Why Do We Always Look For the Easy Way Out?

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John wrote a great post on Sprout Wealth about four get rich quick schemes you should avoid recently. While there are more than four, his post got my mind working. The reason is I am always confused about why people continue to fall for these traps.

I call them traps because that is what they are. The only people making the money are the ones hawking the system to you. John’s post really made me wonder if we aren’t all just looking for the easy way out. Hear me out on this one.

Hard Work is Hard


Seriously, hard work is really hard.  Isn’t that why we call it hard? 🙂 My parents taught me if I work hard, then I will be rewarded. So far, I have seen that to be true. Unfortunately, I know many other people who work hard, but can’t seem to get ahead or have much success.

What makes them different than those who find success through hard work? Is it the determination or mindset of the successful people which differentiates them? Is hard work really hard or is it just work? If you are successful, do you feel you really work hard or do you feel you just work?

I have spoken and met quite a few who work really hard everyday. I mean, these people are out there everyday hustling. They are in blue collar jobs using their hands to make ends meet. No matter how much they work, they just don’t get ahead. Their stories show me that working hard doesn’t always mean success. They show me why we see so many give up. If you’re in that situation and feel like giving up, here is a great quote to keep you motivated.

Opportunity follows struggle. It follows effort. It follows hard work. It doesn’t come before.

~ Shelby Steele

Making Money Quick Sounds Awesome


Anyone here not want to make money quickly? Seriously, any of you? I didn’t think so. Since I have been writing a long time about personal finance, I have started seeing a trend among those who work hard, but can’t get ahead.  These tend to be the same people who fall into the get rich quick trap. They have worked their fingers to the bone and when they come across their “dream,” they jump on it. Unfortunately, they also tend to be the ones who lose the most money.

When I was in college, I fell for a get rich quick scheme. I wanted more money to enjoy college, but also wanted to start a business. It was late at night and I was watching TV when I saw an advertisement for a common scheme. You buy a package to materials and start selling products to other people. These products were just trinkets which thousands of other people were selling. I bought the package or membership and was excited.

The excitement was short-lived. When I got the membership package, I was instantly disappointed. The reason is I finally decided to do the “market research” on the products and realized there was so much competition that it was almost impossible to get rid of the products. I lost the money I put in, but luckily I realized it quickly. From that day I have only put my time in businesses which I know are real. I am on my third business now, which deals with helping other bloggers, and it is going well. I work hard and the success is there.

Is the Easy Way Too Enticing?


In every corner of the internet, you can find these awesome ways to make money quick. Unfortunately, the only people they’re awesome for are the owners, who get their pockets padded when people sign up.

I can hand it to their ingenuity. They have created something which people want. People want the dream. They want to wake up every morning and see money in their bank account. They want to go to the mailbox every day and see checks.

I get it. I used to be one of those people. I still would love to make money in an easy fashion. Starting a blog is not a way to make money quick. I see new bloggers come and go every day. It is the nature of the game. They were shown the “dream” and found it was not really a dream.

I am sure you have met people who just jump from one scheme to another. They are just trying to make money in any way possible, but fall for the dumbest of schemes. You sit there and tell them, but they just keep at it. There are always people who don’t want to work as hard as others. They see the stories of some young people making millions with an idea. They want to come up with the next idea. What they forget it most of these people worked night and day to come up with these ideas. Rarely do you see an overnight success.

As long as we have people struggling to make ends meet, we will always find people looking for an easy way out. There is no easy way out. Sorry to be blunt. If you want to make a change, you have to get your hands dirty. You have to dig yourself out and claw your way to the surface. Hard work still can lead to success. Not everyone will find their success in life, but if we give up on the hard work, then we give up on the American dream.


What do you think? Are we always looking for the easy way out? What get rich quick schemes have you or someone you know fallen for? What’s the secret to success in your opinion?



Photo courtesy of: Celestine Chua

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Grayson is the owner of Debt Roundup and Empowered Shopper. He also co-owns Sprout Wealth and Eyes on the Dollar. After going to battle and winning against consumer debt, he decided it was time to learn how to use credit wisely and grow his wealth. He discusses all things personal finance and is not afraid of being controversial. He also is a freelance writer and blog manager.

Latest posts by Grayson Bell (see all)


  • I believe people are afraid of pain which is found in the hard way. But, what they miss is that meaningful learning is normally in pain. After all the pain you have dealt with, you feel not only relief but also stronger and renewed. This is the outlook that people should have.

