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Why Do Most Home-Based Businesses Fail?

by Dr. Carl Weisbrod

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by Dr. Carl Weisbrod

Chapter Two from "The Book of Esoteric Whys"

Question: Do you think any of the get-rich-schemes that I get in my email inbox are actually legitimate?

AskCarl: I'm so glad you asked. Get ready for a long answer to a short question.

Dr. Carl Weisbrod

Do you frequently see in your email box, wonderful offers of quick-easy money? There's the ubiquitous MLM programs that promise if you do just a few simple things you could stand to make $20,000 a month and more.

Some are more conservative, but still make it sound that if you spring for anywhere from five bucks to a few hundred you are almost guaranteed to have money pouring in your mailbox in a matter of days. There are also the programs that can almost guarantee you tens-of-thousands of folks hungrily flocking to your website. (The operand word here is "almost.")

As I thought about writing this article, I looked in my email programs trash-bin and the average cost seems to be under a hundred dollars and the promised income appeared to average about $5000 per month. They all promised very little effort is necessary (get rich while you sleep) and very little need for ability or talent.

Let me do a little imagery with you. I want you to imagine that you invented a program that had the following modest benefits:

If someone had enough education to use a PC with an Internet connection, and would be willing to work a forty-hour, eight-to-five-week, they could expect to earn about $1200 a month, or about $15,000 a year. You warned them though, if they missed more than a day a month, they would be fired from the program.

To get a lousy $15,000 a year they had to put in the time, and there would never be any benefits, no raises in pay, and no promotions.

That's somewhat equivalent to an entry-level job that pays about $7 per hour, something like security or restaurant work. It would provide a roof over your head and food on the table, but little else.

Put that on the net and you know it would be laughable in the light of the other offers found there. Any respectable MLM promoter would dry out the inside of his nose sniffing at your puny little offer.

(I mention MLM scams here, but happily these have been dying-on-the-vine since I originally wrote this article in 1999.)

The difference (in our fantasy), is this program of yours is guaranteed to work at least at the same level as a job as a security guard or kitchen help. But there are some surprising advantages. Here they are:

You wouldn't be working for a company that valued you about as much as a lug-nut on the tire of their delivery van. You wouldn't have a boss with sadistic impulses that loves this position of power over you. If you're female, there wouldn't be the sexual harassment that is widespread in many entry-level jobs. If you had kids, you could keep them home (although they would need to leave you completely alone during working hours). For a family, your spouse could do the same process and that would give you a $30,000 household income, which isn't too shabby for a family.

But. . . do you know what? I'm sorry but nothing like that exists! Do you know how I know? Follow along:

Go back to your imagination: Let's say you did invent a program that if someone worked a forty-hour week they could expect to make $15,000 a year, and stay at home.

Guess what would happen. As soon as the news leaked out of your program you would hear a knock at your door. It would be Microsoft's Bill Gates, smiling warmly at you. He would invite you to join the Microsoft family as a partner.

Before you could decide on Bills offer, you would get a call from the President of the United States. At a word from you, he would send Air Force One to pick you up and fly you to the White House as his special guest.

Why? Because your idea would replace the welfare system and quickly wipe out the national debt. You would have banking CEOs slobbering at your loins hoping you would endorse their credit systems. The credit potential of millions of new folks making $15,000 a year would be astronomical. The economy would soar and you would be a national hero.

Since I don't see anything like that on the news, I know nothing like that exist--and probably won't--let alone the schemes and scams that promise those ridiculous numbers. (Good grief, they must think we're all stupid to fall for those crazy ideas!)

So, I hope I haven't dashed any dreams of quick-easy  money. If I have, let me tell you this. If you have a good idea for a product or service, and if you build a website to display that product or service, and you're willing to work hard for -0- pay for a while, you can make it.

I would like to help you avoid the mistakes I've made as I searched for programs that would support my goals. Guess what I found out fairly recently? The system I once used to build my private practice 30 years ago is the same one that still works today!

Realizing this was quite a shocker. It just goes to show that even when technology is moving at the speed of light, some things, I guess, will always remain the same. I'll list the old tried-and-true stuff below:

(a)  Lots of personal contact: But rather than dinner speeches, doing lunch, and cocktail parties, it's email, auction sites, and maybe message boards, and chat rooms. [8-03 Ed Note: From the time I originally published this, things have changed. The rip-off scams and prono sites have corrupted email until now I suggest other forms of advertising.]  

(b) Lots of follow-up: But rather than phone calls and thank you notes, its e-mail and e-zines. And that's all there is to it!

(c) You gotta work your butt off!
                         ~ ~ ~
Reference: This was adapted from a Q & A Section published in the WDS E-Zine, Vol. 3, No. 25, August 1999.

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