I got taken. I was had. Screwed six ways till Sunday.
I’ve exhausted legal options, appealed to a conscience this ‘person’ doesn’t have and now completely accepted defeat. But I’m going down swinging – hiding under a rock is NOT my style. Instead I’m sharing what I learned – with the strong intention that I don’t want this to happen to you, ever.
Oh, and do all of the things I’ve listed below, because I did ‘some‘ but that wasn’t enough. Slime is slippery and you have to work hard not to get covered in it.
11 Ways to protect yourself from scum
1. Google the company and the person. Dig deep and follow up if you find something bad – even if it’s just one thing.
2. Did you get that? I mean really DIG. Even the biggest slimeball can have proper looking LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. accounts filled with tons of upstanding followers – and these listings will show up on Google first. It’s frighteningly easy for scumbags to appear to be good people.
3. Get references and call them. Find out who these reference people are and make sure they have no vested interest in giving a good referral.
4. Ask for proof of success. Demand real numbers. If they won’t show them, they do not have them.
5. Don’t buy the privacy/non-disclosure argument – it’s likely a big old smokescreen. If they can’t show your their work or tell you what they’ve done and claim it’s because of privacy, I’ll bet you a lot of money that they’re lying.
6. Read the fine print.
7. Get everything in writing. All of it.
8. Document everything – all conversations, promises, agreements. Email is a great tool for this. Beware that phone conversations, which aren’t typically recorded, mean nothing legally.
9. Ask your trusted network for their insights, opinions, experiences. Twitter is really, really, really really good for this.
10. Listen to your gut. There are actually thinking cells in your gut and they are very smart. Pay attention to yellow flags, red flags and that intangible ‘feeling’ that something isn’t quite right. This is the time to trust yourself.
11. If it looks to good to be true…You know I like to stay positive, but…there is something to that old saying. I’m not saying it can’t be true, I’m saying, ‘If it looks to0 good to be true, do your homework and make sure it is that true..and that good.’
Good luck…and my lawyer said that I can’t write mean truthful anything about the scumbag that got me, but I can tell my friends all about him in casual conversation. So, feel free to call me: 413-281-6013 anytime…I’m always up for a friendly chat.
Oh, and DS: Karma’s a bitch, baby.
Image courtesy of Toasty Ken