“Can I ask you a question?”“I didn’t know you knew them! OMG! Can you introduce me to….”“Hey! Can I pick your brain?”“What do you think about THIS?” As an entrepreneur/business owner, I'm sure that you’ve heard at least one of those blurbs or even worse you’ve said one of them before. Now don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. There is, however, something wrong with asking for help that you NEVER intend on using. THAT, my friend, makes one an *dun, dun, duuuuuunnnn* ASKHOLE! You should have totally seen your face just then.
While no one would readily admit to such a thing, askholes are more common than we would care to believe. These kinds of people strike so subtly that you don’t even notice that you’re falling prey. You may be asked to join them for a quick call, Starbucks, or dinner and then BAM! The next thing you know you’re giving advice, forecasting, cultivating and simply giving away your wisdom. What makes askholes so frustrating? It’s the fact that they ask things and proceed to do the exact opposite of what you’ve advised. They then have the audacity to expect you to help fix what could have been avoided if they only adhered to your expertise. Newsflash: for the average business owner, when someone says, “pick your brain”… We hear “unpaid consultation”. And ain’t nobody got time for that! Word to Sweet Brown.You have to understand that your ability to provide answers is a valuable commodity! Every time you share your expertise with the downright lazy, it chips away at what you have to offer. Think about it: Why would someone want to pay you to get that in which you give away for free? I know. I’ve been there. It sucks. But alas! There’s hope! Yep. I just used “alas” in a real life sentence. And it made sense. #winning I’d like to give you 3 tips that, if implemented properly, will ensure that you and your business are “askhole proof”. You ready? 1. It’s okay to just say “NO”!“No” is a complete sentence. It stands alone and doesn’t require elaboration. Try to refrain from giving access to individuals who didn’t earn it. You’ve worked very hard to acquire the knowledge that you have. Why should you easily give it away to the first person knocking? When you value your expertise, you’ll be more apt to protect it. If you plan to be a successful entrepreneur, insight has to become your best friend! Insight is simply when knowing what to do, how to do it and when to do it collide. You have to be aware of when an exchange is not beneficial to your success or the growth of your brand. It’s not being mean or untouchable. It’s exercising wisdom. If you were permanently unavailable, how would they get the information that they demand? They’d find another avenue, right? Here’s the reality, if you don’t begin to value your know-how, the overwhelming stress of interacting with askholes will make you permanently unavailable. As in dead. Kicked the bucket. Game over. Comprende`? Let’s try it: “nooooo”. “No.” “Nope.” “NO!” 2. Protect your connections!Here’s the thing: just because YOU know someone it doesn’t mean that THEY should know that someone too. I believe that we all have had the experience of looking like a jerkface for introducing an undercover flake to our network. With the rise of Facebook, Linked In and Twitter, it has become fairly easy to be privy to who knows whom. Introductions are uber important because you essentially trust another person (who may not be worthy of it) with the connection that you yourself have fostered and cultivated. Access costs! A comprise of your network could possibly lead to the depletion of your net-worth! If a person cannot be trusted with the advice you give, why should they be trusted with the network that you’ve worked hard to build? In the infamous words of Tony Montana, “My cojones and my word is all I have”! Your name is important and it should say something! Don’t be that person who has that one associate that’s a complete idiot. In the business world, having just one idiot counterpart makes you an idiot. In this case, do NOT do it for the "Gram! 3. Teach others how to invest in themselves!Every successful business owner should know a thing or two about investments. Investments come in the form of time and money. The truth is that the average askhole refuses to invest in them. Why you ask? It’s quite simple. They have YOU! Why pick up a book when they can call YOU? Why attend a beneficial seminar when they can email YOU? It takes nothing but time and effort to increase your knowledge by reading a book or three. Investing in oneself promotes growth. Losers make excuses. Winners make a way! You become the answer by having the tenacity to find answers. A successful business owner understands that their success lies in duplicating themselves! Instead of giving people what you’ve learned, show them how you managed to learn it. The next time an askhole attempts to strike up a withdrawal session *ahem* I mean conversation,encourage them to search for their answer in a book… Youtube… A television segment… Shucks, tell them to ask Big Jesus!
The point is this… Encourage their growth! If they don’t want to be an askhole their whole life, they’ll thank you for it later. Entertaining an askhole can prove to be the quickest way to lose boatloads of moolah, time and mental stability. Askholes are incapable of respecting other’s time, expertise or connections! They’re takers! Make a decision to value yourself and not allow them to withdraw from your well of wisdom anymore! Be resolute. Be confident. Fight the power…. After all, the success of your business depends on it!