Stop Asking For Advice If You’re Just Gonna Waste People’s Time

Angry Kid

“You want advice for the advice I just gave you?”

Let me say something if you’re thinking about emailing someone for advice.

I’m sure you’re emailing them because you value their advice. You want to know what needs to be done achieve goals similar to theirs.

Here is my advice to you before you hit send.

Don’t waste someone’s time if you’re not going to to anything with their advice. 

I’m not talking about asking for their advice which color is the best.

I’m talking about advice for steps you need to take to get from point A to point B.

And if you’re not even going to take time to reply back and say thanks after you get their advice, don’t even bother writing in the first place.

That last part is just basic manners.

I’ve got to get some things off my chest. I’m going to call out those people who sit in front of the computer, hoping someone has the answers for them, and do nothing more than that.

They just fill up someone’s inbox and waste their valuable time.

It’s Not Everyone

As you can tell, I get frustrated sometimes when dealing with emails.

It’s not all the time. I enjoy the emails. I love hearing from people. I love it when someone writes to say thanks or how they loved my ebook. Sometimes they just want to write about their problems and have someone listen. I can be that person. Sometimes they ask for my opinion. I’m more than happy to give it.

There’s just some people that fall into another category.

When someone asks for my advice, I take it seriously. I reply to every single email I get. If people are asking for my advice, I think they want to hear what I have to say. I take my time and craft an email that I hope can help in some way.

When I think about it some more,  I think maybe I’m just wasting my time. Maybe I should write shorter emails first. Maybe I should just dip my toe in the pool before jumping in.

Maybe my advice sucks. I’m not trained life coach or the guy with all the answers, but I can share my experiences and lessons I’ve learned.

But I know most of my advice goes to waste. I don’t even get a thanks most of the time.

I have no idea why people can’t say thanks, but I can figure out why my advice goes to waste.

I don’t come out of lamp

Aladdin

They’re hoping I’m a genie and I’m going to snap my fingers and grant them three wishes that’ll come true.

They’re looking for a free pass. They want me to have all the answers to their problems. They’re hoping I say, “Do A, B, and C” and everything will be perfect. They want me to say it’s so easy even a caveman can do it.

They want to buy a $1 lottery ticket and win millions.

It’s happened more times than I can remember. I haven’t thought much about it until just recently when I got one particular email that got me frustrated.

Then I started to think about the emails I’ve written to people looking for advice about blogging, iPhone apps, and just life.

I never hear anything more from the majority of those people.

Some Examples

I’ve gotten emails from bloggers who are just starting out or have been blogging awhile with no success.

They want to know how to get more readers, more comments, more retweets and Facebook likes.

Of course I’ll go to their blog and see it needs work, but nothing that cannot be fixed. I was once there.

I truly try and help so I don’t fire off a quick email or point them to search results I found on Google. I’ll tell them exactly what I’ve done. I’ll go into detail and it’s pretty comprehensive I think. I like talking about that kind of stuff anyways and I’m willing to help others since others helped me when I started.

I hit send and a couple things will happen. Either I hear nothing back at all, or they reply with how appreciative they are that I took the time to write back.

I saved some of these emails just because I wanted to check and see how the advice worked for them.

Most of the time what I see is a blog that looks pretty much how it was the first time I saw it. They haven’t taken any of my advice and put it into action.

Why even ask if they don’t do anything with it?

I didn’t think much about it. I gave them my advice, and that’s all I can do.

But this is a recurring theme.

It’s not just with blogging, but with app advice too.

I remember one guy desperately wanted to know how to get more downloads for apps. He worked for some app company overseas and I guess his job was marketing. I don’t remember the exact email now, but I remember it was really long.

I replied back with everything I’ve done to market my app and get more downloads. Actionable steps he could do. Not hard at all.

Never heard back from the guy.

The Email that Inspired This Post

This year I’ve been getting more emails looking for advice about how to get unstuck in life, achieve goals, or find some direction in life. With more readers, come more responsibility.

