The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success
  • Sell-Me Saturday is Now Live!

    Have something to sell? Like to post a video from your YouTube channel? Want to promote your design service? Recommend a company? SELL-ME SATURDAY is your opportunity to self-promote whatever you'd like within the realm of entrepreneurship on one central thread... and at no cost. Go There
    Note: Indiscriminate SEO backlinking to questionable material is not allowed.
  • Join 50,000+ entrepreneurs who are earning their freedom and living their dream.

    "Fastlane" is an entrepreneur discussion forum based on The C.E.N.T.S Framework outlined in the two best-selling books by MJ DeMarco (The Millionaire Fastlane and UNSCRIPTED®). From multimillionaires to digital nomads to side hustlers who are grinding a job, the Fastlane Forum features real entrepreneurs creating real businesses with one goal in mind: Freedom— both financial and temporal.

    Download (Unscripted) Download (Millionaire Fastlane) Register
    Registering for the forum removes this block.

NOTABLE! Quit Asking for Advice If You Ain't Doing Shit With It

  • Thread starter
  • Admin
  • #1

MJ DeMarco

Administrator
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
28,816
97,906
3,751
Fountain Hills, AZ
Very rarely do I find an article that has me yelling and screaming "Yeah! Yeah! You tell em!" -- I feel as if this was written by me.

Awesome piece by Benny Hsu...

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

Excerpts...

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 don’t come out of lamp

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 l0ttery ticket and win millions.

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.

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.

Screen-Shot-2012-08-05-at-9.22.23-PM.png

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

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

LightHouse

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Aug 13, 2007
4,062
5,830
1,316
Northern VA
I can't like this thread enough. I can't stand anyone sending an email for anything, getting a response, then not emailing back. Not to mention PM's that are just copy pasted and generic... Zero effort on your part constitutes Zero effort on my part... and now you ruined your reputation!

After saying that I sure hope i followed up on all the emails I have sent in the past! haha
 

PatrickP

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Mar 16, 2012
1,843
1,421
182
I am going to take the other side.

I LOVE when these sort of people PM and email me. It is well documented I am very bored and love to talk/write about business. So I send a very long detailed reply and then if I don't hear back I think well I got my karma points in and that is just another person who wont be competing in the market place but it isn't because I didn't try to help them. :)
 
  • Thread starter
  • Admin
  • #4
OP
OP
MJ DeMarco

MJ DeMarco

Administrator
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
28,816
97,906
3,751
Fountain Hills, AZ
I LOVE when these sort of people PM and email me.
Unfortunately, it is fundamentally impossible once you reach a certain volume.

If you have 100 emails asking you for advice and it takes you 10 minutes to provide it, you'll need to allocate 2 days just to follow-up. And after you spend those 2 days answering? Bam. There's another 100 for you to answer.
 

Vigilante

Legendary Contributor
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Oct 31, 2011
9,858
57,575
4,655
Gulf Coast
Does anyone else think it's somewhat futile yet amusing to give MJ speed for classic posts like this? :)
 

chubbyrain

New Contributor
Aug 8, 2012
14
11
15
41
I love this thread. It's direct and holds no punches.

I try to look at a lot of things from the perspective of Pareto's Principle.

So if 100 people need your advice, the chances are only 20 will ask for it. Then out of that 20 you've got yourself another 80/20 rule.

That means if you help 20 people with an email/phone call/conversation only 4 of them will look to take onboard some of your advice!

So, 100 people need help and "Pareto principle"ly speaking, only 4 will do something with it... Shocking...

Anyhow, that's not to say I live my life by a hard and fast rule run by Pareto's principle, but I do see it in life daily for a lot of things I encounter so for me it's a good barometer to measure things by.
 

BrucetonGuy

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Sep 28, 2011
246
126
39
I have seen several posts on the forum that read something like "Where can I find a mentor?"

If these people would look closely, they will see that there is a WEALTH of knowledge available to them. All they have to do is ask and the information is provided (FREE of charge) from some VERY experienced Fastlaners! However, the problem arises when they DO NOTHING with that information or worse yet, they expect someone to do it for them.

To use an analogy, as I am an avid fisherman, this would be like someone who has never fished before, having 20-30 experienced, well recognized fishermen available to answer any question they may have about fishing. They ask "Where do I catch the biggest fish?" or "What pole/line combo should I use to catch this certain type of fish?" And after receiving the best, most detailed explanations, they do nothing and still don't know how to fish.

