People burn with the desire to provide unsolicited advice. The problem is, 99.9% of them are unqualified for the advice they provide.
Good advice is worth more than gold. Just like gold, it’s rare.
I turned my life around by heeding the advice of smart and qualified people. I am grateful to them. But I had to weed out countless pieces of horrible advice to find the advice that contributes to my life.
Bad advice is costly. Even it’s free, it wastes your most valuable asset: Time.
Most people die before they notice that they have been steered wrong with bad advice.
Since good advice can turn your life around, I decided to write a guide to help you weed out the bad advice.
Here are the 10 types of people whose advice you can safely ignore:
1. Average people who parrot the talking points of the mainstream media
You already know that I completely ignore the mainstream media. But, ignoring the MSM is not enough because these liars have loyal disciples who propagate their bullshit advice for free. There are even people who pay a monthly subscription to the likes of the New York Times. These people are literally making regular payments to be lied to.
I come from a middle-class family. My parents are retired government workers. They have a huge social circle. Almost all of their friends are also middle-class people. While these people are not bad, none of them are rich, none of them are fit, none of them built a successful business and almost all of them had arranged marriages.
It doesn’t take a genius to be an average person. Yet, these people think they are qualified to provide advice on every subject you can imagine because they think they know it all by following the mainstream media. They really believe that reading newspapers and watching TV is a great way to educate themselves. Whenever they watch or read some horrible advice that they deem interesting, they readily believe it without an ounce of questioning. But they don’t stop there. They provide it as advice for the people around them. The information they received can’t be false because, after all, it made its way to a national publication.
In reality, the mainstream media is full of lies and manipulation. Their advice can safely be ignored.
2. People who didn’t bother to walk the talk
A few years ago, I was walking in a shopping mall with my girlfriend. We noticed a large group of people who were apparently there for a fitness class. They had all dressed the part and of course, all of them had their mandatory 0.5-liter water bottles next to their exercise mats. Naturally, I looked for an instructor, as group exercise sessions always have, and I started chuckling. My girlfriend asked me why I am laughing and I pointed her to the fat instructor.
I don’t know why these people thought it was a good idea to take fitness lessons from a fat instructor but I was actually not surprised.
Millions of people take weight loss advice from Oprah and Dr. Phil who are both obese. I’ve seen thousands of people who follow the relationship or marriage advice of spinsters and divorced “experts”. Hordes of people follow the financial advice of “experts” who got rich by teaching people how to get rich.
3. Journalists and columnists
A journalist can write with a complete inner peace that “aspartame causes cancer” while reporting a scientific experience that’s designed to explore how high the dosage of aspartame must be to give rats cancer. It doesn’t matter that giving rats cancer is the entire point of the scientific study. It doesn’t matter that the dosage of aspartame to cause cancer is inhumanely high. These little facts don’t matter to the journalist. He will report the scientific study as “aspartame causes cancer”. Because that’s what sells newspapers, receives internet clicks and gets TV ratings.
As if this is not enough, people I mentioned in item #1 will heed this as 100% unadulterated truth and they will advise you to stop using sweeteners or you will get cancer and die.
Journalists are scums of the earth. They are dishonest, low-life people who don’t give a flying fuck about you. They will stoop to any low you can imagine if it enables them to attract viewers or readers. People are not humans for these crooks. They are just statistics.
Journalists and columnists are tools for their bosses. How many journalists or columnists can start a blog on their own and find people to read their garbage?
Other than their advice about “how to be a good tool” or “how to be a worthless liar”, the advice of journalists and columnists can safely be ignored.
The dictionary definition of a charlatan is “a person falsely claiming to have special knowledge or skill.”.
Charlatans are masters of persuasion. Not all masters of persuasion are charlatans but all charlatans are masters of persuasion.
I wrote a whole article entitled Did You Make an Informed Decision or Were You Persuaded? where you can learn to distinguish between real information and persuasion. In that article, you can see a real-life charlatan drinking olive oil on national TV. Beware of these types and ignore their horseshit advice which is designed to siphon your hard-earned money.
5. Academicians who don’t have skin in the game
My brother got a Business Administration degree from an Ivy League college, but he had absolutely no idea about how to build a business. This happens because his teachers are academics who have never built or administered a business in real life.
Most academicians have zero skin in the game. They are considered authorities but their advice is mostly useless and can safely be ignored.
6. People who take advantage of the halo effect
The halo effect is described as the tendency for an impression created in one area to influence opinion in another area.
The most notable examples of people who utilize the halo effect are celebrities and TV personalities.
For example, an actor will go ahead and tell people who to vote for in an election. A TV personality who is a doctor will give relationship advice.
I would gladly heed the advice of an actor on acting, but I will safely ignore his advice on politics. Likewise, I wouldn’t want to take pick-up advice from a celibate scientist.
7. People with the right connections
Many people get rich and/or famous just by being connected to the right kind of people. If you, your community or your family don’t have powerful connections, their success advice will not relate to you.
People with the right connections don’t encounter the obstacles regular people have to overcome on their way to success. Most of the obstacles are conveniently removed by their connections before they even appear to them.
These people are unable to relate to regular people. They never had to deal with the hardships which are inevitable for normal people who start from scratch.
Their advice can safely be ignored unless you have similar connections with them.
8. Politically correct cowards
The truth is often ugly. It’s impossible not to offend people when you speak the truth.
Cowards are scared to death of offending people. As a result, they waste your time by dancing around the issue and their message is diluted with politically correct bullshit.
In my experience, people who dare to speak the truth without the fear of ruffling some feathers tend to give better advice. This is not a clear-cut rule though. Because there will always be charlatans or attention whores who will do anything to attract attention. See item #4 for a better evaluation of who is a charlatan and who is not.
9. People with an agenda
Ideologues or leaders of movements and cults are not there to help you. They are there to push an agenda which will benefit only themselves at the expense of their followers.
Don’t follow any leaders or ideologues. There’s no person in the world that knows it all. I gladly listen to any person who provides valuable advice on a particular area that I am interested in. The same person probably sucks in another area.
Since I have multiple areas of interest, I have to utilize the advice of multiple people. Not only that but also it’s good to compare the advice of multiple qualified people in one specific area.
10. People who inherited their wealth
While I have nothing against people who inherited their wealth, I safely write off their money-making advice for obvious reasons.
Here, I’m not talking about the people who significantly furthered the wealth they inherited. I’m talking about the people who were born into filthy rich families.
Unless someone has defeated the odds and became rich by his business savvy, his advice can be safely ignored.