This was me, two years ago when I was promoting one of the pyramid schemes in Kenya. The Global Internet Fortunes LTD.
Back then, I wore fancy suits and expensive shoes as well. I used to groom decently though.
The company had promised to make me “rich”, so I had to show up as one.
Then, this is me when I gave up the pyramid scheme business and began blogging and freelancing.
Wearing a mtumba shirt, looking emaciated and ‘indecent’.
Although I still have these suits, perfectly ironed and hung in my house l don’t wear them at all.
I don’t want to be “wealthy” or look “decent” anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not rich. I don’t own a house or a pricey asset that you could think of. Even a bicycle itself.
I’m just an average guy who is regularly paying bills and working hard to bring food on the table.
But why would I quit a “great business” that had promised to make me rich and decide to be a blogger and a freelancer?
A pyramid scheme isn’t a business
This is true! A pyramid scheme is not a business that will logically help you make good profits.
Basically, a pyramid scheme only benefits the owner(s) of the business and its pioneers. The members who are at a lower level seldom benefit or make a reasonable profit.
For those who have no idea of what a pyramid scheme is, let me elaborate.
This is a kind of a business that enrolls new members with a crafty promise of paying the recruits a certain amount of money if they bring new members into their business model.
Usually, the newly recruited members have to pay a certain amount of money to be an active member of their system.
Then the recruited members have to refer other members and convince them to pay the account activation fee in order to start making money from the company.
The chain goes on like that. You refer me, I pay an upgrade fee you earn. Then myself I find a friend I refer her, she pays the activation fee, I earn.
So, even if I am an active member and fail to send referrals to the company who have to pay the account upgrade fee I will not make money.
These pyramid schemes scarcely involve an exchange of goods or services with value. The involved organization baits its audience with a service or a product that does not really exist.
The ‘refer a friend to refer a friend’ literally seem very easy but the offset to recoup the money is equally difficult.
This is why some members get exhausted and quit the business after losing their money.
The same happened to me! A friend of mine persuaded me to join Global Internet Fortunes (GIF) in the name of web hosting and domain registration.
He told me that when I join the company I will have my blog where I will write articles and run ads to make money.
Only to realize later that it was a pyramid scheme. My blog was never setup till then. I contacted him but every time he came up with reasons why the setup was not done.
Since pyramid schemes never last for long, such companies keep on rebranding to fraud new and unsuspecting audience.
For example, Global Internet Fortunes was formerly known as Social Biz Connect, and currently, I have seen that they have rebranded again to Gif.ke.
If you visit such websites they are usually not clear on the services that they offer and for those who seem to be clear, their prices with the product they claim to offer do not make sense at all.
Check for example the gif.ke website
They hide their prices and are not clear enough on the services that they offer. This is to confuse the gullible and inexperienced customers.
Now take a look at the Truehost Kenya website.
Their web hosting plans are clear. They tell you what to expect in each of their web hosting plan and their prices as well.
Well then, if someone had just convinced you to join such type of business in the name of getting rich quickly I advise you to reject the opportunity. Keep a distance from such kind of people.
Faking my lifestyle
If you join a pyramid scheme you’ll be forced to live a lifestyle that is beyond your level, especially for new beginners.
As for myself, I had to purchase an expensive suit to appear rich while in a real sense I wasn’t.
My ‘mentor’ used to call it self branding. It acted as a testimonial to my targeted audience that I genuinely made money online. Also, I had to post pseudo screenshots of my earnings on social media networks to attract them.
I remember this faking costed me one day when I went to visit my friend at her house. Her friend came by and requested us to contribute to their church’s project that was meant to buy musical instruments.
She started right from me because I wore a suit and appeared rich. I had to lie to her that I hadn’t the money at that time and I would send her later. She even dropped me her line but I really couldn’t make up for the promise.
I didn’t have money! So, I had to ignore her calls as well as hiding my head in the grass whenever I met her. What a shame!
But I had to it.
That was back then. At the moment, I just live a simple life and live my life of course. I don’t own expensive clothes nor shoes.
I just pass by Gikomba and with my few pennies, I have a nice shirt, a hood and khaki trousers.
I got a little proud
Typically, those guys and gals who are into pyramid schemes are not only proud but they are awfully arrogant.
While I started off making a few dollars from the pyramid scheme, I started bragging.
I used to post such things on social media.
I didn’t see the importance of pursuing a degree in four years and later tarmac searching for a low paying job. It didn’t make sense to me.
And to my own opinions it was better off joining the money-making programs, pay the activation and within those four years, I would be insanely rich.
I also dreamt big!
Driving a car in my early twenties, owning a property, and having my own company as well. You guess it, being my own boss.
Later on, it came to my senses that the business was ruining my behavior. I wasn’t ethical, I was becoming presumptuous and too ambitious.
Then one of my fine days, I took a pen and tried to calculate any profit that I had made from the company. It wasn’t reasonable.
I used to earn Ksh 2000 from a direct referral and Ksh 500 from my second level downlines. In a month getting two referrals was grace. Out of these two referrals I made Ksh 4000.
To get those two guys to upgrade their accounts it was through a series of calls, endless text messages, and inviting them for training sessions in which most of the time I had to be there. So I had to get back to my pocket and use the money I earned as fare.
At the end of the month, I hadn’t a decent income left.
Actually, pyramid systems are not suitable for serious online entrepreneurs.
Most of them deceive you with the mentality to become rich-fast, but at the end of the day, you will lose your money without making a reasonable income.
Am not here to convince you to join freelancing. There are other better businesses that you can start online in Kenya. These include affiliate marketing, dropshipping, starting an online store among other things.
Have you ever been into pyramid scheme? What was your experience. Please share it at the comment section.
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