Note: This article does not encourage you to engage in the activities mentioned below, but to warn you against them.
Many of us at one point in time thought about get rich quick schemes. Being desperate for money, being sick and tired of being a
dog sacrificed for the sake of our bosses’ promotion employee hard at work trying to fulfil the organisation’s goals or just simply wanting to fulfil our greed and desires, the lure of getting rich quick have sunk many people. From scams to gambling, drug trafficking to insider trading, countless people have lost either their money (eg scams), their freedom (eg imprisonment, slavery) or their lives (eg death sentence, killed by others). Whether people eventually became a victim or decided to be a perpetrator, many of them ultimately have to face the consequences of what they do.
For the common people whose parents do not have sufficient financial power to back your failures repeatedly, whose family does not have the level of network to get you started, we have to depend on ourselves. Failing once may mean no food for the family. Networks have to be built from scratch and often times the quality of networks are not high, because we only meet and know people of our own levels.
For common people like us to get rich quick there are 3 ways we can go about it. As mentioned earlier, this article is not to encourage you, but a warning not to go into that.
Do Illegal Things
All the quickest and biggest ways to earn money are being written into the law. Just look at the law and you know where the monies are. From drug deals to sex trafficking, from blackmail to insider trading, from scams to money laundering, every single activity that harms another human being for the benefit of yourself is against the law. You may then think of smaller crimes such as smuggling in untaxed cigarettes or alcohol. Although these are smaller crimes and does not harm anybody, they are in the sense cheating the Government of their money (taxes). Infringing copyrights such as selling pirated software and movies or selling of fake goods harms the benefits of large corporations who spent time innovating and creating new products for everyone. Although I do not like the way large corporations suck the money out of everyone, but it is important to recognise that protecting their creation is necessary. Down to the individual level, you also do not wish to spend years creating something only to have someone copy and pass off your work as their own. It stifles innovation and creation.
The reason why so many people turn into a life of crime is because of the relative ease to earn that sort of money. You do not need a university degree to carry a packet of powder across the border. You need not have exceptional skill to blackmail an innocent woman using her sexy photographs. All you need is violence to force a pitiful woman into sleeping with other men. Yet the relative easy of entry into such activities yield financial gains which takes the normal law-abiding citizen months or even years to earn. What I slogged for a year to earn, someone can easily scammed it out of another in a few days.
It is definitely in the Government’s interests to stop such activities, or nobody will settle down and work for an honest wage. Nobody will believe in meaningful production of goods and services. Only a peaceful society where everyone works for their honest salary is good for the country’s reputation, bringing in further trade and investments. We look at countries with high crime rates (I shall not name names here), they have very little investment and production going on. People simply do not believe in working honestly only to have their money forcibly taken away from them. International companies have no faith in countries that do not enforce law and order. Skilled and low cost immigrants have no intention of leaving their country for another where they could lose their lives or properties any time. In fact, its own people will desperately try to get out the first opportunity they get. Hence the price to pay for engaging in a life of crime ranges from the small fine all the way to the worst case scenario – death penalty. For a country to prosper, it has to ensure everything is peaceful on the surface.
It does not help that Hollywood or Hong Kong movies often portrays a cool side of those criminals or hooligans. There are indeed criminals who drive fanciful cars and surrounded by sexy women, carrying bags of cash around and go fishing on their luxury yacht, being in cahoots with law enforcers. But just like promotion in an honest legal job, getting your way up is no easy feat. Many people die as a result. Most are doomed to be low level street hooligans involved in petty crimes, to be sacrificed by their bosses when necessary. Even if you are the boss, there are people looking to take you down any time.
There is no merit in going into a life of crime. Life ain’t a movie.
Do Immoral Things
While most immoral things are illegal, some of them are allowed in certain countries. Of course, there are also many times where the law is written into constitution but the state does not enforce. Most illegal things are immoral as it involves harming others. But there are also others which are legalised yet immoral.
Let us talk about the lighter version first, where the immoral activities are legal. Prostitutions and the porn industry are generally considered immoral among those who have a religion, although both the religious and the godless consume them with the same level of intensity. Hypocrisy, yes, not going to argue with that. Some may debate that one may do whatever they want with their body, but let us cut the political correctness here. You would not want your spouse or your children to be in it. The sex industry is a very lucrative business with exploitations and abuse being a common sight. Especially for the porn stars where you bare it all for the world to see, or live-streamers who take requests online, those who engage in it have seen the easy money coming in. To go a step further into the extreme and illegal, The Philippines has seen parents selling their children’s sexual services to pedophiles, Indonesia has an industry of animals being forced to service humans (well what is animal rights?), the dark web has the red rooms, and the list goes on.
