by Andrew Shim
A friend of mine, Joe (not his real name) recently asked for my opinion about investing in an online business. He had found this "fantastic" money making opportunity on the Internet. Joe was thinking of investing a substantial amount. All he had to do for this "online business" was view a couple of websites a day and he would be paid a percentage of his investment every month. He said some people were making thousands every week! When I heard this, red lights flashed in my mind and they were screaming "SCAM! SCAM! SCAM!"
When he had finished telling me about the "investment", I asked him two questions: "Don't you think it sounds too good to be true and have you done any background research into this?" Joe said he did do some checking and although he found a fair bit of criticism about this "investment" on a couple of online forums and chat rooms, he was still willing to invest and see if it worked. I then asked, "Joe, you sound desperate. Is everything OK with your business?" The truth finally came out. Joe's business had folded about a month earlier and YES, he was desperate. I advised him to hold on to his money - that he would need all his money to help him and his family through the tough time ahead. I offered walk him through starting an online business if he really wanted to - just not this particular one.
This wasn't the first time someone had asked me about such "investments" when they were in the midst of a crisis. Desperate people resort to desperate measures. It's so very easy to believe what you read on the Internet. The web is filled with millions of sites that guarantee you riches if you will just make a "minimal investment". The cold, hard fact is that there are many irresponsible internet marketers out there who prey on the weakness of desperate folk, getting them to part with their money - which is a precious commodity when you're jobless - to make themselves rich.
Most people fail to realize that in many ways, an online business is like a regular business. It takes time and effort to build it into something successful. It definitely does not happen overnight the way many internet marketers would have you believe. After all, if they told you the truth - that it DOES take time and effort - would you part with your money so easily?
Here are some examples of when you should AVOID investing in an online business:
*When you've just lost your job or source of income. The sense of desperation leads many into rash decisions that they soon regret and they are left much poorer!
*When you're all hyper after discovering that one-in-a-million opportunity which needs your response A.S.A.P because "places are limited".
*When you've had a bad day at the office, and you've been grilled by your boss and you want out - NOW!
*When you read or hear someone tell you how "easy" it is to make tons of money on the internet and they want you to join them - NOW!
*When you suddenly find yourself in a financial crisis.
*When you've just quarreled for the thousandth time with your wife about money.
You get the message - DON'T invest in an online business when you're emotionally charged. That's exactly what internet marketers WANT you to do! I know it's hard to do but channel all that energy and frustration into research instead. Do it as if your life depended on it - and it probably does. Be ruthless in your fact-finding. Be objective in what you read and hear. Be merciless in rooting out potential SCAMS. Give yourself some breathing space, do your homework and when you find an online business that you are confident about, JUMP IN! Go into it with all your heart and don't stop till you've reached your goal!
Until then, I've said it before and I'll keep on saying it - the Online Business Pie is growing everyday. There is ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE plus more to spare! It's not going to just disappear one day so don't worry. When you're ready, you can dig in and enjoy your slice of the pie too - Cheers!