How to Stop Getting Scammed and Start Getting Results Today (Success 101)
As I was driving home from the gym this morning, I tuned in to 1360 AM talk radio to see if there was any stimulating conversation to be heard—maybe some fascinating commentary on world events or passionate discussion of recent political developments—but alas, it was Sunday, so no such stimulation was to be found. Instead, I was subjected to the same thing that seems to dominate talk radio every Sunday morning: Auditory infomercials.
Now, normally, I would have changed the station, or simply turned the radio off and driven home in silence, but something caught my ear before I could do either: The infomercial host, whoever it was, was speaking poorly about stimulants such as caffeine (and the energy drinks that contain them) and their supposedly deleterious effects on our health (especially that of our children). Because I happen to be a caffeine addict (as are most Americans), and a consumer of both energy drinks and caffeine pills, my ears perked up, and I decided to hear this man out for a minute or two.
Unfortunately, it only took another 10 seconds or so for him to bring up a product he had for sale, and right then and there, I realized that, contrary to his claims that he wants his listeners to live longer, healthier lives, free of stress, anxiety, fatigue, depression, etc., he was no different than any other charlatan, swindler, and snake oil salesman: Out to make a quick buck off the backs of desperate, ignorant people eager to find solutions to problems they didn’t even know they had (until they heard someone like him talk).
I was curious as to whether infomercial man was going to redeem himself by offering a solution to me that didn’t involve me buying anything from him, so I listened for another few seconds. Did he ever recommend that we cut out harmful things like GMO’s (genetically modified organisms), high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, cottonseed oil, and low-fat foods from our diets or starting an exercise/weight-training program to reduce stress, lose weight, and feel better? Oh no, no, no—of course not! Why would he do that when he can convince us that our stress comes not from working in jobs we hate, the toxic relationships we find ourselves in, or from treating our bodies like dumpsters, but from the fact that we don’t have what he would like to sell to us: African herb supplements!
Yes indeed, this man would have us believe, the lack of African herb supplements in our lives is the cause of our health-related problems and, as such, the addition of them to our diets is the solution! This is, of course, despite the fact that people in first-world, developed countries would never even know that the continent of Africa—let alone the herbs that grow there— existed, were it not for the Internet, this man’s infomercial, someone else telling them about it, etc. and that non-Africans have survived for millennia with little to no assistance from Africa whatsoever.
Now, obviously, this man isn’t about to tell us this, because if he did, we’d be far less apt to get out our credit cards, call him up or visit his website, and shell out the $19.99 or whatever it is he charges for his “miracle herb pills” that are nothing more than placebos. And that would just defeat the purpose of his entire infomercial, now wouldn’t it? Just like it would defeat the purpose of the cancer treatment industry if it were to promote the legalization of marijuana; just like it would defeat the purpose of the corporate work environment if it were to promote the idea of financial freedom to its employees; and just like it would defeat the purpose of the American Democratic Party if it were to stop lying to blacks, Hispanics, gays/lesbians, and the poor about what it actually stands for (which is the creation of a emotionally-unstable class of impoverished drones and useful idiots that would rather not think for themselves). My point is this:
You cannot, and should not, trust anyone with a profit motive for telling you what they’re telling you or selling you what they’re selling you.
A “profit motive” could imply a motive to earn money, but it could also imply a motive to reap some kind of benefit that has monetary value for one’s self or a group one represents or is associated with. And I see it all the time, in the form of:
- The aforementioned infomercial man pitching his herbs at me (when I don’t need them, never needed them, and never will need them)
- My brother-in-law trying to talk me into joining his “network marketing” pyramid schemes (knowing that they’re scams and that the people he runs with are shady)
- My wife’s cousin, who is a nurse, encouraging me to get vaccinated as a preventive health measure (when, in fact, vaccines make us sick, and have been linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, death by asphyxiation, and autism)
- Time Warner Cable, trying to sell me a landline phone (when they know damn well that, with the advent of cell phones, 99% of people don’t need or want landlines)
All of this has been done under the false pretenses of these people and companies wanting to “help” me in some way, and I’m sick of it. I’m sick of people with zero integrity trying to trick people like us into buying things from them just to earn a quick buck, all while presenting themselves as some kind of heroes who are trying to “save” us from something. But more than that, I’m sick of the ignorant masses that fall for their tricks again and again and are all too happy to turn over their hard-earned cash and credit card numbers for the next “magic pill”, get-rich-quick scheme, or once-in-a-lifetime investment “opportunity”, not because they necessarily affect me in the intimate way that I’m affected by the books I read, but because I simply hate to be surrounded by ignorance.
That said, my goal with this post is not the help those who cannot be helped—namely the ignorant and helpless among us that can’t be bothered to research anything for themselves before they buy it, and who believe everything they read, see, and hear—but to help those who can be. Judging by your being here, you are just such a person, because there is no such thing as coincidence, and if you weren’t meant to have found this post, or if you were incapable of deriving some value from it, you wouldn’t have.
Again, and to recap, you cannot, and should not, trust anyone with a profit motive for telling you what they’re telling you or selling you what they’re selling you.
If you are to have any hope of becoming healthy, wealthy, and/or successful (and staying that way), you must learn to question everything that people tell you. Don’t ever accept people at their word, unless they’ve already established a long track record of personally telling you the truth (and even then, only trust them as far as you can throw them). If you aren’t sure what someone’s agenda is (what they’re trying to accomplish by telling you whatever it is they’re telling you, or what they’re getting out of talking to you), question it, even if that means asking them outright, “What exactly are you getting out of this?”. If, after doing so, you find, as I did this morning, that someone who at first seemed to you to be oh-so-helpful and oh-so-selfless was really only interested in selling you something, assume that everything they just told you was a lie, and then run—don’t walk—away from them (or, in my example from today, just turn off the radio).
