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Hello anyone who has happened by this board. I just want to take a little bit of time here to describe why I thought a board of this sort would be useful and seems to be lacking in an internet world littered with useless information.

There are countless 'opportunities' offered to us every day on the internet or even by promotional snail mail. These opportunities always sound fantastic. They also clearly generate income for those offering these wonderful deals as in some cases they run for years. Sadly, far too often, they only generate income for those offering, rather than those trying to follow through with the opportunities. There are 'opportunities' to start your own business from home. There are 'opportunities' to get that special education that will allow you to reach greater success than you ever dreamed possible. Or there are incredible deals for the average consumer who can be so much more than average by simply paying a membership fee for this special service or membership at some special retailer. Most people want to be special, and there is no shortage of those out there who would exploit that fact for only their own personal gain. Often, the entire business model is reliant on simply getting up front money from, sadly I have to say it, suckers, with no real hope of ever creating any kind of wealth for the suckers with stars in their eyes.

Certainly there is the Better Business Bureau. However, the BBB will merely expose those who fail to work their way around the law in order to keep an appearance of legitimacy. Bad deals are not exposed by the BBB, only legally defined unethical practice is occasionally exposed. And, of course, being a member of the BBB is not a requirement of running a business, therefore, it's simply avoided by many.

As was suggested by the fellow who posted before I realized this board was actually up and running, this board itself may prove to be a dud as the requirement for it to function usefully for consumers or would be entrepreneurs, is that we suckers share our tragic lack of judgement and expose ourselves for the fools we are, or have been. I'm in my mid forties and over the last 20 years, as I've searched for a more clever and efficient way to earn a living, I took to heart the old anecdote that the road to success is paved with failure. I've paved a pretty impressive 6 lane highway on my way to the living I make today. In the meantime, I worked a dirty, blue collar job and every now and then laid a little more pavement, only to find myself back in my blue collar, a little more disillusioned. Eventually, I've found my way, but it took some hard knocks, some stupid decisions, some naive hopes and dreams, and some harsh realizations.

Over the next little while, I'll share my few missteps so that it may help a fellow fool avoid the same pitfalls. If even one fool avoids buying a Timeshare, or a Direct Buy membership as a result, I would consider this a successful little exercise. Also, I may pose the question of Deal or Dud in a new thread in the hopes that someone else has already walked a mile down a certain road, and that they may help others distinguish opportunity from farce. Hopefully there are other folks out there in this Foolish community that can endure the shame of sharing such failure for the benefit of others.

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When Life Gives You Lemons
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