Fast Company

Dazzled by Money Signs

In his blog entry "'Free Money to Pay Your Bills!' Or Maybe Not (Part 1)," Donovan Wadholm wrote about Mathew Lesko. I didn't recognize the name either, but you know him. He is the loudmouth wearing a suit covered by sequined money-signs and selling books on how to get free money from the government. Wadholm's blog post is about how these tips for free money aren't really free.

I have seen the commercials of Lesko for many years and have always been annoyed by his frantic speaking, jittery movement, and his blinding bling. But as much as he bothered me, part of me would see money-signs everywhere and wonder if there were valuable secrets to be had. Maybe the government would pay me to open a business or publish one of my abandoned novels. That hope I would briefly feel would quickly be smothered by procrastination and the cynicism that this brash offer is too good to be true.

According to Mr. Wadholm, these promises of free money are too good to be true. And that makes me sad. Innovation and entrepreneurialism is about giving in to your ideas that you have pinned all your hopes on and taking chances in having them come true. I wonder how many half-hearted almost-innovators bought these books and were deflated that getting government money wasn't as easy as Lesko portrayed. One can wonder how many of these down-hearted picked themselves and kept going and how many just threw in the towel.

The cynic in me thinks many gave up. The idealist in me knows a real innovator keeps going until they succeed. The rest of us just let things peter out... kinda like this blog...

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