I want to spend to spend some time with you to relate several tales of men who built their future selling stuff. While I am sure that none of them got an online marketing degree (either that or they slept through their business ethics presentations), they all knew something important: if you know how to sell, you can make a living.

To kick us off, remember the old musical the Music Man? Well, there was a Simpson’s episode that played off that theme. In this skit there was a man that came to Springfield and promptly attending the city council meeting. There he presented his plan for building a monorail in the little town, promising that it would provide jobs and make life better for everyone. He sang a song and soon had everyone chugging to get this Disneyland type attraction built.

Well, it was not long after the creation of this new mode of transportation that everyone started to realize their folly in building it. It was too expensive, so no one rode it, nor did those running it (Homer Simpson) have any skill to maintain it. Well, no matter, because the slick salesman had made his money and was on his way to sucker the next town over.

Similarly, in the old film Pete’s Dragon there is a man that takes the town of Pasamaquadi by storm. He sets up his stage in the middle of town and with the help of a few plants in the audience convinces the towns people that he can cure hearing problems, make lame men walk, all with his snake oil and potions. He too through the art of deception and trickery makes a few bucks off these trusting people, but his grand object is to capture Elliot, Pete’s Dragon. It is in dragon oil the REAL money is to be made. So, he and his little chubby side kick go about trying to capture the dragon.

Next, you HAVE to remember Disney’s Beauty and the Beast! Before Belle finds herself prisoner in the Beast’s castle she has the wonderful opportunity to have the attempt at charming her made by the conceded Gaston. He lists all his benefits like any good salesman would; He is strong, can hunt, eats lots of eggs (I’d hate to see what kind of smells would later come from that little tidbit of information) and could give her strong strapping children.

He sure was a charmer, especially when he offered to let her massage his feet. Brilliant sales pitch Gaston, just brilliant!

To round us off, there is one other classic salesman that aught be remembered. This salesman was more of a conman and more of a conwoman that a conman. She was the one that finally out deceived the boys in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with Michael Cane and Steve Martin. She pretended to fit to the T, the profile of the kind of unsuspecting victim Cane & Martin were used to conning. She was in and out with all their money before they even knew what was happening.

In the end, cheaters never prosper. In the end the Dragon got loose and the snake oil business soured, the monorail trickster was busted, Gaston lost out and the conwoman in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels…well, she got away, but three out of four ain’t bad right? Perhaps the rest of her story lies in the sequel. But the moral of this article is to do it right and build YOUR future with an online marketing degree (and please don’t sleep through the ethics lessons).

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