Saturday, August 23, 2014

Free Advice

We used to live in a town that had a great farmers’ market down on the square. During late spring and early summer, one could go there on a Saturday morning and not only buy local products but also see local characters on display. It was a farmers’ market with a mixture of art show, carnival, music concert, political rally and tailgating all thrown in for good measure. One of my favorite characters was this guy who sat at a card table with only two things on it. A tip jar and a sign that said “Free Advice”. You could ask him anything and he would solemnly ponder the question and then give an answer. The answer might reflect the wisdom of Solomon or be totally off-the-wall ridiculous and often hilarious. But he never cracked a smile or engaged in any conversation beyond, “What is your question? My advice is as follows….”

As a headhunter, I offer quite a bit of free advice to clients and candidates regarding the job market. I consider the free advice as an investment in building positive long-term business relationships and do my best to make sure that it is sound advice. And as I watch what’s going on in the world, I feel the need to offer some free advice about a number of issues. It’s unlikely that anyone will care, much less take action. But at least I tried and did so for free.

So here’s some free advice on a variety of topics which should be easily identified (but I’ll provide some points of reference just in case):

_Follow the money. (Want to get the bad guys in the Middle East? Want to solve the immigration problem? Want to figure out why Washington is so dysfunctional? Why is there so much coverage of the Ferguson MO shooting?.)

_Avoid confrontation with law enforcement officials. (Ferguson MO and lots of other places)

_Married men, do not go on the radio and talk about all of the women you’ve had sex with. (Nick Cannon, aka Mr. Mariah Carey)

_ Do not flip people off. (Johnny Manziel)

_Drill baby drill. (Energy independence…which also sticks it to the bad guys in the Middle East, see “follow the money” advice above).

_Do not trust politicians. (You already knew that…pick any example from Putin to Obama).

_Always get a second opinion. (My shoulder surgery was successful and recovery is going well.)

_Do not leave kids, or pets for that matter, in a hot car. (How many more unnecessary deaths will it take?)

_Don’t waste water. (Hello… we are running out of water in a lot of places.)

_Do not allow expenses to exceed revenue. (Starting with the Federal Government.)

_Get some exercise. (You know this is good advice.)

_Spend time with God and if a voice tells you to cut off someone’s head, it’s not God’s.

_Read a book instead of watching television. (Reality TV is not real.)

_Listen more than you talk. (One of the best pieces of advice you’ll ever get.)

I could go on, but most of us know what to do. Good advice is almost never anything we did not already know. Most of our missteps are not made out of ignorance. Thus my last piece of free advice: THINK.

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