Again, I take my position very seriously and do everything I can to help.

However one recent email got me to write this post.

This person said he fears everything. He fears his boss. He fears messing up. He fears making the wrong decision. He fears looking stupid. You name it, he fears it.

He knows it’s a problem, but can’t shake it off. He was desperate for help.

He asked very nicely for my advice at the end of them email.

Like anyone who tells me about their problems, I sympathize with them. Often I can relate to their situation and feelings.

I know you can’t just tell someone to not be scared of failure. The cliche of “just do it” isn’t going to work. A quote from a famous person isn’t going to make him overcome all his fears.

That’s not how it works. Nothing is going to give him confidence other than doing something that scares him.

So I challenged him.

I told him to think of something he fears doing. It could be anything. It didn’t have to be huge. It could be small. I wanted him to reply back with some ideas. We would narrow it down until we could agree on one challenge.

Then I would become his accountability partner. I told him he would have to do this one thing he fears just once. I wasn’t asking for much. I didn’t ask him to go walk on hot coals.

My idea was to tackle a small fear one at a time and hopefully help him realize it’s not that scary. In fact, it could be very exciting to do something that scared him. I wanted to slowly build his confidence.

Before I hit send, I doubted he would take action and accept my challenge. I even told him to not bother replying to me if he didn’t want to do it. That might sound harsh, but I wanted to see how he’d respond.

But this guy replied! I thought this is great.

I read his email and as expected he decided not to take action. He made no mention of it. He wrote something about writing down everything he fears and reply back to me.

That’s not what I asked for!!! I got enough of that in the first email.

Instead he asked me for advice AGAIN because he’s too scared to make a decision about a career choice. He went into detail about the two choices he has and he’s fearful he’ll make the wrong choice. He wanted me to choose.

I wanted to scream!!!!

Why why why?

Their problem is they want the quick fix. They want me or someone else to solve their problem for them and make the tough choices. They’re hoping that one email will give them all the inspiration and motivation they need. They want to skip through all the hard work and enjoy the rewards.

They expect someone to tell them how to make $1000 a day, working only one hour, with no experience, no website, and no stress.

They want someone to hold their hand and do everything for them.

While working on this post, I noticed this tweet from Steve Kamb at Nerd Fitness.

Steve's Tweet

I willing to bet if Steve replied to emails like that, it’d be a waste of time.

The first give away is “but don’t have any ideas”.

That’s a bullshit excuse.

Don’t have any ideas?? If he would read Steve’s great blog, I know he can find ideas.

What about using Google? Yahoo? Bing? The library? Come on!

We live in a time when information is at our finger tips. I hate it when someone says they have no idea how to start or don’t have any ideas.

What it really means is “I’m too lazy to look myself.”

If they’re’re too lazy to research, I guarantee they’ll be too lazy to do the work. The research is the easiest part!

Those people who email Steve wants what he has, but if they knew that it’s taken him many years to get to this point, they’ll likely be disappointed.

When the secret is revealed, all intersest is lost. They don’t want to do all that work. They’re not willing to do the mundane. They aren’t willing to sacrifice.

They still want the end results, but aren’t willing to put into the effort.

So the great advice goes wasted.

The Lazy Magician  

I’ve been guilty of this. I have always loved magic. I grew up watching David Copperfield’s magic specials on TV.

I’ve been on websites that sold magic tricks and when I saw the demos, I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. I wanted to get that same reaction from others when I performed it.

When I couldn’t resist anymore, I would order the magic trick. I was so eager to find out the secret.

When I found out the secret, I realized it was pretty hard. I knew I could get that amazing result I saw in the demo, but It would take a lot practice and work. Work that suddenly I wasn’t willing to put in.

I would give it a shot anyways and practice, but soon lost interest. Then I would quit. I was too lazy to do what was needed to perform the trick well like the guy in the video.

I wanted to perform cool magic tricks, but not if it was going to take that much practice.

