Want To Get Rich Quick? 7 Reasons Why It’s Dangerous

February 4, 2008

Photo by jpctalbot

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make a lot of money. But, so many people seem to want to get rich as fast and easily as possible. And while it’s sometimes possible to get rich quick in business – often through fluke or dishonesty, here’s 7 reasons why it’s not a good thing to aim for:

1) Everyone Would Be Millionaires Right? If it was that easy to make a lot of money quickly and legally, hordes of people would be doing it. Think about it, when did anyone make a fortune doing the same thing as everyone else?

2) Zero Satisfaction: You wouldn’t feel as though you’d achieved much if you’d made no effort. When did you last get any satisfaction from doing something that was easy? Is it possible to gain any sense of achievement at all from something that requires no effort?

3) You’re More Likely to Give Up Too Soon:
If you set yourself unrealistic goals, you’re more likely to give up and move onto something else when you don’t achieve them fast. And, if you keep getting off the bus and jumping on a different one, you’ll never reach your destination.

4) You’re More Liable To Get Scammed:
Scammers make money out of people who want to get rich fast by preying on their greed and it works. If you’re desperate to make a million overnight, you risk being scammed.

5) A Fluke Could Give You False Hope:
Everyone deserves a bit of luck and if you get some don’t knock it back. But if you do manage to make a heap of cash overnight due to a fluke, you might come unstuck because you don’t actually know what to do next and you could wind up losing it all.

6) You’re Likely To Lose It All Just As Quickly:
Often, when people become rich overnight, they lose it all just as quickly. Sometimes this is because they don’t know how to manage their money. Check out this post on Bankrate about unlucky lottery winners who lost all their money.

7) You Could Be Scamming Someone Else:
Anything which will make you rich overnight often involves scamming others. Could you really feel good about yourself, knowing you’d ripped off other people who are in the same boat you were once in?

What do you think? Are there any other reasons why it’s dangerous to want to get rich quick? Do you know of any cases where someone has done so and it has worked out fine? Have you tried to do so in the past and failed? Did you change your goals because of this? Please share in the comments section.

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19 Responses to “Want To Get Rich Quick? 7 Reasons Why It’s Dangerous”

  1. Barbara on February 4th, 2008 6:29 am

    Hello Catherine,

    I don’t think there’s many out there who wouldn’t love to receive a windfall, and be a millionaire overnight. However, making a fast buck by stepping on, or using others, is wrong. I realize it happens a lot, but I couldn’t look myself in the mirror if I knew I had intentionally hurt someone by scamming them out or their money.

    I have heard many stories of people who win the lottery, and have to change their telephone numbers because of sob story calls, etc.

    Isn’t it ironic how many movie stars and well known musicians have also had to file for bankruptcy, because they lost it all? It appears many successful people get caught up in that life style and forget where they came from.

    Barbara’s last blog post..Will Bill’s Bucks Result In Better SERPs

  2. cathlawson on February 4th, 2008 6:35 am

    Hi Barbara – That is so true. Some of them just seem to start spending like mad without thinking about the consequences.

    I think I read somewhere that Kim Basinger actually bought a whole town before she went bankrupt! And Mike Tyson spend excessive amounts on jewellery and stuff.

    Well, you know what they say – when you spend all your money on stuff you wind up with stuff all.

  3. Ian Denny on February 4th, 2008 6:50 am

    I can honestly say that the money side of a business has never been uppermost in my thoughts.

    Maybe that’s why I’ve not “made it” yet!

    I’ve spent far more time over the last 2 years on the costs side of business. And more recently on exceeding those costs.

    But that’s to build a sustainable business rather than make millions.

    The millions bit is interesting though. At the end of the day, money is a piece of paper or plastic.

    Who wants paper or plastic? We want what the money represents perhaps – the lifestyle, high living, flash cars.

    Maybe when I was younger I wanted all that, but unless I have a mid-life crisis, I can’t say it appeals any more.

    For me if I make money, it will be a side effect of doing the right thing rather than the aim itself.

    I get far more of a buzz out of delivering a great service. That gives me satisfaction.

    As has been happening more of late – reminiscent of our early days in the now defunct former company – we’re getting the odd referral.

