Powerful Lessons I Learned From Con Men – Part 1.

Have you ever met a con man before? I have.

In fact, I have the dishonour and displeasure to meet many of them.

Let me share one of them with you.

In 1986, I met Tom (not his real name) in an exhibition – charismatic, full of life, and a smooth talker.

A quintessential con man you would say but it did not occur to me at that point.

Tom and I struck it off right from the beginning. Or was it that Tom knew how to hit the right note with me.

We shared many things in common and after a short while, there was a great sense of bonding.

Without quite realising it, I seem to have assumed the role of Tom’s big brother.

I felt like I had to look out for and after him.

Once, Tom told me about how he was abused while serving in a religious organisation.

Since I knew the key leader in that organisation, I actually called that person to give him a piece of my mind. It was more like a piece of my distorted mind.

Sadly, the leader did not respond to my complaint. He must have thought it better to keep the damning truth to himself.

I wished he had revealed what he knew about Tom to me. It would have save me a lot of time, energy, money and more.

Shortly after, Tom managed to find a job as a Marketing Manager.

Although he had no relevant qualification and experience, he managed to talk himself into the job.

How he managed to do it – until today, I still could not figure it out.

Tom confessed to me that he had no clue as to how to run a marketing operation.

If I tell you what I did for him, you will think I am really silly but I will tell you anyway.

I virtually taught Tom how to manage the marketing department on a day to day basis.

I even wrote a word-by-word script so that he could motivate his subordinates during a staff retreat.

I was doing all that for Tom but, without realising it, I was also indirectly helping my competitor.

Tom was sharing some of the information with my competitors.

I was strengthening my competitors while, at the same time, putting my business at risk.

And if you think that was dumb – there’s more.

Tom told me a ‘sob sob’ story about his personal assistant. What a nice person she was and the difficulties she was going through in life.

Tom felt she would do well in life if only she could further her studies.

“If only I have the money,” Tom said, “I will finance her education. I will even take up a loan because it’s really worth it.”

The foolish side of me was moved once again.

Yes, I loaned him the money.

Much later, I met the personal assistant and asked about my money. You would not believe how she laughed right into my face.

The money was gone. And so was part of my heart.

I questioned my intelligence and became sceptical about people for a while.

Truth be told, that was still not dumb enough. I will confess to you my ultimate foolishness.

Not too long after starting on his job, Tom was sacked.

And, boy! What a story he told me about how he was being victimized by the bosses.

That started a personal campaign to bring about justice for Tom.

I would be too embarrassed to tell you the amount of investment, including emotion I poured into putting up a case for him.

I even hired a professional to investigate the company. I wanted to dig out the “dirt” and strengthen my case for him.

To cut a long story short, I eventually saw the real Tom.

After that, we went our separate ways.

For awhile, I blamed myself for being taken for a ride and strengthening his confidence for conning people. I did not show him the right path.

I prayed he would wake up from his wrongdoing and correct himself.

Unfortunately, he never did.

I was told he went on to create even more and bigger problems and damages.

Now, you would think I have learned my lesson.

I wish this love note has a fairy tale ending. Sigh!

I went on in my life and was conned a few more times – not just by con men who looked and behaved like con men.

Mainly, I was cheated by people who don’t even know they were cheating others.

They were committing what I called a “half-a-con” job which is more evil than a con job.

For example, these people would come to me with a perfectly legitimate proposal.

After I have invested my time, money, and effort, they would shortly disappear. They took my hard earned money and left me with more than a bruised heart.

Many of them would even put a knife behind my back.

There is a verse in the Bible that I kept in my heart.

In fact, all of us should learn from it regardless of whether we are Christians or not:

“Beware of wolves in sheep’s skin. Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” (Mt 10:16)

You have been forewarned. Beware!


