Hard lessons learned – on and off the course.

I just finished reading a very disturbing posting and felt that it was too important to just read it and weep – I needed to pass along to my friends, colleagues, fellow bloggers and readers.

As many of you know, Mr. Business Golf, has provided us with good advice for a long time on how to get the most out of our businesses using golf. His book and his consulting have helped many and now he is helping us again.

Today he wrote about the “hazards” we face on the Internet – not golf hazards – people hazards. In his posting today called: Time Bandits: The Scourge of the Internet, he shares some hard lessons learned about deceivers and users who prey on trusting people like us – people who believe they are part of a community – an online community built on trust. Well, such is obviously not the case in all cases.

I was saddened by Scot’s posting, but fully support him in his efforts to warn people about these Time Bandits. It reminds me that people aren’t different online or off – you have to be careful or the bandits will suck you dry and leave you hanging in midair while they run off and exploit another trusting soul.

I am a marketing consultant by trade and I learned the hard way years ago that there are unscrupulous people out there who will try and get you to work for them for free. I can’t count the number of times a company would call me asking me to do some consulting for them and bring me in for an “exploratory meeting”. In that meeting, they would try and extract everything I know about marketing and even try and get me to help them with business planning and strategy for free. Early in my consulting career, I was excited about these meetings and shared way too much, and guess what…they used my advice and moved ahead alone and I got nothing out of it. They used me. I was shocked and hurt at first, but I soon learned that these companies are not unique. There are many untrustworthy people in business and I had to learn the hard way to stay away from them in my brick and mortar world.

It would appear that now I need to pay even more attention in the online world. It’s too bad…I felt safer here somehow. Silly, but after reading Scot’s posting, I realize I have already met some of these Time Bandits. It’s amazing how quickly you can be drawn into the “web” by flattery and false promises.

Anyway…I will be “careful out here”, thanks to Scot. But I will also try and not lose faith that there are still lots of good people online – good people like Scot, Golf Chick, Golf Girl and so many others who have made my life online fun and rewarding.

Thank you Scot for sharing with us these lessons. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right?


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