Apparently I didn’t learn my lesson the first time because I have a drawer with some magic tricks in them.

So I know that feeling of wanting to know what I should do, but not doing it.

I’m older and wiser so I know whatever result I want is going to take work. Not just a little bit, but a lot of work if I want to be successful. There is no shortcut to success.

Nothing came easy to those, like David Copperfield or Steve, but now they are enjoying the benefits of their hard work.

I did learn my lesson though. I haven’t bought a magic trick in years.

Do Something With That Advice

If you do ask for advice from anyone, the best thing you can do is to take any kind of action, and follow up later telling that person what you did and how it’s helped. Trust me, people love to hear that.

Those are the best emails that I get.

A recent person emailed me and thanked me for the free ebook. She lived in near a big city on the west coast. She listed her accomplishments thus far. A very successful business woman, but something was still missing.

We exchanged emails. After digging some more, she told me she’s always wanted to be an actress. She doubted she could be an actress, but hasn’t really tried.

I asked her about acting opportunities where she lives. Turns out her clients work in the entertainment industry. Her friend is an assistant to a famous actress. She lives near a big city in California with lots of acting opportunities.

Then she said the famous line, “I just don’t know how to start.”

I’m thinking “What??” She tells me all the connections around her and she has no idea how to start?

So I gave her some tough love and convinced her she has so many resources around her to find out how to get her foot in the door. I told her she loved the idea of being actress, but didn’t want it bad enough to do anything about it. I knew that was true even though I knew very little about her.

A couple weeks later I get a great email, telling me that the butt kicking (she called it empowering her) helped and she took action. She’s going to be training to be a television host with a coach coming soon.

She was so excited to have taken action and because she did, she found this great opportunity. Now she may not ultimately stick with television hosting, but at least she’s doing something.

I loved the enthusaism in her words and happy to know I could help in some way.

That’s the kind of person I enjoy helping! That’s the result anyone who offers their advice wants to read.

The reality is not everyone is like her.

I’m still going to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and continue to give my all when someone asks for advice, unless it’s a repeat offender. I’m going to do everything I can on my end to help. After that it’s up to that person to decide what they want to do.

Stop Thinking It’ll Be Easy

If you expect things to come easy for you, then don’t waste someone’s time asking for advice.

Think about if you’re willing to do make sacrifices to get what you want. If they tell you it’s going to be hard, but it’s possible, will you do it?

Think about that before you hit send.

Time is valuable. The time it took to them to write you an email is time they can never get back.

If you ask for my advice, and it’s not what you expected or realize it’s more work than you thought, then that’s fine. That’s up to you.

But at least please please please hit reply and say thanks. Think about that other person taking the time to answer you. They didn’t have to.

If you’re not even going to say thanks to me or anyone else, don’t send that email in the first place.

I’m serious.

 

Photo by Niklas Hellerstedt
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  • http://hypertransitory.com John Garrett

    I hear you, Benny!

    Although it seems like I get more people in my “real life” than online who ask me for my advice.

    They ask for my advice, and I take my time to respond and try to help them. What do they do?

    They argue with me! Sheesh.

    They ask me presumably because they don’t know, but when I start telling them suddenly they know it all and the resist every single thing I say.

    I finally learned to not get upset about this stuff, but it is annoying.

    A friend of mine who’s been in banking for years told me he started charging his family for advice. He said that when they would ask for advice, and he would give it for free, they would discount what he told them, then go pay someone for advice.

    When he tells them he’s going to charge them, they feel that his advice is worth more because he’s not going to give it away for free. I haven’t reached that point but sometimes I sure feel like doing it…

    Great post, Benny, hope all is well man!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      They argue with you? That’s nuts! Your example is so true. They ask for advice, but then all of sudden know it all. That’s a great idea to charge family for advice. I think you should do it too. LOL. It definitely would get them to take your more seriously. Thanks for leaving your words of wisdom here John! Been doing well here and hope you have too!

