One thing is sure: there are money making opportunities for the people who are willing to put in the work and effort. Whether you’re a housewife, a teenager, a retired man or just a ‘regular’ corporate worker with few hours on your hands, if you play your cards right you can earn an income. Smaller or bigger – it depends on your specialty, time available, skills, experience etc.
The big problem is that, while there are many LEGIT ways to supplement your paycheck / pension / allocation, there are also many scam ‘artists’ who are there to take your money / waste your time. Here are few ideas that would help you stay away from such scams:
1. If it’s too good to be true …
As soon as our country got off half a century of Communism, many money making opportunities appeared. One of the biggest was called ‘Caritas’ and the plan was something like this: you ‘invested’ some money into the ‘system’, and, after a short while you’d get 8 TIMES the money invested. Now, you’re smart people and know it’s impossible for any business in this world to run based on such a plan.
Well, many Romanians weren’t as smart as you are. A lot of them sold their houses or emptied their savings account (back then people did actually have savings), just to take home 8 times more money. As you can guess, the ‘trick’ worked for a while and more people were lured in. SOME did get the money. I had relatives who put all their savings into the system, hoping to make it big.
The issue is that, after a while the system ‘broke’ (not that it was a working one anyway). Most of the ‘investors’ lost their savings, houses, cars. Even now, after more than 20 years, they never got their money back and the people who organized this never got the punishment they deserved.
So .. use your god given brain: if something sounds fishy, believe me it is. Try to understand how the business works. How do you think they can make the money to support their investment / growth / profits? What do you think can go wrong. If there aren’t clear ways a business can survive in a given ‘setting, you can guess it won’t last long and it’s not a viable one.
2. No one can guarantee you the success
I have been blogging about freelancing for years on my main blog and I can safely say that, if you work hard and smart there are chances you can earn a good income. Sure, there’s a lot of other ‘ifs’ involved: you need to promote well, to really do a great job, to have the time to spend on your small business, learn fast etc. But, usually, people who are REALLY serious about it, might get to have some nice results.
But I cannot guarantee you’ll make it. No one can.
And yet there are ‘businesses’ that claim you’ll earn this much in 3 months, as if they’re having a magic ball to foresee the future. One of my friends wasted 2 YEARS and a lot of money trying to make it in NuSkin, just because she was promised thousands of dollars after 3-4 months in the system. They tried to lure me in, too, but I was firmly against their ideas. Nothing is guaranteed in this life, except for death. That’s something we can clearly not escape (even taxes can sometimes be circumvented), so, how can you tell me that, in 100 days or so you are GUARANTEEING me a lot of money? Who are you? Nostradamus?
When I write about freelancing and encourage people to try it, I always let them know there is a LOT of work involved and you can never be sure it will work. I have been successful in this, I know people who really changed their lives, but there are still people who can’t make it work. So always take any promises with a grain of salt.
3. You’re not being given a fair deal
There are many ways people can be lured in with promises and the idea of a wonderful future. And in most such cases they’ll lose time and money. ALWAYS think about the effort you’re being asked to put into (no one is giving free cash, right?). Study your duties and understand your hourly rate. If you’re getting a better deal taking on a part time job (even if not deliriously glamorous, choose that instead of wasting your time with something that’s clearly giving you the ‘wrong end of the stick.
4. You’re being asked for money to join the business
Don’t know if in all situations we can talk about a scam, but I personally don’t like the idea of investing money to make money, unless it’s MY business or sites. If you’re being asked for money to join the wonderful opportunity to make trillions, look at the entire thing with a careful eye. Real good money making opportunities don’t come with a price tag. Sure, if you’re joining a freelancing site you’ll most probably pay a commission. And maybe a SMALL monthly fee (though most do provide at least a form of free account set up). If you’re being asked for money though, maybe it’s not such a great idea.
5. The site looks ‘shady’
A good reliable business INVESTS in a well prepared site. Sure, it’s not perfect (what is perfect anyway), but if the page you’re visiting is looking totally unprofessional, you could be at least more careful, before making any deals. With today’s smaller prices in web development, any small company can get a nice design which will show potential investors / partners that the owners are serious about it and ready to create something worthwhile.
As in any other cases, not getting scammed is not that difficult, if you are careful to see the ‘signs’ and do your homework. Do a google search, ask around, see what others have to say about the ‘deal’. There are clearly many chances that other people have already used the system and are pleased or displeased. Read their stories, study the details, carefully read ‘the fine print. And the chances to get scammed will be minimal.