The same could be said of legitimate entrepreneurial pitches, insists Clay. The con man is an innovator in the financial world, the one who susses out opportunities and opens up markets ahead of the slow-moving and hide-bound elite. Con men and performers do this all the time," instructs Clay. The con will ask for opinions and help, then they have the victim call a hotline to verify the numbers. Con men have advanced the nation credit against its own future legitimacy. Entrepreneurs should borrow a bit of this wisdom and understand that "a prototype is worth one thousand words. "But of course you have a grudging admiration for them because they're really, really good at what they do. To avoid being fooled by a con artist, look out for the following warning signs: Bucket shops arose to sate the appetite. Even the Amish have succumbed. It doesn't take much to detect the legacy of these confidence men in today's economic landscape. Con artists gain a person's confidence so they can have easy access to the victim's money, trust, and friendship. We like him because he's smart and because he's not constrained by any of the giant institutions or corporations that make individuals feel so powerless. Tangible objects and real-world actions cement a target's investment in an idea way more than lofty speeches and PowerPoint slides. In a world where deceit often masquerades as faith and cynicism as philanthropy, that “something” just might be a con game. We made it easy for you to exercise your right to vote! Con artists take this approach to extremes, but putting on a metaphorical mask (to a lesser extent) is a great technique for any entrepreneur beset by a lack of confidence. In the 19th century, for instance, the nation lacked a national currency. Clay tells the story of a fraudster who paid down-on-their-luck celebrities to pitch his scams. And Ponzi still lives among us; since Bernie Madoff's expose, the Securities and Exchange Commission has prosecuted over 200 people for ponzi schemes. ©2020 Verizon Media. In the early 20th century, the big con exploded onto the scene. Part of HuffPost Entertainment. 3. Forgeries greased the engine of trade. 05/01/2012 12:56 pm ET Updated Jun 10, 2012 America has always admired a good confidence artist, that sleek and clever shyster whose fancy words promise a golden future. A Perfect Swindle, a Cunning Revenge, and a Small History of the Big Con [Knopf, $26.95]. It was the perfect game for a roaring economy, a financial market that was beginning to open itself up to the middle class, and a system which had always thrived by tolerating a bit of fraud to add liquidity. In his own sly way, he has been a prime mover in American economic development, almost without anyone noticing. That's why con men reel in their victims with forged documents and expensive props. Today is National Voter Registration Day! Create a character sketch of who you want to be when you pitch. Counterfeiters stepped into the breach, and though everyone knew the money supply was diluted with fakes, they used the bills anyway because crooked money was better than none. Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter. Ideas. From 1738 to 1755, he roamed from New Hampshire to Barbados, stealing, getting caught, and repeating the cycle. A veteran scammer reveals the world of scams and fraud. Requests for feedback on story ideas or synopses will also be removed at moderator discretion. In a recent Unreasonable Institute post, she argues that "such tricksters actually have quite a bit to teach entrepreneurs today about hustle, salesmanship, and the art of a pitch" before laying out five specific skills that legitimate businesspeople could helpfully lift from con artists. Donald Trump and the Art of the ‘Con’ ... More than a dozen times he used it in the phrases con artist, con job, or con game. Creating a link between established enterprise and something new gives others a metaphorical bridge into your idea," advises Clay. Here they are in brief: Cons only work when you focus on the other party's emotional needs. Little did they know the betting was almost always rigged against them. Con artists are masters of trust You can learn a lot about trust from the people who violate it for a living. In 1752, he settled down in Hanover County, Virginia, and proclaimed himself reformed. Also, cash in on the social capital of your mentors, parties, organizations, or even university, to get a borrowed legitimacy bump. The years New Yorker writer Maria Konnikova spent interviewing con artists for her book The Confidence Game didn't make her like these expert hustlers any more, but it did make her respect their skills. "Step into a character or persona that allows you to stand strong in joy, humor, confidence, leadership, and vision. The name 'con artist' really does capture it. Give that character attributes -- a secret name even - and wear an outfit that makes you feel connected to that character.
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