If It Sounds Too Good To Be True, Then It Is

by Paul Hudson

Entrepreneurs, investors and consultants — after being in the field for a long enough time all end up learning one simple business truth: When something sounds like it is too good to be true, then it most definitely is too good to be true. I am certain that all of you have heard this before, just as I am sure that you find it commonsensical.

Nevertheless, when we find ourselves in a situation where an opportunity feeds into our hopes and dreams, our enthusiasm can get the better of our judgment and we end up hating ourselves for being dumb enough to even consider the deal in the first place.

It isn't simple enough to tell yourself not to take a bullshit deal when you are presented with one; you have to know when the deal that you are being presented with is bullshit and not just a really great opportunity. Great opportunities do exist, but you will never be able to tell if the deal someone is offering you is worth its weight in gold until you do a bit of digging.

Again —something most of you believe holds unsaid, but in my experience it is always better to cover all grounds. Believe it or not, when we find ourselves bombarded by the rush of the possibility of all of our hopes and dreams coming true, we tend to put reality on the backburner.

You'd be surprised to know how common it is for people, when after years and years of working themselves to the bone, believe to have finally been given their shot at great wealth and fall for a neatly packaged assortment of lies and deceit.

The same people that spent the last several years or even decades pinching pennies and cutting corners, never allowing themselves to enjoy the little things in life, are likely to one day get fed up with the way they have been living and decide to bet their life savings all on one horse, on one race.

These poor fellas become so excited by the prospect of fortune that they never even bother to check to see if the race is rigged — even if doing so would only require a minimal amount of effort, time and money in comparison to what they are willing to put on the line.

I'd like to believe that the world is only filled with good people with good intentions. Unfortunately, that is not true. I would like to believe that most people are good, honest people that will not try to take advantage of others, cheat them and feed them lies — but even this I cannot be sure of. Whether the ratio of good to evil in this world is 2 to 1 or 1 to 1, I can't say for sure.

All that I can say is that evil does exist in the world and there are people out there that will ruin you if it means that they would be better off for it. These people are always on the prowl for their next victim, so if you do not keep your eyes open and your guard up, you may find yourself amidst a wreckage of what used to be a happy life, not understanding how you could have allowed yourself to be thrown into that position.

Due diligence is your best friend. Hire a lawyer and have him look into everything that you could possibly ever need to know about the deal that you are considering. Lawyers are not cheap, but when you have a large amount of money on the line, it is better to spend an extra couple thousand than to risk losing tens of, or hundreds of, thousands of dollars.

Yes, I know that the person offering you the deal said that there is a very short deadline before the whole deal falls through — but that does not matter the least to you. You either have to do business your way, on your terms, or you walk away from the deal entirely.

This is your money, your livelihood and your future on the line. If you need to take a couple of weeks to make sure everything is in order, then you must take those couple of weeks. If the deal won't be valid by that time, then don't bother with the deal at all.

Another opportunity will come across sooner or later. Being put on a deadline is one of the most common signs that the deal you are being offered is garbage. If you are ever approached and someone tells you that you only have a week to decide and make a deal happen, there is a 99% chance that the guy is trying to rip you off.

Most of what I have mentioned you will find to be common sense. Nevertheless, I felt obligated to share with you all of this knowledge, no matter how simple. People get scammed too often in the world today and after someone close to me got taken for all she was worth — even though she was just as intelligent as the rest of us — I felt an urge to share with you all these simple suggestions.

Don't let your dreams get in the way of seeing things for what they really are. One mistake — a signature on the wrong dotted line — can change your life forever. If you believe the offer is too good to be true, then dig until you either uncover the skeletons or until you run out of dirt and make your way to China. Only make a deal when you know all the details, no matter how insignificant they may seem.

Paul Hudson | Elite. 

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