The Laptop Lifestyle Lie: Week 150

Project AWOL- a pyramid scheme with an online reality show. The video production is slick as Hollywood and just as deceptive. The premise of the show revolves around eight average people who pay their own way to Thailand to spend a week training for business and lifestyle success.

On the surface the three tan hosts in board shorts and tank tops offer sound advice: do charitable work, be a supportive team member, dare to follow your dreams, live for today, blah, blah, blah. However, if you turn your blinders off you will notice absurd things like the ‘AWOL panel’ helping their guests achieve laser focus with the vaguest terminology possible.

When in the spotlight, one guest declares he wants to build thousands of wells in Africa because clearly that is the only thing standing in the way of the entire continent’s prosperity. While the gesture is heartfelt and harebrained, what it really tells me is that Project AWOL is very attractive to very naïve people.

If there is anything that can actually be gleaned from the show it would be, “there’s a time when you really have to go deep.” Yes, let’s get into the nitty gritty.

Project AWOL is the slick front to get you hyped about finding Another Way Of Life.  This in turn directs you towards the Empower Network, which is how you achieve success with the help of a supportive team of viral bloggers for only $25 a month including a $25 sign up fee. The complete 8-step ‘Money Getting’ Formula is free.

Now you can use this platform to ‘grow your own business’ or you can become an affiliate and earn commissions. Here’s an example of how commissions work according to the current compensation plan:

“In this hypothetical example, it is assumed that you are fully activated as an affiliate for the “blogging system” $25 monthly membership by following the three steps outlined earlier. If you referred Lisa, and she decided to purchase the blogging system, and fell on your first position, you would receive a direct, monthly recurring payment of $25.

 You would then pass up the product purchase from sales 2, 4, 6, and every 5th to your powerline sponsor for the blogging system. If you then sold a blogging system to Frank – Frank would stay connected to you for future products, and the sale of the blog would pass to your sponsor. You would then collect a 100% commission on sale 3, 5, and 7-10, etc.

 Next, Lisa activates her affiliate account by agreeing to the affiliate terms and activating a payment method. (Remember, since she is already a customer herself, she does not need to have a qualifying sale). When Lisa starts marketing successfully and generating product sales, you would receive a direct payment for monthly subscriptions in the above example for her 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 11th sale.

 If Lisa continued marketing the system, you would also receive a 100% direct commission payment for her sales 16, 21, 26, 31, etc to infinity for her personal referrals. Lisa would keep 100% of sales 1,3,5, 7-10, 12-16, etc – just like you do on your own personal sales.”

Wow, that easy?! Turns out, there’s only one caveat with the payment system:

“Known Issue In The Direct Pay/Powerline System (itʼs ok, really…)

 Because we are operating in a ʻdirect payʼ system and the powerlines are calculated in real time, it is possible for the initial purchase to be credited improperly – there is no way to fix it, and existing sales cannot be re-credited, because commissions are already paid directly to the referring affiliate the moment the sale is made. (So please, donʼt ask, the answer is no…)”

Hmm. Turns out it’s a lot harder than expected to wake up in the morning with another $1,000 in your bank account. I’m thinking only the people at the top make money and they have a vested interest in telling you otherwise. Remember, you are selling their $500 Costa Rica Mastermind Intensive (that you also bought yourself).

I do have good news for you though. It is possible to follow your dreams, travel for years at a time, and pay off debt. The secret is that you just have to be flexible and work hard. Sorry, that’s not actually much of a secret.

Teaching English: Asia

When I worked in South Korea there were times that I was completely exhausted and overworked- but it was always worth it because I enjoyed being there. Everything felt new and exciting and the country is small enough that it was really easy to be a weekend warrior.

Many Asian countries hire native English speakers (with bachelor’s degrees) from all over the world. While you won’t make a ton of money, the cost of living in places like Korea is relatively low so if you’re thrifty you could easily save thousands of dollars.

Some countries in Europe (like Spain and France) also have special scholarship-based teaching programs with the US. These will not pay well, but you have the opportunity to live abroad! Olé!

Working Holiday Visas: New Zealand & Australia

This visa is available for people 30 and under and is open to US citizens as well as other nationals. While the work conditions are best suited for short-term agricultural work, I have held temp office positions in both countries. If you are a US citizen you don’t need a college degree, but it will get you higher paid work if you go the office route.

Working Holiday Visas are a great way to make visiting these expensive countries much more affordable and if you don’t mind a few roommates, you can save money in the process. Obviously it’s not the lifestyle that Project AWOL is advocating, but it’s a lot more feasible than owning a ten bedroom house in Thailand.

Unfortunately, get-rich-quick schemes don’t work. However, if you don’t mind holding 9-5 office job, you can soak up the Sydney sunshine any weekend you want and still pay off your $20,000 student loan.

I just did and I celebrated with two bottles of cheap champers. That’s Aussie for champagne.

One thought on “The Laptop Lifestyle Lie: Week 150

  1. Amen, sister. Do-able, but dependent on others, and not romantically glamorous… but the sunsets through the bottom of those champers glasses sure are. Money still makes the world go round.


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