All you need is a $1 and a dream? How about a Wake-Up call instead?

all you meed is a dollar and a dreamI don't know about you, but I'm "so done" with the deluge of useless "information". It is everywhere you turn and the only way to avoid it is to just disconnect. But, there is some quality material out there in the internet universe and it is worth sifting through garbage to find it. I am a marketing guy. I am a sales guy. I know a lot about both. But one thing I never did or will consider doing is to insult the intelligence of my prospective customers, existing customers or readers of my blogs. That, however, seems to be a rule few follow or respect.

Here's an example - " I have thousands of customers and have sold companies for millions. I want to share with you my secret to success. All you need is $1 per month for a few months. Then, for just under $100 per month, you can become me. Oh, by the way, I am also going to throw in a whole bunch of amazing secrets that I normally charge $1,497 for, but they are all yours". This is not an infomercial. It is an email, linked to a web site and a whole lot more. And this person is not alone. He lives in the universe of idiots that think that the rest of us are morons. Oh, did I mention that money-back guarantee? Sweet.

Whereas prior to the internet, these unscrupulous con artists had to actually spend money on direct-mail, now they literally get away with murder. "All you need now is a computer, a screen and at least one finger".

My father worked from 5 AM to 7 PM in his grocery store. He slaved over his business for 30 years. Very few customers ever left him. I learned first-hand that there is no substitute for hard work. Yes, you may get lucky so we try over and over again feeling confident that one day we can proudly pronounce "this is my turn". "The $1 and a dream" is the New York Lottery slogan. I am willing to be stupid for $1 because the day after I buy the ticket, I'll wake up realizing that the lotto winnings I spent overnight are all gone.

In contrast, if I spent $1 per month and $97 thereafter on my highly successful Yoda, it may take thousands before I find out that I've been had. I must admit:  when you own your business and work 12-14 hour days to find new clients, it is easy to be tempted with the promise of "hundreds of leads streaming into my inbox". Wouldn't it be nice to get up one morning and scream "I'm rich". I would be calling everyone I know and tell them how lucky I got. "I spent $1 and I can't keep up with orders". Yeh, right.

So if you give me a choice to either spend $1 to confirm that I'm an idiot, or spend $10 and have my palm read (no offense to all psychics out there), I think I'm going to a psychic. At least I can sit for a few minutes and daydream and not be alone. Now where can you get a friend for $10? That's what I call luck.

Sadly, LinkedIn with all of its brilliance and advantages, has become the national enquirer of junk. I subscribe to 35 groups.  Although it would be rare to find the $1 dream I mentioned, LinkedIn is swarming with annoyance. At times, it feels like you're taking part in a wisdom-convention -- so many "How To", "X-Tips", "The Best", "Read My" (rarely if ever original work) and the hundreds of subject lines that point you somewhere else.

Don't get me wrong, I am willing to go through a bunch of useless posts to find a really good piece. I am a business educator and a lot of my material comes from my learnings. If I really want to get motivated, I go to Seth Godin. Otherwise, sifting through LinkedIn is like working for Publisher's Clearing House and opening lots of desperate envelopes.

The good news is that you do get very good at spotting garbage. Once in awhile, I fail and have to endure digital pain  wondering when will they just give up already? Ultimately, they only fool themselves. The true power of LinkedIn is targeting and connecting. That will never happen by reading a dumb posting. I am not a great writer, but at least my work is 100% original. I would rather read a badly written original work then get tempted by a cutesy subject and a regurgitated link. Yuk.

If all fails, don't forget: You can always read a good book. There are lots of them out there. If you are thirsty for a good read, check my recommended list here.