#152 Entrepreneurship & Business – S1 E2 – Snowball- or pyramid scheme

Last week, I was contacted by a random person online. In this case, it was via the Facebook messenger. What did that person wanted from me? Being no fool and walking through life with a pair of open eyes, that question was already answered right in that moment. He wanted to recruit me…

But why bringing up this topic? I want to bring this up, because it seems like this is a very good start into this subject area. Entrepreneurship & Business. That is exactly what those people are doing. Well, of course not those people that contact you directly, because they are just a small part of the system, but the people who have started this thing month or years ago.

Therefore, why don’t we have a closer look at this system?

Step 1: Building trust

So, a random guy reaches out to me. Asking me how I am and trying to build up a conversation. Well, with his intention already in mind, I made clear that I am not interested in everything money related, but if he wants to exchange some thoughts about the topic “personality development”, which he tried to bring up over and over again, I would be willing to spent some time and talk with him about this. I mean, I always wanted to talk to somebody from the inside of such a “system”.

Step 2: The pitch

It was Sunday afternoon, we had set up a time beforehand and started our video call. Well, having never ever spoken to this person before, there was not enough small talk before starting his pitch, but maybe that is just my preference. So, after talking about our current lives and of course about the blog thing I am doing, it was time for him to move on. Time is valuable these days. Therefore he told me about his “mentor“. I guess, everybody knows what a mentor is, but in case there are some question-marks flying around your head, this is supposed to be a person that takes you by the hand and helps you to improve your skills on a certain subject area, or project or what ever you are doing. Master Yoda can be considered being a mentor for Luke Skywalker, if that example makes it clear. Being open minded, I really wanted to get to know that “mentor”. I mean, you don’t get a chance like this very often in life, to meet a direct successor of the Master Yoda kind of personality. Therefore, my contact man tried to call his “mentor” on that same Sunday afternoon, after speaking with me for precisely eight minutes, randomly, to ask him, if he wants to join our little conversation. What a coincidence, his “mentor” could spent some of his valuable time and joined the meeting precisely 5 seconds later, sitting in front of a computer. Unbelievable! It seems like we were really lucky… Surprisingly, the “mentor” of mentors had time for us. Well, having never ever spoken to this person in my life before as well, this time, there was definitely not enough small talk. Believe me! And then, out of nothing, it was not really about “personality development” anymore, but rather about a kind of an online trading school. Phrases like ” become financially independent“, “travel the world“, “enjoy life“, “don’t be the fool who works hard for other people“, “become your own boss” entered the conversation. Well, after telling them, that I am not interested in that kind of online trading, they didn’t really changed their approach. They still kept saying the same stuff, even though that this all made absolutely no sense for my particular chase at all. I mean, I told them about my nutrition problems, that I can not really go to restaurants and stuff, I told them about my blog, and my lack of interest in online trading, but still, traveling the world and trading online was an argument? Very bizarre! That is the last thing I have in mind. Running around in a foreign country on a quest to find something I can actually eat. But anyways. Of course I had some questions in mind, which I asked very directly while trying to stay as serious as possible. I mean, it was really funny to be honest and you can not just start laughing while having a “serious business negotiation or presentation or what ever you want to call it”. So, I asked that mentor, what “financial independents” really mean to him. Well, the answer was not really a satisfying one, to be honest. Because he just repeated the same stuff all over again. Travel the world, work where others are spending their holidays, and so on and so on. Mhh, that wasn’t convincing at all. I was hoping for a more meaningful answer. I mean, this dude makes properly 30 times more than I do right now, being a full time student. So, after spending some more valuable minutes of their independent lives with me, the fool who doesn’t want to do their online trading, even though it is definitely the future, they asked me if they can send me a link and ended the call, after I have invited them to share their information.

Step 3: Reaching out to you again

This is currently work in progress. Since I have received the link to the YouTube video, no further actions have been made from their side. But I will keep you updated.

Source: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/17/ca/f4/17caf47be7061f604bcc3264e7dac2ef.gif 28.11.19 7:45

Analyses

So, what is the business model behind all of this. After watching the information video, which was in fact, way better than the performance of Master Yoda and his companion, they explain their system very transparent. A little bit too transparent for my taste. I always thought that snowball schemes are forbidden… but of course, this is not such a thing. How can I even think about that? They are ordinary citizens, just like you and me. The only difference between them and us is the fact, that it seems like they have developed a sevenths sense for business opportunities…

So, how is it working then?

