The Nation, Lahore

12 Ziqa'ad, 1418 - Thursday, March 12 , 1998, Lahore 




Money-making schemes

Dr Rana Jawad Asghar

I have heard from my elders and also have read about it in books that there was a time when people were interested in making gold from other metals. These people spent their entire lives in trying to transform the metals and even after each failed experiment, they would never lose their hearts. Rather, they would always declare that there was a 'minor' error otherwise the experiment was fine.

This 'Keemia-garri', in fact, gave birth to the Chemistry of modern times. Now we know that it is possible to change one metal to another but the cost of doing so is so enormous that there is no practical use of this theoretical knowledge. Making easy money is the dream of most of us but not everyone of us finds it easy to get money. If you switch on your TV and watch any channel late in the night here in USA, you will see in channel after channel people selling courses and business techniques to earn money without doing any effort. These commercials which are called here, 'Infomercials' are nearly half an hour long in which you find people telling you that they are making thousands of dollars a week without doing any hard work just because they are using the methods which were taught to them by this or that fantastic course organisers.

Normally, the guy who is selling the course is also a young person and he tells the viewers: "I am a millionaire now because I found this easy way of doing business. Now, I just relax and do nothing but the money keeps on coming in, all the time". Now that he has decided to share his secret with others and so to share his secret of making millions without doing anything hard, you have to order this course which may cost you approximately $ 50-100. The success of these money-making schemes is at least true for the people who are selling these courses. They are really making millions, may be not from the business technique they are selling, but by just being successful in 'Selling' the technique/course itself. Smart move, I must say.

Last year one of my friends invited me to one of the seminars. This seminar was arranged by one of these guys who sell these type of 'quick get rich' money schemes on TV. Most of the attenders were already in the scheme. The guy with expensive and nice clothes came on the stage with standing ovation and then he started his speech. I was accompanied by four or five Indian students of business and they went there just to pick some good points. The guy started by telling how much money he makes. He told the stories that he doesn't need to work, so he goes fishing, hiking and flies in his own plane. That he spends hours and hours on recreation without once even discussing the business strategies. My Indian friends were disappointed very much after the session because it was just like a story-telling session without ever discussing the actual business.

But any way, it was a successful seminar in the sense that it made the belief of believers more strong. So after it, a lot of Americans who were working all their lives just to make ends meets now were thinking, why cant we do the same. They don't ask for a lot of money and this job doesn't require a lot of efforts, either. I have never ordered these courses so honestly I can't tell you that whether they really work or not. But I can say, for sure, that they certainly work for the sellers of these courses because you can see them channel after channel. Buying such a long time on an American TV channel, even late in the night is not cheap. So they must be making a lot of money. But by just listening to these schemes, I can tell you that with the little business sense I have, there is no such thing as quick money. These are just sophisticated and legal scams to earn money by exploiting weaknesses of the human character which has a tendency and liking to earn money without doing any or much effort. But as I always say, if it is too good to be true, then it is not true, at all.

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