Fake entrepreneurs: Beware of the 'do this for exposure' gang

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Exposure and platform don't get you far

There are some entrepreneurs who have made it a habit of not paying people for their services.

People sell dreams all the time and in Nigeria, you have to be wary of these silver tongued hustlers. I call them "we will give you exposure" gang.

If you have been in the labour market at any time of your career you must have met these people. Creative individuals can attest to this.

These dream sellers are more or less con men. They are smartly dressed, orators and charmers that will convince you to work for them for free or for peanuts. Yeah, I am sure you know these people now.

 

These fake entrepreneurs use words like 'dream' and 'vision' a lot to trick you to work like a slave for next to nothing or nothing at all. They act as if they are doing you a favour and improving your professional life.

 

After I left my job at Hip Hop World Magazine in 2010, someone reached out to me and told me he wanted me to write for his small magazine. I was down to work with him because I needed the money badly and not because I loved writing for magazines. The magazine business is dead at least the conventional magazine business.

Anyway, I asked how much he would pay and he astonishingly said that he doesn't have money now because it is still a small magazine blah blah blah but he is willing to give me bylines. I was insulted. A byline is when a magazine or newspaper gives the name of the person who wrote the article. Simply put the guy basically said my name would be under the articles I wrote.

This might sound shocking to you but a lot of fake entrepreneurs are like this. They huff and puff about their big dreams but when it is time to sign the cheque, they pull back. Instead of putting their money where their mouth is, they tell you jargons about 'exposure' and 'platform'. These things won't pay the bills.

 

There are many people who have run these scam for decades. They don't pay people or they pay them peanuts under the guise of they are helping you grow in the business. At the end of the day, it is simply taking advantage of innocent and passionate people.

If you are gifted in what you do, you should not work for free. Talent takes time to harness and develop. These fake entrepreneurs with shoddy business structures shouldn't be tapping into all that for free or peanuts. It is time for these business owners to know that they have to pay up for quality.

Don't get me wrong. Under an internship structure, don't expect to be paid because you are being trained and developed. Some young people want to start earning the bucks on their first day. This is a fool's wish. You need to undergo process especially if you studied in Nigeria where the universities are nothing to write home about. As an intern you are meant to learn the ropes so don't expect to earn like Messi when you are an amateur.

 

However, when you are already seasoned and good at what you do, that exposure and platform talk should not move you.

There are too many underpaying, no paying, wannabe entrepreneurs (hustlers) out there. Once you hear they have a dream and they want to give you a platform, ghost them.



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