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Spam, Scams and the Search for Income Freedom

In response to a survey thread I started in our ‘House Sitting World’ Facebook Group, I had a lot to say, way too much for just one comment box, so I thought I’d share my random thoughts in this blog post.  So here is the full version ‘Soapbox Rant’  from the crazy mind of Jodie Thompson…

“Firstly, Nat & I are students of consciousness.  We are very aware that we create our own reality.  With this in mind, I want to throw a few things out there with regards to the judgement of spam & scams.

While I too get annoyed at spam email, meaning email messages from people I have not requested information from, I can still appreciate the creative (despite desperate) ways these types of people choose to ‘throw spaghetti at the wall to see what will stick”.  Generally though, it simply means they are completely unaware that there are more effective ways to make sales OR they are just too lazy to learn and apply permission marketing, and in turn, end up pissing people off!

Naturally we all have opinions, some stronger than others, about what is deemed as a scam (different from spam).  In my mind, there are no scams, only lessons.  If someone received an email offering millions from a wealthy unclaimed will, and they acted on that email (which no doubt at some stage someone has), then that experience is unique to them and they in some strange way, needed to have their bank accounts cleared out or whatever unravelled for them.

When it comes to supposed ‘online scams’, I honestly feel its virtually impossible to be ripped off without taking responsibility for your own actions.  And once again, if you do get taken for a ride, then that is ultimately the experience you are meant to have in order to expand your conscious awareness or receive some sort of awakening lesson.  And I highly doubt anyone has a gun at their head as they type credit card numbers into an online order form for whatever their ‘spontaneous inspiration’ told them to buy!

And really, I have not come across anyone in the last 7 years since I started hanging out online and learning the psychology of marketing, that has actually been ‘scammed’ from buying a product or trying out a business opportunity.  Every info product, program, course, software etc comes with money back guarantees – hmmmm so what is it that others are creating in their reality that I am choosing not to I wonder?

I digress…

It is my belief that it takes tremendous courage to get off the hamster wheel and out of the rat race, as it is much easier for most to buy into the so-called ‘job security’, regardless of happiness, all in order to cover the mortgage & ever increasing credit card debt… so it is ‘apparently’ easier to stay stuck and whine about it, hiding the truth of simply being far too scared to ‘try’ anything new or that is not instantly comprehended, all in fear of it being ‘a scam’, listening to other potential scam artists or FEAR driven beings shouting claims that everything is a scam!  And not actually having the direct experience of simply trusting the intuition to guide them to whatever reveals, be it a win, loss or personal growth.  Even worse, when some courage (or momentary craziness) takes over with something a little left field sparking interest, then unfortunately it doesn’t work first time round (usually due to lack of knowledge and strategy), the old habit of just ‘chucking in the towel’ and screaming SCAM is a nice little ego defence mechanism as well.

In fact when I’ve seen those scam report websites, sometimes the names that appear on there just make me laugh!  The people who run these sites thrive on trying to cut down tall poppies.  Their own self worth is so small that they cannot bear the thought of some people having success at whatever game they choose to play.  And at the end of the day, everything, including these sites, are actually selling something and therefore making money from it.  The entire game of life is founded on Sales & Marketing – its our choice as to whether we have awareness around it, and even get to a point of being appreciative of it – or not.

We are all sheep, or at least have been sheep at some stage.  So the question I have is, are there really any scams out there? or is the idea of following anothers judgement of something that they more likely than not, DO NOT have a direct experience of anyway, just easier to buy into?  Even this is just another part of the game of life, a game in which a certain number of people participate, sometimes at even higher levels, while others just sit on the sideline as spectators.

I am not prepared to say I am an Entrepreneur, I wasn’t one of those kids who creatively came up with ways to make money, money was kind of irrelevant to me as a child, but I am from a family who owned and operated a few different businesses in different industries over the years, so I am blessed to not be 100% indoctrinated with the employee mentality, despite having been employed in various positions since I was 15 years old.

What I know is that I have always desired freedom.  The longest job I ever held was 4 years with Westpac Bank straight out of school.  The most jobs I’ve had at one time was 3, working 7 days a week to pay a one third share of a 18.5% mortgage (gotta love 1989).   I have worked hard and played hard, but it still took 10 years of travel and having amazing jobs along the way before I was ready to seek ‘an extra income’, and in my awareness at that time, the only thing I knew of was to have a side business.