  • http://www.thelastbrokenhome.com/ Adam Alvarado

    Dude I think this is the case with about 99% of all people who not only read blogging, or business sites or whatever, but pretty much ANYTHING that might be confused with trying to improve a person’s life. The ones who desperately email you are just the tip of the iceberg. Just as bad to me, are the thousands who read, comment maybe, compliment maybe, but still never do anything. They just use it for like a 5-minute morning high every day. No different than a junkie.

    Real action is a rare thing…

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Completely agree. Rare action is a rare thing. That’s what separates the ordinary from the extraordinary. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Adam!

  • http://www.geekersmagazine.com/ Nitya

    You are completely right. It happens in our real life also. My friends ask for advice but when I really give any advice to them, the most often reply which I usually get to hear- “Mate, you can’t understand the situation!” If I can’t, then why they come to me and waste my time?
    I seriously like your post. Good work.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Hey Nitya, thanks for sharing your example. It sounds like John’s comment where people ask him for advice, but when he gives it to them they start arguing with him about it! Why argue and why tell say you can’t understand them? Unfortunately we can’t control how people will react. Glad you like the post!

  • http://shannamann.com Shanna Mann

    These people drive me NUTS. Up the ever-loving wall. So, as a filter, the first thing I do is give one manageable, implementable piece of advice. And tell them to come back when they’ve done it. And thereafter, every conversation can be started with, “So how did that thing work out for you?” and if they didn’t do that thing, I know there’s no point in continuing the conversation.

    Great post.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Hi Shanna! I’m glad to hear it’s not just me. I love to help, but I’d rather focus on people who aren’t just wasting my time. That is a great piece of advice! I’m going to take your approach. Will allow me to test out the waters first. Weed out the lazy ones. Thank you so much!

  • http://www.TheGreatBusinessProject.com Ralph Quintero

    Another great post Benny! I think that beyond fear, most people are lazy. They will just not take the MASSIVE ACTION needed to make things happen. There is no magic. The magic is called hard work. Seems that people are allergic to hard work.

    Either that, or they are “ASKHOLES”: People who constantly ask for your advice, yet always do the opposite of what you tell them! LOL! (a friend sent that to me on Facebook)

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      LOL! That’s a great word!! In another comment John mentioned friends will ask him for advice and then they start to argue with him! All of a sudden they seem to know everything. So why even ask in the first place?

      Yes people want magic. I know because that’s what I hoped for. I didn’t have the patience to put in the work. So I kept waiting and waiting. Finally I realized that approach wouldn’t work.

  • http://lifechangingyear.com Tracey – Life Changing Year

    OK, OK Benny! I’ll sort out the shirts!!! You had me scrambling to make sure my reply had sent! Lol. And I’m stealing the ASKHOLES crack from Ralph! That’s priceless!!!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      LOL! I definitely wasn’t talking to you. I’m glad to help with the shirts. I got your email and will reply to it!

  • http://www.mysteryshopguide.com Ariana

    I hope I don’t come off as one of these people. :) I’ve actually put your advice into practice. I was able to find some great programmers on ELance and even wrote up a proposal to the company I wanted to partner with, regarding the app. Unfortunately, the project was put on hold. Reading this actually reminded me to follow up, which I just did. Even if this doesn’t work out, just planning out the app and submitting my proposal gave me a huge boost in confidence. I feel a sense of accomplishment just for having done something.

    I suggest all those people here who are hesitant to pull the trigger on their idea despite having all the tools and resources before them, “just do it.” That old saying “It is better to have tried and failed, than to never have tried at all” is very true. You won’t feel a sense of failure (which is all you’re afraid of) after giving it your all.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Not at all Ariana! Far from it. Mainly I was directing those people who ask for advice and then never say anything. Or keep coming back to me w/ the same questions or a new question about a new project.

      Glad to hear an update on the app! It’s so much better to try and fail than to do nothing at all. Keep me posted please!

