I Was Ripped off by Someone I Thought Was a Friend. Here’s What I Learned.

This content is recommended for 30~60 minute sessions. Note that tutors may not be familiar with the content. Make sure you consult with your tutor before using this material. 


After a quick greeting, read the following article out loud. Your tutor will go over pronunciation if necessary.

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[P1] When I first met Chris, I felt a real kinship. He was accomplished, had a strong following and had the successes that I had been struggling to achieve. Not only did he understand marketing, manage a team of virtual assistants and run ads at scale, but he was also earning hundreds of thousands of dollars every month.

[P2] After close to a year of being friends and exchanging life-changing insights on business, Chris told me about a business idea he’d recently used. He relayed to me the big success he had with doing a unique competition with another company, and he encouraged me to jump into it, too. Since I’d known Chris for a decent amount of time, I trusted him.

[P3] Excited and ready to make a killing in business, I paid over $12,000 to hire a company Chris swore was gold. Little did I know, Chris was taking half of the money I was handing over, and this company had a history of underperforming.

[P4] Once Chris was paid, he up and vanished. Poof — he was gone. My messages were ignored. My friend, the person I’d been regularly talking with, somehow became too busy to respond.

[P5] Chris taught me some hard lessons, and now I’d like to pass on this cautionary advice to you, so you can avoid being ripped off by friends, associates or anyone else in your sphere.

Don’t blindly trust friends.
[P6] The most significant mistake I made? I trusted the word of someone else without doing my research. Chris was a smooth-talking guy who had the patience of a snake waiting in the bushes. Had I done my research before trusting someone I thought was a friend, I wouldn’t have been duped out of my money.

[P7] As a former student of the monkhood, it’s hard for me to admit not everyone is a good person. This practice of befriending someone and later exploiting them is more common than any entrepreneur would like to admit. As Robert Greene states in his book The 48 Laws of Power, we should never put too much trust in so-called friends. Sadly, just because you consider someone a friend, it doesn’t mean he or she will treat you kindly in business.

[P8] Foe or friend, before you hire anyone — do your research to ensure you’re making the best choice.

Successful people aren’t always the best advisors.
[P9] Our heroes aren’t always the people we believe them to be. When taking advice, don’t just consider how successful the person is. Take a look at how many people he or she has led to the promised land and how many people have been left disappointed.

[P10] If I had researched Chris, I would have seen that I am not the first disgruntled friend in his rearview mirror. Unfortunately, I only looked at the appearance of things and not the hard facts that were spread throughout the internet. If you want to hire people, take a moment to review their past to assure they’re someone you’ll want to work with.

Never be a victim — take responsibility.
[P11] When I think about Chris, I am not mad at him. In fact, I’m thankful he taught me early about some of the most fundamental elements of business, such as how friendship and business are not always the same. I fully acknowledge I allowed the circumstances to happen and I am also powerful enough to create new outcomes. He was there to teach me, and with that, I am more aptly able to identify the “Chrises” of the world.

[P12] Take responsibility for what you create, and you’ll never really be ripped off. Instead, you’ll be given life lessons that make you more successful in business.

Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/312945


Read the word/expression and definition out loud. Your tutor will go over anything you do not understand. Practice creating a sentence or two to make sure you know how to use the word/expression properly.

Vocabulary/ Expressions

Expression Definition
kinship (n) a feeling of being close or connected to other people
e.g. He feels a strong kinship with other survivors of the war.
relay to (v) to pass (something, such as a message or information) from one person or device to another
e.g. Please relay the news to the rest of the team.
dupe out (v) to deceive or trick (someone) into believing or doing something
e.g. They duped her out of $300.
foe (n) an enemy
e.g. political foes
disgruntled (adj) unhappy and annoyed
e.g. She has to deal with disgruntled customers all day.

Discussion Questions

Use the following questions as a guideline to help develop an interesting conversation with your tutor. Feel free to diverge from these suggestions if anything interesting comes up.

  1. Summarize the article in your own words.
  2. What are the three lessons mentioned in the writing?
  3. Have you ever been betrayed by someone you thought you were close to?
  4. How do you feel about starting business with a very close friend? Share your thoughts with your Cambly tutor!


Go over any new expressions or vocabulary that you learned today.

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