    From clients who were “just satisfied” for a while when our service wasn’t great.

    Now the service is improving, my goal is to get the clients talking about us again.

    Having someone recommending you is a far more satisfying experience than the money. It gives you a sense of “job well done” which lasts far longer than an ill-gotten gain.

    A lottery win is somehow the wrong way to succeed. Or a short-lived piece of luck. Or making money in any other way that leaves people dissatisfied.

    Give me the feeling of a job well done any day over the misery of a million in the bank and devastation of failed marriage, loss of friends, and nothing of substance to call a real life.

    Ian Denny’s last blog post..Business Cashflow Nightmares Solved Within 10 Days

  4. cathlawson on February 4th, 2008 6:58 am

    Ian – it is weird isn’t it – as you get older different things are important. I wonder what percentage of the people who want to make money fast are under 30? I’m willing to bet it’s quite high.

    I must admit – I also still get really excited if we get good customer feedback, or a referal. It’s far more rewarding than meeting financial targets.

  5. DwayneLattimore.com on February 4th, 2008 10:45 am

    I guess that getting rich fast would actually relate to many young people simply because of the lifestyles being portrayed by others on t.v.. With shows like MTV Cribs, Pimp My Ride, America’s Top Model, American Idol, The Fabulous Lifestyle, etc., it’s no wonder people are going crazy to be rich! Watching people do $40,000 Gucci shopping sprees on t.v. will have many youngsters thirsting for that kind of lifestyle.

    Dwayne Lattimore

  6. Nez on February 4th, 2008 2:50 pm

    For me, I certainly don’t need to be a millionaire to be happy — but I do want enough steady income to save for retirement, pay my monthly bills, and have a little extra left over.

    Why can’t there be reality show about that — we’d be…millionaires! No, wait, it would be too NORMAL, no one would watch. :-)

    Nez’s last blog post..Frame of Mind

  7. cathlawson on February 4th, 2008 6:53 pm

    Hi Dwayne – that’s a great point. I bet many young people are influenced by those programs. I haven’t seen Pimp My Ride, but my kids think it’s cool to watch those wrecked cars being transformed.

    Hi Nez – Great point. It would probably benefit people far more. But, as you said – people would find it too normal – even though many of them would be far better off financially for having watched it.

  8. Ian Denny on February 4th, 2008 7:19 pm


    Age does have something to do with it!

    One thing which really concerns me is the debate recently in the UK about feral youths. And it’s a point Dwayne touched upon really well.

    I can see first, second and third generation layers of society that have been brought up with different values.

    The media depicts a life of easy riches. And that translates into a dual-layer society, made up of an immigrant and resident resident labour pool.

    I feel as though there’s a whole layer of the UK society that has had it easy. The welfare state which seems skewed, has created a comfortable enough lifestyle for enough people to work the system and stil have their Nintendo’s, designer clothes etc without a worker in the household.

    It’s as though the world owes them a living. And the media paints a picture of easy gains, as though by virtue of being born, privelege is something which we are owed rather than being something we have to earn.

    It is fast eroding basic values. What’s right and wrong.

    It seems that every kid has a right to a console game. It seems that peer pressure demands it.

    I may be seen as almost Victorian in attitude, but my daughter has to earn the things she wants most. She has to behave for 70 consecutive days and practice how to empty a litter tray before she is allowed to have a kitten.

    Each day we have been ticking off on the calendar if she has done 3 things that day to earn the credit.

    She is questioning the responsibility of emptying the litter tray. And I am likening it to tidyng away toys.

    If she wants to play with toys, she has to clear them away. If she really wants a kitten, she has to undertake to look after it. And earn it in the first place.

    If not, she doesn’t get it. Simple.

    I’m probably old-fashioned!

    But it’s the same for getting rich quick. Why should anyone deserve an easy ride? Will it really be valued if it happens so easy?

    Ian Denny’s last blog post..Small Business Failure Averted By Re-Mortgaging Your Neighbours House

  9. Tom Volkar / Delightful Work on February 4th, 2008 7:30 pm

    I think the biggest reason not to receive a large some of money fast is that very few lotto winners and others who get a windfall just aren’t ready for it. It seems that subconsciously they seek their level of money comfort and blow it all within a couple of years.