  • http://www.mobileapptycoon.com Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon

    Another thing I’m sure annoys you is when people decide to email you instead of actually reading your blog. I look all the time on Pat Flynn’s FB page and every day people are posting questions they could easily solve themselves by just doing a quick search in his search bar. But instead, the choose to take advantage of his kindness and make him waste his time finding the old post and linking to it. I’m sure you probably get a lot of emails like that as well.

    It might even be worth it to add a link to this post in the signature of all your replies to people’s emails ;)

    Thomas

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Oh definitely Thomas! I get a small percentage of emails compared to Pat, but I’m sure answer the same questions over and over takes up a lot of time. Just like the Tweet Steve mentioned. They could get a ton of ideas reading his blog, but fail to even do so. That’s just lazy.

      Yeah I might add a link to this post below my contact form. :)

  • http://www.DepantsingTheClones.com Gary Korisko

    Amen…

    Unfortunately, I think it’s human nature. It seems that a percentage of us never really kick ourselves in the butt and get rolling. I’m in sales management and I experience the same thing with employees from time to time.

    It’s like I always say about hiring: It’s fairly easy to identify people who CAN. The hard part is finding people who WILL.

    I’ve received a lot of good, actionable advice from bigger bloggers. I’m glad most don’t seem to have given up on all of us just yet.

    Good post, Benny.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thank you Gary. It is human nature and it won’t go away. I don’t want to stop giving as much help as I can when someone emails me, but now I’m going to take a different approach. Just test out the waters first.

  • http://www.internetentrepreneurconnection.com Hector Avellaneda

    These are the folks with the lottery mentality, as you mentioned Benny. Unfortunately, what they dont realize is that it’s that mindset what has them stuck and what will keep them stuck. YOu have no business ideas? C’mon! If that’s the case then maybe you should just stick to your 9-5, then, is what I would have responded. People who really have an ambition to travel the world, build a successful business and actually create a living from it dont spend time thinking about the fact that they have no ideas. They have them and everything around them become an opportunity for improvement or a new service or product they can provide. Personally, I am always coming up with ideas and even record into my iphone when I have a new idea come to me. As the famous saying says – there is gold all around us, its just that th average eye is not trained to see it.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Hey Hector! I love the last line. That sums it up perfectly. There are so many opportunities around us, and it’s up to use to find it. I remember reading an experiment with a group of optimists and a group of pessimists. They were instructed to walk to a cafe. The optimistic ones walked to the cafe and saw $5 on the ground. They were lucky! The pessimistic ones walked to the cafe and no one saw the $5. Their minds aren’t opened to opportunities. They’re just unlucky.

      Great comment Hector! Thanks so much!

  • http://www.yourlifetube.com Elena Anne

    Yeah i think if you’re not even going to reply to the advice well, this is just bad manners. In the end you can only offer people some of what you’ve learned from experience, the rest is up to them. Some people may not act upon it but we must try pass on the word.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thank Elena for your comment! Yeah I still have been giving help when someone asks for it. I won’t stop it because it’s ultimately up to them what they do with it. Just want people to understand that advice is worthless unless you act upon it.

  • http://www.theskooloflife.com Srinivas RAo

    Benny,

    I’ve seen lots of people who have false starts in this online world. I also get to hear the stories of the most successful people on a daily basis. Two things come to mind when I read this post: action and persistence. You can plan until you’re blue in the face, but until you take action it’s kind of meaningless. I know what you mean about people who don’t take advice. Apparently there are people who have been long time listeners of our show who haven’t started a blog. That always surprises me. I’m happy to have them. But I’d happier if they were taking the advice and getting real value from it. Anyways, I remember writing a post about you a while back saying that I knew you were well on your way because you’d developed the habits of persistence and action.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks so much Srini. Persistence and action are definitely two things I’ve implemented in my life. Two years ago, I had no direction. Nothing. I’d come home and watch TV till I fell asleep. I was like those people who listen to Blogcast FM and don’t do anything. I had all the resources at my fingertips, but I didn’t act on them. I wanted everything right away, knew that wasn’t possible, so I didn’t even begin. I would also add consistency is a great habit to have. Slow and steady wins the race every time.

