Conning People – Hustling. These are not for the faint of heart. Nor are they for people with extremely high moral compasses. But just like all other professions, they too have their legends. There is a reason why they attain legendary status. They are masters in their chosen art. And they leave behind traces of their mastery for people who wish to learn from them.
I have learnt some very valuable lessons just by studying them. These legends learnt their lessons by spilling blood (often their own), being in life and death situations and surviving to tell their story. These lessons are not taught in your classrooms. Nor will you gain any advantage from them if you don’t apply them in your life. In these posts, I will show you what these masters of the dark realms can teach you.
The Con Man
Ever heard of Ponzi schemes? Where you cheat people out of their hard-earned money? That’s right. It’s named after the first guy who swindled the so-called Rich and Smart investors for a neat $20 million. And this was back in early 1900’s!
Charles Ponzi a.k.a. Charles Ponci, Carlo ,Charles Bianchi. One of the first Confidence tricksters to make it large. To the untrained eye, Charles Ponzi on a holiday could have been easily mistaken for a suave and sophisticated gentleman. To the trained eye, he would have appeared to be a iron man of indomitable will, wealth and power. He rendered your observation skills pretty useless.
Ponzi made it his business to be unruffled under any circumstance. He was absolutely fearless in executing his schemes and with ruthless focus made them profitable. The most important lesson I learned from him is the art of Supreme Confidence.
Lesson 1: Acquire Supreme Confidence
“People respond to how we are dressed. So like it or not, this is what you have to do.”
This might seem glaringly obvious. Yet, so many of us fail to do it. Even Nature uses appearance to intimidate, threaten and hide from predators when it suits her purpose. We are all wired in our subconscious to respond to appearance. This does not mean being dressed as a dandy. Carefully craft your dressing to convey sharpness and Professionalism.
Con-men also teach it is not just enough if you dress appropriately. It needs to be accompanied by the right posture, mental attitude and gestures. These complete the picture of a person who is effortlessly at ease with himself/herself.
Be careful not to use this with actual authorities if you do not have the stuff to back it up. This is how most cons are caught. Instead, use perceived authority as a tool to help you get into meetings and places where you can learn. Absorb information faster than your competitors while they remain meek and humble.
c) Using Herd Mentality
The most important lesson of having Supreme Confidence is understanding and using Herd Mentality. Most people are never sure of themselves in life. They always seek to validate their actions by seeking permission or approval from their Bosses/Superiors.
This is where Con Men steal it from right under everyone’s noses. They know that once they get those few important people in their target segment to invest in their schemes, the large majority will follow them. The larger this following gets, the more successful the Con.
Always keep a look out for herd mentality if you wish to stand out. As organizations become large, there is a tendency to follow pointless processes and systems by all and sundry. See if you can show the person in charge the error of the herd (Be gentle. See how Ponzi charms the first target below).
This act has a dual advantage. Not only will you be recognized as an upcoming star, but you will also receive the gratitude of your fellow workers for reducing their burden. A confident person is also seen as reliable and trust-worthy. People will end up associating positive qualities to you thanks to your Halo effect.
These traits of ‘Fake it till you make it’ have consistently helped a multitude of high performers. When you believe in yourself, both your self-esteem and the odds of being successful in your task improve by leaps and bounds. Put this lesson to work and start exuding Supreme Confidence from this very moment! Let me know how it works out for you by leaving your comments below.