The internet is chock full of get-rich-quick scams. Have you read any of the spams in your email telling you about the wealth you are missing? According to the advertisements, you can make a gazillion bucks the first month working part-time. You can buy a vacation home in Hawaii, send the kids to Harvard — make life on earth so good you will decline Saint Peter's invitation when the time comes.

Thing is — you are expected to “buy into” the good life.

You don’t get something for nothing. There’s always a catch. Either it’s a pyramid scheme where only the top layer of investors benefit with any notable harvests or you have to cough up too much “up front” money to get in on being a “worker bee.” And don’t you know, you only have so long to join because this is only being offered to “special” people for a very limited time. 

The other thing floating around is a myriad of “programs” that teach you how to prosper on the internet. So, if you fail, you obviously didn’t follow the program. Who is the only one who gets rich? The one selling the “program.”

What causes people to fall for these flim-flams? Folks are hurting, some bad. When you are hurting, you grasp at straws. Trouble with these straws, you will more than likely wind up in more financial trouble by biting into that pie-in-the-sky. 

There are a few legitimate businesses on the internet but they involve something called “work.”

If my dad were still alive and computer savvy, this is the kind of pool he would jump into head first.  I loved him because he was my father but he was an impossible dreamer. He could see himself getting rich from all sorts of wild and crazy shenanigans and he would embrace one after another as a second income opportunity.

Once he deemed he could “make a mint” with a mink farm. I know that’s not politically correct nowadays, but way back then, women wore mink coats if they could afford them. Dad set himself up with a mink herd and worked it about a year. 

Made enough to buy Mother a new iron.

His next venture was rheas. A rhea is a really big old bird — between an ostrich and an emu. God’s ugliest birds are six feet tall with huge feet that can break a man’s leg with one kick. They will sneak up on you and stomp the living daylights out of you. Dad had six of these monsters. The idea was rhea meat was supposed to be the next buffalo meat and was going to sweep the nation. No bird in the rhea pen ended up on anybody’s table anywhere. We had the rheas about a year. They were much easier to acquire than to get rid of and that’s saying something. These birds weren’t something your next door neighbor would take off your hands even at a tremendous bargain. 

Bought Mother an ironing board for her iron.

Next he invested in a worm farm. He and my oldest son got in the car and did a day trip to the other side of Arkansas and bought night crawlers. They fixed a 60-foot bed for them in the old barn. The sides to the concrete bed weren’t high enough, so they escaped. 

Mother got squat. 

The bottom line is, if you’re not born with it, it takes work to get it. Proverbs 6 says, “Consider the ant ... watch them and be wise.”

 Dale Lilly is Lifestyles Editor and can be reached at lifestyles@desototimes.com

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