There are many lessons we can all learn from con-artists, none more than the Entrepreneur. They foresee potential problems and create solutions ahead of time to overcome obstacles. They are resilient and think on their feet when the unexpected occurs. They do not allow themselves to be bogged down by the status-quo and are always looking for the next big idea.
Now don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not proposing entrepreneurs start conning their clients, workers and business partners. Still, con-artists do have some amazing abilities that entrepreneurs can apply to their businesses without giving the Police, ‘A Current Affair’ or ‘Today Tonight’ (Australian TV programs) a reason to chase them!
Just like con-artists carry out their evil plans to get what they want, entrepreneurs blend creativity, technology and any other available tools to create powerful businesses. Con-artists and entrepreneurs have the ability to think laterally and are forever looking for new tactics and strategies to improve their game plan.
Here are 5 mindsets an entrepreneur can learn from con-artists:
1. Think Outside the Box
The proverbial box has restricted far too many innovative minds and fantastic ideas over the years. Con-artists cannot be successful without thinking beyond the conventional ways of doing things. Their ability to have ideas nobody else has considered before and use them to their advantage is exactly what every entrepreneur needs.
The modern business world is becoming increasingly hostile for ’me too’ businesses, those that imitate other businesses around them and have nothing unique to set them apart. We cannot afford to become too comfortable with old ideas and traditions. Con-artists think up clever schemes that are only possible with out of the box thinking.
2. Break the Rules
Conventional thinking and traditions can be helpful however they often hinder revolutionary ideas and breakthroughs. A certain disregard for rules and being uncomfortable with restrictive conventions, is the mark of visionaries. While con-artists are selfish and cause suffering of innocent people, visionary entrepreneurs aim to break rules to benefit not only their business, but their customers. From simple things like choosing a letterhead design to more complex matters like planning a merger, breaking the conventional methodologies can often provide game changing results.
3. Curiosity to Explore
Con-artists’ endeavours are driven by their curiosity to explore. They explore the loopholes in systems, the psyche of their victims and so on. Entrepreneurs, who wish to create an enterprise that stands out from the crowd, need to have this curiosity as well. Obviously, their curiosity should lead to creating products and services that benefit their target market, not exploit them. For example they should consider how a target market will react to a different brand, system or new way of doing business and how it will benefit them.
4. Never Say Die
Con-artists’ are known for their desire to take risks and accomplish seemingly impossible feats. They begin their work process by setting bold objectives and creating a strategy to achieve them.
90% of start-up businesses fail in their first couple of years. If business owners want to succeed, they need to have a “never say die” attitude. Yes, there will be challenges in every business to overcome. It’s your job as the entrepreneur to find a solution.
5. Desire to Learn
You won’t find any schools or universities to teach a con-artist how to become successful. But then again you won’t find many entrepreneurs who completed courses in Entrepreneurship either. Yes, they do exist however they often prefer non-conventional methods of learning. Con-artists and entrepreneurs have a constant craving for improving their craft. They learn what works, what doesn’t and are always on the lookout for opportunities to learn new things. Learning is an ongoing process for anyone who wishes to be successful, and the successful entrepreneur needs to hunger for and enjoy learning.