Today’s Gold Rush

Compare these present days on the Internet to the gold rush in California in the late 1840’s (that’s where the term California ‘49ers came from). Everyone on the east coast was hearing how people made millions with just a pick and shovel. Sounds brain dead simple right?

So thousands rush to the west coast not knowing a thing about gold mining or even what gold looks like in the earth. They pay their money for supplies, run out into the woods and do what “the experts” have told them to do. If they didn’t die from bad weather, claim jumpers, wild animals or accidents, they usually got cheated out of their gold by high prices, corrupt officials or betrayal by partners. Some miners made money, but most didn’t. So what drove the thousands of people to leave everything behind and join the gold
rush?  Hope.

We need hope. There is nothing wrong with hope—hope is a good thing. But we need to be able to cut through the BS of the Hope-Mongers and find the path of true hope that fits our lives. This navigation can be tricky. I don’t even want to think about the thousands of dollars I have poured down the toilet on Hope-Mongers who promised fast-track, insider information to “help” me succeed. Here is an example of how over simplification, which is what the Hope-Mongers use, can be misleading.

A Real Life Example

I played American Football for 12 years and coached for another 16 years, all of it as an offensive lineman. As the old school coaches say, “All of football comes down to two things, blocking and tackling.” Now that’s true, on offense if you block your man, my grandmother could score. On defense if you tackle your man, no one can score. But here is the interesting part. As a coach, I can tell a lineman that in order for him to be successful at his position, he has to block his man. So he knows his assignment, he has his goal, he has the ability and he goes for it. But then he doesn’t get the results he wants.

The coach could say, “You didn’t do what I told you….block him!” and on the surface it would appear the coach is right, he told the player what to do and now the player has to do it. That’s what is happening in the Internet world right now. The mantra is “Do A B C and you get D—that’s what I did and you can do it too!!!” When I was an offensive line coach, I could tell a lineman that his job was to block his man, it’s that simple. But over the years, I have broken down a single block into at least 26 individual parts that need to happen as the lineman approaches the line and within the first 1.5 seconds after the ball is snapped. All of these are important in order for that lineman to be successful at blocking his man. Add to this whether the opponent is outside, head-up or inside, what the defensive front is, which side of the line he is on, is it a cut block, scoop block, zone block…well you get the picture.

Unless the lineman has been taught all 26 aspects of the block AND then understands how to adjust them to his present situation in 2 seconds or less, it is impossible for him to be successful all the time or even half the time.

The point is the Hope-Mongers know they can sell you almost anything as long as you desperately hang on to the hope of hitting it big.

I have seen some of the most disgusting lies peddled as “real answers”. The “pull back the curtain, spill the beans, look over my shoulder, take you by the hand” clichés that people flock to are everywhere.

Why do people buy into this? They buy it because they don’t believe in themselves, they don’t know the industry and they are looking for short cuts that they THINK these people will provide. Sometimes they do, but most often it just another Hope-Monger preying on someone looking for quick money.

Hope-Seekers want to believe in “the Hope”, that the magic bullet is going to do it all for them and produce instant riches.

Here is an interesting side note. I once attended a conference, being the Hope-Seeker that I am, and had a startling realization. All the conference speakers were promoted as “Instant Internet Millionaires”, who just X-months ago were working from their kitchen tables just like you and now look at them. What I saw was that they were all under 35 years old. Then I looked around at those attending the conference and the average age had to be in the late 50’s. While it was true that the speakers wore Rolex watches, talked about their exotic vacations, and showed the stats on their business, The Truth of how they got those numbers or what they said to their customers to get those numbers was never revealed.

But that didn’t seem to bother anyone sitting in the audience, because the late 50 year olds were still drooling over the money numbers on the spread sheets and thinking to themselves, “If this little punk can do it, so can I.” It didn’t appear that anyone stopped to ask themselves if they were willing to be a Hope-Monger in order to join the inner circle and make the big money.

Maybe some were, but I’m not—it’s not who I want to be. I believe all of us can make the money we desire without the smoke and mirrors and without having to conceal what we do or lie just to “whack” someone’s credit card. Call it crazy, call it stupid, but I’ve lived long enough to know that when you start down that road of using and abusing people and become comfortable with vague dishonesty and “fudging numbers” it leads to jail (Enron), or corrupted minds and disturbed or destroyed lives (pick any grocery store checkout line magazine headline).

Eventually it will turn into a bad business, unless you are a good enough Hope-Monger to keep the illusion going, not caring what it has turned you into.

There are some people who are proud of their reputation of being a jerk and as they put, “At least I’m a jerk with money.” Hey, if that’s who you want to be, who am I to stop you. If that’s really what you want, you might as well stop reading now. BUT there is another way and if that is what you want, then keep on reading.

Well, back to the Gold Rush, do you know who made the most money in the California Gold Rush? The hotel owners, the restaurant owners even the brothel owners—those who took the money the miners made—some honestly, some dishonestly. And lest we forget a name that is still among us today that started during the Gold Rush—Levi

They made sturdy, hard-wearing jeans that the miners could use. They made them one pair at a time and sold them to the miners. The Levi Strauss Gold Mine is still producing today. We as Hope-Seekers need to regroup and stop grasping desperately for instant success. We need to release the fear of missing the boat and not making it in time, regardless of our age. We need to do some quiet soul searching and look for the things we are really passionate about and choose a path for making money that’s right for us—that’s what real hope is about.

Five Years from Now

Five years from now mindless Hope-Seekers who want instant riches, will still be chasing newer, better, faster hopes. While we, who have taken the time to release the fear and search our hearts for something meaningful in life and start to become an expert in that field, will be navigating our way to the destination we desire.

Will this journey make us ridiculously rich? I don’t know, maybe it will and maybe it will simply provide a very good living and then some. But at least we will be living a full, satisfying life, doing something we love and that has its own priceless wealth. It’s obvious that we do need some of the technology that’s being peddled today; we do need instruction, education and guidance along the way. But the big picture needs to be more about following our own passions and our own path and not some path dictated to us by
someone else who claims their way is the best path to riches. We can use some of their tools, but we need to stay focused on what we want to accomplish in our lives over the long run.

Just remember that when Dorothy and her friends pulled back the curtain on the Wizard of Oz, all they found was an old man pretending to be something he wasn’t.
Dorothy and the rest had the answer all along, if they had looked within themselves. Look, I know at least a third of the people that get this report may not have even read this far, because they don’t want to be told “instant riches” is mostly hype and not the quick fix they want to think it is. So they will probably dump this Declaration and return to being an eternal Hope-Seeker never really getting any results, but still looking for that home run. This mentality is one of the greatest weaknesses of gamblers, and it’s not hope—it’s desperation.

Then there will be those at the top of the Internet food chain who are more than content to keep pumping out the hype as long as people buy. Their bank accounts will justify their actions in their own minds.But my purpose with this Declaration is to help you, the Hope-Seeker who wants to find real, honest answers, produce genuine helpful
products or services and become a Hope-Giver.

So if you’ve read this far, welcome to the journey. Let’s continue on with a look at the Merchants of Hope.