Saturday, January 23, 2010

Don't Waste Your Money

Before you waste your money.

I just saw an ad where you can have a seminar with the master of investing for a hefty fee. This individual made his money during the era of skyrocketing real estate prices, risky loans and almost full employment. How much of that do you think applies today?
Once upon a time I wanted to learn a particular metaphysical like technique so I paid for a seminar having no inclination what-so-ever to actually hang out a shingle and charge for it. I received 100 testimonials guaranteed written by different people (they paid college students to make things up) to use in my advertising. Why? Because people love to read testimonials.
Anyone remember the old National Enquirer blue dot? Every month or so they published the blue dot with a page of testimonials on how touching this thing would get you your wish and then the editors sat back and laughed their lower posteriors off. You see with their circulation it was statistically impossible for someone to not get their wish. So the dot was always going to work. The absence of the dot would have worked just as well.
Now here is a little shock for you. I actually used to provide predictions to tabloids and even some major newspapers that would pop your eyes out but you have never seen my name anywhere. I framed a copy of my first paycheck from one. Why don’t you see my name? Because I was accurate and I technically worked for them. Before you fall for a list of big corporations someone is advertising they worked for, keep in mind that big corporations make employees sign confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements. You give away the rights to everything you produce while employed by them and that includes your predictions. So when someone says they were a psychic at a big company that usually translates to; “I was hired by a party planner to readings for fun and entertainment at their party” and I will add, because I was really cheap and work for nothing. What most party planners pay for an hour you can’t get a 30 minute reading from me for and a party is harder work. If you really worked for a big company, you are keeping your mouth shut because they will sue something lower off. That’s why you never see a list of companies I worked with. I have a healthy respect for corporate attorneys. I employ one for my company.
Working with corporations is a tricky deal and sooner rather than later, the person who hired you figures out if you can tell them all the dirty little secrets of their competition, you also know theirs. I get my money up front, now. The proof of employment or title you get is consultant and they will gladly claim it was for janitorial work. You can’t advertise, say, you are a Proctor and Gamble cleaning service because you use their products. You would have to be a licensed distributor for their products. I cannot legally say I am Waite Tarot Reader but I can say I primarily use the Waite Tarot Deck in my readings. US Games has not certified me as a reader of their deck they hold the copyright on mainly because they just don‘t do that sort of thing. Most companies don’t.
If you are considering stretching the truth a little in your advertising: don’t. One ‘psychic’ was really good at it and actually bragged no one had sued her, yet. Then one day she got a letter from corporation that scared her web designer so bad, the gal went into another line of work, the designer that is. She knew she would be held responsible since she put the page up and the ‘psychic’ could always claim she knew nothing. In case you are wondering, the ‘psychic’ just found someone gullible enough to pull the same thing on and made up a new page. Before you use an image on the net, right click the mouse, go to properties and see if it is owned by someone. That could save you a ton of money in more than one way. Really expensive graphics tend to be owned by companies with a really big staff of lawyers. You also will find out if the web page owner actually owns the graphics, backgrounds and pictures they are using. I had to actually buy a license to use a so called ‘free’ graphic once on my web page. Most of the disks you buy are for personal use only. I have given a lot of disks away to friends who wanted to play with the graphics for their kids’ entertainment after I read the inside of the sealed carton and discovered they were useless to me. Of course, once you open them they are unreturnable. There are companies, that for a yearly fee, offer you thousands of graphics to use. I subscribe to one and can send you the link.
So before you waste your money, investigate. Never take the word of testimonials. Absolutely never believe an infomercial. All the speaking parts are paid actors and the whole thing is scripted. I used to know someone who produces them. Believe me, live television never goes that smoothly says the woman here who has had things blow up on her, drop on her and jump on her. But above all, just remember, this person is making their money selling you a seat not doing whatever they are hawking. So if you are going into business selling seats, this may be the seminar for you. If they were making their money off what they are hawking, they wouldn’t be selling seats or putting you in competition with them.
Getting your picture taken with a celebrity usually costs around 15.00 and is not an endorsement. Considering the collective IQ of most of today’s celebrities, it wouldn’t be an endorsement of your quality anyway.
If anyone makes enough predictions, they will get one right, eventually. If you work long enough as a psychic, you will wind up at a corporate event eventually. Neither of these facts guarantees you are any good. Take the headliners the old National Enquirer used to use for predictions every year. No cure has been found for cancer. World peace has not broken out. The Aliens have not landed and cured all our problems. Those are just three of the predictions I remember that came up almost every year. Buyer beware.

1 comment:

aswesow said...

Yep, even a broken clock is right twice a day!