Making Money Online

Why Making Money Online and Online Business are NOT the Same Thing!

Why Making Money Online and Online Business are NOT the Same Thing!

Hey everyone!

I hope you are keeping well! 🙂

You may have noticed that I haven’t quite managed to get back into my blogging stride after my lengthy absence. Fear not, I WILL get back into a proper routine and will soon be back to my regularly scheduled blogging!

So, without further ado….

For this post, I wanted to cover something extremely important and something that I have noticed is affecting an awful lot of people. I’ll start by telling you a couple of little stories and I’d love for you really pay really close attention to these, as you may well identify with one or more of the characters.

Later on, we’ll go on to analyse them in a very important way:

The Story of Jack

Making Money OnlineJack is someone who is in desperate need of a change. He has recently lost his job, has lots of bills to pay and is finding that his money is running out.

Jack is someone who has always liked the idea of working for himself but has never really known how to go about doing it.

Just think – being his own boss, not having to worry about money, being free to do what he wants, when he wants, how he wants. That’s the dream, right?

So Jack searches around to find out how he can go about doing this. It is while doing so that he comes across Brian. Brian doesn’t have a boss. He makes money for himself. Brian explains to Jack that he is able to make thousands of dollars very quickly, with very little effort and with very little investment.

Naturally, Jack is intrigued!

Brian goes onto explain that he can coach Jack how to do this. Jack will have to pay Brian a fee out of his initial earnings but after that he will get to keep his subsequent earnings for himself.

“Sounds like a win-win!” thinks Jack.

So, he decides to pay Brian to show him how all this works and, true to his word, Brian shows him.

Sure enough, Jack makes a few thousand dollars straight out of the gate and is thrilled with his results!

All this sounds wonderful, right? Well, we’ll come back to Jack’s story a little later on.

The Story of Alison

Making Money OnlineAlison is someone who is in desperate need of a change. She has recently lost her job, has lots of bills to pay and is finding that her money is running out.

Alison is someone who has always liked the idea of working for herself but has never really known how to go about doing it.

Just think – being her own boss, not having to worry about money, being free to do what she wants, when she wants, how she wants. That’s the dream, right?

So Alison searches around to find out how she can go about doing this. It is while doing so that she comes across Gloria. Gloria doesn’t have a boss. She makes money for herself online. Gloria explains to Alison that she is able to make thousands of dollars very quickly, with very little effort and with very little investment. Not only that, but Gloria explains that she will teach Alison how to show others to do exactly the same thing and pay her for doing so.

Naturally, Alison is intrigued!

So she pays Gloria to teach her and, sure enough Alison finds that she makes thousands of dollars with this method and is over the moon with her results!

All this sounds wonderful, right? Well, we will come back to Alison’s story a little later on.

What Happened to Jack

When we left Jack, he had found a way to make thousands of dollars very quickly and he was very pleased with his newly-found wealth.

That was until the Police picked him up for bank robbery.

Jack is now serving his time in jail.

What Happened to Alison

When we left Alison, she had learned how to recruit others into doing the same thing that Gloria had taught her and she had made thousands of dollars doing this.

That was until the FTC closed down the pyramid scheme that she was involved in and PayPal had closed down her account.

Alison is now stuck without a PayPal account and most of the people she recruited have been left out of pocket with no hope of getting their money back.

Making Money OnlineThe Moral of Jack’s Story

Jack was a very silly boy indeed, was he not?

Sure, Brian delivered on his promise and showed Jack how to make money quickly using his ‘method’. But it was illegal, unethical and short-sighted.

Jack paid for his mistake in a very costly way.

The Moral of Alison’s Story

Alison’s situation was a little different than Jack’s. Jack knew that he was robbing a bank and he knew that it was wrong. But the difference in Alison’s case is that she couldn’t see how she was doing anything wrong. So far as she was concerned, she had found a way to make money online, was doing so and everything was fine and dandy.

The thing is, Alison hadn’t done her due diligence to ascertain whether the method was ethical and legal.

It wasn’t.

And now, Alison has found herself not only back to square one, but in a position that is more difficult to move forwards from than she was at before.

Making Money OnlineThe Point?

The point of all of this is to do with something that I am seeing a LOT of people falling for, and that is getting involved with various types of pyramid and/or cash-gifting schemes.

Sure, they may be presented in an attractive, convincing way, under the guise of being an ‘online business’, but in reality they are nothing more than unsustainable and, probably illegal, schemes that mostly benefit the owners and, to a point, people who get in early enough.

