails, the more of these schemes emerge.Quite frankly, I am finding it so impossible to discern the wheat from the chaff and I really think I need a “Get rich quick” spam filter to rid my inbox of their clutter. I think the biggest productivity gains can be achieved by simply eliminating these pitches from clogging our email channels.
While I’m on a rant, I’d like to go green by insisting that all of the credit card companies and cell companies stop chopping down trees to send me yet another offer that goes straight into my shredder. I’d have much more respect for AT&T, Verizon or any of the other myriad of telephone companies if they would simply stop the stealth marketing by trying to steal customers of other carriers through mail offers. Why not offer outstanding service as a differentiator instead of trying to grab each other’s clients? Imagine the greening of America that could happen by stopping this mailing waste!
I don’t even want to get started on recycling – after all we’re talking about get rich quick trash in inboxes, not real life trash that goes to our landfills instead of being recycled and changed into useful products using the secondary materials. Hey, that gives me an idea – instead of pitching one’s expertise and trying to get people to pay for secrets of success that aren’t really there, why don’t these self-professed experts put their efforts where they really count – by investing their time in retraining programs to teach those out of work useful new skills? Sure, it would take effort and require positive energy to truly change the world instead of lining their own pockets by enticing those same people with their get rich quick schemes.
But that’s not how we all work is it? We’re all neighbors and one community only as long as it doesn’t affect us individually and we can look at those with foreclosed homes, lost jobs, and sunken dreams as different from us. Somehow those pitching the snake oil road to riches can justify selling to the down and out – those who truly need hope and secrets that will lead them to survival. Can one survive on snake oil – or its proceeds? I guess time will tell when the experts start to fall along with everyone else – and their so-called “secrets” will come to light as the snake oil they always were.
Have a great week – and remember that if it sounds too good to be true – it probably is!
Carol Dekkers, Software Measurement and Global Software Development expert, author, speaker. Want to engage Carol to be a speaker at your next event? Email Ms. Dekkers at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.caroldekkers.com for details.
Read Carol Dekkers’ other blog (Musings about Software Development) at http://musingsaboutsoftwaredevelopment.wordpress.com.
——Copyright 2009 Carol Dekkers – All Rights Reserved ———————