To the digital dreamer

By Ibilola Odunlami ibilola@economist.com.na

By Ibilola Odunlami
[email protected]

If I have seen one promotional presentation for some farfetched “six-figure” promise I have seen them all. But these days, with the internet promising you the ability to be a billionaire without even having to put pants on, as easy as these marketing schemes are to spot, They are becoming even harder to pull away from. The marketing is so on point these days, that it is more tempting to continue listening than it is to close the screen. Obviously if you knew that the video would be forty minutes long you would not have given it two minutes of your time.
I will let you in on a little secret if you do not already know; they make the time stamp of those videos invisible so you will keep watching, thinking it will end soon. Twenty minutes later, you still do not want to close the screen because you have “come so far”. At this point you know that they knew that you would be hooked as soon as you pressed ‘Play’. But you do not care, the time you spent watching is worth all the money you will be making in return, right?
Finally, after “just forty minutes of your time!”, that sharp curved metal hook is so close you can almost taste it. Here it comes … “All this priceless information that you can find on the internet if you do enough research could be yours for only $49.99”. A bargain!
And if you have not clamped your mouth onto that hook yet, you are told that if you do not subscribe to this program within the next ten minutes, the price will go back up (after forty minutes of your time), because this information is so precious that it is really valued at tens of thousands of dollars. “Hurry, there are only 50 spaces available!”
Sigh … To me, parting with my money like this just feels like I am giving my baby to Rumpelstilskin. I have seen and been amazed by so many of these marketing, mentorship and networking presentations, heck my suspicion is that if they are not already promoting a real product before you cash in, the product that you are supposedly going to make so much money from IS the campaign itself.
Thank God I am too much of a cheapskate, because the way they package these deals is so appealing. And in fact, the people they are looking to reel in are indeed people like me, impatient, irresponsible spenders looking for a quick fix to billionaire stardom… Dreamers. I can only imagine my personal and economic growth had I spent ten of those minutes each day dedicated to God’s Word or writing down an actual detailed budget – because I admit, probably the only reason why I have not bought into any of these programs is because I spend most of my money on food. Indeed, this is a blessing and a curse.
But honestly, I can see why these online programs glitter so brightly. And no, I am not 100% against all online businesses like affiliate marketing. But I have learned that the one thing these campaigns capitalise on is your impatience, which, in a way means that you actually really do value your time, you just may not know how to manage it well. So here is some free advice that you have most likely heard time and time again – and for a good reason; optimise the time that you have to spend. Take those forty minutes and convert them into a worthy investment. You may not be earning anything as you sleep right now, but you are going to have to lay your bricks one by one if you ever expect to build a solid mansion.

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