Disillusioned with Business Opportunities

Cognitive dissonance is the uncomfortable mental state that happens when an individual holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas or values at the same time.

With respect to the work from home business opportunity niche, cognitive dissonance can manifest itself in several ways:

  • You start a business with a burning desire to make money from home but inwardly believe it will never work.
  • You like the opportunity but don't believe in the products.
  • You believe you can make money with the program, but believe the no one would purchase them outside an opportunity.
  • You need the money but don't believe you have the skills necessary to be successful.
  • You think you could make money from the program, but that that it is a here today gone tomorrow system.
  • It feels like a scheme (can anyone say USI Tech), but everyone is making money with it and your fear of loss causes you to get involved.
  • You joined the program expecting it to be easy and now realize that it will take far more work or skills necessary to make the program work.
  • You know you can succeed but have grown tired of the chase.

The mind struggles when confronted with cognitive dissonance. The opposing feelings begin to battle one-another. Your spirit, mind and soul are in conflict. When the feelings reach their peak, you back off and begin to look for another program. And the cycle repeats.​

The Illusion

Russel Brunson in his book Expert Secrets states: It's important that you take the blame for past failures off their shoulders and place it back onto the old opportunties they attempted in the past. This way, they will be more open to trying your opportunity.

Russel suggests to tell prospects that it's not their fault. I've got news for you, it is your fault.  The illusion is that it's not your fault.  

If you have continually struggled with success at making money from home, it's more likely that you have experienced cognitive dissonance. But to admit that would leave you disillusioned.

Lotto

I was raised lower middle class, my dad never seemed to have more than two nickles to rub together.  My mom would buy lottery tickets and proceed to talk about all the trips we would go on, the houses she would buy us - complete with swimming pool - and new cars. 

She would get so excited telling the story that is was worth the $5 for the sheer entertainment of  dreaming of a better life. 

​Then she would watch the numbered ping pong balls not fall her way.  Yet, the next week she would buy more lotto tickets.

I believe this is how most people approach work from home businesses - as a lotto ticket.  To confront their illusion would mean their dream would die.  And that's a challenge for most people as they would rather keep their illusions than face reality.

Most people hate their jobs, have limited resources, don't spend enough time with their family and desire a bigger life full of abundance.​ It's no wonder there are millions of people desiring to work from home. 

​Reflection - Looking Back at My Life in Business Opportunities

I fell in love with making money from home in high school when I discovered a book in the library called 'How I Made a Million Dollars in Mail Order - And You Can Too! by E. Joseph Cossman.

I purchased a make money kit for $500 that sold access to a travel discounts club book - like the one in those Entertainment Books.  It required me to go to print shops, sub shops and hair salons and convince them to take my acrylic stands stuffed with brochures to sell the travel discount club. ​

The brochures instructed the reader to mail $50 for their club membership. I would them mail them their travel book discount membership club book.  I was sure to be the next Cossman.

Daily I would check my Mail Box Etc address to see if the checks were coming in the mail.  Surprisingly, I actually made one sale. However, mostly when I visited the establishments that held my expensive brochure holders to refill them with new brochures, they stands would be missing or hidden beneath the counter.  ​

For six months and $1000 dollars I worked that business to earn $50.  Although their travel club was legit, I came to the conclusion that the opportunity for reps to make money was a sham and that their real income was on finding suckers like me.

​That did not stop my resolve to make money from home.  Eventually I found another business - giving away phone cards for long distance.  If they loaded it I would make a commission.

I purchased a $1000 kit of 5000 phone cards. Living in San Diego, I would go stand outside the San Diego Zoo and hand out the phone cards.  (This is obviously before everyone had a cell phone and long distance rates were expensive).

Needless to say, this didn't pan out like I had hoped either.

Eventually, I discovered information marketing.  Me and an apartment neighbor who was studying to be a doctor purchased reprint rights to titles like 'How to Earn $100 a Day with Your Truck.'

We would advertise in newspapers like USA Today. They would call our 800 # that was connected to a call center that would take their credit card and we would print, bind and ship the paper manual.​

We actually made money - but after all the expenses and splitting two ways there was little profit left.