If you fall for online “click bait” (pictures of beautiful, nearly naked people, salacious, controversial headlines, etc.) and are taken to a webpage that is literally nothing but ads, with one picture or paragraph in the middle of it that is hardly relevant to what you just clicked on, run—don’t walk—away from it. Its creator didn’t create it to help you, or even to entertain you, but rather to use you (like some kind of useful idiot that believes CNN, MSNBC, the L.A. Times, and the Washington Post are truth factories) to earn a quick buck from the billions of ads on their website.
If one of your friends or family members approaches you and seems exceedingly excited about some new vacuum cleaner business they just started, a seminar they just attended on flipping houses, or a hot penny stock they just found out about, you should be very leery of them. The minute they begin asking you to allow them to “do a demonstration” of their vacuum cleaner, to attend a house-flipping seminar with them, or to plug a couple thousand dollars of yours into a few hundred-thousand shares of some new biotech company that they claim could be the next Pfizer, run—don’t walk—away from them. They are not sharing their newfound passion with you because they’ve found the “holy grail” of housecleaning or “the next big thing” in the world of wealth-building, or because they want to make your life better (although this is not to say that they wouldn’t honestly like your life to improve, as a potential side effect of what they’re doing); they’re doing it because they’ve been infected with false hope by someone or something and are now seeking to pass the infection on to you, with the hope that they will make some money off of you in the process.
Why someone would do something like this to their own family and friends is beyond me, but it happens every day. Hell, I even attended a Kirby vacuum cleaner seminar myself once, complete with high-energy dance music, the owner of the business throwing out all kinds of motivational catch phrases about how successful he could help me and his other “high-quality recruits” be, and promises of “unlimited income potential”. I didn’t even realize that I was at a Kirby seminar until the owner pulled out a vacuum cleaner in the last 15 minutes of his presentation and a referral sheet he said he wanted me to put all of my family members’ names and phone numbers onto. “You live and you learn”, as the saying goes.
The moral of the story is: Always, always, always question why people are doing what they’re doing or saying what they’re saying to you. I don’t care how well-dressed they are, how nice their house or their car looks, or smooth they sound. I don’t even care if they’re your best friend, your own mother, your most-trusted business associate, or a wealthy, successful person that you consider to be a role model—never, ever, ever believe that other people are “in it” for anyone other than themselves when they make it clear that their helping you is dependent upon you investing something in them first, whether it be time, money, or some other type of resource.
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Look, we all want to be healthy, wealthy, and successful, but sadly, most others don’t give a damn one way or another about whether others get what they want or not. While I am an exception to that rule to some extent, being that I am driven not by a profit motive but rather a desire to empower others who will then (hopefully, and only after I’ve helped them) turn around and empower me, it is a fact that the vast majority of people who create products and offer services are selfishly concerned about their own success (even if it comes at the expense of your good health, financial security, and valuable time) and couldn’t care less about whether or not they help you before they die. For a great example of what this kind of selfishness looks like, check out the book ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ by convicted fraudster, Jordan Belfort, or its film adaptation, which was directed by Martin Scorsese and which stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Belfort himself.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying I’m not selfish, because I am, just like everyone else. But unlike most people, I believe that I can only get what I want after I help others get what they want—hence this website…hence my books…hence everything we’re all about here at Manifestation Machine, which is not about me and what I want, but about us, as a group, and what we want collectively.
I don’t believe that we need to lie to people—to lead them astray or to confuse them with fake studies, made-up statistics, and exaggerated or, in some cases, fictional success stories—to sell them things they don’t need. I believe in creating products and services that add value to other peoples’ lives—products and services that effectively sell themselves. And when I die, I sincerely hope that I’ll be remembered not for how much I took from this world, but for how much I gave back to it. But I digress—that’s enough about me.
When I started writing this post, I intended for it to simply teach you to not blindly trust others who are probably just after you’re money, but I’ve since realized that it’s about more than that: It’s about you, and everyone else who reads it, not becoming the type of charlatan, swindler, and snake oil salesman I’ve described herein. It’s about you being better than that, and interested in more than just lining your own pockets, with little or no regard for the well-being of others. It’s about you being a role model; about you setting an example for how business should be done; about you raising the bar for how others should be treated and what great service is really all about. Really, it’s about you being what Manifestation Machine is all about: The healthiest, wealthiest, and most successful version of you that you can possibly be.
Look, anyone can start a worthless, dime-a-dozen, content-free blog (for example) and keep it running solely as a vehicle for pushing Google AdSense ads and Amazon.com affiliate links onto people, in the hopes of generating a little “supplemental income” for his- or herself, but not everyone can create a blog—or anything, for that matter—that adds real, legitimate, and tangible value to the lives of others before billing anyone for it. I hereby challenge you to be that latter type of person. I challenge you to go back into the world after reading this post asking not what others can do for you, but what you can do for others, with the understanding that, as I mentioned earlier, you must help others before they will help you. And if you do that, then one day very soon you will come to find, as I have, that it will no longer be necessary for you to chase after your dreams, because the people you’ve helped—without asking of them anything in return—will not only catch your dreams, but will deliver them to you on a silver platter, almost as if to say, “Thank you so much, for being selfish.”
Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to be here today! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Please leave a comment below and tell me how you feel about this post, or better yet, visit its sister thread in the Manifestation Machine Forum and join the discussion about the topics covered herein. I can’t wait to hear from you, and neither can the millions upon millions of your fellow Mechanics!