Thanks, but no thanks!


Have you ever been in a gather where some random dude walks up to you and asks, “so, what do you do for a living?”? And even before you respond, you know deep down it’s going downhill from there. Why? Chances are this guy is a passionate motivational speaker, a life-coach, and a mentor to the startups! And by the way, they also work as a branch manager at some bank.

Believe me. I’ve had more than a handful instances like the one above. The funny bit is that they lead their introduction with the things they’re passionate about instead of what they really do for a living. I think we can safely blame the self-help industry for making them believe that if the gurus can do it, they can do too!

Of course, we’re living in an age where everyone is a multipotentialite (or at least pretends to be) and want to be many things to many people. But as someone with a marketing and HR background, I’m big on competency, credibility, and most importantly, appropriateness.

Sadly, our random gurus lack all of these! Despite great intent, it can get a little overbearing to hear things that you don’t really want to. Most wannabe gurus and coaches don’t have a deeper context to our personal lives. And they don’t even try to listen but want to coach you nonetheless!

If you’re one of them, I hate to break this to you — nobody gives a damn about your advice but their own freaking problems! And believe me, giving a motivational speech to a chronic procrastinator will create a motivated procrastinator!

Nobody wants free advice on how to live a life. Unless they’re in real pain or explicit ask you to help them with your insight, don’t. And even when they do, don’t give them up right up, instead ask a lot of open-ended questions. Let them speak because more often than not, they’re looking for some kind of validation and/or clarity on what they already have in mind. But that does call for a great amount of skill, training, and practice.

For best results, curb your enthusiasm. It will serve you good.

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