Learned Helplessness: When Crowdfunding And Giving Unto Others Can Be A Really Bad Idea.


The other day I was reading a story about a small business that had achieved some moderate success.

The company started out with just a few employees and over the years had grown the business to having several hundred employees.

I generally love reading these types of articles, as they tend to embody the spirit of free enterprise, hard work and determination. All noble traits indeed.

But what stood out to me was something near the bottom of the article.

For there, in the last few sentences was a note that the business had a Patreon account whereby they encouraged people to make a financial contribution to their business.

What?!? I thought.

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To be clear, this is a for-profit business.

I won’t mention what they do, but suffice it to say they are not in an altruistic line of business. Hardly.

They’re not building orphanages.

They’re not running pet shelters.

They’re not managing soup kitchens.

Nothing like that.

They’re a for-profit business providing a basic, non-critical service…asking for hand-outs.

Reading that, it reminded me of another article I read many years ago.

This article was about a family requesting financial help due to significant damage their house sustained in a natural disaster. The article mentioned the reason the family needed financial help was because they didn’t have insurance on their home and therefore they didn’t have the funds to make repairs.

As I read the article, I came to a picture of the family taken in the backyard of their nice home…and my jaw dropped.

There was this nice looking, middle-class family all smiling for group photo. They all were wearing the same colored shirts, as is popular nowadays with family pictures.

But that isn’t what drew my attention. It was what was in the picture’s background that astonished me.

What was in the background?

Was it a vegetable garden where the family sustained itself with hard work and self-reliance?

Nope.

Was it a clothesline where they hung their clothes out to dry to help keep expenses low and save on electricity?

Nah.

What was it?

A lush in-ground swimming pool.

Complete with chaise lounges, nicely potted plants and a terraced privacy fence.

This family wasn’t in dire need. They had the means to have insurance. They just elected not to carry it and were now looking for someone to foot the bill for their foolishness.

Friends, I have nothing against helping others in need. I’m a proponent of giving back. I also support the idea of assisting those on the lower income scale who’ve been impacted by natural disasters and the like. Crowdfunding in these examples does great good and having compassion for others in need is a cornerstone of a healthy democracy.

With that said, I do believe the idea of crowdfunding can be taken too far, especially when it’s for healthy, able individuals who just make dumb choices. In my opinion, it’s absolutely gone too far when it’s applied to an already existing, for-profit business that can sustain itself with its own operations.

So, what’s the harm in crowdfunding applied to scenarios like these?

This type of thinking breeds irresponsibility. Which, if you’ve read any of my other articles, you know is the hallmark of those who tend not to accomplish much in life. Or who tend not to have prolonged success.

No matter what you want your life to look like, there are a few key elements that have to be present in order to make that life a reality.

One of those key elements is self-responsibility….the attitude of “if it’s got to be, it’s got to be me”.

You see, if you don’t own your problems, you can’t take ownership of fixing them either. You can’t simultaneously be the victim and the victor in your life.

Look, I know it’s much easier to just find someone else to fix life’s problems. The problem with that is that you’re planting the seeds for even more problems. A person who does this, only learns how to eat the fish that someone else catches, not how to catch their own fish.

You have the power to create your own future and your own success. It’s right there at the tips of your fingers. Don’t betray yourself by letting someone else carry your load. Make success your duty, something for you to work on and achieve, not for someone to hand you.

Flex those responsibility muscles each and every day. When you do, you’ll make them much stronger. For those with a strong sense of self-responsibility, can achieve anything they set out to do. Including becoming financially free.

Be free. Nothing else is worth it.

Financial Freedom Monty Campbell

P.S. Why aren’t you wealthy yet? It’s because of something you don’t know. Otherwise you’d already be rich. Isn’t it time to learn what you don’t know? Consider signing-up for my newsletter below, to help you build wealth faster.

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  • Arrgo

    I agree 100% Monty. So many “hardship” stories out there but when you take a closer look you can easily see what the true problems are. People without medical insurance that have made good money but now have huge medical bills and need “help”. People who complain about their bills but wont even do 2 hours a week of overtime or cut back on their expensive life style. I’ve seen plenty of similar situations on Go Fund Me to pay for someones funeral. I know its a tragedy and sometimes its a nice gesture, but you’ll see a picture or read about all the relatives in the family and they cant come up with a few thousand amongst all of them to pay for the funeral etc. The person isnt dead for more than a few hours and the Go Fund Me is already up there. Unbelievable. To me, the real percentage of people out there who deserve help is much lower than it currently is.