Now, I’ve spoken about these sorts of things before and I’m not going to labor the point here. Suffice it to say, if an ‘opportunity’ relies on the recruitment of others to make its money then it is unsustainable, plain and simple, whether that be the recruitment of others to sell access to the same opportunity, or to sell products only to existing members.

If an opportunity doesn’t have a retail component and it relies on the recruitment of others, it is not only unsustainable but it is also likely to be illegal in most parts of the world.

Making Money OnlineDoes It Really Matter?

Aha – now here’s the crunch question and it’s one that I’m sure that many people who are involved with these things come back with themselves.

Well, yes, it does matter. It matters a lot.

Firstly, consider this:

Just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean that you SHOULD.

Think of the example of Jack. Yes, you CAN make money very quickly robbing banks. But does that mean that you SHOULD? No, of course not. It’s unlawful, it’s unethical and it hurts other people, especially if things get violent.

If you’re a kind, law-abiding, decent person, you would never consider robbing a bank, mugging someone or burgling a house. Yes, you can make a lot of money doing it. But that doesn’t make it right.

It is wrong and it most certainly isn’t a business!

Now, I’m not suggesting that anyone is currently robbing banks or even considering it. The analogy might even seem a little extreme. So why bring it up?

Well, let’s think for a moment about pyramid schemes.

I hear the same old rationale all the time regarding these things:

“It’s working, I’m making money online!”

“People doing this are generating thousands!”

“I know it’s not a long-term thing, but I can make some quick money in the short term and then reinvest it into properly building my business. I can use the short-term profits to pay for traffic!”

Now, I do get why people think this way. Starting any kind of business, online or otherwise, isn’t a walk in the park. Comparatively few businesses get off the ground, let alone go onto have any prolonged success.

Making Money OnlineAdd to that the number of scammers, products that don’t deliver, unsupported products, incomplete training, etc. and it’s understandable why people get frustrated, disillusioned and even desperate.

So, when something comes along that really does appear to be working and, when someone joins, they find that this is actually the case, it’s easy to see how they can get excited by this.

But let’s take those statements above and apply them to robbing a bank. Robbing a bank can make you money. Robbing a bank can make thousands for those doing it. You can reinvest the money you get into building a proper business.

But it’s illegal and it isn’t right.

What about the example of Alison above?

Recruiting others into an ‘opportunity’ that shows them how to recruit others into doing exactly the same thing can make you money. This model can make thousands for those doing it. You can reinvest the money you make into building a proper business.

But it’s (likely) illegal and it isn’t right.

Think about it:

When something is unsustainable, has a mathematical certainty of failure and operating in a way that is likely illegal, does it really matter how well it’s working? Does it really matter how much money you or others are making with it?

What happens when the thing fails or gets shut down? What happens to those who invested at the last moment? Are YOU going to pay those people you recruited their hundreds or thousands back?

Look, I’m not saying there’s anything necessarily wrong with a pyramid-shaped business model or that MLM opportunities are inherently bad. But when something 1) has no retail component and 2) relies on the recruitment of others to make money, common sense should tell you that it can NOT succeed.

Making Money OnlineIt is just a ticking time bomb and it’s only a matter of time before it goes off.

It is most certainly not a business.

To be honest, it actually makes me almost feel physically sick when I see the serial ‘pyramid scheme hoppers’ gleefully boasting on video about how successful the latest ‘business’ (i.e. pyramid scheme) is and how you can add it to your portfolio of ‘businesses’ for further success.

What absolute twaddle.

These people have the completely wrong idea about business, about ethics, about legality and about what constitutes real success. And I haven’t even mentioned the questionable (to say the least) and sometimes even criminal background of many of the owners of these ‘opportunities’, nor the dodgy shenanigans that some of their recruiters get up to so as to game the system.

I know that I’m hitting hard with this, but I can’t bear seeing people fall for this nonsense.

I’m seeing people who have made the right decisions, have started out well and have been making huge strides in building an online business the right way go on to get suckered in by these schemes and get sidetracked. Sure, they may be making some money right now, but how long will it last? And is it actually ethical and legal?

While they may indeed be making money online for the moment, the long-term damage that can be done by pursuing this route is something that they just don’t seem to fathom.

It actually seems like an addiction for some. When presented with the facts behind these things, the blinkers go on and they go into full-on denial, refusing to even consider the possibility that they have been duped.

