Profitable start-ups without hard work. Is it possible?


– “Happy to meet you, I am …, you probably heard about me”

– “Hello, I am Ilias Papageorgiadis”

– “What do you do, Ilia?”

– “As a family, we are active in Real Estate, Consulting and Commerce. I am more into Real Estate and Consulting, Renewable Energy is my hobby…”

– “Nice, nice, I am also a consultant and a coach. After my big success, I teach others how to make money too”

– “Super. What was your success?”

– “I had a start up on consulting…”

– “And what was your innovation?”

– “I had relations, found the owners of a Renewable Energy project, found clients, put them together, sold it and made big money without too much work”

– “So you know about Renewable Energy?”

– “No, but I have relations and I made money. All big sites are talking about me” (he mentioned 10, 2 of them being very well-known, making me worry about the quality of information they offer)

– “Congratulations, but this is called intermediation”

– “No, no, of course not! This is consulting and now I will also offer the chance to more young people to get their franchise and make money without too many worries, like me. Look there, this is ………, she is my consultant and partner in the franchise scheme”

– “Has she made successful franchise structures before?”

– “No, but she worked in a multinational company for 3 years”

– “Doing what?”

– “Consulting”

– “How old is she?”

– “26”

– “Ok, whatever… and what will you offer to the franchisees?”

– “My experience and the secret on how to make money”

– “Have you participated in tens of negotiations? Have you structured deals? Have you followed a pattern that repeatedly leads to money creation?”

– “No, no, but I am smart, all is here in my brain” he pointed at his head

– “So are you going to clone your brain and give it to these people? Because except from the fact that you used your relations and concluded a transaction…”

– “What are you talking about? The journalists wrote about me! I appeared in this, this and this media, even on web tv!”

– “So this makes you smart?”

– “Doesn’t it?”

(This is one of the moments in life that science has nothing more to offer to a person and only God can save him, so I rested my case)

The biggest lie of all: The promise of easy money without work

Each era has its own values and “role models”. Unfortunately, in this part of the world, the worldwide pitched idea of easy money meets the mentality problems of the past. So the majority of media have established a totally wrong explanation of who deserves to be appreciated in life: “Easy money with little work, this proves that you are the best”. If you work hard or fail in business or if you are not rich / spending a lot, for many analphabets out there you become “stupid”, while if you have money (even by stealing them) for a big part of the society you are “cool”.

This approach is visible also in the way that 80% of media presents the start-ups “phenomenon”.

  1. Most of them don’t differentiate a “new business attempt / venture” from a “start-up”, they think that we talk about the same thing.

A new butcher’s shop selling meat is a business attempt. Start-up is called the butcher’s shop whose owners have implemented an innovation in the business, like some Greeks who offer you the chance to talk to the butcher online, watch him on web cutting your meat and then confirming your order and receiving it in some hours. (The video is cult, but this is their marketing…)

  1. They promote / applause the ones “who found a solution to invest peanuts, work without stress and make lots of money”

Yes, I also heard about an immigrant in France who registered his name as website and after couple of years a multinational company paid him 2 million Euro so as to buy it. Is he a businessman? Is it something we should do as well? The normal, healthy process of a successful venture or start up can be found at Dan Isai’s story of Saladbox. “We worked day and night together with my wife” is his first line. Otherwise, he would not set solid basis for his success, I add.

  1. A new business attempt or a start-up means innovation, plan, very hard work, probably a failure too. The majority of media usually talks only about success stories, “happening easily, with a magic idea of the founder, that he knew from the start that he will have success”

Instead of explaining that all these successful people have worked days and nights and failed more times than they succeeded, we read that “they found a solution, without having to work hard” or “he had this idea, avoiding to work hard like others were doing” etc. There is NO ONE out there who can be 100% sure that a new project will be successful, but many journalists (not all, thank God) talk about the businessmen “who knew that this was the right way, from the very beginning”.

  1. Not all ideas can be duplicated.

If a family planted beans in Botosani (for instance), many journalists present it as if this family found the “magical secret to wealth”. They add how small was the investment, present the income of the family today (usually forgetting to mention that the family worked some years before reaching this level) and everything is ready! “You can do it too!” Now… if you have a land in Calarasi, Oradea, Craiova or Brasov and the climate is not good for beans to grow, this is a minor detail…

So instead of explaining the process of choosing the right vegetable based on the local climate, the necessary land, the obstacles and provocations that they had to face, the journalist presents the story as something like “it is easy! They did it! You can do it too!”

All the above is reproduced by many “experts” who usually don’t know what they are talking about and we end up with people trying to create their new business having the impression that “this is easy”. “Yes, but Romanians have to be encouraged, otherwise they are afraid” some people told me. Encouraged yes, lied no, I propose.

Easy money without work does not exist in real life. It can be only a coincidence, an exception or someone who is just acting as a front man (with others hiding behind). There is no pattern that makes you rich without work, especially in Europe and even more in Romania or in the region. “Yes, but in the US this guy became rich so fast etc” you may contradict me. USA is a different story, where things can scale quickly indeed. Still you forget that for every successful American you know, there are at least another 100 who are struggling, despite their great ideas and work etc.

“So what is wrong if I will also chase easy money? Maybe I succeed and prove you wrong”

Correct, you are always free to search for easy money, play Lotto or to do whatever with your life, as long as you don’t cause problems to the other people’s lives. Still, just remember in the back of your head that 99,99% of the people who promise to you “easy money”, they actually mean “easy money for me, received by you, who believed me”.

Substance, not just surface

In a world that loves to appreciate just the surface of people and things, if you wish to start your own business or create a start-up, maybe it is a good idea to remember what Tommy Hilfiger said: “The road to success is not easy to navigate, but with hard work, drive and passion, it’s possible to achieve the American dream”.


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