I’m Wasting Time: What Can These People Teach You?

In Blog, Personal Branding
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I'm Wasting Time dre baldwinThat’s what I think to myself anytime I have an extended conversation with someone who doesn’t have information to share with me. If I’m going to advance my interests, any time I spend conversing needs to be spent with a person who has something I can learn about. Otherwise, I’m wasting time, which is the same as wasting money and life.

Oh yeah — I understand that there are people who lack information and want to talk to someone who may have it, to help themselves — basically they want to use my same technique, with me as the provider. And I get that. That’s why I’ve recorded over 3,000 videos (as of the date of this post) and written as much as I’ve written on this website. All the info you could want from me is already recorded and public info, ready-made for you. So excuse me, I have to have to speak to those whom I can learn form, so then I’ll have more experiences and more information to share with the masses in the future. Get it?

I really do feel at times like I’m wasting time when I’m talking to someone who has nothing to offer me. And this is the part you all must get: You can acquire information without anyone else ever lending you any of their time. Read books. Online articles. Magazines. Newspapers. Watch videos. Hell, sit quietly and think about what you already know. There is a ton of info in just those mediums and you can consume them at your own pace without ever speaking to anyone. Consume, then apply, the stuff you learn, and boom — now you’re the one who has the information. So you’re not stuck in a someone-has-to-help-me-first position.

Further, with the right amount of information combined with critical thinking (read: new combinations of the same information everyone has access to) you can create brand new information. Take for example, a fitness instructor who creates a new workout trend. A musician making new musicA basketball player creating a new move. It’s not a zero-sum game. The amount of knowledge in the world never decreases, it always increases. Which also means, the longer you go in life without having any info, the less acceptable that is (because every day, there’s more of it available for you to acquire).

If there is someone, however, who has some info you need and you see this person as the only way to get it, here’s what you do: Offer something in exchange. Barter. Doesn’t have to be money, and you might not be able to pay the price in money, anyway. Offer something. You don’t know what you have to offer? Shit, neither do I. Look at yourself, and look at that person you need to talk to. What do you have that that person needs, wants, or could need or want? Nothing, huh — can you manufacture a something? Sure you can. This is a simple rule of life. When you want something from someone, offering them something is the easiest way to get it. Asking for a handout leads to lots of closed doors, unanswered emails and send-to-voicemail calls.

Don’t blame the person who ignored you. Blame yourself for needing something with no means to get it. But the thing is — you always have means. You’re just not using them.

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