  • http://www.annieandre.com Annie Andre

    Oh Man Benny,
    I cannot tell you how many emails i get on a weekly basis asking me about how they can travel, live abroad and start an online business. I love it but when i tell them what they need to do, they say oh i can’t do that because of this or that or some other excuse.

    I think you are right, so many people just see the end result (YOU) and think you can give them the magic pill. They don’t realize how freaking hard and how consuming it is to make SHIT happen.

    One of the biggest excuses i hear is I have kids and bills. This pisses me off because I was a single mom for a long time raising kids with no child support and still managed to start my own ebay business on the side. If you really want something you just have to take action and be persistent.

    I digress.

    You’ve inspired me to write something about this topic Benny. Thanks so much..

    As always, I feel more “empowered”
    ps
    Berlin Is Freaking AWESOME. I’m going to meet up with Mars Dorion next week since he lives here in Berlin. You would love it here.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one. I really want to help those who ask for my help, but sometimes I can only do so much. People do have lots of excuses why they can’t. They probably think you’re special and different! But they have access to the same resources as you do. It’s just that you’ve done something with it. You’ve made your own luck (ie House Hunters International)

      Look forward to seeing what you write based on t his topic! That’s awesome you’re going to meet Mars! Let me know how it goes!

  • http://www.learnnichemarketing.com David Tong

    OMG so true and so frustrating especially if you go out of your way to help people for free and they bug you endlessly about it.

    After a couple of free sessions or hours of advice, they’ll just tell you “thanks, if I have the time, I’ll give it a try” and they never do.

    *sigh*

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Yep! Very true. But it’s our of our control. We all make our own choices what we want to do in this life.

  • Pingback: Quit Asking for Advice If You Ain't Doing Shit With It

  • http://www.themillionairefastlane.com MJ DeMarco

    FN legendary post Benny — I feel as if you took the words right out of my mouth as I get hundreds of emails too … what’s worse than those that lack the critical thinking steps in tacking action, is that some of these people feel as if you are their FREE, on-call, personal consultant simply because they visited your website or bought a book for ten bucks. If success was easy, everyone would possess it. I posted the link and some excerpts at my forum. Well done.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks so much MJ! It means a lot coming from you. I wasn’t sure if I should hit publish on this post, but felt like I needed to. I bet you do get a ton of email! I bet most of those people want to be spoon fed everything. They want YOU to choose what type of business to start. Thanks for the mention on the forum. Lots of great discussion going on there.

  • http://StrongInsideOut.com Amy

    Wooo! You tell ‘em, Benny!

    The emails I tend to get are a little different because I write a lot about depression which is a very delicate subject. The bottom line is the same, though: fear.

    Fear is an amazing motivator. You can use it to your advantage or cower to it. The cool thing is it’s your choice. :)

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      I’m just curious how would you reply to that guy who fears everything? I know I can’t just slap him in the face a few times and he’ll be okay. I know that fear has been around for probably his whole life. It just doesn’t go away. I took an approach that I thought would help him, but I guess it doesn’t. I’m still learning at this helping people stuff, so want to know how you might approach it. I know you have a real great way with people. :)

      • http://StrongInsideOut.com Amy

        I think I would have done much the same that you did. I would express my empathy for him, and try to give him actionable advice to get out of it. Starting small is a necessary step for this guy. I would look at his fears list and choose the littlest thing, then take that small action to overcome it. He could work his way up the list.

        Sounds like that’s what you did, though! Thanks for saying I have a great way with people. :)

  • http://www.i-heart-travel.com Jeremy or IHeartTravel

    Benny you are the type of person I would definitely like to be around. Someone who is more than willing to help. but is so passionate about the help he offers he wants those he helps to act upon it!

