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You’ve heard having a money mindset is important. That is true, but having a positive relationship with money also includes making sure your methods for making money are aligned with your values. Putting money first sometimes puts your business last.
I’ve been getting a lot of heartbreaking calls at work lately.
People call me hoping I will hire them when they complete their doctorate in psychology. But I cannot.
You see, so many people are going to online programs where they receive little to no clinical experience. They will not be eligible for licensure when they are done with their programs because they have no experience and are not able to get into any internship programs.
Yet, these students are likely paying more than $100,000 or more for their doctorate degree.
The school never informs them they are not employable. These individuals think they will be psychologists, but unless they find a state with crappy license laws or a place that hires regardless of experience, they are completely screwed.
These students will not be able to pay back their huge student loans because they are not employable in their chosen field. The fact of the matter is psychologist salary isn’t all that great to pay back these ridiculous student loans as it is; but imagine getting out and being told you will never be licensed.
It is heartbreaking.
Is Money An Excuse For Ruining People’s Lives?
It is unethical and downright cruel. There are dollar signs in the eyes of these programs and they prey on hopeful students with big dreams. It sickens me that people who are psychologists are involved in programs like this. After all, didn’t we get into the profession to help people? Do they really not see what is happening?
Ultimately, this will affect the people running these programs by ruining their reputation. Is it worth it?
On Being a Business Owner
What are you willing to do for money? Do you run your business with your values at the forefront? Do you choose programs to promote that you know would be helpful to people? Do you spend time putting your best stuff forward to ensure you are making a difference in the world?
It is important to consider these things.
You might get a great offer to do a sponsored post or to sell a product that you don’t believe in. The money is great, you might be tempted to go for it. If you are new to your business, this is even a greater risk.
Don’t do it. Keep your eye on your ethics, values, and overall mission. If you sell something crappy to your audience that is not helpful to them, they will learn that you are not trustworthy, just like the students will ultimately discover about their online program.
There are lots of programs out there that are scammy or just generally rip offs. As someone new in business, you are like the psychology students. You have big dreams that probably are feeling a bit out of reach. When someone comes along and offers you an opportunity that sounds great, but you have an icky feeling, research it.
How Do You Even Know If Something Is On The Up And Up?
Getting trustworthy information on the internet is difficult. When you do a search for a program or product that you are thinking about promoting, you are likely going to run into other bloggers’ reviews of these programs or products. These bloggers are trying to sell the item, so sometimes there is bias in their posts.
So what do you do? You do a lot of research. Is anyone you know using the product or service? What do they say about it? What are the positive things people are saying and what are the negative?
I like when posts have a balanced approach and talk about what they do not like about the product as well as what they do like. Nothing is perfect (except maybe Trello…I joke, but really…), so if something sounds like hearts and flowers on someone’s blog, they are not telling the whole story. There must be something that isn’t perfect about it.
For example, I love my webhost, Siteground. They have wonderful customer service and I will sing their praises because they helped me out of a bind a few months ago. I have had zero problems with my blog, everything is much faster than with my previous host. Yet, I am aware that if my site suddenly becomes famous, the service level I subscribed to will not be able to handle my traffic and they will essentially pause my site for the rest of the month. I don’t like that.
I reached out to ask Siteground what would happen in that case. They informed they would warn me prior to that happening and work with me to ensure it does not. If it seemed this would be a consistent level of traffic for me, they would encourage me to upgrade to the next level.
Anyway, you can see right there that I talked about liking Siteground. I am happy with their service, yet they are not perfect. There are some potential issues with their service, yet I also figured out how to mitigate that if needed.
There is another webhost service that pays really well, yet if you do a little research you will see that many people have stopped promoting them because of question about reliability of their service. I will not promote them at this time (even though the money could be great!). I cannot risk recommending something to you that might not be the best thing.
You do what you can. You listen to those you trust. You also have to look at places other than blogs. Are you a member of any groups where people discuss without providing affiliate links or telling you to sign up with their code? If so, what is the consensus? What are people talking about on Twitter?
Bloggers Who Have Gained Your Trust
To make things easier, there are bloggers out there who have gained your trust. Sometimes that is from using what they recommend and seeing if what they say is true about it. Sometimes it is because their content resonates with you and you feel like they get you. Other times it is just that you felt they provided a good, balanced, thorough review that helped you make that choice.
It is great to have some bloggers to trust because someone else has done the work for you.
Trustworthy bloggers are the ones how end up making good, consistent money because their readers know that they only bother to offer quality products. They have integrity and it shows. They care about giving to others.
Be A Blogger Others Can Trust
I think we all have to strive to be that person and to prove to others that we are that person. You have to be integral in what you offer. Don’t offer crap. Don’t charge high prices for crappy products. Don’t promote things that are shady or that you haven’t researched fully. Just don’t do it. If you choose to do it, say you haven’t tried it. Say why you are promoting it anyway.
Otherwise, your person purchases your product and goes on to try it and guess what? It is crap. You sold crap. They move on. They no longer trust you.
Imagine spending $100k on graduate school and not being employable. That is a huge example, but for many people spending $100 or more for your course and getting crap feels the same way.
What you offer is a reflection on you. You have to know what your values are and ask yourself with every product you offer whether you would stand behind this product. Does the product reflect your brand values?
Be thoughtful in what you put in the world. Think long term and do not settle for money over people.