All Sizzle and no Steak

My Dear Reader,

As I often do in the morning, I spent my early hours perusing social media.  Aside from the angry politics from both sides, there is one side that always strikes me.  It’s the pseudo-preneurs who stalk the Facebook ads and dominate the LinkedIn pages.  I don’t mean your local area coaches who have heart, I mean the guys who’s video starts with him in front of a Lamborghini, with an equally expensive watch.  If you just buy his course, you’ll get the pretty girl and the Lambo too.  Now, dreaming big isn’t a bad thing at all, but the get rich quick thing only works for a certain set of people.  A friend and client of mine made his bones in just a few months, but planned for a number of years and took a number of odd jobs to support himself.  To you and I, it may seem like a quick rise to the top once he was in business, but when we take into account all of the sacrifice that went into building what he has now, it was a long and arduous process that few people would take upon themselves.  It’s not a will that can be purchased for $997 or a system for $2,000 but a combination of knowing a market need, filling that need and promoting it.  But deeper than the personal sacrifice to build a business that the Lambo driving pseudo-preneurs try to convince you to avoid, I believe the way these courses are sold point to deeper friction in society.

The fact that you can sell someone on materialism alone is nothing new, soda ads from the 50s promised you the pretty lady and fast car if you bought their products.  But a 30 second ad has to grab your attention, with either sex, money or food and then describe the product.  In a quick television ad, this is understandable to keep you in you seat, but in our modern modes of communication the old standbys seem more quaint than ever.  But in the information age, materialism seems to be the only thing that binds us together anymore.  Not that its bad to want or to have nice things, but as Exodus 20:4 says “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth” It’s the warship of these things that give us no everlasting joy that drives us mad.  We get jealous when others have and we don’t.  It’s why you see the rise of radical groups on the left, driven by the Marxist idea that materialism is all we have, and to that end we must destroy those who have for the sake of those who don’t.

But what does this all mean for us?  In business, should we just fall over and ignore the success indicators so many of us struggle to acquire?  To that end no, if you’ve had success and can help others, by all means do it.  But it’s about their success, not just your Lambo.  This worrisome essay aside, as always, go forth and make disciples of all nations!

To your success and creation,
Kevin Prendiville