    I have not experienced let downs on your level, but have indeed in some form gotten frustrated by those who just listen with both ears open. (Meaning in one & out the other!) They want to be spoon fed and much like you I don’t posses the magic spoon, I just want others to know that they too can do what they choose to do!

    Anyways I know who I’m asking for help if I ever need it, don’t worry I reply promptly, and actions will definitely be taken!

    Great stuff benny !

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks Jeremy. I truly want to help and I’m glad people write and ask me for advice. It must mean I’m doing something right! But yeah some people want everything spoon fed for them. I just hope someone reading this doesn’t think I’m unwilling to help them, but that it’s going to take much more than just me giving them advice. You could pay Tony Robbins to be your personal life coach, but your life isn’t going to change unless you do what he says.

      Thanks for your thoughts!

  • jimmy chan

    How to set reminder on this blog post ?

    i always forgot to visit this very valueable site :((

    I’m inspired always when read the post

    you have a very2 big spirit benny . keep good work

    Blessing

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Sign up for updates in the box on the right sidebar. You’ll get an email anytime I have a new post. :)

  • http://30yearoldninja.com Izzy

    Yo Benny,
    I think it just comes down to the reality that many people just don’t want to do the work. They want a simple 3 step formula that solves all of their problems.

    I think people have to acknowledge that it is hard work to live a good life. If we want to do extraordinary things, we have to be willing to make extraordinary choices.

    I recently started waking up at 5 am every day, so I can write and train. Part of it, is because it gives me routine and more time in the day. But a bigger piece of it deals with developing discipline. It is hard for me to do this, but I know that in developing the discipline to do this, I can develop the discipline to be successful in other areas of my life.

    I don’t know how to teach the power of work ethic. It boggles the mind. If a person emails you, and you can tell they are lazy how do you go about helping them develop the necessary work ethic? What do you think man? I’m at a loss.

  • Greg

    I have noticed, from reading various life improvement blogs, there seems to be a large segment of people who dream of living a great life but don’t have the work ethic to make it happen. Self improvement is like a drug… you always feel so motivated after reading an inspiring post, quote or story, but once that motivation wears off and they realize to achieve their dreams it’s going to take hard work, they go back to the blogosphere to find more inspiration. In today’s world where technology advances so quickly and news events are available in real time, people seem to be losing patience and want instant results. Everything I’ve been successful at has been because I had fun doing it. Success is merely a result of being passionate about something over a long period of time. The old saying goes something like “Enjoy the journey, not the destination” which is very true. Anyone who just wants to set out to be rich and travel the world will probably fail.

  • http://www.64kalas.com/ Christina Thomas

    Such a beautiful title supported by a descriptive article
    haha strange no one asking advice to write such article

    Its so annoying when you waste hours advising some one about getting goals in life and he acts like he is inspired by your words but next day your friend comes and tell that he spend ed whole night advising some one when asked who was it and you come to know that its the same person whom you were helping
    errrrr

  • http://www.searchingforhappy.com Alex

    Often times, learning from our own mistakes is the only way many people learn. I’m far from perfect, but if I take the time to ask for advice, I’ll definitely listen. After all, if I can learn from someone else’s mistakes (or successes) my life is that much simpler!

  • http://www.pass4ged.com/ george

    Funny…I woke up this morning thinking how I have to stop asking for advice for every detail and just do.
    The reality is that nobody can tell you whats going to work for you…even an experts advice can be wrong.

    Will read later.

  • http://www.socialcubix.com/services/mobile Allen @ Mobile App Developer

    Great post—and great advice for those who keep asking for input but never act.

    I love to gather information, so that’s an ever-present temptation for me. I’m learning that it’s much better for me to execute (even if the result isn’t 100 percent perfect) than to keep gathering data and mulling over the project.