I have asked for and received some FANTASTIC advice from folks here on the forum and have implemented that advice. Why someone wouldn't run with that knowledge is beyond my comprehension.

ON A SIDE NOTE: I am going to post the picture of the baby in TMF Funnies thread!
 

Skys

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Dec 20, 2011
642
441
154
The Netherlands
One thing I did learn here, is how important it is to ask the right question. So whenever you want advice, make sure you know what you want to ask and do some investigation on your own.

My worst PM was: Could U give me some booktips?

My best was about passive marketing. Where I asked somebody how to go about my goal to become a headhunter, and get to the fastlane with certain branding (branding myself).

The first question was SUPER impulsive, and I am even kind of emberassed I wasted people's time with it. Thankfully they plain ignored me haha Which, was maybe an even more valueable lesson that getting a book to read!

My question about passive marketing, I am super happy I asked. Because I well on my path making stuff happen with advice I would not have come up myself.
 

Runum

Platinum Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Aug 8, 2007
5,978
4,323
1,788
DFW
One thing I did learn here, is how important it is to ask the right question. So whenever you want advice, make sure you know what you want to ask and do some investigation on your own.

My worst PM was: Could U give me some booktips?

My best was about passive marketing. Where I asked somebody how to go about my goal to become a headhunter, and get to the fastlane with certain branding (branding myself).

The first question was SUPER impulsive, and I am even kind of emberassed I wasted people's time with it. Thankfully they plain ignored me haha Which, was maybe an even more valueable lesson that getting a book to read!

My question about passive marketing, I am super happy I asked. Because I well on my path making stuff happen with advice I would not have come up myself.
Yep, your questions have improved a bunch in the last few months. Also, your actions have improved as well. Great to see.
 

Skys

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Dec 20, 2011
642
441
154
The Netherlands
Yep, your questions have improved a bunch in the last few months. Also, your actions have improved as well. Great to see.
Thank you. I still have a long route ahead of me and I still slip sometimes. The more I try to change my behaviour and my mindset, the more I realise how much really is about having the right mindset. Makes me very eager to learn, improve and be open minded about what people try to tell me.

One of the best books I have read the past month is "Just Listen", from Mark Goulston. Pretty eye-opening for a rehabing-stubborn guy like me!
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

oddball

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Mar 8, 2011
715
386
172
Austin, TX
I had someone tell me that before. When I first emailed him I was just another person wanting to make millions doing the same thing. I took all his advise and put it to use, emailed him back multiple times. Then one night we were going back and forth on FB chat talking about business and everything. At the end of it I think I surprised him in showing I do actually know a little about what I am talking about (more that others but still lots to learn).
 

PatrickP

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Mar 16, 2012
1,843
1,421
182
Unfortunately, it is fundamentally impossible once you reach a certain volume.

If you have 100 emails asking you for advice and it takes you 10 minutes to provide it, you'll need to allocate 2 days just to follow-up. And after you spend those 2 days answering? Bam. There's another 100 for you to answer.

hmmm now how could you monetize that email list ;)

Maybe you and I form a partnership. You forward me these 100 emails a day and I give you a cut of the profits?


EIDT I was joking above but thought about it a little more Seriously I am not sure where they are getting your email addy from by why not put in an auto responder to a sign up for a newsletter.

Gather the emails and convert them into something for profit. Such as your book, a follow up video etc.

There seems to be a need, you have control over the market as they are coming to YOU, you have info they desire. Seems like the start of something possibly.
 
OP
OP
MJ DeMarco

MJ DeMarco

Administrator
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
28,816
97,906
3,751
Fountain Hills, AZ
Seriously I am not sure where they are getting your email addy from
My email address is listed in my book ... TWICE ... once at the beginning, and again, at the end.
 

Eskil

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 18, 2012
1,832
7,501
2,066
Scottsdale, AZ
Yeah I don't know how many times over the years that I have been pm'ed on forums or emailed by people who want me to give them specific solutions. And I have tried to help many that way, often with detailed responses - but more often than not, it is left unappreciated or worse; not used at all. I see those same guys some months later and they haven't acted on my advice at all. They just keep on trying new things instead, probably asking other guys for the next big thing. Lol..

