We use the word “scam” so often that the word itself has not only lost it’s meaning, but transformed itself as a diluted negativity.
The dictionary defines a scam as a dishonest scheme, but there are always two sides to every story. Is the scheme dishonest or did the person that fell for the scheme asking to get scammed?
Job seekers beware
Many call the workforce a scam; why would you want to work a 9-5 job only to be rejected at some point and lose all your efforts? Working for the promise of a pension, security, and more only to be deceived by the constant fear of losing your job which one day becomes a reality.
Is the workforce really a scam or were your expectations and understanding of it what made you believe you got scammed?
Is college a scam?
College education is big business. Some say, “At one time, college was an investment. Today, it’s become […] indentured servitude.”
“According to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, Americans owe more than a trillion dollars on their student loans.”
Many call the U.S. education system a scam. Why would you go to college, accrue $10,000 or even $100,000 in debt only to find yourself unemployed? Why would you sit and pay for an education that you will never use?
The promise of security, success, and a decent base salary that never comes? Is formal education a scam? Or is the person who chose their major, chose their classes, and paid for the classes the one whose misunderstanding of the system made them believe they were getting scammed?
Are self-education tools just a scam?
Many say that self-education or home education courses are scams. Why buy a DVD that teaches you something that is hard to apply and will require a lot of work after watching it? Why invest $49 to learn a skill you will never use? Is the self-help course a scam or is the lazy person buying it expecting miracles to happen the one misunderstanding what they are buying and how to use it?
Are scams real?
The question I pose today is simple; are scams real? Or are people blaming their failures on the idea of having been scammed, so that they don’t have to justify their continued laziness and failures?
The three simple examples below are only a very small sample of what people are calling scams. Every time a social network post goes up about it, everyone seems to agree with the idea that if someone has gotten scammed, then it most likely is something they should not be exposed to.
[clickToTweet tweet=”‘Life isn’t a scam; people who misunderstand life are the ones getting scammed…'” quote=”‘Life isn’t a scam; people who misunderstand life are the ones getting scammed – it’s always in your hands.'”]
There is a stark difference between how a successful person who has created a successful life on their own thinks, and how someone who has yet to have any major achievements thinks. You can then determine which side you want to take in future debates of having been scammed.
Example 1: College graduate, unemployed, $15,000 in student loan debt
Poor Person: I went to school and I am $15,000 in debt. I am unemployed and looking for work; I lost four years of my life listening to teachers who didn’t teach me anything. The education system is a scam.
Successful Person: I went to school and am $15,000 in debt. I am currently unemployed and looking for work. I spent four years of my life listening to teachers, but perhaps I didn’t choose the right major and didn’t pay close enough attention to everything else the school offered beyond the classroom.
If I would have known that I can access scholarships, grants, and other resources to help keep the debt lower, I most likely would not be in debt today. Lesson learned. Now I will learn how to write a better resume and sharpen my own skills so that I am more marketable for a job.
Example 2: After 10 years working at my company, they fired me
Poor Person: I worked 10 years at a job, gave it my all, made a lot of friends from coworkers, and listened to my boss only to find myself constantly exposed to changing policies, more training, and them hiring younger talent for less money. They eventually fired me, because I broke one rule or policy. Working for others is such a scam.
Successful Person: I worked 10 years at a job, gave it my all, made a lot of friends from coworkers, and listened to my boss only to find myself constantly exposed to changing policies, more training, and them hiring younger talent for less money. They eventually fired me, because I broke one rule or policy.
I wonder if I could have prevented that by keeping myself up-to-date and showing them my value by improving my skills on my own time. I learned a lot in my 10 years there; valuable learning I can use today as experience to be more marketable. Using these skills, I can even look into being in business for myself, because I am not sure the corporate system is for me since I am more independent and creative. Lesson learned, but I may have to find another job until I can support my new business ideas.
Example 3: I read their books, paid for their courses, and didn’t make a single dime
Poor Person: I read a lot of books, watch a lot of courses, understand the systems that make people millions of dollars and keep them healthy physically.
I applied all I learned in my first business and lost everything. I was forced to go back to work for someone else. I even tried trading stocks on the side, because others were said to make millions. I never made my millions and didn’t make it. Reading those books and buying those courses is all a scam.
Successful Person: I read a lot of books, watch a lot of courses, understand the systems that make people millions of dollars and keep them healthy physically. I applied all I learned in my first business and lost everything. I was forced to go back to work for someone else. I even tried trading stocks on the side, because others were said to make millions. I never made my millions and didn’t make it.
I wonder if I actually learned the habits these courses were teaching or was I looking for an overnight get rich quick solution? Perhaps I need to better my daily habits to incorporate some of these things I learned so that over time, the better version of myself can start winning. I had some very valuable experiences in these past few months that will be invaluable on my next attempt. I also realized a few more things to learn that I wasn’t mature about before. I will revisit some of these courses and actually form better habits.
Life isn’t a scam; people who misunderstand life are the ones getting scammed – it’s always in your hands.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Pejman Ghadimi is the author of “Third Circle Theory,” a powerful book explaining how some of today’s top visionaries are made. Since the age of 25, he has been finacnially independent and has decided his time to bringing Secret Entourage and Secret Academy to life, a unique platform that focuses on helping motivate, educate and improve the lives of young entrepreneurs worldwide. This article originally appeared on The Secret Entourage.