Learn the five common tactics manipulative people use to expend your time, energy, and money. Business is a fascinating journey, particularly when you’re working as a solopreneur. Every day, you come across different opportunities and a variety of personalities.

Believe it when I say that what is presented on social media is more often than not a total farce, with some articles and news items that you read being so far removed from the truth, it is not even funny.

For example, a seemingly successful organization in the education industry appears to the world that they are making a fortune. The harsh reality is that the owners have fixed mindsets and crave constant attention whilst their staff are continually burnt out, anxious, and fearful of what the day will bring and their clients are equally as unhappy.

If management discover that a staff member is not on board, they are promptly kicked out onto the street. If one were to sit down and examine the books, it would paint a completely different picture. Yet, purely observing the social media and PR they generate no-one would believe the real truth.

Eyes Wide Open

Entrepreneurs implement proven successful business models to convince people to work with them or extrapolate money whilst ‘appearing’ to have a good heart and do all the ‘right’things. These people are not dissimilar to the main character Gordon Gekko played by Michael Douglas in the movie Wall Street.

When you are offered what sounds like an amazing business opportunity, you must move forward with your eyes wide open and feet firmly planted on the ground. Avoid the hype or placing anyone on a pedestal as it simply clouds your judgment.

We have all experienced it in one way or another. It is all a great learning experience and part of an entrepreneur’s journey. That said, you must know exactly who your prospective business partner is and know what they are really about. You cannot just look at it from a surface level.

The amount of horror stories I have heard from entrepreneurs working with manipulative people is staggering. With many of them being ripped off, money being taken from client’s without delivering work or not being paid for services delivered.

Manipulation Strategies

I absolutely love the work that I do, but along the way I have met unsavory characters that want to take me on a roller coaster ride I never saw coming.

As Dr Phil explains: “Life is a game and you will either be a player or the one played”.

I want to share with you the manipulative tools and tricks that some so-called successful entrepreneurs–also known as master manipulators–use to get what they want and dupe you in the process.

1. All For Show

This is a great tactic as these entrepreneurs have two sides: their ‘true self’ and their public persona or false self. They know exactly the right actions to take and the words to say to fool others and put them under their ‘spell’.

In the public arena they appear to be ‘heroes’ however the reality is completely different. This is the first step in being able to manipulate others is to put on a mask that attracts others to you.

2. Fast Talker

A master manipulator loves to talk fast. Their goal is to charm you by telling you exactly what you want to hear.

The problem is absolutely everything they say is all lies, fairy tales, and broken promises. It is a brilliant tool to distract people; as it makes them feel good momentarily whilst creating a gush of excitement about a project or opportunity.

3. Creates A Whirlwind

Manipulative entrepreneurs use this tactic all the time. They love nothing more than to be in control of a situation and more importantly use their charm to control others. They enter your life like a tornado which creates an element of surprise and fuels excitement in others in order to get exactly what they want.

The idea is for you to be completely swept away and less likely to process what is actually happening, forget to ask intelligent questions and do or agree to things in the moment that you may not do so if given the opportunity to carefully think and process the information.

4. Overly Keen To Impress

This is a classic strategy utilized by many business people also known as the ‘power tactic’.

This is where manipulators drop important or famous names, tell you about all the millionaires and billionaires they associate with, list the assets they possess, the charities they support before giving you a copy of their schedule to demonstrate their importance and busyness in life.

This strategy is all about boosting their ‘ego’ and making themselves feel and look good. This stems from their overinflated ego and strong desire to tell the whole world how wonderful they are. For they love nothing more than to receive confirmation of this through others excitement, comments, and series of questions that often ensues.

5. All Talk, Zero Action

This is my all time favorite of all the strategies that manipulative people use. The countless promises they make and never deliver on, is mind-boggling to say the least and a great indication of someone you definitely don’t want to go into business with.

I have been promised invites to events, introductions to successful business associates, invitations to conferences, car race days, a night out at the ballet, one-off opportunities that will generate phenomenal levels of income and guess what, no surprise, it has all been a web of lies.

Manipulative people display a version of the truth to get what they want from others, they love being the center of the universe, they tell others what to do whilst creating a sense of urgency, and lie and cheat to get what they want.

The key is to spot these entrepreneurs and slam the door in their face like I was thankfully able to, before you too become their next victim.

This article first appeared on Inc.com.