However, when I DO know that my advice has been actively put into action, that makes me feel good too.
Like PatrickP mentioned, I enjoy helping people out when they come to me with questions and I can tell that they are serious about making a change for themselves. And I can speak for myself that when I do ask others for advice, be it email or pm, I DO act on it and use that advice.

I'm always aware of possibly wasting someone's time, so I always try to keep this in mind if and when I do contact someone.

It's the freeloaders / action-fakers of the world that end up spamming people like MJ's mailbox...
 

socaldude

Platinum Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jan 10, 2012
1,319
3,007
786
Mexico
Unfortunately, it is fundamentally impossible once you reach a certain volume.

If you have 100 emails asking you for advice and it takes you 10 minutes to provide it, you'll need to allocate 2 days just to follow-up. And after you spend those 2 days answering? Bam. There's another 100 for you to answer.
I can only imagine you deleted your email account LOL. "Is this Fastlane?", "I need your help", "How about this idea?" "How do I do this?" "I don't do anything all day what do I do?" "Should I Do XYZ or ABC?" "What is your address"

Seriously the Fastlane is all about being a SELF determined individual. You are able to formulate your OWN reasoning and direction. Seriously we are all grown a$$ adults, we don't need someone to come wipe our a$$ and spoon feed us. Honestly if you need someone to come and hold your hand, pat your bottom, rub your belly and burp you then the Fastlane is NOT for you.

People are lazy. They want OTHERS to do the critical thinking and problem solving. Fastlaners? Nope. They think for 5 minutes straight, 20 minutes straight, 1 hour straight, 2 hours straight even DAYS straight until that problem is solved. The MAJORITY can't even think critically beyond two seconds. It's okay to seek help from others but ONLY AFTER you know you did your BEST.

STOP group thinking which destroys uniqueness and critical reasoning and move towards SELF thinking. Think different, Think a lot and think independently. This why warren buffett and steve jobs are rich. Warren doesn't ask for investment advice from other investors because he self thinks. Jobs doesn't do that either because he THINKS DIFFERENT.
 

Skys

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Dec 20, 2011
642
441
154
The Netherlands
Socal,

asking somebody for advice is a form of determination. You might decide you don't know it all, and you might realise you do need some feedback on your path. You talk about Warren Buffet not asking for investment advice, but you are wrong. In several interviews Buffets mentions one of his most important mentors: Ben Graham. He might not ask for advice any longer, but he sure did starting out. He also started reading about investing at a very young age. Reading is a form of getting advice too.

You can ask somebody the right direction, because chances are what you are trying to accomplish, is already done. It's probably done a lot. You have to make your own decisions, build your own life and do the things that needs to be done. You can try to reinvent the wheel, or you can learn from other peoples expierences.

There is a difference between the people that want to be spoonfed and the people that are on their path seeking advice to get to their goals. It's for them to show they are the real deal.
 

socaldude

Platinum Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jan 10, 2012
1,319
3,007
786
Mexico
Socal,

asking somebody for advice is a form of determination. You might decide you don't know it all, and you might realise you do need some feedback on your path. You talk about Warren Buffet not asking for investment advice, but you are wrong. In several interviews Buffets mentions one of his most important mentors: Ben Graham. He might not ask for advice any longer, but he sure did starting out. He also started reading about investing at a very young age. Reading is a form of getting advice too.

You can ask somebody the right direction, because chances are what you are trying to accomplish, is already done. It's probably done a lot. You have to make your own decisions, build your own life and do the things that needs to be done. You can try to reinvent the wheel, or you can learn from other peoples expierences.

There is a difference between the people that want to be spoonfed and the people that are on their path seeking advice to get to their goals. It's for them to show they are the real deal.
I didn't say that asking for advice is wrong. I said you should only do that if you did YOUR best. I'm talking about developing a mind set of self determination that is needed to build something that most people don't build.

somebody who emails mj asking "how do i file an lcc paperwork" or "is this fastlane" is NOT doing their best.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Skys

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Dec 20, 2011
642
441
154
The Netherlands
I agreed with everything until you said this:

This why warren buffett and steve jobs are rich. Warren doesn't ask for investment advice from other investors because he self thinks. Jobs doesn't do that either because he THINKS DIFFERENT.
My point is that Buffet did ask for advice and he used that advice.