  • I see it along the same lines of professional athletes. We only see them play in the game and are amazed at how good they are and how much money they make. But they sacrifice. They practice 8+ hours a day. I love to swim, but there is no way I could be in a pool for 8+ hours a day swimming and working on technique. Just because a job or skill someone has looks easy, always remember that they sacrificed something along the way to get that good.

  • I believe that the secret to success if hard work and *smart work.* If you’re slugging away at a job and spending everything you make, you’ll never get ahead. I tend to think that hard work pays off when you are strategic about it and focused on a goal.

  • Karen says:

    I think a lot of people sometimes don’t want to be put the time, effort and sacrifice (which equates to hard work) that is needed to become successful at something. The amount of each of those factors plays a huge role in terms of how successful you want to be. One hour of working on something requires less effort compared to 4-5 hours of working on something.

    I saw this quote on LinkedIn last month regarding success: “Don’t compare your Chapter 1 to someone else’s Chapter 20.” So true. We all have to start from the bottom at one point. Everyone’s starting time is different.

  • I do think it’s human nature, in a way, to look for the easy way out. But at some point I think we need to grow up and realize that success comes with hard work, and with smart decisions. I know many people who work their tails off and pee away all of their money and more. 🙂

  • I figure if it’s too good to be true, it probably is, but advertisements for get rich quick schemes prey on the desperate and weak minded. It’s sad. I have a friend who knew about my recent work dry spell and has tried to convince me that I should buy into these health products and sell them because they worked for her. There were so many reasons why I said, “no thanks.”

  • Michelle says:

    I definitely think a lot of people look for the easy way out. If you want to be successful, a lot of hard work is usually needed. There are very few people out there who are “successful” without any work.

  • Hard work alone unfortunately doesn’t guarantee success. I often find that people will work harder doing the same thing that isn’t yielding results just to find more frustration when it doesn’t work. I think you have to combine hard work with ingenuity so that you’re constantly creating new opportunities for success.

  • Hard work is a must for success. So many other factors go into it though like seizing opportunities, who you know and ingenuity (standing out) just to name a few. Plus you also have to work smarter. There are things each of us are doing everyday that are probably holding us back from achieving the level of success we want. Those things have to go for us to have a breakthrough.

  • Myles Money says:

    Of course people are looking for an easy way out! We are surrounded by gadgets and machines which make work faster, easier and more efficient, and the technology just keeps getting better and better. Does that make us lazy? Yes it probably does. But it also gives us a better quality of life… your great-grandparents probably had a much shorter life-expectancy than you do, and part of the reason was because they worked so damned hard.

    On the other hand, you could also argue that we’re getting TOO clever: I recently read a report which claimed 80% of our jobs could be done more efficiently and more accurately by computers and robots within the next 10 years.

    Maybe it’s time to put the effort now, to find a niche which will prevent you becoming expendable?

  • I think hard work may be the least popular choice of routes to financial success. Seems like buying lottery tickets may be the top choice! 🙂

  • When I was a financial advisor, I had clients ALL the time who asked me about sure things and quick money making stocks. This is even in the post Madoff world. When I had to explain to them the boring reality of consistent and long term investing, their eyes would glaze over. I have no idea why people expect easy ways out. I am glad that I developed a hard work mentality from an early age and I haven’t lost it.

  • It is natural to look for the easy…sometimes lazy way in life. My father-in-law, who was a police detective, always laughed at drug dealers who were trying to make quick money. But when they brought them in to take a reform class they would show them they were working 70-80 hours a week to try and cut corners. I have an uncle that was always looking for something big. He continues to work in to his late 60’s and my dad retired in his mid-50’s doing nothing exciting but having consistent work.

  • I think it’s smart to look for the easy way, for the most part. If you can accomplish the same goal by putting forward less effort, why wouldn’t you? I do think a lot of people want to put forward zero effort, which is a whole other story.

  • People often look for the quick fix or easy solution, and it’s not always the desperate (although they are easy prey) that believe they can find a way to get rich quick. We want to believe it is easy and there are lots of people who will tell us how easy it us for the low, low price of … 🙂

  • Jason B says:

    A lot of people look for the easy way out. The easy way out doesn’t exist. I fell for one get rich quick scheme a few years ago. After that mistake I vowed to always research opportunities before I jump head first.

  • I think many people start with always trying to find the easy way out but eventually figure out that isn’t the best way to go.

  • I think everyone falls in love with the idea of getting rich quickly. If it was that easy everyone would be rich and no one would be poor. I know a few people who are wealthy and none of them got rich quickly. It took years, decades to build what they have and a lot of blood, sweat and tears.

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