“Get Rich Quick” Schemes

The Human Fascination with “Get Rich Quick” Schemes

Scroll through the finance side of any social media platform and, chances are, you’ll find plenty of links and headlines for promises of big wealth in exchange for very little investment. In a nutshell, this is what we call the “get rich quick” scheme, and it’s more common than you might expect.

The use of the word “scheme” should be a pretty big red flag, and yet these schemes continue to claim victims quite often. Importantly, get rich quick schemes aren’t always the work of some bad actor, either. Often, they’re simply very high-risk investments that can lead to catastrophic losses for unfortunate believers—but then why is the high risk not a repellant? Why do we feel so drawn to this messaging?


The Allure

Some traditionalists might say that all wealth and reward have to be the result of hard work, which usually means long days full of longer hours. While that might not always be the case, for many, it certainly is the only viable path towards wealth, and that can be a dark reality for many reasons. Anyone with a genuine interest in leadership and management should know that “nobody wants to work anymore” is an empty claim. What is true is that people no longer want to put up with subpar working conditions, and quick accumulation of wealth might seem like a golden ticket out of a poor workplace environment.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, of course. Attitudes towards the workplace and workplace culture have shifted in recent generations, and workers are taking a stance on workplace conditions. What some people might call diminishing loyalty and commitment to the company, others would call higher standards and career ambition. After all, if we want to hire driven and ambitious employees, it would be antithetical to expect this drive and ambition to be placed against their own self interests.


Real Paths to Wealth

Just because many of these schemes turn out to be malicious, of course, does not mean that there is no real path towards rapid wealth. Alongside the volatility of a pandemic market we also witnessed the profitability of another volatile market: cryptocurrency. We also saw a rapid adoption of digitalization and the increased potential and opportunity for entrepreneurs to compete on the market thanks to the B2C and e-Commerce boom. In short, “get rich quick” has never been more feasible than it is now.

That said, starting your own business is no trivial task. Other lucrative ventures like real estate also require significant investment that isn’t immediately accessible to everybody. This strengthens our earlier point that, even though these schemes often do seem risky or shady to potential investors, we can understand why they are also quite attractive.

Of course, on the leadership side of things, there is not much to do about external get rich quick schemes. There is, however, a responsibility to uphold relating to the workplaces we manage and to the environments we foster, however. Investing in your own career through years of experience and growth is not exactly a “quick” path to wealth, but it can be a secure one. It is up to the leaders and mentors to make sure that this secure path is not one to avoid, potentially, at all costs. 

Living Pono is dedicated to communicating business management concepts with Hawaiian values. Founded by Kevin May,  an established and successful leader and mentor, Living Pono is your destination to learn about how to live your life righteously and how that can have positive effects in your career. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below or contact us here. Also, join our mailing list below, so you can be alerted when a new article is released.

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