By in Make Money, Mind and Money, Wealth

 Or Beware of the Scam; There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch (Dinner)

“Anyone who wants to sell you overnight success or wealth is not interested in your success; they are interested in your money.”
Bo Bennett

Imagine, you can buy, for just $99 the secret to being #1 on google, or how to sell on-line (even if you don’t know how to use a computer). Sounds amazing doesn’t it? Read on and learn……

A Free Dinner (For an Hour of Your Time)

Amongst the junk mail, El Carino fished out an invitation to a FREE internet marketing seminar offering; a free MP3 player, dinner, and a chance to win a computer. Having been around the block a few times, I knew this would be a “sales pitch” for something….. and of course I was right!

Against my better judgment, I agreed to attend.

Get ready to find out how the evening unfolded:

Watch out for the make millions online scam!

The peppy “welcome team” initiated small talk and made us feel at home.

Next came Jackson, who shared a story about his 5 offspring, 3 of whom were in the military. Of course, we all liked this! Jacksosn was building rapport and affiliating with us. The pitch was beginning.

Next came the barrage of questions:

  • Who wants to make more money in their spare time?
  • Who wants to learn about “drop shipping” and being number 1 on Google search?
  • Who wants to earn money while they’re sleeping?
  • Who wants a place to work in an environment free of age, race, and gender discrimination?

Can You Learn How to Get Rich at a Free Dinner Seminar?

Sales 101 dictates that you’re more likely to make a sale if you get the client in the habit of saying “YES.” Guess what, no one said “No” to the above questions. We were getting primed “to buy.”

Sales technique; always closing. Even if you don’t know anything about computers, if you are willing to learn and work hard, this program is for you.

What would a sales seminar be without testimonials? Doris’ story is next; a single mom, computer illiterate, making ends meet with several part time jobs. Within 6 months and countless calls to customer services, she had a successful on-line business with money rolling in while she slept.

Next came some published examples of how much “Internet Marketing” courses cost in the real world; from a high of $7,000 to a low of $1,200.

Wow, none of us lemmings in the audience wanted to pay in the $1,000’s for an internet marketing course.

Guess what? We have a chance to sign up for a FULL DAY WORKSHOP to learn these exclusive strategies that others are charging 1000’s of dollars. Aren’t we lucky?

Better yet, if we sign up NOW for this SPACE LIMITED course filled with internet marketing secrets we get it for the low price of $99. And to entice us more, we can bring a guest. Plus there’s a free lunch. And if that wasn’t enough, they throw in a FREE netbook computer.

How could I say no?

But first we must qualify by completing a 3 question survey assessing our interest and motivation, and oh, by the way, “Do you have a checking account?

Wow, sounds exclusive; they want to know if I have a checking account!

Now everyone can go to the back of the room to sign up for the spectacular 1 day workshop. Don’t worry if there’s no money in your account, or your debit card is maxed out, they won’t charge you until the day of the workshop.

A Fool and his/her Money are Soon Parted

Have you ever attended a sales seminar? Did you buy? You know what I’m talking about; a time share presentation or make money with real estate in your spare time.

Making money and being an entrepreneur are never easy and rarely quick. I think passive income opportunities are rare. Coming from an entrepreneurial background and starting my first business at age 16, I speak from experience. Whenever presented with an opportunity that sounds implausible, ask yourself:

Does this sound realistic? Make money from an internet business when you don’t know how to use a computer?

BEWARE, there are all sorts of scams being promoted by outstanding sales people. If you have to SIGN UP NOW or the amazing opportunity won’t be repeated…. RUN as fast as you can. If it’s a viable endeavor, it’s not going away immediately. Do not be pressured by a time limited exclusive offer that goes away after you leave the room.

What I wondered during the seminar was, why didn’t Leland, the presenter have one of these “internet marketing websites” they were selling?  And, where was my MP3 player?

Turns out that we have to mail a coupon in to get the MP3 player. Oh well… at least we got the free meal.

Months later, still no MP3 player.


Gaining wealth is not easy and requires persistence & discipline. Get started NOW. Write down 1 step you will take this week to improve your finances. Be creative. Follow through.

If you want to start a side business, list your salable skills.

Readers, have you ever been to one of these sales events? Did you buy? What did you learn?

a version of this article was previously published

image credit: jepoierrier