No warning on earth can save people determined to grow suddenly rich – Lord Overstone
He calculated the movement of stars and heavenly bodies. He wrote a seminal book on Physics, which forever changed the way we lived. His thoughts became laws taught even today. He fell prey to greed and lost all his life savings.
You must have guessed his name by now. He is Sir Isaac Newton. In early 1700’s he invested in South Sea Company in England. South Sea Company obtained monopoly to trade in South Seas in exchange for assuming England’s war debt. Newton sold his shares for a handsome profit and watched with perturbation the prices of the shares climb further. He reinvested all his life savings only to watch them evaporate as South Sea Company bankrupted. He famously said afterwards, “I can calculate the movement of stars, but not the madness of men.”
QNet is a similar investment scheme that caught not the imagination but madness of men and women. It is a multilevel marketing scheme selling ‘products’ that are never heard, bought, or used. QNet strategy was to get more people into your network to invest in. The promised profits are humongous to say the least. Internet is full of stories on the ways members are recruited (read trapped) into the scheme. Every organization has to sell something. At QNet you don’t need to sell anything; just trap your friends and relatives and live off them. Ingenious! Until the cookie crumbled and the likes of Michael Ferreira are facing the music. QNet is the not first, definitely not the last to trap us with quick rich schemes. Which bring us to the question, what is it that makes us so gullible and fall into these traps?
Greed. The insatiable desire to get more with less effort. Let us take QNet itself. To find, trap, and extract money from friends and relatives is not easy. Actually, it is more difficult than your normal work. However, we believe it is easy money. Before embarking on these quick rich schemes, can we work out the following equation? Hard earned money + respect > or < ill-gotten money. It boils down to value of respect, as the other two components are quantitative (money).
Respect is the only thing you truly earn while on earth that is real and lasting. That too respect that you earn for your honesty, ability and good nature. Not that respect which comes from use of power or bought with favors. How much value you assign for true respect is the measure of your value system.
Many of the QNet members trapped in the scheme are innocent but the inherent desire (a sin) to grow rich quicker and easily did them in. Many to extract themselves from the debts resorted to conning others into the scheme setting in a viral conning network. They valued their monetary loss higher than respect and took to conning. Why some decent folks took to conning?
Loss. Human mind cannot accept loss. Just close your eyes and try to recall the moments when you made unexpected profits. Few memories. Now try to recall unexpected losses. Right from 10 rupees the autowallah has fleeced you, to the investments that have gone wrong, memories come flooding in. Because we attribute profit to our abilities and loss to fate, deception by others etc. We conveniently forget that our profit has been someone’s loss (or less profit). To cover for this monetary loss some take to conning themselves forgetting that you can earn money back now or later but not respect.
Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Laureate in Economics, gave the formula for success. Success = talent + luck. Great success = talent + a lot of luck. Talent is what you are born with. Hard work is what you can do. Luck is what you cannot manage. Use your talent and work hard. If you are lucky, you are successful. If you are very lucky, you will be very successful. If luck is not on your side, your hard work, and talent give you the most lasting thing on earth. Respect.
Go for it!