How to spot a Scam
This section is very important because sometimes the line between a 'scam' and a 'legitimate' opportunity appears to be blurred. This is especially true in the internet generation. On the other hand a perfectly legitimate internet opportunity can seem like a scam to an industrial era business person. They do not yet understand the internet. This line is not blurred at all, you just have to understand what the internet is and what its not.
Here is the problem. My mentor Jirka Rysavy, CEO of Corporate Express taught me this simple idea: When you focus on everything, you get nothing done. You see, the internet focuses on absolutely everything all at once. It has no focus by itself. The internet is a cognitive illusion. A cognitive illusion allows you to see only what you want to see. In fact this is the definition of a search engine! This does not mean that you are seeing what is actually there. A cognitive illusion is when you see an elephant in the clouds. Or a monster. You can see anything you are looking for both bad and good.
BSA would like to take you to the next generation of internet skill and exploration. We want you to stop wasting your time with the never ending stream of artificial promises that crowds your e-mail boxes. Learn to filter the time-wasting temptation that pop up with every click. You can choose to prevent or accept pop-up advertisements by downloading the FREE alexa toolbar from alexa.com. This site is invaluable for many reasons which we will reveal later. I am telling you this now because many internet newbies actually buy pop-up blockers for 30 dollars. Now, to sell pop-up blockers on the internet is not a scam. However to sell this is not a relationship building service because it preys on your ignorance. Why pay for something that you can get for free with one extra click of your mouse? Would I come back to a website that sold me something I could get for free next week? Welcome to the internet.
In order to take you to the next level of the Internet we need you to turn off your computer. Yes, you heard us right! After you read this section, you will need to power down your technology and enter into the world of traditional business values.
Soft touch meets high tech.
One of the founding fathers of virtual reality, Jaron Lanier, served as the lead scientist for the National Tele-immersion Initiative, a coalition of research universities studying advanced applications for Internet version 2. The Internet 2 is being developed partly based on the recognition of how long-term human relationships require eye-to-eye contact. For example, the current internet, Internet 1 still has no way to provide eye to eye web-cam technology. This eye-to-eye contact is essential in business. The current web cameras sit on top of your computer but do not really give you a sense of relationship with your customer or your business partner. They have been effective forms of cheap voyeurism but not long-term relationship builders. The Internet 2 will provide a visual range that is direct. For example, you may be staring into a mirror-style monitor, but you will actually be speaking eye-to-eye with a business contact in London. The video screens will be much larger and taller, and corporate business meetings can take place without air travel.
My point here is to show you that once again, millions of dollars have been spent in order to prove the obvious: High dollar business transactions do not take place on the internet because relationships of trust require that you have eye-to-eye contact. So, with this in mind, here are some simple tips about how the current internet, (Internet version 1), may be used to create wealth.
Get a phone number.
It is a pretty good idea to do business only with somebody who answers their own phone. This phone number ought to be on their website! I have friends online like Claude Diamond who are worth millions of dollars and yet they still answers their own phone. He answers your e-mails promptly. He will actually call you up when you ask a question in order add the soft touch. No hard sell, no pushy back end product- just a nice, gentle introduction. He is already implementing the Internet 2 principle, he just doesn't know it. Claude comes from the old school offline sales tradition. These guys know you have to get to know your customer and shake their hand. In the same way, you should get to know the businesses owners you do business with.
Find out where the office is located.
Try to avoid doing business with a company that will not give you any information about themselves. Try to avoid businesses that lie to you about where they are located. Sometimes a company, like AOL, will hire help desk people that are not in the United States. They should tell you the truth about that. Once I asked a help desk person where they were located. It was really really hard to get them to tell the truth. This guy was obviously in India, because he had a really think Indian accent. Finally he admitted that he was in India as if that were something to be ashamed of. I have been on several websites that make themselves look like a huge company, and I find they are a one man show working out of some guys basement. ("Not that there is anything wrong with that", as Jerry Seinfeld would say). I just feel like I deserve to know the truth, and I believe that people should represent their website as their offline business is represented! It helps me make informed choices and closer towards eye-to-eye contact. Statistics have shown that people are in demanding real people and real value. Look for that in a website! Look for excellent customer service.
Use secure websites to perform any and all business transactions online. To back this up, make sure your credit card company offers you protection for any rare thefts that may occur while you are online. This really happens a lot less than you might think. Because people are looking for it and afraid of it, online credit card theft is the focus of a lot of negative press as well as an active marketing conspiracy. (This conspiracy is to get you to pay for theft protection instead of offering it to you for free). Most credit card vendors are protecting you for free these days, up to a certain amount. Find out what that limit is, and keep it in mind. Look for money-back guarantees.
The smaller the risk, the more expensive the opportunity.
There is no such thing as an automated business opportunity that costs you no money. So stop looking for one. There is plenty of stuff you can get for free on the internet. Most of it has no value. That is why its free. There are exceptions to this on some websites where really good information is given away for free. For example we give away really good information for free on this website. However, this is just a hook so that you will visit us often and hopefully do business with us. We do this because it works. We are interested in log term business strategies and relationship development.
Consider this: A really good automated business opportunity will be creating money for you even when you are sun-bathing on the beaches in Cancoon. For example, you could buy a franchise. You could buy a McDonalds restaurant for a lifetime of guaranteed passive income. Well, did you know it costs over one million dollars to open a McDonalds restaurant. The smaller the risk, the more expensive the opportunity.
Do your 'Due Diligence'.
In order to perform your due diligence you need to exercise two opposite emotions at the same time. You need to have both a willing suspension of dis-belief and a healthy skepticism! You need to go through the SOS system with every opportunity, and contact your well chosen advisors.
Invest only in what you know. Always investigate any opportunity that as hooked your interest. Develop relationships with people who have invested in it.
Do not take he advice of one person, but look for at least 3. Try to find someone who is not close to the project.
Do not take advice from a person the salesman has introduced you to. (This is called a shrill). You need to find someone who is not close to the opportunity or investment. It is always possible that you will get 3 people who are negative because they do not know marketing, or because they have a bad attitude in general. Even so, you will be able to get a general 'waft' or 'smell' of the opportunity by triangulating opinions. You can also do a search online to see what other chat rooms are saying, although I would be very very careful with this because the internet is full of complainers and people who cannot follow the SOS system. They would much rather complain that their guru did not 'make them rich'. They need someone to blame. In the end you need to make your own decision.