You are never going to get rich quick. Ever.

That’s the dream, isn’t it? Free money. Watching your bank account tick upwards, making thousands of dollars every single day with no work. That’s why we enter the lottery. It’s why we gamble. It’s why we’re all secretly hoping a long-lost relative will leave us a small fortune.

That dream, that desire to make money with zero effort is what enables scammers to destroy the lives of ordinary people who don’t know what they’re doing and can’t see through the lies.

There’s so many of these scams. The screenshot above is from Push Money App — which claims that by running a simple piece of software, you can automatically trade binary options with no expertise and become a millionaire.

It’s horrifyingly smooth, horrifyingly sophisticated, and horrifyingly successful.

It’s not going to take a whole lot of Googling to find the stories of the people who are left heart broken and penniless by schemes like this. Schemes that sound too good to be true. Scams, dressed up as the golden ticket, the get-rich-quick idea that works.

The sad thing is, it’s not just falling for scams. People will do almost anything to make money easily and without hard work, believing that it will turn their dreams into a reality. They start businesses. Build tech startups and apps. Invest. Trade. Become musicians. Become artists. They gravitate towards anything, any career that looks like it can take them from zero to hero in the shortest time period possible.

Most get rich quick schemes are based on the idea of letting you build a business. But none of them are real businesses. They’re like Amway at best, or an automated one button trading business scam at worst. Here’s the thing. Building a business is never a get rich quick scheme, and it’s never easy.

The only way to make money is to work for it.

I know this is the same thing you were told growing up, and it’s the same crap your parents told you, and you’d wish they would just shut up. Unfortunately, it’s also fucking true. The only way to make money in life is to work for it. Work your ass off. You know what? There’s a lot of other things your parents used to say that are true too.

Like, money doesn’t grow on trees, and a fool and their money are easily parted.

If you want to make a million dollars as an entrepreneur, that’s cool. It’s also entirely achievable. It’s just not going to happen without a lot of effort and energy and the risk of complete failure.

It will take however long it fucking takes.

Don’t dream about being an overnight success. Unless you have at least a decade to play with. Because every overnight success takes about 10 years of pre-game work. The thing is, it’s easy to find startups who shot to fame in 6–12 months, but they are the exception. And you, you bright little snowflake, are the rule.

Success in business, like success in any career, is going to take however long it takes. It could take years of your life, and leave you in poverty and dealing with an insane level of stress for most of it. There’s no shortcut to fame and fortune.

Your mantra should be, nothing ventured — nothing gained.

The get rich quick schemes are all zero risk. That’s part of their appeal. I mean hell, some of them will even guarantee you your money back, or cash in the bank just for watching their videos. None of that is ever true, real or concrete.

Success comes to those who take risks, and only those who take risks. If you play it safe, you get a safe return. If you only look for opportunities where you don’t risk anything, you will only receive the appropriate gains. Making money, building a business, those aren’t risk free. That’s your warning.

There’s an old saying, nothing ventured — nothing gained. Learn it and remember it.

You are never going to get rich quick. Ever. It’s just not going to happen. And if you spend years of your life searching for a method to do it, you’re wasting the time that could have been spent working for success. That’s a tragedy.

I’m not saying that you need to block everything out of your life except work, work, work. I’m not saying that money is the most important part of your time on this weird rotating rock. What I am saying is that you need to stop yourself from looking for the easy way to get what you want.

You need to stop looking for the short cuts and secrets, and the One Weird Trick That Makes Financial Planners Hate You. And you need to start putting in the hard yards. Because anything else is going to wipe you out.

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Jon Westenberg has appeared and published in Business Insider,, TIME and dozens of other publications, talking about startup entrepreneurship, writing and innovation. Jon has helped hundreds of businesses worldwide grow their audience and take control of their future. Jon is an investor, an entrepreneur and a dreamer.

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