Inspiring or dupe?

I don’t think I’ll put a photo of some laughing prick on this one, because the main subject here is a 12 year old girl. This post isn’t directed at her, but at a system that attempts to dupe readers.

As I said, this story in the news relates to a 12 year old girl who has started a business in selling expensive boards to middle class wannabes. The tone of the article is one of hope, and it tugs at your heartstrings as you see a young go-getter rising to the top and raking in the big bucks.

As the reader, you’re meant to marvel at her acumen. You’re meant to both envy and respect her. Perhaps even feel inspired – hey if she can do it, why can’t I? However, to scratch at the surface would reveal the dupe.

This young girl (who I won’t name here, but it’s in the story) started out her entrepreneurial life selling lemonade and scones out the front of her home, along with selling candles at local markets. Now she sells toys on a website that seems to have all the fruit you require for commerce – shopping trolleys, memberships etc.

This kind of website isn’t the cheapest to set up, especially for a 12 year old girl. Perhaps she had some help, either financially, or professionally?

A cursory Google search reveals that a basic commerce site can begin at $2000 – which is a lot of lemonade, scones and candles.

To dig even deeper, you might even find that the girl in question might be attending a school that costs tens of thousands a year – nearly $2000 a month. That’s not exactly the kind of scratch that any person can just throw around these days, especially with mortgages being that they are and the average Australian rent being what it is.

Suddenly this notion that any person can be an entrepreneur starts to look a little out of reach, and perhaps being something that only the already wealthy can achieve. Heck, if you have money, it’s easier to make money.

Why did run this story anyway? Is it a paid advertisement? Heck, just look at the story and how the girl’s website is plastered everywhere.

As this story was under the “Parenting” section, I cannot help but feel this is the kind of story that makes lower socio-economic parents feel defeated and worthless. Why can’t they provide for their kids like this? Why can’t they discover the next big thing and rake in $3000 a day.

Look away. Don’t be duped by this story that would have you believe that “anyone can do this”. What we have here is a success story of already-wealthy people who are using their position and resources to become wealthier. Combine that with a news monster that devours clicks and traffic to survive, and you see that this girl is just more grist for the News Corp mill to grind up and spit out.

Good on the girl for taking a chance. Shame on for cynically using her for clicks.


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