On a smaller scale at the level of the everyday life, we have met unscrupulous insurance or property agents, or salesman of any kind who would sell you bad products. Taking advantage of people’s trust and betraying them so you can earn money is something many people do, but something many people does not want to happen to them. In a never ending debate of what is right and what is wrong, we could use one guiding line as a reference: Do not do unto others what you do not want to be done unto you. Backstabbing your peers to get the promotion, stepping on your subordinates and sacrificing them on your way up, intentionally selling lousy products to your customers, a car mechanic intentionally ‘spoiling’ a car part so that few months later the car owner have to come back for another repair, a pastor of a church spreading lies and taking money offerings for himself, the the list goes on.
On the bigger scale, we have the big pharmaceutical companies selling lousy medicine at expensive prices, of the weapons industry profiting off from war, of the big financial companies colluding with each other to manipulate the stock market, of the media industry using its influence to silence those who go against them, and the list goes on. I will not go into how the law protects the big corporations here, but since over here in the eyes of the law what they did is not illegal, I will just classify them as purely immoral.
As a side note, anything that trades the human life or the human body for money is the biggest money making machine. Wars, organ harvesting, slavery, sex trafficking, these are the biggest cash generators. Countries engage in them, big syndicates deal with them and big corporations are not innocent of them. The lack of regard for the basic human right of others is the first step towards earning an obscene amount of money stained with blood.
Whether it is big corporations or the individual, the more we do immoral things the more money we earn. Do a small one, and you reap small benefits. Stain your hands with blood and tears of others and you will earn more, with a whole range of in-betweens for you to choose from.
What about consequences? If you did not break the law, naturally you will not get judged by the law. For the religious, the divine will settle with you. But whether you believe in the divine or not, you may find yourself losing what you thought was not important but was actually precious. Your dignity, your reputation, your relationships, your credibility and perhaps above all, the thing that makes you human. Not a very convincing argument perhaps. The porn star lives in her luxury, the salesman stays in his fanciful house and the big corporations distributes its obscene profits to the happy shareholders and stakeholders who sleep well at night. Perhaps this is why many opt for this. Not against the law, no judgement upon them. What can you do to me? Nothing at all.
But before going down this road, perhaps just a word of warning. Do not become a person your descendants cannot look up and be proud of. There is nothing convincing to stop you from the immoral life. Whether you believe in karma or retribution, divine punishment or cause and effect, consequences may come in a manner you least expect of. I would love to say the good will trump over evil, the bad and immoral will meet their due ends in this life, but I know better than to use this fragile argument. All I can say in the end is this: Do not do things that you will regret in the future.
The last one. One free from the clutches of the law and one free from the sin weighing down on you. The path which I took and the path which you should be very careful of. Let us talk about the aspect of just purely taking risks without getting involved in the illegal and the immoral.
From setting up a business to playing the stock or crypto market with leverage, we all know the concept of high risk high reward. Make it through, and you have a whole lot of money waiting for you. Fail, and you will sink into debt. I have seen people trading crypto with a 100x leverage, and we have read news of people ending their lives because of a debt too much to pay. For those of us without families (ie not married), our lives belong to no one but us. The worse that can happen is death. But for those of us who have families, do not take a risk so high you would sink your family down with you. I guess I do not need to explain what happens to the women and children of people who are unable to pay their debt.
Take calculated risks. Calculated risks worked out from facts, probabilities and your resources. Put down what you can afford to lose. I put down 10% of my savings in the crypto and stock market after doing my fair share of homework. I put down and even bigger portion on real estate, which is more stable but also contains risks. And if you want to take a gamble, put out only a small sum to bet for the big returns. I spend about 10 dollars buying lottery every year for example.
Calculated risks do not give you big returns, but they do give you little jumps forward ahead of your peers, only if done well. I am at a $50,000 loss ever since I started out on my crypto and stock adventure, so it has not done well for me. But it is a road I am willing to keep trying and learn from, for I believe one day I will make it all back. It is painful to lose $50,000, but it is still far from sinking me.
Take it slow, take it easy. Learn and trial it out with what you have, never putting your family to risk. You will not make it big immediately, but slowly you can jump forwards, one step faster than the others at a time.
There is no get rich quick methods without big consequences. Of the 3 factors, the more you combine them, the greater the reward and the greater the consequences. To get rich safely, there are things we can do. But we have to do it slowly, steadily and most importantly, safely. Get rid of the get rich quick mentality and think how you can improve your financial standing bit by bit over time. You can get rich, just not quickly. Unless extreme luck is on your side, like winning the lottery. That is why I spend 10 dollars every year buying the lottery, knowing that the might of probability is stacked against me.