One day a laborer was sitting tired outside his home. He had enough of scolding from his employer and was tired of carrying bricks at the construction site. He was thinking about how to change his situation. Suddenly a golden chariot stopped in front of him. It was a magnificent chariot. A wealthy-looking Seth in best of the cloths stepped down. Laborer’s mouth was wide open with surprise.
Seth asked him ‘Are you tired with your 9 to 5 labor? Are you tired of working for others? I can help you.‘
Looked like laborer’s wish was fulfilled and he asked ‘How can you help me?’
Seth continued ‘Because a not long time ago, I was like you. Then my life changed, one Guru gave me a magical stone which made me a millionaire.‘
‘Is it?‘ Laborer still found it unbelievable.
But Seth looked confident ‘Yes, now I can give you that magical stone so that you can also become a millionaire.‘
‘Oh, how great that would be. You are so kind.‘
‘Mention not my friend. It’s my life purpose to help people and create one crore millionaires. That’s my way to give back.‘
‘That’s so great. Please give me that magical stone quickly.‘ The laborer was barely able to hold his excitement.
‘Of course, consider it yours. But as a small contribution to my mission, you need to pay me one lakh rupees. It’s not a charge, it’s your contribution to the noble cause of creating one crore millionaires.
It felt like, his dreams again broke, ‘One lakh rupees! How will I get it? I earn a few hundred rupees daily. I don’t have even a thousand rupees. How about you give me that magical stone first and once I become millionaire, I will pay you one lakh rupees.‘
Seth kept his hand on laborer’s shoulder and said ‘I would have loved it but my Guru who gave me that magical stone, said never to do that. See paying one lakh rupees shows that you are committed to it, that you want to change your life, that you have a willingness to get out of ordinary life.‘
It didn’t help laborer, he was still worried. ‘But how do I get it?‘
Seth looked into his eyes and said ‘You need to find that out, my friend.‘
Laborer asked ‘Ok, I try my best but how will that magical stone make me a millionaire? Can you tell me first before I take such a big step?‘
But Seth was determined ‘No my friend, Once you pay me I will not only give you that magical stone but also give you Mastermind class on how to use that magical stone. For now, you need to take that leap of faith. If you cannot do that, you don’t deserve to get out of poverty and live a life of abundance.‘
At last, the laborer said ‘Ok, I will arrange it.‘
….. after one month……
‘Welcome my friend to Mastermind class. These 150 people are here to learn the same magic and leave behind ordinary life today.‘
The laborer looked surprised ‘Will you break your magical stone into 150 pieces?‘
‘No my friend, all of you will get your own magical stone today.‘
‘See this is a magical stone. It is red colored. You need to go out and collect ordinary stones and touch those with this magical stone.‘
‘Will those turn into gold?‘
‘Then, what will be the magic?‘
‘It will turn all those ordinary stones into red stones.‘
‘Ok, but how will that make me rich?‘
‘That’s the secret, all those ordinary stones are magical stones now.‘
‘But what will I do with all those?‘
‘You fool, you will distribute those to others to make them rich.‘
‘But how will I become Rich?‘
‘By charging them one lakh each‘
‘How will they become rich?‘
‘By creating more magical stones and distributing those.‘
He stood up ‘but it sounds like a scam !’
‘You fool! You have an ordinary mind and can never become rich. You need to have an abundance mindset. Do you think these 150 people are fools?‘
‘No‘ he sat down, ‘anyway I have already sold my kidney, what else will I lose.‘
‘Yes, now listen carefully. You will need these instructions when you launch your own mastermind class.‘
Of course, all this didn’t happen. It’s just me trying my hands on story writing. Any similarity with any living person is surely intentional.
If you are active on Social Media, this scene may resemble what you see out there.
Today I want to focus on something very specific, Advice. Advice is something that has always been freely available. With social media, it has become even more prominent. Everyone is ready to offer you their free advice. I am not saying you should doubt everyone who gives you advice. No, most of the people have the right intentions when they offer help. In fact, I do it a lot.
But there are cases when you should be careful about motives, especially when you end up paying for that advice.
Social Media (or otherwise also) is full of people who charge you money (starting from nominal to exorbitant) for providing advice (sometimes called mentorship). You should always be cautious in those cases. I am not saying it’s wrong to charge money for advice or mentoring, that’s what the counseling profession is all about. What you should be worried about is their expertise and experience in doing what they are advising. Also, what are they charging you? As Naval Ravikant says – “Subtract incentives from advice“
You should be particularly cautious of ‘Get Rich Quick Schemes’. There are lots of Gurus out there dying to make you rich with their mentorship. But like this story, the plan is mostly for them to become rich by telling you how to become rich and you do the same down the line. There is no real value to you as a person, you are not creating any real wealth or getting any real-life skill. You are just joining another modern MLM system, which sounds more sophisticated.
All of us want to live a comfortable and luxurious life, if that comes easily with a Red Magical Stone (or with a few weeks/months of MasterMind coaching or mentoring), we are tempted to jump into it. As Naval says – “There are no get rich quick schemes. That’s just someone else getting rich off you.”
You may be tempted to pick a plan that promises to make you rich quickly. It’s difficult to resist yourself when you see someone flashing their expensive lifestyle (especially cars) and promising you a similar lifestyle only if you make them your mentor. They use different tactics and showing you big dreams is just one of those. 
Another way is to indirectly insult you. They will tell you that if don’t agree with their plans, you are bound by your ordinary thinking and you can never achieve big in life. If you are already fed-up with your situation and somewhere think this is your fault, you will get trapped in this trick. They will make you believe that only if you dared to take bold steps (of course of paying them a huge fee), you could have changed your life. But alas, you don’t have that much courage. Now if you already blame yourself, you don’t want to feel more guilt. You want to try it, at least you want to think I tried. Now, you are getting closer to their trap.
If you are someone who is very cautious about spending money, they have another trick for you. Yes, they will offer you everything for free. They will give you MasterClass, live webinar, or ebook for free, but there will be one more step at the end to get more material. What you got was just a glimpse, if you liked it, why don’t you pay for the full course and change your life. If you scroll up and down on the page and want to click – Reserve your spot, you are getting closer to trap. Remember, irrespective of how cautious you are about spending money, you came to this page because you also want to become rich. They know it, now they will try everything to convert you.
‘Those who promise you a free lunch will invariably eat you for breakfast.’ – Michael Bloomberg warned this while talking about populism just before 2016 US Presidential Elections in his Commencement Speech  delivered for the University of Michigan. He was warning that nothing comes free in life, there are no free lunches. If something seems too good to be free, look deeper. Is there something you are missing?
So, how to become rich quickly? How to get overnight success? How to get that luxurious life? My take is – No one will tell you, but success is boring. There are no shortcuts. Of course, there are experts who can teach you skills that will help you in your journey to riches, there are real motivators who can inspire you but they will never sell you get rich quick schemes and become rich themselves only by selling these.
Naval again puts it very nicely. 
“If anyone is giving advice on how to get rich and they’re also making money off of it, they should have made their money elsewhere. You don’t want to learn how to be fit from a fat person. You don’t want to learn how to be happy from a depressed person. So, you don’t want to learn how to be rich from a poor person. But you also don’t want to learn how to be rich from somebody who makes their money by telling people how to be rich. It’s suspect.”
Next time if you see such ads, videos, eBooks, LinkedIn posts promising to make you rich quickly, be cautious, assess from the above criteria. Don’t get trapped irrespective of how many WhatsApp screenshot (of success stories) they post. If you actually need, find real mentors. Mostly they don’t charge you anything, they just want to see you succeed.