30 Jan Networking with Charlatans, Liars, & Thieves
In life, you are bound to meet a certain amount of bullshiters. When working while traveling in tourist spots and Ex-Patriot or EXPAT (Latin Origin-old, white, sex starved men) havens that are inhabited by a myriad of strange castaways, who for some reason left their native land (typically a high-income country with difficult women), you will meet exponentially more swindlers. I am not talking about guys on the promenade in your vacation spot selling you the “the discounted tour of a lifetime” or offering a “very, exclusive offer just for today because you look like a nice, very special guy” (note-this discount does exist but only applies to attractive women or people who can bring them more walking & talking dollars). No, I am talking about local businessmen. Sometimes, when working while traveling, it is the local bar goers, sometimes a gregarious old man talking to all the patrons like family. It can be hard to tell, because even the guy who is a concierge or the bar man, claims to be “El Jefe” when not answering the phone or pouring stale beer. However, despite this sea of snake oil salesmen, the potential to earn first world money (Dollars, Euros, Yen) in developing countries has obvious appeal and remains a worthwhile pursuit. You just have to learn the refined art of wading through bullshit to attain it.
So how do you discern between the real deal businessmen and job opportunities from some tryhard-wannabe, or some slapdick who drinks too much tequila?
Well, my first criterion is all about the context. Are you meeting in a dive bar, littered with local alcoholics and men chasing tourist girls?Or are you in the back of the club with bottle service with a new friend who never asks to see a price menu or asks you for a single centavo? This however, cannot be the silver bullet of examination by any means, because plenty of ballers and guys who do make money rain and business happen often are casual and prefer keeping a low profile. Equally likely, you will encounter wannabe Papiculos looking to impress, or get at your centavos. No, rather I look no so much at the context, but moreso how the context is delivered.
Real ballers and rainmakers don’t need to tell people they are. They don’t volunteer all their projects within the first 10 minutes of conversation. They don’t talk about how big they are. Real ballers ball, they don’t talk about ballin’. They tend to be greeted with open arms by various locals, but also command a silent respect that speaks volumes of their innate ability to both impress people and yet remain humble in their success.
During my first week in Mexico, I have heard of the lucrative nature of Timeshare Sales (real estate scam), being a bartender (making centavos), and tourism promotions (professional flyer dispenser). It can be a daunting task, riddled with discouragement and apathy. A task that leaves you feeling like everyone around you is a liar with their back hand in your pocket (ha mines empty suckers), but it is a mission that with patience, keen observance, and open mind, can yield nuggets of gold in a river of smooth talking shisters.
Stay focused, open, and network like a call girl on rent day, and as always, just remember to leave your wallet at home.