Sunday, June 27, 2010

How to not get scammed, hurt or disappointed

Some of you may remember my post last week about potentially getting a grant to fund a pilates business from my home?

Well, the call and offer for a grant was a scam. Thankfully, we realized it before we gave any information away. Apparently, they have a hunch about who has applied for small business grants and they tell you that you've won it and they need your bank routing numbers... etc. to get you the funding.

I learned a few things. If you have applied for a grant, you will not get a call informing you of your grant award. There is a huge procedure for a grant application, and you are assigned a "counselor" to work with you through the process.

I should know these things, since my mother has done a lot of grant writing for the various organizations she's been involved with. But I learned some things. Not just the obvious like, if someone is calling you, offering you money, it is not real. O.K. we all need to learn that, and we know it. But why do we want to believe something is true?

Dreamers.. high in the sky I love pie.. kind-of-dreamers. That's what we are. On a spiritual level, it is called "hope". On a practical level, we call it a "dream". If you are a big picture kind-of-gal (like me) you thrive on tomorrow's successes.

My mother used to call them "the movers and the shakers" "the go-getters".

My grandfather was the ultimate in go-getting, moving and shaking. He raised millions of dollars for his "causes" whatever they were. He, also, gave to his causes and the people who supported them. Some would call him a philanthropist. Others would call him a tireless fundraiser. Some loved him, and probably some didn't. He never told us about the ones who didn't.

He seemed to have this indomitable spirit. He never let the bad guys get him down. He kept plowing along. I think in Christian language, we would call it: perseverance.

Did he ever get scammed early on in his pursuits? No doubt--many times. Did he ever get hurt or disappointed by people? Probably a lot. At the end of his life was he bitter about all of this? No way. I still remember his planning (from his nursing home bed where he was suffered partial paralysis after a stroke) his scheme to get his doctorate from Michigan Tech University. He had it all worked out in his mind how he would hire a student to wheel his wheel chair to his various classes, etc.

That plan never worked out, but it kept his mind happy and planning while he was in his immobile state.

So, you thought I was going to give you a list of do's and dont's of business savvy ideas about how to avoid scams and disappointments, instead I'm giving you (and myself) the permission to be like Grandpa Burt and continue to be naively optimistic in all that you do, hoping for the best--pressing on with our causes, ideas, goals, and hair-brained schemes until GOD says NO. And we aren't going to let some shallow person out in New York who claims to have the authority to hand out grants, scare us away from our dreams. That's just one way that this is not going to be done.

And, like anything, if God is in it, it will get done.

But the answer is not to coil into a ball, all scared of what might be out there. There's plenty of lions in the street, but God doesn't allow the possibility of them being there as an ample excuse to just sit here like blobs, hoping someone else will change the world.

Whatever changing the world means to you--if God is in it--you will be doing it.

So, tell me, how ARE you going to change the world, today?


Mrs. Parunak said...

Great attitude! Way to bounce back, and keep perspective.

Kathryn said...

My thought when i read your title
How to not get scammed, hurt or disappointed was, "Lock yourself in the house & never go out!"

It is no way to live. Believe me, i did it for a long time. That is like the servant who buried his one Talent in the ground.

Living takes risks. Some of us are risk-adverse, but living truly risk-free means not really living at all.

I like your view on the whole thing. I tend to call myself "cautiously optimistic." I like your way of looking at things. But i'm so glad they didn't get your info to rip you off.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

You can be optimistic and yet not naive. You know... wise.

good job.


Anonymous said...

Great story about Grandpa Burt. He was the ultimate optimist and visionary. He DID make things happen. He also had to wait for folks to reinvent the wheel in some situations. Because you have the Lord, and a discerning husband, scammers beware! Great resilliency Bean! Love you- Mom

Braley Mama said...

So true! We need to trust and love and live and not dig our head in the sand!!!! Keep moving and don't get sad and bitter! You are such an encourager mama!!!! :O)

Persuaded said...

Man-o-man, do I love this post! It is a'speakin' to me today!

I am right on the verge of starting up my own home business... making headcoverings and selling them on Etsy. In fact my shop will likely be opening next week. I am the complete antithesis of a business woman, but still I am plodding on ahead, because I feel it is the path that the Lord is laying out for me.

You wrote: "And, like anything, if God is in it, it will get done."
That is precisely what I am telling myself as I move forward... if God is in it, He will make it happen. If I surrender the whole of this, it will turn out precisely as He wishes it to. Which might not be exactly what I have in mind, but it will be a success no matter what, if He has His way. Yanno what I mean?

sara said...

Thank you for using a difficult experience to edify us. This was a lovely post.

Diane, I've seen some of your sewing - I think that sounds like a great idea!

momstheword said...

It is always so sad when people get scammed, especially when it's an elderly person who lost all their savings. Glad you were on the ball and being careful.

Thanks for linking up today!

Organizing Mommy said...

I should have put italics on naively.. it is not accurate. I have been thinking a lot about naively optimistic v.s cautiously optimistic. I do think I am probably more cautious than naive,but sometimes I feel naive!! Like.. I could have been scammed!! And I almost got ripped off. boy. that was close! etc. And I realize the only thing that brings me back to reality is knowing how God protects me.

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