Several years ago a friend called me, saying "Jim, someone turned me onto this opportunity and I thought enough of our friendship to share it with you". I was flattered, so I said "tell me more". My friend went on to say that "this is an opportunity that just may set you free financially". By now I am drooling at the thought of basking in the glory of financial freedom but I was also a bit suspicious.
I was given some basic information and my friend told me to research it and he would call me back in a couple of days. He went on to say, "I will be interested to hear what you think". He and everyone else knows that I have opinions and they are usually on one side of the fence and seldom in the middle. Most also know, that I never beat around the bush.
Several days later, my phone rang and it was of course my friend. He said, "so what did ya find" was followed by "what do you think", both questions rolled out of his mouth with confidence and glee. In my mind I quickly reviewed what I had discovered in my research including the advice from friends and relatives. I decided to sit on the fence and told my friend "at this time I am not interested". My friend pressed me by asking "why". Fatal Error flashed in front of my eyes, "damn it, he wants a reason". I was hoping he would just accept my not interested reply and say ok see you later. I started to stammer and said, "we have a lot going on around the house and we are not interested". He asked "why" again, and then it occurred to me that my friend was a salesman and this was a cold call. This realization made it easier for me and so I let it all out and by the time I had finished my friend the salesman was not happy with my blunt honesty. The conversation ended with a no sale for salesman and probably the end of a friendship.
Several weeks went by and I had casual conversations about similar cold calls with friends. I shared with my friends that I had gotten involved in a similar venture many years ago and was left with no financial freedom, but those above me gained theirs without concern for me. I had also shared this with my ex-friend the salesman. I had a chance meeting with the salesman a couple of days later. He was aggressive, warning me to "stop bad mouthing his efforts". I said "are you kidding me, are you telling me that I can't answer someones question when they ask my opinion"? Without waiting for his reply, I added "it's not like I am blogging about it". Then the salesman became very angry and said "Jim if you blog about it, we have lawyers that take care of people like you that spread rumors or lies about our company". "Bullshit" came to my mind and I decided not to tempt fate, so I walked away. Not blogging about it till now.
I am not tempting fate, nor am I afraid of the lawyers. The salesman and his venture for financial freedom remain anonymous. No mention of the "P" word or any detail of my opinions. Mostly, this was a story about how friendships can be ruined because of the hope for financial gain. I will accept half the responsibility for that, the salesman is going to have to take ownership for his share.
This is not a story looking for sympathy or even ridicule. I am simply airing my thoughts now, so that I can cover future posts objectively.