Making Money OnlineThe Big Warning Signs

If you are considering joining something that looks like it could be a pyramid or cash-gifting scheme, ask yourself these very important questions:

  1. What is the opportunity selling? If there is no retail component and the success of the opportunity is dependent on the recruitment of others to do exactly the same thing, then it is unsustainable and most likely illegal.
  2. To whom is it selling? This is something that many of these so-called businesses try to trick you with. They may claim to have a “suite of products” or suchlike that you will sell to make money. However, what they don’t tell you is that the products aren’t available to sell to anyone who is not inside the opportunity. Thus, the same principle applies as point number 1 – there is no retail component, the success relies on the recruitment of others and it is therefore unsustainable.
  3. How is it paying? If you are to receive your ‘commissions’ directly from the person you recruited, run away and run far and fast! Receiving direct payments from your downline is not a good idea and if done by PayPal then don’t be surprised if you wake up one morning to find that your account has been shut down.

Be Careful!

So please, if you are wanting to make money online, watch out for these schemes. Not everything online is a scam and there are some genuine, legitimate online business opportunities out there.

It’s at this point with these kinds of posts that you’re very often hit with a “Check out what I’m offering…” kind of message.

Well, not today.

Sure, I know of some excellent products, marketers, coaches and opportunities. And I could give you a link to something that I know is truly valuable. But the point of this post isn’t to leverage the bad so that I can contrast the good. It is to provide a well-intended warning against a lot of the scams that are doing the rounds at the moment.

Making Money OnlineIf you want some help or advice about how to move forwards from where you’re at right now or even how to get started, please feel free to reach out to me and ask. This is not so that I can sell you anything and if we do connect, I will not promote anything to you at all.

If you want to ask for my recommendations then I will by all means do that, but if you reach out to me for help then help is what I will offer and not any kind of sales pitch.

If you really are stuck then let me help. Please, don’t be the moth that gets attracted to the bright light of unrealistic promises of riches.

You will end up getting burned.

If you found this post of value then please be sure to share it so that others may benefit.

Also, I’d love for you to leave your thoughts, so please leave a comment below. 🙂

About Glenn

Glenn is a Certified Internet Profits Master Consultant


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14 thoughts on “Why Making Money Online and Online Business are NOT the Same Thing!”

  1. I have invested in a couple of pyramid schemes in the past, the scheme were well packaged and marketed, so it all seem legit at the initial point.

    However the truth is that these ponzi schemes is like robbing Peter to pay Paul, at the end of the day, a lost of people always lose their money.

    Everyone should be extremely careful in the type of business they invest in, not all money making business are genuine. What seem genuine at the beginning might just ruin you.

    1. Hi Obodo,

      Thanks for sharing your personal experience. Unfortunately, it’s a very common tale. There’s the saying “If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is” and when you’re promised riches for doing little-to-no work, it’s usually one to be avoided.

      Sadly, I see some people centre their whole ‘businesses’ around jumping from one scheme to the next. They just can’t seem to grasp the concept that this is not a business! This is a time bomb, waiting to go off. An online business works just the same as any other business – you have to have something to sell and you have to have buyers. Plain and simple. Anything else should ring very loud alarm bells!

      Thanks for stopping by, Obodo, I hope you’re having a great start to your week!


  2. Hey Glenn,

    One thing I learned from playing dominoes is that all money isn’t good money!

    You showed this quite well with using Alison and Jack. Just because you can make money within a short time doesn’t mean it’s legal. These two ‘opportunities’ are examples of ponzi schemes. I remember a movie back in the 1990s called “Boiling Point” where the con artists were calling people to invest in fake stocks. It’s a movie I recommend.

    I was in a few of MLMs in the past. A couple of them were legit, while others were questionable. You definitely have to do your homework and read the clauses, despite it may be boring and incomprehensible. You will get the gist of what it’s trying to convey.

    Thanks for the share Glenn and welcome back to the blogging world!
    Sherman Smith recently posted…How A Good Bounce Rate Is A Great Indicator Of Targeted TrafficMy Profile

    1. Hey Sherman,

      Great to see you, my friend!

      I haven’t actually heard of “Boiling Point”, I shall have to put it on my list of films to check out.

      There are definitely legit MLM opportunities about. But, as you say, it’s important to do your homework before getting involved so as to make sure that they are good and that they’re not a) going to collapse and b) illegal. Unfortunately, though, too many are just taken along by the hype.

      What’s particularly frustrating for me is I’m seeing people I know, who should know better, getting involved in these things. These are people who have started out in the right way but then have found themselves sidetracked by these schemes. It’s really heartbreaking because I know that the things they’re involved in can’t last, but they just can’t (or refuse to) see it.

