I’m just going to say it – the “LAPTOP LIFESTYLE” is a hoax.

… and this might be a rant.

We’ve all seen them – the ads all over Facebook where a 20-something is sitting on a beach, sipping a cocktail , claiming to have money pouring in while they live lavishly, driving fancy cars and going home to their mansions. They always claim that “you can do it too” if you just pay them to show you how.

I’ve worked in small businesses, large companies, and everywhere in between and in each position, I have been close enough to upper management to know that the bigger your company is, the less of a life you have. I have yet to meet anyone who is actually living a “laptop” lifestyle. To be honest, I wouldn’t want to work for anyone who prides themselves on making money by doing nothing.

The people you see on these ads are not entrepreneurs. They’re not gurus. They’re not innovators. And most importantly, they won’t teach you anything about what it really takes to own or operate a business. They’re scam artists.

I’m not saying it’s impossible to get rich while essentially doing nothing, it’s just not likely. And the folks who are asking you to pay your hard-earned money so they can “coach” you are, more often than not, just trying to make some easy cash by telling people to do things that they themselves have not done. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule but most of the folks showing up in our feeds are victims of the Facebook marketing machine and that machine looks like this:

  • Pay someone to teach you how to make and promote an online course.  
  • Pay for the necessary equipment and incidentals (cameras, clothes, professional photos that make you look rich, hosting, microphones, computers, etc.).
  • Put in your precious free time to build this course.
  • Set up your advertising because that’s the only way to promote yourself.
  • WatchFacebook take your money and throw you into the bucket along with everyone else doing the same thing.
And then wonder why it isn’t working.

You were supposed to be a millionaire by now just like your “teacher” but you’re not. Plus, to add insult to injury, your bank account is in the hole and draining by the day. And when you ask why, they will tell you the only way to be successful is to keep shelling out your cash until something catches and it will all be worth it. Oh, and that “teacher” of yours? The one who so badly wanted you to succeed? He or she doesn’t even know who you are and only communicates through automated emails.

Is that what you had in mind when you embarked on this journey to fast, easy money?

I’m no veteran business owner, but I do have enough experience to say that this is absolutely not the road to success.

I’ve never met a successful person who didn’t work their ass off.

A few years ago, I had a part time job as a personal assistant for a man who had a successful app and consulting business. He had a nice house, drove a Porsche, took weekend trips, and got up to work at 5am every day of the year. I asked him his story once. He was an executive for Hewlett Packard and played online games as a hobby. He decided as a side gig, to invest in creating an app  and then used his pay-per-click expertise to run Google AdWords campaigns. He used disposable income for all of this and didn’t compromise his family’s lifestyle.  Once he reached traction, he added an ads component to his game and started generating income. He did this for a few years before he ever considered leaving the security of his job. Once that decision was made, he worked full time at his job and full time on his side business until he had enough money saved for him and his family to live comfortably for a few years in case it didn’t work out. He had the kind of grit it takes to make that kind of commitment. There was no working from the beach or a villa in Italy. There was only hard work and persistence.

On the female side of the equation, my friend Ashley is the only person I know who has built a successful direct sales business. Ashley introduced me to Plexus 2 years ago and it was a godsend for me. After some major health issues left me with a malfunctioning pancreas, her product knowledge and passion for healthy living made it easy to want to try the Triplex system. I was fortunate to be able to see her journey firsthand and it certainly wasn’t easy.

When Ashley started selling Plexus, she started with a goal achieve Gold level and after she did, she was stuck there for a while. She admitted that it was discouraging but she kept going. She reached out to the people ranked above her and took all of their advice and best practices to heart. She kept at it every day regardless of whether she felt like it or not. This year, she hit a major milestone. She ranked high enough to get the company car and the free trips to Hawaii and you know what? She deserves it! And she’s still going! She doesn’t sit around all day expecting her team to make her rich. She works at it every day in between taking care of 3 kids. Ashley leads her team by example and she will continue to grow in that organization because she has the commitment, the passion, and the drive to succeed.

It saddens me to see these so-called “gurus” who make having your own business look easy. It completely devalues the people who work so hard to build something that is beneficial. Real business gurus don’t spend their time sitting on a beach. They are constantly thinking about and working towards a next step.

Don’t get me wrong. I fully believe that anyone with a desire to work for themselves can do it. You CAN start a side hustle that leads you towards getting out of your 9-5. However, the worst way to go about it is to pay someone to “teach” you how through a video series while they profit from your naïveté.

If you’re starting a side hustle or business of your own, please take my advice and go about it the right way. Do something you are good at, learn the skills it takes to succeed from someone who has already done it, and then do the work. Pay your dues. Enjoy the success you’ve earned. And keep growing. Don’t piss away your time and energy on a get rich quick scheme. You’ll thank yourself for it in the long run.