Internet Marketing

Then the internet became a vehicle to reach the masses and so begin my online journey to internet riches.  ​I read every book on persuasion and copywriting I could find.  I bought marketing courses and spent untold hours reading and testing what I had learned. 

When Google Adwords came out, I finally scratched off a winning lotto ticket.  I was profitable selling ebooks, how to use Microsft Excel video DVD's, forex ​trading and software. 

However, Google eventually ratcheted up their guidelines and big business pushed the price of advertising out of reach.​

​Selling Tools for Marketers

I stayed with the make money from home niche as I noticed a trend.  Business opportunities would rise and fall quickly - usually in the space of a year.  Those same people would be looking for a new opportunity for their next venture. 

One thing that would remain a mystery for these newbie marketers is knowledge of marketing and  lead acquisition.  Therefore, I decided to get involved with providing solutions in the lead and marketing education space.

I created courses myself like The Lead Academy and Mobile Marketing Code - usually as a bonus to some affiliate product that I was promoting. 

It was always a problematic search for finding the next product to promote as these programs are like a desert flower - here today gone tomorrow. As each flowered bloomed and died my cognitive dissonance grew. 

I would wonder: why can't these program creators make a lasting program?  - Something of extreme value for the customer. Something that gives them a real shot at making it online - working from home in their underwear or lying on the beach with their laptop.

The Italian Job

A couple years ago I was vacationing in Italy.  The entire trip paid for by my marketing efforts.  My dreams had finally materialized. I could turn text, images and video into cash on demand. I was now a man with a certain set of skills.

While looking at the Mediterranean sea and taking it all in from the days of putting my brochures out in sandwhich shops to traipsing around Europe, I knew that whatever program that got me there would soon go away and I would be looking for another thing to promote - enter cognitive dissonance. ​

Crypto

This last year I lost $15,000 in a crypto ponzi scheme.  People that had trusted me, that I recruited into the program, also lost money.  I begin to resent the business opportunity space - with all the hype, sleazy owners and incapable people unwilling to take the journey I took to make it.

I scaled back my business and once again focused on selling a few lead generation tools that I believed had value and could help a marketer grow and develop if they applied themselves.​

Things I've Learned as a Business Opportunity Marketer

  1. 97 out of a 100 people will not consistently turn a profit.​
  2. The Gurus that you see making it are scared.  They have no firm ground or bizop to call home and are program hoppers just like you - the difference being they make money. Just watch them for a few years and you'll see.
  3. Most people don't have the drive (or insanity) necessary to struggle  up the ladder of success.  There is a lot of failure you need to experience before you arrive.
  4. Most people that buy courses in marketing don't read/watch them or consistently put them into practice. 
  5. They think it's not their fault - just like Russel teaches you to convince them of in Expert Secrets.

There are of course exceptions to every rule, but the general idea remains the same - you're probably not cut out for life as an online entrepreneur who recruits others.

If you're thinking, I'm that 3% ask yourself: Do I consistently make money online? Are my skills exceptional? Or, have I joined​ countless programs with little to no success? Do I have cognitive dissonance? 

How to make a few hundred+ a week​

​I'm guessing that there is a financial gap between what you make and what you spend - or want to spend.  You can either downsize or get a better paying job or you can side hustle.  

Buy low - sell high.

For example, you can go to a garage sale or thriftstore, use a scanner app to scan a UPC or a book and see what they sell for on Ebay/Amazon.  But it low and sell it high.  Scale your way up to bigger items.  ​Boom! you're making money from home. 

Conclusion

 This wasn't an easy blog post to create.  After all, I'm biting the hand that feeds me.

However, there is power in taking your dissonant thoughts and inscribing them in an open setting.  It takes the weight of ideas and brings them closer into perspective for examination. 

I'm taking a break from the business opportunity niche - except for the tools - to focus on some eCommerce projects​. 

Yesterday I was having a cigar with cigar lounge owner named Pedro.  This guy is from Cuba and escaped the communist regime for the opportunity to live in America.  He risked life and limb because he thirsted for freedom.  That is the price of freedom - your total and complete risking of everything for success or wonderful failure.​

Richard OBrien
 

Teach > Train > Lead