Despite spending most of my time working on my own startups, I find myself drawn to reading about what other people are up to, or making use of - whether it is new ideas, new marketing strategies & tools, or even inspiring stories. I can't help it. I have to keep tabs on who's doing what and what the latest trends, gadgets & tools are.
"Get rich quick" vs. "make money online"
I think it's time to dispel the "get rich quick" myth once and for all, and highlight the difference in intent between wanting to make money online through innovation and hard work, and wanting money for nothing.
How many of you have fallen for a get rich quick scheme simply because you were looking for a good way to make some extra cash? Go on, be honest...
Get rich quick schemes have a way of appearing legit - especially to the people who want them to be legit. But there is always one really easy test you can use to see if a business opportunity is genuine or a scam - we'll look at it in a moment.
First, let's take a quick look at why a sustainable get rich quick scheme (that's open to the public) can never exist.
Why get rich quick scams don't work
Creative ideas that generate profits for their pioneers lead to a massive influx of competitors in that market. The easier something is to do, the more people there are doing it, and the pie gets divided up into smaller and smaller pieces.
In this way the market retains it's balance. Harder businesses have less competitors, but are costly to setup. Easy businesses have more competitors (because they are cheap to set up), but are hard to market amongst thousands of competitors.
Why scams are popular online
When looking for ideas and opportunities to make money, Google will often show you a mix of quality and con artistry. It's really not a good idea to trust a Google search with the direction your life and career are going to take in the short to medium term.
It's up to you to decide whether a site that looks legitimate offers real opportunity, or whether they are selling snake oil. Here are some important things to keep in mind:
- There is no get rich quick secret: There are only good and bad strategies for making money. Good ones attract more people, which leads to more competition, which means it is just as hard to make money.
- You don't get something for nothing: Politicians are the only people who reliably flaunt this rule. So unless you are going to move within the organs of state, expect to offer something of value before generating revenue.
So Google mixes scams and genuine businesses seamlessly, making it easy for con artists to blend into search results. But what makes scams really thrive is the people who allow themselves to fall for the promise of high returns for little to no effort and investment.
How to quickly spot a get rich quick scam
There is only one thing you need to ask yourself when considering any potential business opportunity:
Does this idea offer value to its customers?
No idea, no matter how smart it may appear, can generate sustained profits if it doesn't offer customers value. If you are making money off something that doesn't provide value, then you are a scammer. People don't pay money to get nothing. If they do, it's because they've been misled.
So, when assessing whether an idea is worth pursuing, make sure you understand what people will get from it. Here's an example...
Let's say Amazon occasionally offers unbeatable special prices on certain items that are being sold on other platforms. You decide to offer those items for sale on other platforms at the standard price, and pocket the difference.
Is this a good business model? Not really. What value are you offering? Absolutely nothing. If anything, you are removing value because those customers should have gotten those products at lower prices.
Does that mean that you should not be an online retailer unless you can match or beat Amazon's prices? Absolutely not. There are many ways to offer value that aren't linked to price. Customer support, service, reliability, convenience, and so on.
In this instance, a far better business opportunity would be to highlight Amazon's incredible special deals on your own platform using an affiliate link. Yes, you might lose a sale on your own item, but you will make something in affiliate commission. Plus you have provided value, which means you earn trust.
It is far more sustainable to grow a loyal base of customers who trust you - even though it takes a lot of work.
What it takes to make money online
Assuming that you're not scared to roll up your sleeves and work hard, there's absolutely no reason you can't earn decent cash online. Check out the following articles that will help you with everything from ideas, to creating a blog/website/eCommerce store, to marketing, and finally success:
Top 10 best home based business ideas to make money online
Home based businesses and startups are far easier to establish now than just a few years ago. And now more than ever, entrepreneurial spirit and small business startups (from the home, garage, dorm room, etc) are needed to help boost the economy.
How to start a business
Regardless of whether you are working on an eCommerce store, a mom and pop business, or just being entrepreneurial about an opportunity that has arisen, this step-by-step guide will provide everything you need in order to get a new enterprise up and running.
How to make money
Do you want to know how to make money online, or from home? Wouldn't it be nice to have a secondary income that eventually grows into something worth quitting your job over?
5 eCommerce home business ideas
"Are you looking for some great home business ideas that you can do online?" Starting an eCommerce site (online store) is easier than you think, and can be designed and managed from your home office.
So that's my take on the difference between trying to get rich quick, and trying to make money online. Have you tried one or the other, or both before? Did you enjoy any success?
Share your tips and experiences in the comments.
Starting and running a small business almost inevitably means that money is going to be tight at some stage - often for a prolonged length of time - until the business can start generating a decent stream of revenue.
I'm a strong believer in growing earnings above every other strategy. Saving money doesn't put money on the table, so it is more important to earn faster than to save. But, without efficient use of your financial resources it may be that your startup never makes it to profitability, and that's where money saving tips can be useful.
What it takes for entrepreneurs and small business owners to be successful can vary from person to person, and industry to industry. There's no one thing that makes one person succeed and another fail.
But, this is not about everything you need to succeed, this is 'truth gun to the head', pick the single most important contributing factor to success in business.
Today's modern workforce is placing ever-increasing demands on companies to offer them employment packages that suit their desired lifestyle - and work from home jobs are a huge part of that. After all, no-one dreams of one day joining the rat race and sitting in traffic for a few hours every day.
A lot of tech oriented startups have completely embraced the virtual office and it is quite natural to have employees all over the world, working office hours from home in whatever time-zone they're in.
It's occasionally valuable to take some time to listen to the collective wisdom of entrepreneurs, great personalities, and leaders who have distilled their knowledge and experience into inspiring quotes.
If you are struggling to get a new venture off the ground, or keep your company on the path to growth and prosperity, take ten minutes to stop and read through this list - you might just find the motivation you need to keep going.