Question of the Month
Ask J - August 2009
They say that you know you've arrived when you manage to evoke a bit of anger from your readers. This letter arrived asking the question if I was a scammer and I was sort of taken aback by the level of anger this writer seemed to have. I admit, I was a bit defensive (ok, very defensive) when I first read it. In fact, I started to write an angry letter back (hey, I am human).
I started to revise my response to take the edge off but that would have been dishonest and I want us to be open and honest with each other.
Honest and open communication go along way with solving issues, particularly now since the world seems to have become much more sensitive about everything.
Question: "After many failed attempts at finding a way to contact you personally this will have to do. Apparently you don't accept linked-in invites from just anybody.
My question is this. I am a young creative and philosophical guy with absolutely no clue what I want to do with my life. Without any inspirations or motivations, I finally dropped out of college and is now living back home with not a cent to spare. I have read about 45self-help books and they all pretty much sound the same. Why should I spend yet another 40bucks on your book when you market, make promises, sound and look JUST like everyone else?
I am hopeful and I truly want to find some way of turning my sad existence into something good but I am broke and tired of wasting money on false promises. Especially those that are scams. They all promise a full refund but oh, what happened when you tried to get that refund? They disappear! Not to mention I find nothing but your own site when I Google for you or your book. Something this big must have made SOME impact on other people so that they at least mention it online?
Just cut the B.S marketing, cut the promises of heaven on earth and be straight forward and honest. Is this, or is this not just another B.S self-help book that actually doesn't work unless you already have something going for you?"
Answer: Hello Jack,
I find it interesting that you've read 45 self-help books and have gleaned nothing from them. I remember being in that same boat, but what got me through was me taking that information and applying it to my life. Jack, nothing in a book will make a difference in your life unless you apply it to your living circumstances. The reason why all of these sites (including mine) sound the same is because we can't reach out and talk to everyone individually. The best we can do is try and touch upon a point that resonates with the reader and should the reader decide to move forward, help as much as we can. But, it is ultimately up to you and your application of the information.
The obvious difference with my work is "ME". I am simply giving you my point of view of what worked for me as I struggled with trying to understand just what am I doing here and doing wrong since I didn't seem to find success in anything I tried. I am not trying to convince you to spend a dime on my material particularly if you see no benefit nor am I promising you heaven and earth because I can't. In fact, I give away quite a bit of free information on this site. Again, any progress you make is solely up to you and your perception of life as you live it.
As far as you not finding any other information about me online, well, I can't control what people write or do with the information that I provide. Most, I would venture to say are personal in nature and refrain from public posting of their private lives.
Life is difficult. The best you can do is simply do something, evaluate whether it performed as expected, if it does do more of it; if not take another course of action. No one can do that for you.
You stated that I should cut the b.s. To say that is to imply that I am giving you b.s. and I am not. For you to take the time and write me tells me that you are searching for something. I would suggest, if you haven't already, before you spend another dime is to figure out exactly what you want. No target, no progress which is another thing that makes this different. You need to define what purpose you are going to fill. You have value to offer and simply need to figure out what that is.
Finally, The Book of Success was written by a person who had given up and was ready and willing to end his own life. I didn't grow up with all the luxuries of life but I figured out what was stopping me and removed it so that I could live the life that I desired.
I can't stress it enough, Jack, you have to find a fulfilling game to play in this life whereby you provide a value to others. We are all in this game together. To steal a quote, "You will get what you want, when you give others what they want". That's the practice of the Golden Rule my friend.
I hope this helps and I will post your message as I have absolutely nothing to hide.