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The Internet is another medium, not another planet!

By Elena Fawkner
Posted Wednesday, September 8, 2004

Just finished clearing out my email inbox. Again. As usual, at least 60% spam. By the time I finish the first draft of this article I know it will be full again. I usually just delete spam unread but every now and again I'll open up something that looks like it might be interesting ... you never know when you're going to find a gem amongst all the rubble, right? No gems this week, I'm afraid. Just more of the same old same old.

One thing that seems to be becoming more and more common among the dross are ads for "business opportunities" that are described as "turn-key". If you believe the hype, all that you need to do to make a squillion from one of these so-called "business opportunities" is turn your computer on in the morning, place a couple of classified ads, and watch the money roll on in.

In particular, you need never, EVER do any really hard work ... one or two hours a week tops and you'll be pulling in $20,000 a month! All the work's done FOR you, not BY you! The geniuses who devised this brilliant new "turn-key business" (and who, you will note, are prepared to hand over their sure-fire goldmine opportunity to you free of charge) have already done all the hard work; they even provide you with a free 125 page website just designed to SELL, SELL, SELL! But of course YOU don't have to do anything of the sort. There is ABSOLUTELY NO SELLING OR CONTACT REQUIRED!!!! Right? WRONG.

Please. What ever happened to providing a real, genuine and useful service? Why do some people think that the internet has dispensed with the need for business basics? What value do these self-replicating websites bring to the e-commerce economy? What are they other than opportunities for people to sell a business opportunity website to someone who wants to sell a business opportunity website? At the end of the day, their contribution to e-commerce is a big, fat ZERO.

When did "work" become such a dirty word? What is it about the internet that makes otherwise intelligent people think the money's just going to magically roll in without any effort on their part? They may as well believe in the Easter Bunny. The real world doesn't work that way, so why should the internet be any different?

Contrary to what some people seem to believe, a computer does NOT become an ATM the minute it is connected to the internet. The way these people approach their online businesses you'd swear they think their computer is going to dispense cash out of the floppy disk aperture every time they turn it on.

Perhaps the reason some people think this way is the "free" culture of the internet. There seems to be an expectation of having to pay for a computer and internet access, but thereafter, everything should be free. What these people soon learn, however, is that on the internet, as well as in real life, you get what you pay for.

The internet is just another medium for doing business. Nothing more, nothing less. Granted, it is a powerful and revolutionary technological force and its potential is truly staggering. But business principles and ethics are still alive and well and NECESSARY. There is no such thing as a free lunch and that is just as true for the internet as it is in the "real world". Those who can combine sound business practices while at the same time exploiting the awesome potential the internet offers are the ones who will truly succeed.

About the Author
Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online ... practical ideas, resources and strategies for your home-based or online business. (


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