It’s All Smoke and Mirrors…

Greg Lockhart
4 min readOct 21, 2022


Creating digital illusions is a true art form…just ask me!

Let’s say you have just come into some money. Finally, after many years of dreaming, you get the chance to build your dream home.

From the initial meeting with the ideal realtor to the moment you are presented with the keys to your home you are inundated with well-groomed highly affluent BMW-driving ‘home building experts’ that will never have a single grain of dirt under their fingernails!

But you can bet your sweet ass they will receive far more $$$ than the ones who actually do all the work!

Smoke and Mirrors ARE EVERYWHERE!

Remember the scene in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ when the curtain is pulled back to reveal an actual human being pulling all the levers and creating the illusion of something bigger and better?

Smoke and mirrors are being used everywhere, not just in the movies!

I Finally Realized I Was Being Exploited by Smoke and Mirrors!

Now before we dive deep into this I have to tell you that due to my exit from a high-end ‘Digital Boutique’ I cannot name this company due to my signature on their nondisclosure agreement. Or, as I like to call it, ‘the don’t tell anyone what we really do’ agreement. Yeah, it’s one-sided!

Let’s go back to the beginning of this article and give you that inheritance, trust, or insurance beneficiary check. You now have big pockets and instead of your dream home, you start a business.

Everything is going great and then you go to the ‘High-End Digital Boutique’ to have them build your new website and blog! Man, you are living the dream!

Let’s again fantasize and say that you want your ‘high-end’ website to promote the ‘high-end’ business where you only sell to people with big pockets just like yours!…stay with me.

Launch Day, The BIG REVEAL!

You couldn’t be more proud! You and your ‘digital boutique’ rep are celebrating the launch of your new website over brunch at the local $100 per plate outdoor patio bistro or what the fuck ever those rich people eat at…The new website and blog you signed off on launched as you were enjoying your favorite cocktail!

And you didn’t think twice about the $100K price tag attached to your ‘high-end digital boutique’ product. You believed every word from Viktor (with a ‘K’) and Giselle, your two digital marketing agents from the artsy-fartsy ‘high-end digital boutique’ because their charts and graphs were impressive and they told you about how this would increase your business, bring in more profit, and streamline how you run your business.

NOTE: was there any dirt under Viktor and Giselle’s fingernails? Why fuck no. Because they hire freelancers like me and just like working in a sweatshop sewing together the latest fashions those freelancers might see $80-$100 per project…YET I DO ALL THE WORK!


I decided about two weeks ago to anonymously approach the ‘high-end digital boutique’ and I presented this to them….

I used a completely different name through a completely different computer (my iPhone)and told them I had recently received some venture capital to start a business….the smoke immediately started boiling out of the phone.

What followed was an awesome week of posing as a deep-pocket businessman that was wanting a real estate website to promote some ‘high-end real estate investment properties.

I told them I had 12 prime tracts of land that were being developed as future sites for ‘high-end’ homes 20 minutes northwest of Atlanta, Georgia.


When I started asking technical questions as well as their credentials for building my new ‘high-end digital boutique’ product, I;

was told to call back

was told they would have to get back later with that information

was given a very generic email address to contact for that information

was not given any clear and direct answer!

That’s right, a hall full of mirrors!

But That is What Every Business Does!

Smoke and Mirrors! This nation runs on smoke and mirrors! I don’t care if you build houses, websites, cars, or porno movies somebody is sitting in a cushy overpaid position to exploit the work being done in the trenches!

I said enough is enough! Last week I spent my last days as a digital sweat-shop employee building out a ‘high-end’ real estate website for a team of realtors in the greater Atlanta area. (hence the analogy of posing as one of their competitors!)

Imagine that! A website that boasts about multi-million dollar real estate investment opportunities in the Atlanta area from a ‘team’ of real estate experts that are only as qualified as the guy writing their bios! That website launched last week!

And the freelancer (me) living out in the country in rural Alabama in an old 5th-wheel camper trailer did it all!

BTW, I’m still waiting to be paid my $80 to make them look really good with some smoke and mirrors!



Greg Lockhart

I use my Freelancers Toolkit and the TEAMS method to build awesome Feelance Writers for your business or idea!