Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash

When my friend and I were invited to a free financial Seminar in Cape Town, South Africa we bought into it. I was very cautious with the fact that it was for free and we both agreed there is a hidden agenda. I told him there is no way someone would fly all over from the USA to South Africa and offer a free Seminar. We knew there is a catch. We attended in any way. It turned out we were going to be sold a product to listen to and invest in that particular event manager’s company to grow our wealth.

In one event a guy jumped out of the crowd to make an offer for an investment required by the organizer. It was so strange after the presentation he was the only one understanding the logistics. I felt it was staged to draw others' attention. I was broke so I didn’t even think about joining this business initiative. The event was also for free in a beautiful hotel. There is no way someone can plan an event, pay for the damages and stationery, rent just to give you something for free.

I used to attend almost every promising seminar, webinar. What I hated the most were those stupid offers if you join, subscribe even for newsletters you will get a book by so, and so on for free. Before you know it you are in that particular person’s data to offer you those funny products.

In most cases, one will only promote his/her product, educational material that will bring hope you can be a millionaire. The speaker began his seminar by telling us good stories of how he survived poverty, from rags to riches. One coincident that almost got the two of us was the guy whose former job was being a sound engineer. We were indeed at that time Technical Producers and we were like this is interesting someone like us become successful. Ok, I was like what if he learned about our occupations prior to the event? Possibly.

In most churches, people get interviewed prior to the show unknowingly to stage miracles. The goal is to catch your emotions. In many services, you will be asked to give a certain amount of money for God to bless you. If He doesn’t I suppose you’re not praying enough according to some I call them con pastors. Motivational speakers will ask you to subscribe and endorse others for you to buy their products with the hope that after reading the manuals and listen to the tapes you will be on top of the mountain. The thing is with those kinds of setups, the poor that came to the even remain poor. The rich remain rich and even richer. It is because you were sold nothing but hope.

Many politicians are good at this kind of selling dreams and hope. They speak what we want to hear to cast votes. Jobs, fighting unemployment, and very few that will offer help for people to learn how to work for themselves to create more jobs for others too. Selling hope that if you vote for them to be in power, they will change everything. Poverty will be gone. Those are dreams and hopes you are being sold.

I have done accounting and finance as major subjects during my study time. I always make sure I understand the numbers before I listen to your cues in closing a sale with me. You can only scam desperate and less fortunate people. When someone is about to sell you hope, which always ends up in a scam, he/she first make sure he steals your emotions. Their testimonies at the beginning of every speech are their best asset. Con artists and money launderers will always pitch with how they struggled in life and none of them has ever just spoon-fed.

Some motivational speakers and preachers in South Africa literally pay people to be part of the audience. One will stage being sick in the form of a healing crusade. In a business seminar, one will attest as if it works. The thing is whether you were listening to a motivational tape, video, or attended a seminar, Church service you are still going to do the work you already knew. Your failure to apply what you’ve always believed as your aspirations, you end up attending all services and seminars with no change. It is because you always hoping to be a billionaire after attending an event, service at Church.

It is going to be tougher and so many con artists will rise during this pandemic we are facing. Be vigilant. Do not buy into someone else's prey. We are fighting the pandemic together but other people’s fight is to con others. Work still carries the same definition. One needs to work and never rely on someone else’s formula for success.