Some of my direct experiences of Scams (or were they?)

Rather than do a timeline, seeing as most of us are online in some shape or form, let’s start with my internet enrollment…

  • In 2008 when I first bought into a make money online system that cost $300 (PER MONTH!!), on top of the high end Travel membership that it was supposed to sell for me, I was full of hope and enthusiasm that it would work.  After paying for it for 5 months with no results, other than the 1250 leads that had cost me another $500 or so to ‘test’ the system with, when I stopped paying the monthly fee, I lost all the leads.  Zero sales.  Now I could look at the whole system as a SCAM, and whine and bitch about being so naive for buying into a’ fast easy’ golden dream… but instead, I could see that my $5K+ investment had given me a lot of knowledge.  I went on to pay $400 for a web developer to create a sales funnel website for me, recorded about 7 videos for the step by step education of what I’d learnt about hiding behind replicated systems, and made my first sale of that high end travel product within a week of the site going live.  SCAM or LESSON?
  • When my ex Mother-in-law lost her $5K savings by buying shares in a Building Society that went bust, was she scammed?  She thought so, and therefore never made another investment of any sort ever again.  Today she owns her own home, yet struggles to buy groceries let alone pay the rates and utility bills living solely on the Australian Pension.  Thus travel is a luxury that will never be had… I could say ‘such a shame’ but why would I?  It’s her path, she has created her own reality.
  • In 1999, my ex-husband & I paid $21K for a cleaning franchise with so-called guaranteed income of $3k per mth for no more than 2-3 contracts.  The reality is that we never received more than $1600 per mth across 6 small contracts costing us a heap in travel to get to each job.  After just 14 months, we ended up offloading the ‘franchise’ for a measly $2500 + equipment.  Had we been scammed?
  • To flip the coin for a moment, in 2002 I could say that I scammed the ANZ Bank by getting a mortgage approved for an investment property just as we resigned from our job with no other one on the horizon (this life event still makes me laugh as that investment property doubled in price in just 2 years) ;)
  • In 2006 we invested nearly $15K into magnetic & F-I-R energy products plus tons of business tools to start sharing with others the benefits of living in a wellness home in the middle of Brisbane CBD.  This was my introduction to the Network Marketing Business model and more importantly, where I hosted my first ever webinar on the very expensive webex platform.  Were the products or biz model a scam or was it a hugely beneficial experience for me to learning new technology and embrace natural derived technology?

So the education of how many different ways there are to earn an extra income is absolutely massive.  And since reading all the comments in the Facebook thread, I’m not sure I have the energy to be the curator of the truth of what people need to wake up to in order to have what they truly desire in life… because in many cases, hardly anyone actually knows what they really want.  And Nat & I have direct experience of this very fact, many times in fact.  Just like when we ‘thought’ we wanted a brick & mortar business in Dubai with huge overheads (WTF!), but once that collapsed, and our bruised ego’s started healing, we remembered that our true passion (who knows how it’s possible to forget) was Freedom.  And House Sitting has facilitated that for us.

At the end of the day, it wasn’t until I went deep inside to ask myself “how do I want to play MY game of life”, that I uncovered some of my natural skillsets, learnt how I’m hard wired to get things done, and started weighing up the pros and cons of all the varying business models like Franchising, Network Marketing, Brick & Mortar, Affiliate Marketing, Publishing, Information Product Creation or Authoring along with the self employed income methods of Freelance Service Providing, Consulting, Speaking, Creative Designing, Technical or Web Development, Coaching… so on and so on, that I’ve discovered what is right for me.  And thankfully it is aligned with and works well for Nat too!

On a final note – I apologise for the random ramblings here, there is so much more I could add to an ongoing discussion but need to get on and do some recordings for our first ever UDEMY course (yay!)

Ciao Ciao Amigo’s!

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2 Comments

  • Charli & Ben

    Reply Reply May 11, 2014

    Great post! No harm in a little random rambling! I agree that being concious of the reality you project for yourself is the key to walking the right path in life. Greed and laziness often inspire ill conceived plans. Happy house sitting girls!

  • Natalie Smith

    Reply Reply May 11, 2014

    Thanks Charli and Ben… you too!

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