Pyramid Schemes

by redshift

Why is it that I’m such a magnet for pyramid schemes? I’ve now been approached three separate times about business opportunities that can change your lifestyle if you have dreams and can shift your perspective from factory to passive business model.

Yes, I was actually asked if I have dreams. Today. By an old guy who’s working in the same lumbering corporation as me. I hate to point out the obvious, but if this were such a great opportunity, wouldn’t he be long gone?

I’ll save you 15 minutes. The idea is that when you work for a typical company, you are a factory that merely turns your time into money. When you work passively, you do something now that pays you forever. In essence, you generate money from nothing. It’s like a money tree. Just pick the money off the branches! The money generates itself without any work, so you retire in a few years and still have income. Who wouldn’t like that?

Where, you might ask, does the free money come from? Well, all you have to do is buy beauty products from yourself and convince your friends and family to do the same. You get a portion of every sale. Next, you convince people to enter the same scam that you were suckered into, and you earn a portion of their sales, including the sales of the people they sucker.

Here’s a diagram:

The scheme...

That doesn’t look like any recognizable shape to me…


In fact, they do most of the work for you – set up a gorgeous HTML 3.0 webpage, the works. (The company is always called something like iCommerce, eSolutions, etc.) Everyone and their brother starts shopping at your amazing site. By this point, your friends have all referred their friends, ad infinitum, and you take a percentage of the whole chain. Sound a bit too easy?

Let me tell you something – there is no easy money. The rich may have more of it, but they’re working four times harder on average. Imagine how much you work for your salary. Now imagine cramming four times as much into your average week. Not going to happen.

A lot of smart people have shown the faults of multi-level marketing in the last few years. Heck, Robert Kiyosaki, the guy who inspired a lot of this mess with Rich Dad, Poor Dad, is a liar. Scott Adams had a great spoof in the Dilbert series, as well.

Financial advice is plentiful these days, but if you believe anything you read, you’ll wind up the Poor Dad. Conventional wisdom is conventional for a reason.