      Thanks for the welcome back, it’s good to be ‘back in the saddle’. It’ll probably take me a bit of time to truly find my stride again, but my aim is to be back with a vengeance! My blog is going to be just a part of a bigger picture going forwards. Exciting stuff ahead! 🙂

      Thanks for dropping by, mate. I hope you’re having a fab weekend so far. 🙂

      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…The Number 1 Reason Why You Don’t Have a Problem Getting TrafficMy Profile

  3. Hi Glenn,

    There are so many things to be careful of.

    And of course, as you mention, there are many good paths to follow.

    I always get asked “how can I make money blogging.”

    I tell people that it’s the wrong question.

    The right question is “how can blogging help me build a business.”

    Any time we focus on bottom line results, we are prone to making the kind of mistakes that Alison made, and that many others make every day.

    If we’re really desperate, we might even live out Jack’s sad story.

    Focus on building a business, and know that it’s a process, not a scheme.

    Donna Merrill recently posted…What Makes Your Blog Unique?My Profile

    1. Hi Donna,

      That’s exactly the point, it’s a business (or should be). Yet too many approach things with the totally wrong mindset.

      The Internet and computer technology are great in that they have made building a business and making money much more accessible and much easier than ever before. But with that, as we know, come the scams as well as people who like the idea of making money online but quite frankly are not cut out for business.

      I believe that anyone, in principle, can make money online and build a digital business but, just as with any kind of business, it has to be approached properly. As soon as people start to cut corners, try to ‘game’ things or even go down scammy routes, they’re heading for disaster.

      These people who insist on getting involved in pyramid schemes are like the digital equivalents to people in offline businesses who get taken for a ride by employing cowboys or get suckered into making bad investments that are certain to go sour but they are attracted by facade of empty, unrealistic and unsustainable promises.

      Again, in the digital world, not only is building an online business much more accessible to everyone, the same goes for the scammer. It’s much more easy and accessible to set up something that benefits yourself and might even appear to benefit people who join, at least in the short term, but ends up being nothing more than a cleverly dress-up scam.

      I really like you concluding sentence there Donna, that building a business is a process. Far too many people, though, don’t want to go through that process, they want instant gratification, which is exactly what these schemes prey on and precisely why people get suckered into them.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Donna, always a pleasure! 🙂

      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…The Number 1 Reason Why You Don’t Have a Problem Getting TrafficMy Profile

  4. Hi Glenn,

    Super message here.

    Blogging is the way to go, methinks. Because you offer something helpful, something valuable, express yourself and spread the love.

    As for MMO making money the end goal leads to unhappiness. Money gives you nothing of itself. The feeling in having money – the invisible why in the visible what – is what folks are most after. But if you focus just on MMO you tend toward joining unsustainable online ventures that may or may not be legit. Not a good look.

    Follow your fun. Help people. Serve people. Create something. Sell something useful. Follow these steps to feel fulfilled and to make a huge difference.

    Ryan Biddulph recently posted…6 Tips for Cutting Your Online Learning Curve Quickly (Amazon eBook)My Profile

    1. Hey Ryan,

      How’s it going? I hope all is well for you over there in Qatar! 🙂

      Blogging is hugely underrated by so many people, in my opinion. it is such a great tool for all the reasons you mention. I actually did a presentation down in London two weeks ago where I talked about this very thing. In that, I talked about how important it is to not have any results, including money, as your goal. As soon as you make sales, traffic, clicks, subscribers, etc. your goal, you set yourself up for frustration and disappointment.

      Of course, if we want to make money online then we have to factor in the things that we know will contribute to and faciliate that. I refer to those more as the ‘mechanics’. But when your job at hand is focusing on the PERSON and how you can give value to them, help them, educate them, then the other stuff will mostly look after itself.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and, as always, sharing a gem of a comment. I always feel lifted when I see your name come up on my blog, as I know that you are going to drop a flashbomb of inspiration and awesomeness! 🙂

      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…“Are You Talking to Me?”My Profile

  5. Hi Glenn.

    Welcome back to the world of blogging. I like the new look. No more eMoney Avenue?

    Excellent post, as usual. Enough can’t be said about all the scams out there that claim to be able to make you rich and don’t deliver. Unfortunately, there are people, who continue to start these “pyramid” schemes until they get shut down. They just change the names and do it all over again, never learning how to make money honestly. Then, there are the people who buy into these schemes and when one doesn’t work, they buy into the next one, never understanding why they are spending lots of money and never making it back.

