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Picture this scene.

It could have been written by Rod Serling (The TWILIGHT ZONE?).

A man shows up at your door. He is wearing a mask – so you can’t tell who he is. He is representing a business – but he won’t tell you what the business is. He wants you to give him $150 to become part of this business.

The masked man (no, not the Lone Ranger?) goes on to guarantee that you can make $10,000 a month (after 12 months) with this business – that is not yet in business, or you get your money back. But, this anonymous stranger offers no contract. You ask where you write in order to get your money back. He gives you the address of a vacant lot. The mysterious stranger continues by saying that you need to do nothing. He will build your business for you. You ask, “how?” You are told that is on a need-to-know basis only. And, you do not need to know.

Question. Do you give this man your $150?

So, why do people fall for this exact type of scene on the Net every day?

You have probably received the spam. New company. It’s in pre-launch. He can’t tell you the name of the company, but you will have heard of it. Will be the hottest thing this year. Get in now. It’s going to explode.

Don’t fall for the whistles and bells of bad marketing. Here are some of the telltale signs to beware of.

1. Make Money In Your Underwear!!!

Just the other night, I saw a re-run of a commercial with Michael Jordan pitching Hanes(tm). I’ve also seen the Victoria’s Secret(tm) models, both in magazines and on television (but not often enough). These people make money in their underwear. They also work hard. You and me, we would get committed. We would get committed to a home for the insane.

Don’t believe the hype. Yes, you could sit in front of your computer and work at your home business wearing only your underwear. After all, it is your home. But, the key is – IT’S A BUSINESS. And, if you don’t treat it as a business, the only person making money will be the person who took your money. And, they wear more than their underwear when they take your money to the bank.

The line, “Make money in your underwear” is about as old as the Net itself, but it is still used. Don’t be the fool who is parted from his money. Real, legitimate business opportunities don’t bother with this kind of misleading hype.

2. Make Money While You Sleep! ! ! ! ! !

Re-read the previous section.

Yes, the Net IS available 24 hours a day. But, this is still misleading hype used mostly by get-rich-quick schemes in an attempt to convince you that the Net will make money for you.

Rule #1. The Net does not make money for you. It can provide a new medium, and access to many more potential buyers than ever before. But, you must make the effort. Those who make money from the Net while they sleep, are those who work hard on the Net while awake.

Like before, it’s still a business, and to make money – you must work for it.

3. The Number Of !!!!’s or $$$$$’s Has No Relationship To The Number Of $$$$$ You Make.

I get messages like this in my mailbox every day. You probably do, too. It never ceases to amaze me the way people write some of the ads. I guess they use excessive punctuation to make up for the lack of anything significant to say. Just because they fell for this – don’t you fall for it. $$$$$$$$$$$$10.00 is the same as $10.00. If their “programs” were worth joining, the emphasis would be on the product – not the punctuation.

4. The Dollar $ign I$ Not A Letter Of The Alphabet. Even In Bu$ine$$.

Again, an appeal to the “Greed Factor.” Because they substitute a dollar sign for the “S” everywhere in their sales letter, they think you are stupid enough to think this means you will make a ton of money. Why not? They were probably stupid enough to fall for it. Once again, legitimate business opportunities don’t pull this sort of thing. Their products, and their endorsements allow the program to stand on it’s own merit.


In the old days, someone decided that on the Internet – all capitals was the same thing as shouting. I’ve never really understood that philosophy, but – being in all capitals does make it much more difficult to read. Why would someone send an important email that ‘shouts out’, “I’m not a professional.”

6. If It’s Going To __E_X_P_L_O_D_E__, It’s Probably A Bomb.

Enough said. If I had a dollar for every email I’ve been sent about a program that was going to “explode,” I would have a good income. On the other hand, if I had a dollar for each of the programs that are still in business, I might be able to send out for a pizza.

7. They’re Making So Much Money, But Their Email Address is: I’

I just hate it when an email comes telling me how much money they have made in this program. And, the return address is a free email account. Domains can be had for less than $35 per year, depending on who you register with. When I get these emails, they aren’t even opened. The delete key is used.

8. Letters From Legitimate Businesses Don’t Begin, “This Is Legal Because…”

Do you really want to join some program where you have to quote or misquote) postal regulations in an attempt to convince people what you’re doing is legal.

Have you ever seen Bill Gates hold a press conference to say, “What we’re doing is legal because…” OK. Bad example. But the point is – if you have to defend your products legality, do you really want it as a product?

9. Real Testimonials Have Names, Not Initials, and….

If a testimonial only has a person’s initials, how do you know the testimonial wasn’t just written by the person trying to take your money? You don’t. Real testimonials have the person’s name.

And, on the Internet, at least an email address. Real businesses with real products or services that conduct business in an ethical manner want you to contact the people who give testimonials. These businesses have nothing to hide, and are proud of the way they do business.

If you don’t have a way to contact the person writing a testimonial – it doesn’t matter how good the testimonial sounds, the fact is – it’s worthless.

10. Real Businesses Have Contact Information.

Would you join a business where you have no real idea who is running it? Lot’s of people do. What if there’s a problem? How do you contact the company? Do you contact your sponsor? Do you even know who your sponsor is? Don’t send your money to “them,” unless you know who the “them” really is.

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