Afternoon Inquisition

AI: Get “rich” “quick”

Karen is taking the day off to sandblast the glitter off of sparkly vampires. And since I played hooky last week, I’m doing penance with an all-Elyse-AI-weekend-extravaganza!

Last night my husband and I were hanging out and being nerds after a bad-ass celebrity studded drunken drug fueled party at our penthouse/mansion on the Gold Coast in Chicago. And he told me he is going to write a book on how stay-at-home-moms can get rich quick.

So I bit.

“How do they get rich?” I asked. He told me the plan is to model it after my life. They should find something they never thought would be interesting that sucks them in. They then become really passionate about it. They start writing for a blog, make it successful, then after a few years they can organize a conference that is hugely successful as well. Then form a non-profit. Make that non-profit into a billion dollar charity, and pay themselves accordingly. So yes, my husband’s get rich quick scheme requires a good decade or so of hard work and love, give or take 5-10 years based on whether you can poach some fame, credibility, support and advice off of someone like Rebecca Watson. And in the end, you may or may not end up rich (or even running the charity you founded, but… eh… details. It doesn’t stop other book writers.) But it’s a really nice model for those of us who don’t mind being paid in warm fuzzies and the smug satisfaction you get from saving the world, and getting to tell people that’s what you do for a living.

What’s your get rich quick scheme? What would you like it to be?

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 3pm ET.


Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.

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  1. It seems most “get rich quick” programs that actually work require some level of dishonesty. Like pyramid schemes. Or selling stuff for more than it’s worth, like (say) alt med cures.

    Most other ways to make a lot of money in a short amount of time require you to be rich to begin with. Then you can make big bucks simply going around on lecture tours to tell people how to get rich.

  2. I keep meaning to build a time machine, go back and tell my younger self to survive on Mac’n’Cheese if necessary, but invest in a) International Business Machines; b) when that kid Billy Gates goes public, sell IBM and buy Microsoft; and c) vampire love stories are going to be very, very popular, especially if they involve a vamp-woman-werewolf triangle, so write.

  3. And stop by my university and tell my younger self not to marry that guy. That won’t make me rich, but it will save some aggravation.

  4. I am also thinking of making one the super wal-marts here the most haunted place in America. I think I might just make hundreds and hundreds of ghots orb pictures and double exposures, phantoms etc and post them on flickr, etc until the place is crawling with ghost hunters and ghost enthusiasts.

  5. I’ll invent a religion where I will be the grand priestess and have everyone do my bidding in the name of a god I haven’t come up with a great name for yet!

    I wish I could say I was the first to come up with this idea. XD

    ps- Not really!!! Just kidding!!!

  6. Personally, I’m a great one for tradition.

    So I’d have liked for my parents to have been rich, and for me to inherit it.

    That hasn’t happened, and my questions on why it hasn’t happened aren’t getting answered. (Or, more pertinently, going to change the fact that it hasn’t happened.)

    So I’m going to go with the other traditional methods of getting rich quick.

    Blackmail, extortion, and sticking a “made in $territory” sticker on crap and then selling it in $territory.

    Although the last one seems like actual work, so I think I’m going to focus more on the blackmail and extortion, if nobody minds.

  7. Marry rich. If it’s good and it lasts, I’m happy; if not, and I get divorced, I get alimony. It’s a win-win!

    Pretty much anything else I can think of I would find ethically reprehensible (selling snake oil, having a daughter and turning her into the next Miley Cyrus, etc.).

  8. My “get rich quick” plan is so easy and lucrative that, just about anyone can prosper from it . It is of course so easy and quick that it is imperative that you Don’t let this oppertunity Pass You By. Just send three payments of $49.95 and I’ll share my secret with you.( If this dosent work I’ll probably try that pimping thing @Gabrielbrawley: was talking about.)

  9. How about selling Canadian Maple Leaf pins in international airports. For all those tourists who think they’ll be treated better because “fer-ners don’t like America.”

  10. Will astronom for noms. That’s going on my CV. Of course, that may not make me financially rich, but I somehow came away from this weekend with Maria’s tandoori chicken… I call that a win.

    My boyfriend needs a good scheme since he’s always saying, “when I’m independently wealthy….” Still waiting on that!

  11. My best friend and I came up with our get rich quick scheme. We intend to come up with our own mills & boon style romance company that does not have the heavy Christian influence. We figure there is a huge untapped market of little old ladies who want their romances a little more lesbian.