  • http://nochnoch.com Noch Noch – Be me. Be natural.

    yikes!!! i went through all our email convos just to make sure i wrote back and i didn’t stall on anything LOL :p

    i agree with you. i get emails from readers who want to know how to get out of depression. it’s hard to draw that thin line but i think in some cases, the illness makes one completely void of motivation and energy to do anything. so it’s easy to say “go do some exercise” whereas I know in the depths of the darkest hours there is simply no way i could pull myself up to do some exercise. but all at the back of my mind, i wanted to get better, i tried a little each day. i sought ways and i tried. failed 10 times but the 11th worked. and sometimes i get annoyed that those people who write to me actually prefer to be sick, and treat themselves as a victim of some catastrophe. we lament sometimes and that’s okay but constantly? i’m not a psychologist or expert so even more dangerous for me to try to challenge them. i don’t know their state of mind. so i try to be supportive and understanding, just empathetic. but sometimes it takes away energy from me. so i’ve had to ignore some of them :(

    so i completely support this! dont ask for advice unless we want to do something about our situation. it’s only minimal respect for others – and ourselves!!!

    good to be back online after hiding for a few months. catching up with your blog too!

    Noch Noch

    p.s. every time I go to my own blog and see the section “also seen in” i remember you coz you were the one who told me I could do that to give myself some credibility. in fact i remember you every time i see a similar section on another blogger’s website :) so thanks again for the advice!!

  • http://greybucket.net Nate Pointer

    I had thought about writing a similar post to this, but instead it would focus on the person asking the questions.

    I’ve just started blogging and it’s a lot more overwhelming than I had thought. My first reaction was to find other blogs that I wanted to emulate, email them and ask a ton of questions. I haven’t sent a single email because I’m determined to try things out on my own and show initiative, which I feel is lacking in this world. When most people ask for advice and don’t use it, my thought is that they received a response that requires more action than they had hoped for.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Hey Nate. I agree with that. I believe many of my responses were more work than they hoped for. It’s like all of a sudden think nevermind. Definitely study what makes a good blog. See what others do well. If you get stuck, then ask questions.

      I don’t think anyone should be asking for step by step what they should do. Like I got an email recently saying they wanted to start a blog, what should they do. I didn’t go into detail at all cause most likely that person is too lazy to do anything if they’re asking such a basic question. If they’re asking, they’re better off signing up for a blogging course and learning.

      Thanks for the comment and good luck w/ the blog!

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  • ELICIA

    my husband and i have been separated for a long period of time, I came across different spell caster and they were all unable to bring my husband back. I was so sad and almost gave up on him when i met a man called DR Lawrence who helped me get my husband back. Ever since then i have been so happy and couldn’t believe it would happen. He also helped me with success spell, Thank you drlawrencespelltemple@hotmail.com

  • http://www.cordeliacallsitquits.com Cordelia

    I would add a flip side scenario to this advice: Don’t send someone your entire life story, then ask them how to solve it. I’ve gotten so many emails from wannabe bloggers and freelancers who outline every single thing that’s ever held them back, what they’re good at, what their favorite food is, and the million different directions they want to go in, then ask the infinitely loaded question, “So, what should I do?”

    I can point you towards the sites that have helped me. I can give you a few careful observations that might help. If you ask me a specific question, like “which freelance sites do you recommend for jobs” or “how did you start guest posting,” I am more than happy to go into some depth for you. But I cannot be your life coach in the span of one quick email. I have neither the time nor the expertise to do so.

  • http://www.endingthegrind.com Steve Roy

    Benny,
    This is something that has pissed me off for years. It happens all the time, especially with my personal training business. I get “how do I get in shape” or “how can I lose 20 pounds quickly” all the while they are eating a Big Mac.

    I used to try to explain the process of how the body works, the importance of exercise and eating well, but it almost always fell on deaf ears. Now I now immediately if they are just tire kickers and won’t waste my time answering them.

    It all boils down to the fact that people are incredibly lazy. They want a quick fix, which is why every piece of shit useless fitness gadget sold on late night tv sells millions. It pisses me off!!