To save time, circle the choice that best applies.
Hey, (friend/Facebook acquaintance/person I met that one time while drunk but am Facebook friends with for some reason):
Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to email me! I really appreciated hearing from you. And congratulations on finally (paying down your debt for good/finally leaving this damn town/starting your own business/other). I know it can be a tough step to take the plunge and admit to the world that you’re going to do something to make your life better. That’s scary. Maybe not (skydiving/trying that spicy-looking pepper/confronting an armed robber) scary, but still scary nonetheless.
I’d like to help you, I really would. By asking me, you’re automatically assuming I’m doing better than you, and I appreciate the indirect compliment. I probably even have the disposable income to really make a significant contribution to your plight, and it would probably make me feel good to do so. So understand that I have seriously contemplated your offer.
But I’d also like a bright red jet-ski. Sure, I might not live near water, and my swimming skills rival those of a dog, but I still want one. Not to use per se, but just so I can own it. I want to look at it in my garage and mentally masturbate over the fact that I can afford such a useless luxury item.
Do you understand how both helping you and owning something so useless just because I can are equivalent in my mind? Helping you brings me no tangible benefit besides the satisfaction of knowing that I helped out somebody during an hour of need. Sure, owning a jet-ski doesn’t help anyone in need, but it does make me feel good. If the whole purpose of helping you is making me feel good, then I might as well just whip out my junk and rub it against a pointless luxury item. It accomplishes the same thing from my perspective.
Here’s the deal. Chances are, you’re not really in an hour of need at all. You haven’t “tried everything”, or even tried most things. You lived a life filled with (poor choices/illegal drugs/FREAKIN JET-SKIS) and expect me and my fellow responsible brethren to dip into our pockets and make the consequences of those choices go away. Why should that fall onto my shoulders?
Back when I worked at a grocery store, a homeless man showed up expecting a handout. It would have been easy for the manager to give him $10, or even given him all the day-old bread he could eat. Instead, the manager gave him a deal–in exchange for 2 hours of work, he’d give him $20 and an extra $10 for a haircut.
To his credit, the homeless man accepted enthusiastically, and he left at lunchtime looking a whole lot better than he did before, and $20 richer.
So (friend/useless tit/annoying guy), why wasn’t your request an offer to work? Why wasn’t your offer a loan which you are 110% committed to paying back, with interest? If your job is as bad as what you say, you should be chomping at the bit to do something that isn’t slaving away for that bastard boss.
I am always willing to enter into business relationships where there’s a mutually beneficial outcome. That’s what I do, every single day, over and over again. I expect nothing for free, and neither should you.
We’re all selfish humans, looking to make our time on Earth a little easier. But someone like you is the most selfish at all. What’s more selfish than asking me to give you cash without anything in return? Remember, for me to feel good about giving you the cash, I have to recognize that your need is just. I cannot do so, not when much of it is your own fault. Without that to hold over my head, you have nothing that will compel me to give you the cash.
So I unequivocally and empathically wish to tell you that I will not give you the money you’re looking for. Under no circumstances will I forward you a dime. Instead, I’ll give you an alternate offer.
Getting to the point where you don’t have to degrade yourself to ask for things like this isn’t easy. It takes a lot of hard work and a lot of sacrifice. It takes thinking outside the box and ignoring the consumerism culture that surrounds us. It’s really hard, but every single of us is capable of it. By bailing your out of your bad decisions, I’m creating a situation where you will never experience the sheer joy of accumulating your own nest egg.
Let me tell you from experience; it feels pretty damn good to look in my bank account and realize I can do pretty much whatever the hell I want. I would never want to rob a fellow human of that feeling.
So instead, I’ll offer this. Whenever you need financial advice, I will help. Whenever you need help making a difficult choice, I will help. Whenever you need my guidance in helping you improve your skills or attitude, I will help. I will help to improve yourself as much as I can.
You’re thinking this offer is bunk. But you’re caught in your own backwards thinking. When you’re poor, your time is worth nothing. The wealthier you get, the more your time is worth. That’s the beauty of passive income; it allows you to leverage your time into money in a way no hourly employee can pull off.
By offering to help you with my time, I’m giving you something much more valuable than my cash. I can teach you how to become me. Hell, I can teach just about anyone to become me. It won’t happen overnight, but it can happen.
But I’m going to assume you won’t accept. Why? Because my way is hard, and yours is easy. It’s true, I won’t deny it. But mine is also infinitely more satisfying. I’ll leave the ball in your court.