Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Don't Be So Naive

One of the most influential columns I've ever written is "The Myth of Free Government Money." Posted way back in 2000, it's still cited, linked to and quoted frequently in small biz circles.

My aim was to strongly refute the scammers and con artists who fleece would-be small business owners by the thousands every year, selling them the preposterous idea that the government hands out "free money" to start up entrepreneurs.

The problem, of course, (paraphrasing Bacon) is that it's much easier to believe outlandish claims when we want them to be true.

This mixture of naivete and greed delivers up willing victims to fraudsters. And the only remedy is education.

I aim to do a little more educating in this week's Smart Answers column on the latest fashion in scams, and in my podcast on how small retailers can jump on affinity marketing just like the big boys are doing.

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