What YouTube hustle gurus are really selling you

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Sebastian Ghiorghiu hates excuses. He’s only 24, yet runs a “seven-figure marketing agency.” He owns multiple “dream cars” and is currently building his “luxury dream house” in Scottsdale, Arizona. Ghiorghiu is productive, he says, for 98 percent of every day. He went from “skinny fat” to “jacked.” He believes in God. He was born to a poor family who immigrated from Romania and got rich simply because he decided to. If he could do it, why can’t you?

“If you’re a guy in your 20s and you don’t have a Lamborghini, you should actually sit down and have, like, a serious discussion with yourself as to why you don’t have a Lambo,” he said on a podcast in January. “It is so incredibly easy, and there’s so much money out there.”

He’s right, at least on the last bit. There really is so much money out there, and Ghiorghiu is just one of countless influencers online who are devoted to teaching other men how to get a piece of it. These self-anointed gurus often share interests — sports cars, wristwatches, combat sports, strict diets, rocket ship emoji, lengthy Twitter threads, Sun Belt states with relatively low tax burdens — but tend to make their millions in a few different ways. For Ghiorghiu, it was a combination of most, if not all, of the most common revenue streams for this class of entrepreneur: flipping houses and cars, selling online courses, crypto gambling, digital marketing, YouTube ads, and, crucially, drop shipping. (I reached out to Ghiorghiu for an interview but never heard back.)

Drop shipping, or the practice of purchasing cheap goods, usually from China, and selling them on a legitimate-seeming website for profit, is an industry valued at $225 billion, according to one report, and is expected to grow to $1.2 trillion by 2030. Framed as an easy way to earn “passive income” by YouTube influencers, the videos are often used as funnels for viewers to sign up for an influencer’s multi-thousand dollar online course that may or may not actually teach you anything; a casual scroll through drop shipping forums will reveal plenty of people who spent everything they had on Facebook and Google ads to market their products, only to rack up thousands in debt (or literal children asking about how to start their drop shipping business).

But according to Ghiorghiu and the other rich-guy lifestyle influencers like him — Alex Hormozi, Iman Gadzhi, Jordan Welch, Andrei Jikh, Max Maher, Brett Malinowski, Mike Vestil, Tan Choudhury, there are so many more — making passive income is as easy as watching a YouTube video. Many of them title their posts with some variation of “44 PASSIVE INCOME BUSINESS IDEAS TO START WITH JUST $1K” or “Watch these 55 minutes if you want to be a millionaire in 2022.” Watch hustle bro content for long enough and you’ll get the sense that you’re an idiot for never having flipped a rental property before or not starting your own AI marketing company (these guys are very into AI right now, for obvious reasons. A sampling of some recent YouTube headings: “7 Untapped AI Businesses to Start Right Now,” “I Found the EASIEST Way to Make $1000 with AI,” “Use AI to get ahead while others panic (PREPARE NOW)”). That’s sort of their whole thing, though: Any time or money you’re not using to make even more money is time wasted.

Content retrieved from: https://www.vox.com/culture/23640192/sebastian-ghiorghiu-youtube-hustle-gurus-passive-income-dropshipping.

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