Stay Away From These Businesses: Part One In a Series

Stay Away From These Sketchy Businesses That Want You To Promote Them On Social Media: Part 1

Part one in a series about Pyramid schemes and why you should do your own research and stay away from them.

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Pyramid schemes are defined as a form of investment in which each paying participant recruits two further participants, with returns being given to early participants using money contributed by later ones. Pyramid schemes prey on college students and younger adults that may be working minimum wage jobs but are putting in way more effort for their jobs.

These pyramid schemes come in many shapes and sizes and may actually seem like something that could work for you when it is first pitched. However, in the long run, they only work for the people on top - or if you have piles of money you can waste on buying different types of products.

College students want to make money, and honestly, most of them want to be able to do it with as little work as possible. Between balancing homework, exams, a social life, studying, and anything else that comes with being a college student - some of us just do not have time for a job. This means that some students will go through any means possible to bring in some extra income in order to have money to pay rent or buy groceries. And unfortunately some students don't yet understand that making money on a weekly or bi-weekly basis means actually working a job - and putting in 20 or more hours a week - and not being a part of some "get rich quick" scheme that someone has convinced you actually work.

College students need to understand the risks of being a part of these types of businesses and need to know the ways that they can protect themselves from accidentally becoming a part of one. They will bring you nothing but lost money and wasted time. Many people that are in one of these pyramid schemes will advertise it as "being your own boss" or that they have started their own business. They are simply you selling products that you have bought, and in some cases, the products are falsely advertised or are not worth the price that they are being sold for.

These types of "businesses" are actually hidden in plain sight and some companies that you might actually already know about might be pyramid schemes. Businesses such as It Works, Cutco, HerbalLife, Mary Kay, Avon, Amway, and LuLaRoe are these types of businesses that prey on people that want to make money without working for it. No matter what anyone at these companies says, you will not make any money unless you sell a large amount of the products that you have to pay for upfront - which means the products have to be sold at a higher value in order for you to make a profit. At the end of the day, that means that products that are being made for a small fee - you then have to spend your own money to purchase - and then have to be turned around and sold at a much higher value than retail price which means people will be less interested in the products you are selling.

Learn more about how to avoid these schemes, the basics of the companies, and more in Part Two of my series on Pyramid Schemes.

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8 Things You Need To Know About Selling On Redbubble

Everyone buys their stickers from Redbubble, but have you ever wanted to be the one making them?
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As someone who loves to fool around in Photoshop and Illustrator, I saw Redbubble as a chance to flex my skills as a graphic designer. The massive popularity of them provided me with an opportunity to make a little money on the side doing something I not only enjoyed but could do when the mood struck me. It seemed like a win-win, but there were a few things I wish I knew before I started making stickers.

1. Don't expect to be rolling in dough.

It took a month and maybe 10 different designs before I sold any of my stickers. I joined in October of 2017, and I have sold about 20 stickers.

2. Redbubble stickers are expensive for a reason.

At this point, I have sold about 20 stickers which may seem like a lot, until you find out how much I make per sticker. The artist sets how much they make after Redbubble’s share, so artists can set it as low as 0% profit (which means the sticker sells for $2.29).

3. Buying 10 and getting 50% off is great when you're the one buying the stickers...

...but it sucks when you’re the one selling them. I make an average of 20% per sticker, so when you buy my $2.75 sticker for $1.38, I only make 23¢.

4. Make things you would buy.

If there’s something you want to buy, but it doesn’t exist, make it. Keep in mind as well that if you wouldn't buy it, odds are that not too many other people would.

5. Try to offer variations.

You might make a design in blue and love it, but consider offering it in different colors. Someone might love the design but hate the color.

6. Make your designs as versatile as possible.

Redbubble is primarily known for its stickers, but your designs can be put on anything from a poster to a wall clock. Take advantage of that because more expensive items mean you make more for the same design when they sell.

7. Keywords are KEY.

You want your designs to be as visible as possible, so take advantage of all the tools they give you. Try to tag your design with anything that might relate to it; you want it to pop up in as many tags as possible.

8. Do your research.

If you are interested in making something, search one of the keywords and see how many results there are for it. Sometimes there is a need, and you can fill it.

I have enjoyed my time on Redbubble nonetheless, and I recommend it to anyone who likes to design or draw. It’s certainly not a good way to get rich quick, but I enjoy it. Every time someone purchases one of my stickers, I feel this rush of pride in knowing someone liked something that I designed. That's a big reason why I continue to put designs on Redbubble.



Cover Image Credit: Meagan McDowell

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4 Essentials You Need In The Elizabeth Holmes Starter Pack

Here are key artifacts that worked to conjure up such an individual.

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Elizabeth Holmes is one of the most infamous entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley. Her company, Theranos, which was once heralded as a groundbreaking health-care changer, deceived thousands of people, giving them false blood results and examinations.

What stunned people all over the globe, was Elizabeth herself. Her image, her demeanor, and her overall haunting presence became the center of several documentaries and past news articles. Here are 4 key artifacts that worked to conjure up such an individual.

1. Makeup 

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Ms. Holmes' beauty routine is quite consistent and easy-to-follow. For special occasions and public-speaking events, Elizabeth wears her signature black eyeliner, smeared all over the upper eyelid, and a muted red-colored shade of lipstick. Her eyebrows and face remain minimal, as the enhancement of Ms. Holmes' ice-blue eyes is the centerpiece of the look.

2. Black turtlenecks

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Several news outlets and documentaries make note of Elizabeth Holmes' obsession with Apple creator, Steve Jobs. In the midst of building her billion-dollar scheme, Holmes would adapt Job's characteristics and professional practices, such as live product launches and copying Apple's style of commercials. However, the most obvious form of imitation was Elizabeth wearing black turtlenecks every single workday.

3. Green juice

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Since Ms. Holmes worked long hours, she followed a diet that she believed would provide her energy and health. Theranos insiders reported that Elizabeth was never seen without her green juice, either in her hand or on her desk. At home, her personal chef would whip up a small dish of vegetables for dinner, giving the fraud a one-way ticket to malnutrition.

4. A deep baritone voice

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Of all the mysterious anecdotes written and said about the Silicon Valley scam, the most bewildering tale derives from Elizabeth Holmes' deep baritone voice. Luminaries who knew Elizabeth during her time at Stanford claimed that her speaking voice was high-pitched, typical of a young white female. As years passed, when Elizabeth was quickly gaining fame and momentum, her voice dropped a couple of octaves when she made public appearances. According to Theranos employees, when Elizabeth drank at company parties, her voice slipped back into the high-pitched tone.

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