Dodging the pyramid scheme

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A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine invited me to lunch. We had a great conversation and I mentioned to him how I was really invested in working on my own. When he heard this he mentioned that he had a couple he met that had retired early and that he would love to introduce me to them. In that brief moment my “red alarm” went off, is he trying to set me up for a pyramid scheme?  I could not really believe it as I have so much respect for him an his judgement so I decided to say yes to meeting with them.

A week later we planed on meeting at a coffee shop, it would me my friend, his girlfriend and the other couple. They had asked me to bring my wife with me but as I felt this could be a long talk I decided to keep her at home, beside who would take care of the kids.

We sat down waiting for the couple and the first trigger was the way they arranged the chairs and the spot they wanted me to sit at.  I thought really is he going to make me go through this?  Then the couple came in and at that point I knew I was right in the middle of the setup.

I decided to go on with it mostly to understand what my friend had gotten himself into. The couple starts talking about how their life was so bad before and how now after being “mentored” by another millionaire couple they are so happy and so close to being retired. They would speak about the number of houses and things the other mentor couple had. From the beginning the conversations was setting you up to a unbelievable outcome, follow us and you can be a millionaire in years and retire.

Asking specific questions about what they do, and how the programs worked lead me to nowhere.  They would say “we cant tell you anything about it, unless you are ready to commit”

I let them speak and they continued with the questioning:

Are you willing to dig manure to get to your financial goals?

Do want to retire in the next five years?

Do you want to have the ability of buying additional houses and properties?

Do you want to be able to travel?

Do you want to live happy and be able to spend the time you want with your kids?

Do you want to do what you want when you want to do it?

Of all the of the questions the one that interested me the most was the ability to retire in 5 years.

So I asked How long have you been doing this for? and they responded about 5 years, and are you retired, no not yet but we are very close. 

Right after they answered they said well results vary, its a marathon you have to keep at it. 

It was already about 2 hours through the talk and the only reason why I kept going was due to my friend, it seem he was really involved in this, otherwise I would have kept pushing and being very upfront about this being a pyramid scheme or a multi level marketing deal.  

I love how after they have talked about what would be required and they started to see my hesitation they would say.

I know you think this is a pyramid scheme but its not

I thought to myself if you have to “if you have to defend this program is not a pyramid scheme then it that is enough evidence to prove it is a pyramid scheme”

At last I could feel it was getting to the end, they said. We have one more question to ask you, if you rate your life from 1-10 what score would you say it is at right now?

Before I responded I pushed the question back at them, and they responded

Well at the beginning of the program we where at about a -3 but now we are at a 7.

I though 5 years and you are only at a 7?

In that moment I reviewed and scored my life.

I have good health.

I am doing what I love.

I have traveled and will be traveling next year(I did asked them where they had traveled with their new found riches and they said Nashville)

I have more time to spend with my family than I ever had

I am earning enough to get by (although 5 year retirement does sound good)

My response was, I believe my life is at a 9!

Instantly they were taken back from this, they could not understand how I could rate my life this high. Wow you are truly an anomaly! they responded.

I left the meeting in good terms after all I did not want my friend to think I did not appreciate his interest in this.

The question is what to do now, should i confront him tell him what he is doing is wrong?

I believe I should its my responsibility as his friend and colleague.

Lets see how it goes I will write my comments after I have talked to him about it.

 

 

 

 

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