The Shared Common Traits of Contraprenuers
They start off by letting you in on their secrets
Contraprenuers are rife on the Internet. They’re like the new age IRS phone scammers and Nigerian princes in dire need of saving – for the low, low investment of xxx dollars.
They go for the vulnerable people and target the types that are looking to transform their lives, the ones that are currently at the beginning of their journeys trying to figure out how to make more than the basic minimum.
They will paint a pretty picture — the kind where the Internet is a wonderful endless pool of money that can be gained. They will use stats and numbers to awe you, to get your attention and reel you in.
Then they will walk away — after you’ve paid them for their ‘secrets’.
The language of contraprenuers
Contraprenuers share a common language when it comes to selling their services. Their business is helping you get rich by making them rich. Your success or failure will ultimately end at the fault of the platform or your inability to follow instructions.
It’s the modern-day scam of our times, featuring Ferraris, beautiful views and maybe a mansion garage in the background. Their visual language is one of abundance, creating an imagery that you can have it all too — if you’re willing to pay for their secrets.
Those are usually the ones with the budgets.
The poorer contraprenuers will take it down a notch. They will tell you the things that they will do, the things they can help with — all from the inner goodness of their hearts and souls. They will do whatever they need to appear genuine and sincere at that particular point in time.
They will wave numbers in your face, name drop as necessary and make you feel as if you need them to succeed. They will be your mentor, your guiding light, your whatever you need in order to get from point A to the grandeur of point B.
Because point B is your freedom — your every desire and dreams come true, the fix to all your troubles, life woes and whatever bad thing that’s happening in your life right now. The money will fix it all and they will help you get it.
How to spot a contraprenuer in the wild
Contraprenuers exists on every platform that is able to generate money. They are on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even here on Medium.
They’re not a growing problem on TikTok yet — partly because the platform’s main audience is generally in a much lower age bracket and haven’t gotten around to thinking about college debt, mortgages, keeping rent and grocery budgets yet. No. That stuff is for the older folks like you and me.
The main feature of a contraprenuer is that they appeal to your emotions by offering fast solutions. Their content is usually recycled from somewhere else or are repackaged solutions. They don’t teach you how to add value, but rather to find value and take it from others.
They tell you to follow trends rather than give you the tools and skills to create your own.
They will give you a secret pathway to follow — one that no one else knows — except for the hundreds or thousand of subscribers on their list. Sometimes they call it special session seminars or workshops. They will create a sense of urgency, that you need this knowledge or else you’re going to miss out.
Their end goal is to sell you a product.
Whether that product is actually helpful or worth its projected value is another story.
There is no secret
The truth is, there is no secret.
The information they give is usually freely available online or in book form. There are multiple facets to making money and it’s more than just focusing on the dollar value generated.
When the 9–5 isn’t working out the way we want it to, we often look towards entrepreneurial means. But entrepreneurship isn’t easy. It’s essentially running a business that that’s certainly not easy.
And there is no quick fix, guaranteed solution to that either.
There are common formulas of generating money online and the most successful and sustainable ones are centered around creating value. It’s about putting yourself in the shoes of your audiences or customers. You have control over who they are based on what you produce.
If you’re looking to get rich, it’s better to read up on business management and finance topics than pay for courses touting that they’ll help make you money. You’ll end up losing more money than you make.
Seth Godin is a good place to start for marketing and value-generating methods. The Lean Start Up by Eric Ries is a good book to check out for real entrepreneurial tactics. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki is a good one for changing your relationship with money. Kiyosaki doesn’t focus on get-rich scheme tactics like how contraprenuers do — rather, he gives perspectives on the topic of money.
And if you really need that motivational push to get moving, treat yourself to some Gary Vee.
The difference between these suggestions and contraprenuers is that they work on helping you become better without promising you the universe. They advocate for doing your own thing and creating your own path rather than be a follower.
Building a business is hard. As an employee, you are part of a system that your boss created to generate value. You are the cog in the machine.
But when you become the boss, your role changes dramatically. You are no longer confined to a single task — but multiple layers and across different operational spaces. You are marketing, operations, front desk, customer service and everything else in between. Sometimes you delegate by giving the task to someone else.
When you become the boss, you are the creator of this machine.
However, you must never forget what your value is. This is because the value is what people will pay for — not whatever is generated from your latest contraprenuer’s get-rick quick scheme.