Article by Charlie Wright
The biz opp world can be very topsy-turvy.
Some promotions seem genuine… like a racing tipster with a good track record, a screen shot of his bank account, and a bunch of great testimonials… and yet they’re utter fiction.
Other offers seem ridiculous… like the one I’m about to show you… (I mean, PROPERTY IN PANAMA for goodness sake!)
And yet they’re genuine.
Trouble is, when all you’ve got is an email or a letter with which to judge something, how can you tell?
You can’t. Not without doing some serious research.
This is why it’s best to get a second opinion from someone who’s been around the block a bit.
Erm, hopefully, that’s me.
(This shows how business-savvy I am. I’ve just made a shameless plug for a free e- letter that you already subscribe to… D’oh).
So if you get an odd promotion and you’re not sure, forward the link to me and I’ll put it on my list of things to review. If I can’t review the actual product, I’m happy to give you my ‘hunch’ about the promotion.
If I don’t answer directly, it’s because I’m either in one of my regular life crises… or I’m busy writing my thoughts into a future letter to go on my site.
So keep checking.
Okay, so what was that I was saying about Panama?
Panama is on fire!
International Living is a newsletter run by Agora, a publishing company run by multi- millionaire Bill Bonner. They’re behind lots of financial newsletters and biz opp products in the US, UK, South Africa, France and Australia.
Despite their credibility, I am not surprised that one of my readers forwarded me a recent promotion from an Agora newsletter called ‘International Living’.
“Panama is on fire!” it said.
To buy property and set up a luxury retirement haven in the Central American country of Panama.
“That’s the simple yet enormous promise of our new Panama Roundtable,” said the promotion.
“We’ll help set you up in this country to achieve all your goals, pursue all your agendas, make all your Panama dreams come true… starting with $5,000 toward your purchase of property in the country.”
Yes, this sounds like one of those things where you pay a large fee to join and then you never see your money again.
You know, “I am Joe Eboh”, and all that jazz. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about see my last eletter here)
But weird as it sounds, this is genuine. The head honchos at the top of Agora, and some of their wealthier clients, really are setting up in Panama.
I know for a fact that they also have property developments in Nicaragua, too.
This is not a recommendation!
I am not recommending this, by the way. If you’ve got a bag of money to invest in Central America, then go for it.
But for most of us in the Biz Opp Jungle, this is a bit ‘high level investment’ right now.
I just wanted to make a point about how some of the more ‘far out’ promotions can actually be true, while some of those slick, easy-to-do biz opps can be straight out of Alice in Wonderland.
It’s also a way I can tell you something that you don’t know about me… an adventure that sowed the seeds of The Biz Opp Jungle.
And Panama was part of it.
The Latin American Adventure
At the end of 2002, I decided that I’d had enough of rain, misery and terror alerts.
I had £3,000 in my savings account, and an empty credit card. So I decided to leave the country for 9 months.
I travelled from the tip of Argentina to Mexico City, entirely by land or sea. No skipping bits on the plane, or avoiding dangerous countries. All on a budget of less than $20 a day, including accommodation.
On my way, I began to write regular emails to a list of my friends.
At first I wrote about me, me me, me… with lots of gushing stuff about the mountain air and my sense of freedom.
But my list of contacts weren’t that interested.
I decided that instead of writing everything down, I’d send emails that were shorter, based around one theme, and full of the things people wanted to read about, rather than stuff about how much fun I was having.
Romantic encounters, dysentery, disasters… all the popular, embarrassing stuff.
And so I created, by accident, my first ever e-letter.
As I slipped more into character, my original list grew, as people began to forward the emails to others in their office or workplace. I also added people who I met on the way to the list.
Eventually I went from 30 to about 100 readers. Possibly more that I didn’t even know of.
That was without ANY of the internet tools I know now. No adsense, no cut-and-pasting onto other sites, no list swaps, no website to collect names, no email broadcasting system to make it easy.
Imagine if I’d made a blog out of it, with a free website and e-letter. I could have started a little traveller’s community. Perhaps got some commissions from the Lonely Planet. Or even made some recommendations.
Maybe I’d have earned enough from it to still be travelling around.
Unfortunately, I was a bit of a technophobe back then (still am, actually). So I missed a trick, really.
Not that I cared about a part time business for those 9 months. I was ambling freely through the most exciting countries in the world!
But this is my point…
These are easy ways to start a business
Even if you haven’t got a specific idea of a business yet, it’s worth setting up the easy things so at least you’re trying them out, seeing what works.
You could set up a blog, a free website (see the blogging section of the website here) and even an e-letter in the next couple of days.
Okay, they may not make money yet, but you’ll have some marketing tools and an internet presence. A great advantage for any biz opp you get into, be it information marketing, trading, Ebay selling or name collecting.
As for Panama and I… I’ll leave that as another story for another time.