    I’m thinking about the teachings of Money Adventure writer Egbert Sukop. He claims that money doesn’t come as a result of specific effort but parallel to it. Makes you wonder what those lotto winners were up to, doesn’t it?

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Work’s last blog post..Answer this Question and Change Your Life

  10. cathlawson on February 4th, 2008 7:42 pm

    Hi Ian – I’m curious – what are you putting in the litter tray for her to clean out?

    I can understand exactly why you’re doing that though. My kids had a hamster once, and they lost interest in it, because it bit them when they picked it up. So you can guess who wound up getting bit every day for three years!

    As you know – I can’t stand the “want something for nothing” culture in our society.

    When my kids were pre-school – those of us women who wanted to work were worse off, because there simply wasn’t the perks there is now, such as tax credits or paid childminding. And by the time you’d paid childcare etc, you often wound up out of pocket.

    It’s brilliant they have those things – they’ve helped a lot of people. But they’re still rewarding the ones who want to sit at home doing nothing – and that is just plain wrong.

    As you say though Ian – it’s a problem that can’t simply be reversed because these kids who expect everything for nothing have parents and grandparents who have the same attitude.

    I know that in Carlisle – there was a real problem – there were heaps of these people all in one area. So they shipped them off to different areas of town and small villages to spoil things for people who lived there.

    The trouble is, we can’t send them to Australia anymore – surely there must be a remote island they can go to, to learn how to look after themselves – somewhere where they can’t spoil things for the people that live there.

  11. cathlawson on February 4th, 2008 7:45 pm

    Hi Tom – thanks for dropping by. That is interesting. I’d not heard that theory before. I’m off to Google this Egbert Sukop guy right now to find out more about it. Thanks.

  12. Mrs. Micah on February 4th, 2008 8:36 pm

    I find scams fascinating and it seems that a lot are associated with ripping of people who want to get rich quick. That’s not to say those people deserve to be ripped off, but it certainly makes one more vulnerable. And of course there are other scams related to things like protecting your money (“This is Paypal and we need you to reenter your info or we’ll close your account”), etc.

    Sometimes I also reflect on how easy it might be to rip off others. But it wouldn’t be easy on my conscience. And jail isn’t so hot either.

  13. cathlawson on February 4th, 2008 8:45 pm

    Hi Mrs M – those paypal ones suck. Banks send that type of thing too – and they look so real, it’s frightening.

    There’s nothing wrong with thinking how easy it might be too rip off others. I can remember watching a film years ago. I don’t recall which one, but I marvelled at the way some guy paid a shop keeper with a note that had Happy Birthday – and a girls name written on it.

    Then his accomplice walked into the shop and accused the shopkeeper of short changing her, because she’d given her the happy Birthday note.

    My amazement was short lived – my Dad was watching also and told me that you should never ever rip anyone off, no matter how clever the trick may seem.

    It’s ok to be impressed by the ingenuity of these people – and thinking is good. But, Mrs M – I know you are far too smart to resort to such methods and you’re capable of making much more money through being honest.

  14. Nicle on February 5th, 2008 2:28 am

    I think, getting rich quick bares the danger of it getting to your head and make you loose the whole thing because you et too cocky.
    But I might just be envious ;)

  15. cathlawson on February 5th, 2008 4:43 am

    Hi Nicole – I think you’re right. I’m guessing that many people who get rich quick believe that nothing can go wrong and once they’ve reached certain levels of wealth there’s no risk of losing it.

  16. MoneyAside on February 7th, 2008 9:13 pm

    Nice post and so true. I don’t like get rich quick blogs/sites. I rather have some nice info or real business tips.

    MoneyAside’s last blog post..7 Tips to Cope with Your Freelancing Workload

  17. Gary on February 23rd, 2008 1:47 pm

    I totally agree that getting rich quick is simply not possible, after all, if it was….Wouldn’t everybody be doing it? There are genuine schemes out there though which do work, however which are a lot of work. Take a look at the following site which I use, it is hard work, but it does work:-

    (link removed)

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