Shonky online business owners are like drug addicts (a guest post)

Hi, Emelia here.

In my 7 years of posting weekly at TTBG not once have I invited a special guest post. Until now. I read this online and was so impressed with her compassion towards addiction and creative slamming of ‘Spiritual Capitalism’ I needed to get her message out further. I’m also really into women bigging each other up right now so big ups to Cate Cole!…here we go!

Please bare with me…I speak from experience – throughout my professional and personal life I have met, watched, spoken to, dealt with, mediated and lawyered both shonks and junkies in court, in mediations, in complaints from clients, in restorative processes and on the street…

And, I have had the benefit of living with members of the latter group (addicts) for chunks of time in my life, which gives me even greater insight into how these traits parallel each other.

Shammin’-scammers and drug addicts are not bad people.

But their behaviour is bad, B-A-D BAD. And the greater the rush, the badder it gets, that’s the nature of addiction.

The impact is B-A-D.

It’s really hard to accept the excuses when you are the recipient of their bullshit. And, it is bullshit.

But, as I say to departmental staff when they start waving their judgey fingers around when addicted parents use the excuse of why they didn’t see their kids on a contact visit “because I was busy…”

Drug addicts are BUSY. They may not be busy in the way YOU or I, or society finds palatable, but they are very busy, looking for the next hit, the next house to rob because their focus is on the next hit, blow, or they’re looking for their broker or fighting with their bed bugs.

And, they are busy making up phantasmical elaborate cluster-fucks of excuses, making new bordering-on-illegally-dishonest “business” relationships, inventing new “fake news” stories about themselves, dodging the cops, pretending they’re happy with their decisions while untangling from the sticky web of deceit, putting their kids and pets and others at risk…

So they cannot follow through with the other stuff because they are ADDICTED… And, with ADDICTION, comes shame – both internal and external and with that comes the chaos of family and community…

So, more excuses.

Now, we ALL have experience of chaos in our families/community at one time or another. Some years feel like a bad fucking movie right? Something goes wrong, someone dies, then just as you’re getting over that some gets injured, you lose your job, your car is stolen, your favourite plant dies, your pen leak in your handbag that you’re wearing rubbing up against that white shirt and then your labrador swallows a plastic toilet brush…

The wonderful mysteries of the universal tests of human strength hey?

Ok. Now so imagine having all that going on WITH drug addiction. Now, even if you have never dealt with a drug addled mind; you have probably been drunk or sleep deprived, or anxious or in a foreign country, or just out of your damn depth…

How do ADDICTS respond in stress?
~ they lie
~ they run

So now back to the shammin’ scammin’ shonksters… somehow these people have become “addicted” to something that makes them continue to operate dishonestly, even in the face of criticism,  civil law applications, customer complaints…and online judgement.

From experience that addiction could be one or a combination of the following
~ money
~ drama
~ thrill of “the close” (sales talk)
~ fear of getting caught.
~ the pain of knowing people see though the guise.
– The desire to be recognised and loved.

And added in, are the excuses they make, which compound, because in the normal course of the chaos of life (which we all have) they are as “busy” like drug addicts.

Online business scam artists are BUSY. They may not be busy in the way YOU or I, or society finds palatable, but they are busy, very busy, looking for the next sale, the next customer or webinar idea, because their focus is on the next drop of money, dough, loot, success, fame, sense of worthiness- or they’re looking for their next VA, accountant, graphic designer who can help them make it big.


They are busy making up phantasmical elaborate cluster-fucks of excuses, making new bordering-on-illegally-dishonest sales pages, inventing new “fake news” stories about themselves and their reach, creating alternative amazing and FLEB (Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand – please see the incredible work of Kelly Dielspersonas, pretending to be transparent and honest online while untangling from the sticky web of deceit, sharing photos of their children and or pets (to build sympathy and image building), building their brand by paying facebook to make them look more successful than they are, creating networks of “sympathisers”, building “high vibe only” communities…and so on…

What they aren’t doing?

~ They are not doing what they promise…and when you call them out, or ask for a refund

How do they respond?
~ they lie
~ they run

It is, in summary, a complete shit show.

So… how do we know whether someone is an addict or a shonkster?

Well, we don’t unless they tell us, or someone else tells us, or we see evidence –

So we have to do our own due diligence…

In the drug addict world, the only way we know they are “clean” is to “test” them, urine, hair, blood test etc…

So I suppose we have to do an online business owner “urine test” too.

Now we shouldn’t be worrying about UT-ing these people in either group unless they come in contact with us directly and make affect our lives (or businesses)…

But we should if we want to trust them, right?

Because the addict and the online shonkster will do the same thing when cornered…
~ they lie
~ they run

Why do we need to monitor so closely?
~ we wouldn’t leave our kids with a nanny who told us she had a meth habit.
~ we wouldn’t give a junkie our credit card and say “use wisely.”

So it is possible to do the same due diligence (UT) on a business owner before we hand them over shit tonnes of money?



~ because people rave about the person
~ because their sales pages are good
~ because we want to make money fast
~ because they promise the world
~ because it looks too be good to be true
~ because we’re human

…and because we are longing for validation and success as much as they are.

BUT ALMOST EVERYONE I TALK TO SAYS “I wish I knew the kinds of questions to ask before….”

~ Ask people who are not in your community.
~ Ask someone you know and trust what they think.
~ Do your research – google them and google them hard.
~ take your time.

Nothing amazing is worth rushing into, and handing over your hard earned money to a lying addict (and that is what we are doing when we rush into this online empire-building world) is ridonkulous.

And if you do get fucked over, learn from it. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Take responsibility and then move on.

If you got to the end of this, know, I love you.

You got this.

 Cate Cole

Cool essay huh.  Love, Emelia.