Business Imposters

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“Aha! Foiled Again!”  


With so many contemptuous disingenuous manipulative self-serving business souls running around out there, your odds as business owner of being “taken” by someone, escalate –it seems to me– in proportion to the growth of your reputation for integrity.

I’m referring to the “wolves in sheep’s clothing” types, the kinds of prospective partners and clients or customers who are masters of deception. They are disarming; they pick up on and exploit your enthusiasm; their false commitments seem credible.


Beware Falsified Authenticity!


The motto, slogan, branding line, t-shirt, bumper sticker that best represents the behaviors of these business impostors roaming the planet –and liberally practicing falsified authenticity– might be best expressed in three words:  Promises Not Kept.

Every business owner and entrepreneur has run across people in this category who inevitably cost them large amounts of “learned my lesson” time and money. Some may simply swindle you out of advances, commissions, or expense money. Some may actually be bold enough to bilk you and then take you to court, even blackmail you.


The business world is not just one big happy place!


Sadly, the business world is not just one big happy place filled with genuine people walking high moral ground who are anxious to help everyone in their path take a giant step closer to nirvana.

That’s not to suggest that utopia is impossible to reach; it’s simply an unlikely business destination for many.

It’s also not to suggest that most business leaders aren’t authentic; I believe they are! Or that they don’t practice goal-setting aimed at making the world a better place, I believe most do!

It’s the “one rotten apple” theory that every business owner and manager needs to be constantly and forever on the alert to avoid, because the associated risks of dissing the possibilities can bring down any business literally overnight.

Here’s the least you can do when you feel the least bit uneasy about someone who works him or herself into a position of significant influence and/or compensation (e.g., hiring or promoting someone to a key position, retaining an outside consultant or creative service or professional advisor, considering an investment or operations or financial or marketing partner, etc.):

  • Do due diligence. Don’t stop with routine questions or reference calls. Ask references for references and talk with them (“Who else in your organization might I speak with who worked with this person when she was there?” is often a productive and revealing route to take).

  • Be suspicious of offers that seem unbusinesslike, until proven otherwise.

  • Have a meal together. Ask. Listen. Observe. Note the ways an individual deals with others (e.g., foodservice personnel? people at the next table?). Arrange to be interrupted and see how on-track the person stays, how agitated he responds (or reacts?) to the interruption.

Worried about these kinds of steps seeming too tricky? Worry instead about misreading someone because you put blinders over your good intentions. We’re talking here about the destructive minority who manage to infiltrate almost every business at some point.

They are people who are typically skilled communicators, who can be good at deception — even eye contact, handshakes, mental hand-holding and back-pats.

If you choose to let them set you up be a pawn (fill in the blank) . . . 


302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.
 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

2 comments so far

2 Comments to “Business Imposters”

  1. Lexus GSon 04 Sep 2010 at 9:24 pm

    My fiance and I were arguing about this! Now I know that I was right. lol! Thanks for making me sure!

  2. Hal Alpiaron 05 Sep 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Thanks for your visit and comment, LexusGirl. Don’t give up the sense of reality you bring to your relationship! Come back again soon. Regards – Hal

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