Lately I have been hearing from people asking me to promote their life coaching business to my readers. Apparently that’s the hot new thing to make a living without really working while you travel the country. Interestingly enough, none of them have spent much time, if any, on the road. Only one of them actually had an RV and it was a small thing you might consider for weekend camping, but not fulltiming or extended travel. But they are all suddenly “experts” on the RV lifestyle.
A couple of years ago it was online day trading in currency and commodities. Before that it was being a freight broker. And, of course, let’s not forget the ever-popular multilevel marketing schemes that proliferate faster than cockroaches in a New York City tenement. The great thing about all of these is you don’t really have to have any qualifications to do them. Just call yourself a day trader, or a freight broker, or a life coach, and you are one!
And that’s the problem right there. You could have a dozen failed marriages, six bankruptcies, a credit rating of -5, and be living in a tent, but you can call yourself a life coach and teach other people how to make their lives happy and successful. Give me a break!
I started my first weekly newspaper in Grays Harbor, Washington when I was in my mid-20s. I was stone cold broke and was flying by the seat of my pants because I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing. I traded advertising for the use of a print shop’s typesetting machine and darkroom, and sold enough ads to pay for the first issue. I made a profit on that issue, and put out a second issue, and it made a little bit more money than the first. I continued to make a profit, and a year later I opened a second weekly newspaper 50 miles away, and it too made money. Within three years I had seven papers on the Washington and Oregon coasts and was making a lot of money.
Then I joined the National Newspaper Association and went to their annual conventions, where an “expert” said you needed a million dollars to open a weekly paper, and that you could expect to run it in the red for 3-5 years. What? Nobody ever told me that!
I came home freaked out and so confused I couldn’t make even the simplest decision for the next month. I had no idea how far over my head I was until that expert told me so.
I finally contacted the expert and told him I didn’t know how I was doing it, but I was making a profit right from the start. He told me that was impossible. We talked for over an hour, and he ended up coming to the coast to see my operation. He spent five days with me and when he had looked at everything I was doing, he told me that it was impossible to launch a newspaper the way I had, and even more impossible to make the kind of profits I was in such a short time after startup. Absolutely impossible. Then he said, “Whatever you are doing, don’t change a damn thing! It just can’t work, but you are making it work.” After that, I stopped listening to experts.
A while later a self-made millionaire who owned several businesses that advertised with me told me something I have always remembered. He said to never take advice from anybody who wasn’t more successful and making more money than I was.
I don’t know where the sudden boom in life coaches for fulltime and wannabe RVers is coming from. Years ago I had a friend who was in the real estate business in Tucson, Arizona, and he said that whenever some shyster came around with one of those How To Get Rich In Real Estate With No Money Down seminars he always took the next week off and went on vacation. I asked him why, and he said because every real estate agent in town’s phone would be ringing off the hook with people wanting to know about properties that the owners were willing to give you money to take off their hands. Who knows? Maybe somebody had a seminar at an RV rally or something.
It’s Thursday, so it’s time for a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Big Lake Honeymoon, the seventh book in my Big Lake mystery series. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – Old age and treachery always overcome youth and skill.