Business Opportunities, Business Ethics, and the Internet

Once you have looked into a business opportunity on the Internet, you become fair game for an advertising tsunami. If you already have an online business and you advertise on an FFA network or use one of the “Blasters” that are out there, it is absolutely amazing the volume of crap that you get inundated with.

If you take a little time and scan over this stuff, everybody is pitching the royal road to wealth. Join their program, buy into their business opportunity, purchase their eBook and all will be revealed—just follow steps 1-2-3 and you, too, will become rich (like them?).

Unlike the traditional business model, the Internet is largely unregulated, so anybody can throw up a web page and sucker in the unsuspecting and unknowledgeable. There are places where you can report fraud once you’ve been taken in—you just have to take the time and endure the aggravation to pursue it, hopefully with satisfactory results.

The word “scam” is thrown around on the Web like a frisbee—and while there are a lot of scam artists operating on the Net, the unfortunate flip side to this is there is a segment of misinformed people who go around labeling things as a scam when, in fact, they are not. With glitzy advertising, slick tricks, and misinformation—no wonder people are so confused as to what and whom to believe as they search for a legitimate way to make money.

It is truly pathetic—opportunity promoters who hide behind what they are promoting and offer no support or false contact information, promises of instantaneous wealth, citing examples of unbelievable amounts of money earned practically overnight, oversimplification of the system being offered, withholding vital information necessary to market the opportunity, not delivering what was promised—I can go on and on. Perhaps the saddest misconception that is not only heavily promoted, but believed by way too many people, is that you can somehow join something and make an insane amount of money without any investment of time and money. It baffles me how difficult it is to get people to understand the fallacy of that line of thinking.

You will see the ads claiming that “we do 95% of the work and you keep the money”—and people will go for that in droves, but ask them to make a reasonable investment and put a little time and effort into something legitimate that really will produce for them—they want no part of it.

While Internet ethics is an issue, it is a bit of a two-way street because the purveyors of falsehoods have a very captive audience who eagerly buy into whatever they are selling and they just can’t get it that they’re not thinking straight. Of course, there are honest, intelligent people taken advantage of as well because the presentations are pretty convincing.

When we look at the national news, we see that the Internet isn’t the only place lacking in ethics. So, once again, we are reminded of a sad fact of humankind—there are always those who want something for nothing—whether they are selling or buying. Those of us who know better have our work cut out for us—and we have to do our part to make, not only the Internet, but the world as a whole, a better place to do business.

Copyright (c) 2009 Michael Crank