    I guess it’s more of a get rich quick scheme for her, since she’s the skilled writer and businesswoman. I just provide moral support.

    Next get rich quick scheme! A dating site for geeks. I also have an idea for a lunch service to offices, you know like a ‘homemade’ bagged lunch delivered daily. Wait… why am I telling all you people my great ideas? aha! The get rich quick scheme is to get people to post their get rich quick schemes so you can steal them! Very crafty.

  12. I’ll go into deep debt buying a guesthouse by a local lake. Then I’ll start a story that a monster lives in the lake, a few “eyewitness” accounts, beaucoup tourists, pay off my debts, retire rich.

    Ahh, the good life.

  13. Anti-woo cult mind-control Surlies… activate!

    beep beeep…send Amy money beeep beep

    ••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••

    Oh, and if that plan backfires I figure I can get Elyse to put me on the payroll.

  14. If only I could think of a way to convince people I was offering a valuable service, then get all their money, then keep 10% of that even if the thing I was selling drops like a thousand bowel-movements on the head of the world economy…

    Anybody want to buy a mortgage backed security?

  15. I’ve had a fair few get rich quick scheme ideas in my life, but I can’t for the life of me remember any of them right now. I did have a “get a little bit of money quick” scheme idea that I still think was genius: around Christmas, take a bucket, a Santa hat, and a bell and stand in front of some big box retail store somewhere. Doesn’t matter which one. Then just ring the bell and watch people fill your bucket with spare change. It doubles as a social experiment to see how ready people are to put money in a bell-ringer’s bucket even without explicit identification of the bell-ringer or who he represents.

    I also spent a year and change trying to run massive versions of The Assassin Game (where you try to sneak up on people and “kill” them) at nerd conventions, which I still claim would have worked if the conventions hadn’t screwed us, but it was a money pit and so we abandoned it. If it had taken off, though, even our conservative projections were pretty sweet…

  16. @Bookitty: I believe it’s spelled “Merica”.

    While you suckers were dreaming of a scheme, I invested in my future fortune. This guy last week told me if I gave him all my savings then start recruiting people to our investment group, I’ll make my money back tenfold in no time. I’m on my way to millions. Anyone who wants in, contact me- now is the time to get in while this opportunity is still available.

  17. Therapeutic Phrenology. It’s my Alt-Med scam to hit people on the head with hammers for profit (mine of course). If your personality can be read by the bumps on your head, then you should be able to change your personality by getting new lumps or reducing old ones. Either way, it involves me in a lab coat hitting gullible people on the head with hammers.

    I’ve already gotten the appropriate domain names, and am working on charging for online diplomas.

    TheraPhrenâ„¢ – Impacting Your Life®

  18. I would place Willy Wonka style golden tickets inside of random Ghiradelli chocolate bars. The ticket would be for a weekend getaway on a remote Pacific island.

    Once everyone arrives at the island, I would poison the drink of each “winner”.

    After everyone dies, I would steal their wallets/purses.

  19. Not arrange concerts.

    I realized this was a great way to make money about ten years ago, when three friends and I were going to go to a PJ Harvey concert. I bought the tickets and there was a 15 DKK handling fee (about 2US$ at the time) per ticket. When the concert was later cancelled as PJ Harvey had apparently got laryngitis, I was refunded only the price of the tickets but not the fee.
    And that was when it struck me: 60 DKK is, I feel, a bit steep for no concert, and I’d be happy to let people go to no concert for half of that amount.
    All I’d need to do was advertise some popular names, sell the tickets for, say, 150 DKK plus a 7.50 DKK handling fee each, then cancel the show and refund everyone their money minus the handling fee. Let’s say that I haven’t engaged Metallica to play – I could easily sell some 5,000 tickets. 38,500 DKK I’ve made right there.
    The brilliant bit is that I wouldn’t even have to negotiate with any artists to not come and play as they’d probably be likely to not do so anyway.
    There, that’s my scheme.

  20. I’d sell my worn underwear online, which apparently is legal and fairly lucrative, but I really hate shopping for clothes and I don’t think buying in bulk would make the process any easier.

  21. Every new year in Korea, pretend to be a kid, bow down, and greet happy new years to a bunch of random elders. They will surely pay me. That is my get rich quick scheme. :)

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