Have you ever been in business with someone or made an investment with someone and then started to ask questions from them, only to receive responses of defensiveness and/ or dismissiveness?
When something like this now occurs to me, it usually gets me thinking that
a) they’ve done wrong and aren’t able to hold themselves accountable,
b) they fear others questioning them and/ or
c) they don’t believe you’re worthy of an answer.
According to the Oxford dictionary, scam is defined as, ‘a dishonest scheme, a fraud’. Another way to think of it is that it’s a way that dishonest people will attempt to take advantage of you and your trusting nature. It occurs when we stop listening to our intuition and we’re taken in by misleading sales practices, enticing financial projections and statements that sound too good to be true. It’s almost as if we push our intuition aside that’s screaming out “Noooooooooo” right to the back of our minds.
The challenge most of us face is that when we receive information that seems appealing, we want to hold onto the hope and promise and by the time we start listening to our intuition – it’s too late – you’ve gone too far and you’re now in a situation you want to run away from.
Often, after we’ve realised our grave mistake, we begin to feel shame and guilt around how we were so easily fooled.
I’ve been in this exact situation and it does not feel good.
It’s taken a lot of RTT Hypnosis work to be able to release these emotions and it is still something I’m working on today.
However, when I did come to a realisation that I had been duped, I found power in asking questions. And all I can do is urge others to ask questions before making a decision. Not just around business, but also around who you want to mentor you, what you want to study or even relationships you want to move into (friends and/or lovers). There is such great power in asking questions. We’re in a world where we have access to a lot of information, but it is our duty to discern what is factual, what perhaps needs more investigation and what needs to be ignored.
Below I’ve written some questions that you should be asking when it comes to business decisions:
- Does it sound too good to be true?
Remember that those talking to you about their business idea or service are going to be super nice to you and they want you to invest a lot of money and at the end of the day they want a sale – they are not your friend. Do not take what they say at face value. If they keep saying that things are ‘easy’ or play down the role of what you will be required to do – take this as warning signs
- What do past stakeholders and/customers have to say about them?
Make sure you reach out to people who have dealt with them (all stakeholders). Are they people who live with integrity with their values? Did others think they received value for their investment? Have they received a good financial return on their investment? How about ongoing or hidden costs? Are their customers happy with the way they’re dealt with? Do they have any legal history? Google search their background. Facebook search their background. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll find!
- Are they pressuring you into making a decision?
Take all the time you need. There is no rush if you’re dealing with a genuinely good business person. If someone is pushing you into making decisions, it is more than likely that they have something to hide and are wanting you to make a commitment before you find out something about them that they don’t want you to find out. If they constantly check in on you and are harassing you, I would simply walk away then and there. As a business owner I totally understand that there should be normal follow ups as part of your customer service eg. Perhaps the day after, the 7 day mark and at the 30 day mark. But if it becomes excessive, ask yourself ‘why?’
Overall, just remember that your nervous system receives things that our mind doesn’t. So if you’re feeling ‘off’ about something or are feeling emotions that are of lower frequency, then take the time to listen to them. It should be of no surprise when you have strong emotions to walk away. It does not mean you’re a quitter. It means you know what is aligned with your truth.
You do not owe anyone anything. You owe yourself a business and a life that brings you joy and serves you financially. You should love what you do so much, that it stops feeling like ‘work’. Seek something that you will love and align yourself with people of integrity.