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Reality Check

In the world of business, there are a few things to watch out for before you get involved as an owner, affiliate, or investor. These are important everywhere, but nowhere more important than for the so-called "internet newbie" who is looking for additional income and/or a better lifestyle. Hype and unrealistic promises that sound oh, so good are everywhere. Let's pick a few of them apart. Learning to step back and think logically can be a financial lifesaver. It might even help to look at each offer and ask if you would want your kid or your grandparent or your best friend to get involved. If the answer is "NO!" then you shouldn't, either!

The following is a list of hype and unrealistic promises that should make you think about just what is being offered. Always remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

1) Join for FREE! This is, I believe, a legal mandate. They can't charge somebody to join. And if they could, they shouldn't! This is about as meaningful as advertising that a certain brand of corn oil has no cholesterol, as if that made it better than other brands of corn oil. Corn oil is a vegetable product and cholesterol is an animal product. No matter how appealing the claim sounds, NO corn oil has cholesterol, ALL corn oil is cholesterol-free, so the claim is meaningless. "Join for FREE" is just as meaningless.

2) Make $12,000 your first week, or make $30,000 a month every month or even . . . Unlimited Monthly Income! Pick whatever dollar value and time frame you want here. It may be theoretically possible, it may be mathematically possible, (that's how the ads avoid getting into trouble with truth-in-advertising laws) but not at all realistic. It is also theoretically possible for every child born in the United States to grow up to be President, but the likely-hood of that happening for any given kid is miniscule. The same line of logic applies to these wild promises of vast income.

3) No Sales! No calls! No inventory! No work! Spend nothing, do nothing, sit back, and watch the massive residual profits roll in! Earn Money Just Sitting At Your Computer!! GET REAL! If nobody does anything or spends anything or sells anything, where the heck is the money supposed to come from? Remember, everybody joined for free, just like you did! And no matter what they tell you and want you to think, there are no crazed drooling people running around "out there" with fists full of cash begging you to let them spend that wad of money on your latest "business venture." It just ain't gonna happen. Do you know anybody like that? Neither does anyone else.

4) Make $5 stuffing envelopes. Businesses have machinery that folds the paper and stuffs it into the envelope faster than your eyes can follow. Why the heck would they pay people $5 to stuff each envelope when they are mailing out hundreds or thousands of them every day? They are in business to make a profit, not keep you off of welfare, and all of this mindless, mechanical stuff is done by machinery. This is an out-right scam. You pay somebody $5 to find out that in order to get your money back you have to con some other sucker into paying you $5 so you can tell them to con yet another sucker out of $5, and so it goes. I see these on Google AdWords and AdSense often. Google should have enough integrity to refuse such ads.

5) Double your money every few hours or days. Money doublers are Ponzi schemes and illegal. The first people in might make their money back, but it comes only out of the pockets of the later arrivals. It is not mathematically possible for the last people to even break even. These scams always collapse on themselves, leaving most of the participants as losers. People who start them up are thieves, taking advantage of the financially desperate, knowing full well they will fleece the pockets of people who have little or nothing and skipping off to another internet address to do it all over again. People of integrity should avoid them because they always leave a trail of victims. If the perpetrators are tracked down and caught, they go to jail.

6) Promising to share "secrets" with you. What kind of secrets? How the "big dogs" or "gurus" make a gazillion bucks, and you can, too. Secret Strategies, Insider Secrets, Secrets of how ordinary people (like you) made megabucks and now live the lifestyle you want (usually accompanied by photos of models - singles, couples, families - at the beach, in front of a mansion, with an expensive car, etc.) Many of these "offers" are hyped in extremely l-o-n-g sales pages, which include a lot of verbiage designed to make you believe you are really losing out if you don't take advantage of whatever they have to offer. At the bottom of the page, after telling you how much more it is worth than this, you will see a price of $97 or $x97 or even $xx97! Sometimes you have to click on a link before you find out how much of your money they want. Either they are embarrassed to admit they are charging so much, or it's a case of "if you have to ask, you can't afford it." Neither is good. The sad truth is; there are no "secrets."

7) Beware of "lead capture pages" that entice you with benefits but don't tell you a darn thing about who they are or what they do. You know; remind you of how much you hate your boss, hate your commute, hate missing out on your kids' activities, hate being unfulfilled, hate being broke etc. They offer you the moon in exchange for your name and email address. Gotcha! If they are not willing to tell you anything about them, don't tell them anything about you. Find something else. Many affiliates will post such pages on traffic exchanges, because they only have 15-20 seconds to get your attention, but if you do a Google search for the business you can often find out more about the company either from their own website or from posts on various forums. Find out all you can before you sign up for anything.

8) Guarantees. Some places will guarantee to get you traffic to your website. Are all those visitors surfing for credits just to get traffic to their site? Some will guarantee to get you sign-ups. Do they speak your language? Can they send money from their country to yours? If not, how will you communicate with them and how will they pay you? Some guarantee to get your website listed at the top of the search engines. Think about it. Only one site is at the top of the search engine listing for any given term. These people are promising something they cannot possibly deliver to thousands of potential customers. How are they going to get thousands of new customers into the same #1 spot????? Don't fall for it. Some almost guarantee a certain level of income. None of them have the power to guarantee any of that or almost anything else. Some will guarantee to do something for you such as create a website, and the implication is that the money will start flowing in. They will create the website, but they cannot cause money to flow into your bank account. You will have to learn how to market whatever is on the site before you start making any money.

This is a long article but a short list. Please spend your money wisely. Don't be in a hurry. Genuine business opportunities will still be there in 6 months and six years. Some of the garbage will be gone (with your money) in six weeks or even six days.

Sandi Moses has been involved in internet marketing since November, 2003. Visit her site at 123 I Work From Home 4 Me

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