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leonardo-wolf-wallstreetThere used to be a time when the two terms (hustler and scam-artist) were basically one and the same.

I highly recommend watching the 1961 movie The Hustler played by Paul Newman to know what I’m talking about (it’s an absolute classic).

In short, a “hustler” was someone that lured less skillful players into playing a betting-type game (such as poker or pool) while knowing they would come out ahead.

It’s basically stacking the odds in your favor by playing dumb.

But times have changed.

Here’s the modern definition of a hustler…

Someone who makes an exceptional effort to go after their goals, and has the thick skin necessary to keep moving forward despite facing obstacles, challenges and rejection.

However, the funny thing is that scam artists face obstacles, challenges and rejection too. Hell, most of them are hard workers as well. And while they prey on the gullible, it still takes some serious effort to convince a group of people to part ways with their money, and buy into some bullshit.

So if those are the similarities, what exactly sets a modern day hustler apart from the age-old scam artist?

Well, I believe it comes down to 3 main points. Let’s get into them…

1. Value

herbal-teaLet me ask you a quick question. Say that tomorrow you discovered the cure for cancer, simply by accident. It doesn’t really matter how – let’s just assume that you were making herbal tea to start off your day, and just so happened to mix the right combination of leaves together and produced a powerful anti-cancer concoction.

A hipster’s wet dream, I know.

Now what exactly would you do with this invention?

Would you keep it to yourself?

I know I wouldn’t.

What I would do, is knock down the door of every doctor, researcher, and scientist to test it. Then I’d call a great lawyer to patent it (gotta protect your shit). Finally, I’d try and get it into the hands of as many cancer patients as possible, while making it as affordable as possible.

And I’d be damn aggressive about it too, because I’d know what I produced is incredibly valuable. I would feel 100% confident in selling it, because I know it would help people.

Compare this to those jerk-offs who push people into buying nonsense such as alkaline water, homeopathic medicine, detox kits and the ever-famous ShakeWeight.

See the difference?

Both parties are out to make money, one just does it by providing real value. Now I agree that sometimes it can be hard to tell who is legit and who isn’t. It’s a fine line between those that truly believe in their product and those that pretend to. I suggest doing your homework, and more importantly, trusting your gut feeling.

2. Two Way Street

two-way-streetModern day hustlers think like real businessmen (or women). This means they prefer a win-win situation or some kind of split which favors both parties — even if this split is something like 60/40 against their favor.

A real hustler will take the smaller piece of the “money pie” if he or she feels that value is being added in other ways such as perks, lifetime customer value, etc.

A great example is when businesses come on Shark Tank. Why do certain business owners give up 40% when they came in willing to negotiate only 20%? Because a successful “Shark” brings in more value than money alone could ever provide.

Contrast this to scam artists who are simply in it for themselves; all they care about is getting something from you while providing either nothing, or as little as possible. Their entire business or operation is set up to make a one-time flash sale because they know that most people can be fooled at least once. Think about it: it’s much harder to sell Bob a second $60 bottle of miracle pills after the first one didn’t give him the shredded six pack abs he was looking for.

Unless of course, Bob is a complete moron… in which case he almost deserves to be ripped off the 2nd time.

If you want an example of hustlers taking a smaller piece of the pie, just consider this site.

Do you know why we write killer articles, produce our podcast and give away our Hustler’s Success Kit? Because we want to bring you solid, real-world advice. We want to help you grow your business. We want to provide that kick-in-the-ass motivation you need to finally start that side hustle you’ve been dreaming about.

And in return, this allows us to ask you for the sale at some point in the future.

You can literally call it ethical bribing… and that’s ok, because as hustlers we are comfortable with that. It’s how good business works anyways. But until we actually have something amazingly awesome to sell to you, we will continue to provide value at our expense, because we know it’ll pay off in the future.

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To download the materials from the success kit, click the blue button below. Or you can continue reading this article as an email with link has already been sent to your inbox!

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3. Exploit vs Solve A Problem

problem-solving1Question: What is the only problem a scam-artist has ever solved?

Answer: The hole in his/her bank account.

Modern hustlers don’t work this way. They come up with useful solutions to real problems that real people are facing… then sell the shit out of those solutions.

If you think about it, point number three has many parallels to point number one – it all comes down to bringing forth real value.3

Here’s a Pro Tip: When you develop a solution to a major problem, hustling it to those in need becomes infinitely easier because you’re backed by solid belief and endless willpower.

? Tweet That ProTip ?

A great example of a company that perfectly embodies this is Uber. They solved a real problem – affordable private transport when you want it. Because buses are annoying, and I’ve had my fair share of nightmares with cabbies in the past.

Here’s a brief glimpse of what I’ve had to put up with:

  • Refusing a ride due to a small fare during a harsh Canadian winter night
  • Horrendous backseat smell
  • Unprofessional/Rude behaviour because I didn’t have exact change
  • Deliberate fair jacking by driving a longer route
  • Tampering with the credit card machine so I’m forced to be drive to an ATM to extract cash

And I’m just a dude!

I know female friends that have been harassed, followed, and nearly assaulted. But while Uber is a great service, they aren’t knights in shining armor either. Their CEO is a next-level hustler. He’s cold to the bone. He makes sure that Uber steam-rolls into cities and literally scoops up a major chunk of the profit margins from cabs without giving a single fuck.

They basically put up a giant middle finger and grow so large, so fast that local politicians are left scrambling and stuck with their backs against the wall.

And while this has landed them in some hot-water lately, I absolutely love it. Hell, I even admire it.

The first time I took an Uber was when three of my friends and I were in downtown Toronto visiting the Gentlemen’s Expo. Their recruiting strategy was rather effective; extroverted reps called me over to their booth and made a simple offer — download the app and register an account on the spot to get a $20 ride credit, a free Tshirt and some other swag.

It got even better when all my friends and I were able to sign up and hop into one Uber car and split the fair for the ride back. We all basically got home for FREE, on a night where we would’ve had to take the subway and 2 other connecting buses.

I’m sure glad they “hustled” me, because these days, I never have the need to ride in another cab ever again. Nor will I need to deal with the headache that is public transport (at last here in Toronto).

Now that you know the 3 major points that separate a modern hustler from a scam-artist, I have one question for you…

What is your product or service, and HOW are you hustling it?

Leave your answers in the comment section below, we’d love to hear about it.

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