In order to start with online trading, you need the right information, of course. A little bit of training seems like a good investment, right? What about an online course? Very easy to maintain. Once an “E-learning-lesson” has been created, it can be used for the next couple of month or even years, so really the best way for them to share their “valuable” information, right? And I mean, you can not say something against around 300 dollars a month, right? Sounds logical to me! Getting insider information from experts is just that, expensive. Therefore 300 dollars seem like a real bargain. But hey! That is not even the best! If you bring two of your friends into that “school” as well, it is totally free for you! Amazing, right? Just amazing. Those people, they really care about you! But come one, why do I hear a certain kind of sarcasm in that whole blog post? They want to share the big money with you! And I mean, the money is laying in the streets these days, you just need to pic it up. As easy as that. Well, but of course it doesn’t stop there. If your friends get each, two other friends for this “personality development program”, you will get even payed monthly for that without doing anything. Can you believe it? Your first passive income, my friend. And after that, there is only one way for you. Like a rocket, you will launch from the ground of the ordinary and reach the highest ranks inside that “community”.

Why am I not interested in this business model?

Well, to be honest, what they are saying is not completely wrong, I mean, I am sure that everybody can work on those online trading skills, and some might even have success. But in the end, this whole construct of a company/ business is just based on the fact, that they exploit the shortsighted and frustrated man, who see a chance in all of that, but will in fact just lose a ton of money on this project before they give up. Exploiting other people in order to make money, that is not ok! You should never ever do that!

What can we learn from that experience?

  1. UNDERSTAND YOUR CUSTOMERS
    While reaching out to people is not only acceptable, but even necessary in order to start your business, we can definitely take from that experience, that we need to care about the individual we are talking to. There can not be a magical formula with which we can convince everyone. We need to have a close up look at the person next to us. What do they want? What do they need? What are their problems? What are they afraid of? What are they passionated about?
  2. HONESTY
    Be honest right from the beginning. Well, if your opponents knows that you have lied to him, he will not trust you anymore. Especially, if this is the first time you interact with the person. In my case, this person was lying to me, but didn’t know that I knew. Very unfortunate, in case he wanted to bring up something more valuable than an online course for trading.
  3. DO NOT MAKE MONEY BY EXPLOITING OR HARMING OTHERS
    You can not exploit others. If your business model is based on exploiting others, it will not be sustainable in the future. Oh, and by the way, you don’t want to be in such a situation. If they can even fall asleep anymore?
  4. SHOW RESPECT
    Don’t think that you are better than others. Don’t assume you know the person next to you just by checking their website or not even doing that. Other people can be on a much higher level than you are. In this case, they underestimated me completely. They thought I am a normal person. A fool that hates our society and wants to earn the money the easy way. Well, with 5 minutes invested for researching about me, they could have saved their valuable time for someone else.
  5. BE FLEXIBLE
    You need to make your opponent feel comfortable. You need to interact with them in the right way. There is no way, that someone tells you about having a blog and you are sitting in front of a computer without asking for the name, click on that damn website and tell the other how great it is. I couldn’t make it more easy for them. I gave them so many chances.
  6. BE PRESENT
    In case you don’t know the person you are talking to, try to figure that out in the conversation. Take your time! Talk with them. And I mean really, talk to them. Be present. Look them in the eyes. Make them feel valuable! Make them feel welcome!
  7. DEFINE A ROADMAP AND FOLLOW THE STORY, INCLUDE FLEXIBILITY
    After one minute into the extended conversation with the grand master, it was totally clear for me, that my contact person did something wrong. Why do I know? Because the “mentor” just said it right in the moment he realized. “Normally people already know what we are doing before speaking with me!” + grimly look at the middle man. Well, what can we say about that? If your employees don’t follow the story/ roadmap, this is of course very unfortunate, but you can not just say that in front of the customer. He could have tried to just ignore that and improvise on the spot. But I guess that’s showing exactly what they are having a lack of. They do not have their own entrepreneurial passion in this project, they just follow rules. Like the man in the fast food restaurant “Cluckin’ Bell” in the game GTA San Andreas. But where is the advertised freedom here? This dude is doing just that, working for his mentor. That’s nothing more or less than what all the other employees are doing in this world.

And this is it for today. I hope you have already seen where this category will heading to and how we will approach certain topics. If you want to add something to the topic, or share your experiences with me, feel free to leave a comment!

See you next time!

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