    That’s where we come in to the picture. It’s our job to help these people to learn the right way to start and run a successful online business, whether it’s through our own products, or through others’ products as affiliate marketers.

    I know I’ve personally fallen into the ‘bought this product and it didn’t work’ category. Luckily, I learned a long time ago to avoid any program related to MLM from watching others fail.

    Thanks for this post, as it will definitely help others on their online journeys.

    Have a great weekend…….Chris
    Chris DeeWaard recently posted…Affiliate Marketing BasicsMy Profile

    1. Hey Chris,

      Thanks! I’m glad you like the new look, I really like it too. 🙂

      Yes and no to eMoneyAvenue. I’m still going to use that branding, but I shall be taking a different direction with it. From now on, my blog and my social media presence are all about ME. I am my brand. I pretty much always have been, but I really want to leverage that even more. And even in just a few days since the rebrand, I’ve notice it paying off, so all’s good! 🙂

      You’re spot-on with everything you say in your post. And you’re right, we’re in a great position to help people learn how to make money online the right way. It is still down to them, though, to take the right action once they’ve been shown. Sadly, far too many are attracted to the promises of easy, overnight riches. The difficult thing with most of these scams, though, is that they often DO make people money in the short term. So it can be difficult for those who join such things to take a step back and look at them objectively and realistically.

      What’s even more sad is that when one scam hits its inevitable plataeu or gets shut down, the recruits don’t think “Hmm, maybe this isn’t all it’s cracked up to be”. Rather, they just follow their ‘mentors’ into the next supposed big thing and so on and so forth. At what point is it ever going to click, “I’m seeing a pattern with all these things – perhaps that should tell me something?”? Now, THAT baffles me, I have to say!

      Thanks for stopping by, buddy, it’s always great to see you here. 🙂

      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Is There Something Missing From Your Strategy?My Profile

  6. Absolutely a brilliant post. I have seen people go through the ringer with this, and even after personal warnings still get stuck in a pyramid scheme like “business”. What we need more of are people like Glenn to reveal “OZ” behind the curtain. And you certainly showed us the “OZ” today. What I have noticed mostly about those who are in these schemes (or more appropriately scams), and you alluded to it, but many of these folks probably live a checkered life already. One point of advice I would add to this is if someone approaches you via facebook groups, look at their profile. Search their name and see if there are multiple profiles. If so do your research. Many people show their lifestyle, and I have run across many profiles where illegal activities were showcased with a proud and haughty demeanor. If they are broadcasting or sharing shall we say, “questionable” material, ask yourself “why would I do business or get into business with such a person”. Great article, looking forward to more.

    1. Hi Rob,

      That’s a very good tip about checking out a person’s Facebook profile. I’ll be honest with you – when someone applies to join the Blogging Mastermind group that’s exactly what I do. If it’s obvious that they’re heavily involved in pyramid MLMs or cash-gifting scams, then I decline their request. You see, the ‘training’ that is given in these things usually involves the ‘spaghetti’ approach – throw enough of it at the wall and some will stick. That’s why you get all these ‘hit and run’ type PMs, posts to groups, etc. It’s all about the numbers to them.


      Thanks so much for sharing your great comment, mate. 🙂

      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…5 Benefits You Ought to Know About EngagementMy Profile

  7. Hi Glenn,

    Your post is right on the money (so to speak!) We online entrepreneurs are constantly bombarded by these network marketers, MLM’s and bitcoin folks–just to name a few. I guess it means you are getting noticed, but I’ve had to get tough with more than a few people! Thanks for sharing this great advice–I hope a lot of folks get the chance to see it as it is really valuable.

    Kimberly Thibodeaux recently posted…8 DAILY HABITS TO CREATE EXCEPTIONAL CONTENTMy Profile

    1. Hi Kim,

      Thanks for stopping by!

      It is such a shame that there are so many people who have great potential going to waste by concentrating their efforts on such things and wasting their time trying to recruit us along with them. I always say that if they devoted even half the time they spend on that stuff in actually learning and applying things that will genuinely help them grow their businesses in a proper way, they’d be getting the results from that instead of feeling the need to get involved in ‘get rich quick’ schemes.

      Just as with so many lessons in life, a lot of people will end up learning the hard way. I just wish they didn’t have to. Hopefully my post might help a few of them wake up.

      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…3 Essential Rules for Making Money with Your BlogMy Profile

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