Beware of “How to Get Rich” Videos

There are no shortcuts in life.

We all know this. You haven’t just won a free cruise, there aren’t a bunch of hot singles in your area that want to meet up, and watching a five-minute video isn’t going to dramatically change your life and turn you into a multi-millionaire businessperson. Success, as all people should know, takes time and hard work, with many frustrating hours spent being forced to prove your value to the world. Opportunities will not be handed to you like restaurant menus, it is up to each individual person to seek out a career that will allow them to them to live a successful life. Yet get-rich-quick videos, aided by the ever-increasing amount of people on the Internet, seem to be commonly featured in the advertisements on YouTube and other free video sites. They usually start off with similar lines:

“How I went from sleeping in a studio apartment to a mansion in 12 months.”

“How this pill made me lose 50 pounds in just 30 days.”

“Want to make $5,000 a month on the Internet? Click this link.”

These advertisements, if not outright scams, are nothing more than clickbait. The user is shown a glimpse of what their life could become if they buy the product that is being sold- Having access to the newest cars, marrying beautiful women, having a six-pack, etc. Business have used materialistic items to tease perspective customers for centuries, as they take advantage of a person’s greed and appeal to their ego. All the user has to do, they say, is “click the link in the description box,” and they can learn how their wonderful life could begin. In reality, users may end up being misled about the seller’s personal accomplishments and net worth, pay much more than they anticipated and find themselves unable to come close to the level of success claimed by the seller.

When you think of a get-rich-quick advertiser, it is very likely that Tai Lopez comes to mind. Around 2015, Lopez became a household name with his “Here in my garage” YouTube ads, which give a preview of the supposedly luxurious life that being an entrepreneur has allowed him to live. Even before the person watching has a chance to skip the ad, Lopez is able to show them the Lamborghini that he has access to, as well as his house in the “Hollywood Hills.” If the user is intrigued (which I initially was) they are encouraged to purchase Tai Lopez’s “67 Steps program,” which are 67 individual videos of Lopez giving tips to viewers about how to become successful, as well as talking his own personal experiences around the world. Never mind the fact that Lopez has allegedly been a part of several shady businesses in the past- He allegedly started several now-defunct dating sites under the name Elite Global Dating, LLC, that led to complaints ranging from unauthorized credit card billing to fake profile creating. If you do a little digging on Lopez, you will find that his house and Lamborghini are rented, some of the books he displays in his advertisement are fiction (Who keeps a bookshelf in their garage?) and he is deliberately unclear about how much his customers must pay to receive his product, as the “one-time purchase” of $67 is actually $67 per-month, which is hastily explained to the customer in small font at the bottom of the second page (This link is to the first) of his purchasing process.

Tai Lopez has a net worth that stretches past seven figures. But how does he earn his money?

Tai Lopez has a net worth that stretches past seven figures. But how does he earn his money?

Now, is Tai Lopez a heartless scammer that has nothing to offer the world? No. He does tell people that following his steps will not guarantee success, though he makes sure to imply success with his material items displayed in his advertisement. He also has a great ability to motivate, to make a person excited to buy his product and improve their outlook on life. This is a quality that I do not have, and that many people do not possess: The power to verbally persuade. However, the issues surrounding marketers like Tai Lopez are often ethical, not legal. Much of his 67 steps involve commonly-heard quotes and are said to be recycled from a 2006 book by motivational speaker Jack Canfield, titled The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. While the business style of Lopez and other “gurus” like Mike Chang and Sam Ovens is not illegal, it should still raise red flags. Those who are eager to learn how to succeed in the professional world should not be forced to pay exuberant amounts for generic material. At the end of the day, it is important to remember that a true guru should not want you to be dependent on them for new ideas on how to succeed in life, but instead should be doing everything they can to make you independent of them.

Let us end this article with a quote: Radix malorum est cupiditas. Greed is the root of all evil.  It is the greed and inexperience of people starting out in the professional world that allow Internet marketers like Tai Lopez to acquire a fortune running their advertisements. The chances of becoming successful from a “Get Rich Quick” video are slim, while there is a high chance of a user’s time and money being wasted on techniques that are just not suitable for them. If you need a mentor, it is better to seek out someone who you personally know, such as a successful family member or a college professor. As top podcaster and health and fitness CEO Andy Frisella said, “There is not a product, business, or anything out there that can defeat the laws of time.”

Matthew Engel