By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


About Patrick Liew
About Patrick Liew Patrick Liew MBA, MSc, BSc is the Managing Partner of Global Enterprise Exchange Pte. Ltd.. He is also the founder and director of Success Resources, arguably the world’s largest personal development seminar organiser and a major shareholder of a company, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. He was previously the Executive Chairman and CEO of HSR Global Ltd., a publicly listed company on SGX-ST. Previously, he was the regional director of the Gartner Group, providing strategic advisory and planning services to governments, banks and MNCs. He was also the regional head of sales and marketing operation for Dow Jones Telerate. Patrick graduated with a BSc in Estate Management from Heriot Watt University, an MSc with emphasis in global business and marketing from The City University Of New York, and an MBA from Henley Business School / Brunel University. He has also earned more than nine other professional qualifications. Patrick is arguably the first person to develop a multimedia e-learning programme on entrepreneurship. He authored a Chinese book on business systems and was also the co-author of a Times Bookshop best-selling book. Patrick has conducted both ‘brick and mortar’ and online lessons for participants from more than 60 countries. He has also conducted keynote presentations in many international conferences, including being the first Singaporean to teach at the National Association of Realtors. Through his team at Success Resources, Patrick has organised educational conferences for prominent leaders such as President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Michael Porter, Richard Branson, Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump, and many other prominent leaders. Patrick provides leadership and advisory services to many professional and charity organisations. He is actively involved in supporting humanitarian, philanthropic and charity causes. He has organised three fund-raising events and in the process, help to set three national records in the Singapore Books Of Records. Patrick won the Entrepreneur Of the Year Award For Social Contribution, the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award, and six other business awards. Patrick believes the best way to live your life is to live your life for others. The more you reach out to bless other lives, the richer and better your life will become. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A Personal Note to my Friends The articles that I post online; or what I term as Love Notes, are written with the purpose of inspiring readers to live at a higher plane in life. They are also meant to motivate those who are struggling in life and help them find handlers to overcome their conflicts and challenges. It is my ardent hope that we will form networks and alliances of like-minded people who will put to right many of the wrongs in our midst. Together, we will leverage on each other's resources and create a synergistic impact in making our world a better home. These articles are written as part of regular reflection about the vicissitudes of life. They are at best work in progress and at worst, grumblings, grouses, and gripings of a finite old man. I have deliberately decided NOT to delete many of the articles and pointers that I may not agree with or are outrightly wrong. This is to keep a record of how my personal ideas, beliefs, and values have evolved over time. In addition, I hope to encourage readers by letting them know that I also make mistakes and am struggling with many of the complexity and complication in life. As long as we hang on to hope and work on finding a solution, there will be light at the end of whatever tunnel we are in. I do not pretend to know everything or for that matter, anything of substance. In fact, the more I study, learn, and think about the vast wisdom and knowledge out there, the more I realised how little I know about life and the ways of life. Hence, I have always ended my article by asking readers to continue to teach me. For I, too, am a sojourner in the exploration of truth and the adventure of finding meaning, purpose, and significance for my existence. I am proud of and make no apology for being a Christian, albeit not the most exemplary one. I believe our Creator can lead and guide us to be the best that we can ever be. I bear full responsibility for the shortcoming and error in my life, including my words. The fault is entirely mine and not due to anyone else. Readers have and can exercise the power of choice. They can discard what will not work for them and adopt those that can propel them further and faster in the pursuit of better performance, outcomes, and fulfillment. If I have disappointed or hurt you in any way, form, or manner, I would like to apologise to you. Please do not hold them against me or whoever or whatever is related to me. There are much to pray about, learn, and do. And I'll work on them with a sense of urgency. I hold on to the belief that 'Anything worth doing is worth doing with passion and excellence'. I'll endeavour to live by it. Life is short. There's no dress rehearsal and neither can we turn back the clock to change the drama of life. Therefore, by the grace and power of our Creator, let's live a full life and live it to the fullest. May God bless you abundantly on the journey of life. Your online servant, Patrick Liew I hope this message will find a place in your heart. By the way, I have also recorded other reflections. Please 'Like' me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/ For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/ Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net Please read my reflection and continue to teach me. Life is FUNtastic!

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