Thinking on your own might be pretty dumb if you got it all wrong :)
 

socaldude

Platinum Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jan 10, 2012
1,319
3,007
786
Mexico
My point is that Buffet did ask for advice and he used that advice.

Thinking on your own might be pretty dumb if you got it all wrong
Your saying X=mentorship/guidance/influence, so in that case X=Success.

I agree every successful person has had somebody influential in their success, a mentor, a self help author you name it.

But i'm saying thats just one of MANY variables. And one of the other VERY important variables is being able to act/think on your own initiative. I'm saying success is X+V+Y+G+J+K=Success.

Somebody who comes on this forum asking for advice that can be known by just reading a book or a simple google search or by just thinking is obviously not fit for the Fastlane.
 
OP
OP
MJ DeMarco

MJ DeMarco

Administrator
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
28,816
97,906
3,751
Fountain Hills, AZ
somebody who emails mj asking "how do i file an lcc paperwork" or "is this fastlane" is NOT doing their best.
Agreed.

My point is that Buffet did ask for advice and he used that advice.
And what do you think the Buffet's advice inquiry sounded like?

Something general like, "How do I invest?" (Read: Is this Fastlane? How do I find ideas? How do I learn computers?)

or something a little more specific, indicative of his ability to gather preliminary knowledge and do a little due diligence?

Example...

How do I invest in stock options? (Translation: "Give me A+B+C = I want to be rich")

VS

How does the risk profile change of a high-gamma option as it nears expiration? Does volatility come into play? How much risk is there in my portfolio being -300 delta and what's the best way to neutralize it?? (Translation: "I've started my knowledge journey... but confused on this...")
 
OP
OP
MJ DeMarco

MJ DeMarco

Administrator
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
28,816
97,906
3,751
Fountain Hills, AZ
I hope you are saving them so if you do a follow up book you can let them know.
Yes.

if you could go back in time, would you still put it in?
Yes.

I enjoy hearing from readers ... unfortunately, some of them think I have some sort of crystal ball and can make their life decisions for them and "I enjoyed your book" turns into "What do I do?" Many sound very impressive, while others, are just too comfortable with their life to really make any changes (I have a great job that I hate but don't want to take the risk to leave it) and are destined to choose the illusion of security over the reality of happiness.
 

Vigilante

Legendary Contributor
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Oct 31, 2011
9,858
57,575
4,655
Gulf Coast
Mike... awesome post. Shows that you are headed towards the Fastlane. Speed+
 
OP
OP
MJ DeMarco

MJ DeMarco

Administrator
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
28,816
97,906
3,751
Fountain Hills, AZ

hedgehog757

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jan 24, 2012
307
75
48
New York
I never actually thought of emailing MJ directly other than to maybe say I love the book. But I just figured he would have so many emails he would either never see it or not reply.

But one thing I knew was that he could not make me rich by my emailing him. He can't make my life decisions for me. Life is never that easy or we would all be rich. So I joined the forum and started looking here for advice and what and how people are doing. The Progress Threads are great! Those are more helpful than you think for people who are looking to do their own thing.

It's not too hard to form an LLC. You can talk to a lawyer or use a website like LegalZoom if you want. All depends what you are looking to do. When I created mine for the business I have, I used a lawyer. But I didn't know of any other way to do it back then.

But as we all know...Only YOU can make things happen for yourself!
 

Skys

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Dec 20, 2011
642
441
154
The Netherlands
Agreed.



And what do you think the Buffet's advice inquiry sounded like?

Something general like, "How do I invest?" (Read: Is this Fastlane? How do I find ideas? How do I learn computers?)

or something a little more specific, indicative of his ability to gather preliminary knowledge and do a little due diligence?

Example...

How do I invest in stock options? (Translation: "Give me A+B+C = I want to be rich")

VS

How does the risk profile change of a high-gamma option as it nears expiration? Does volatility come into play? How much risk is there in my portfolio being -300 delta and what's the best way to neutralize it?? (Translation: "I've started my knowledge journey... but confused on this...")
Like I said on page 1, maybe you missed that: It's very important that you ask the right questions.

Your saying X=mentorship/guidance/influence, so in that case X=Success.
No. I m not saying that.
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.



Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe to become an INSIDER.

Post New Topic

Please SEARCH before posting.
Please select the BEST category.

Post new topic

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom