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Old 02-08-2009, 08:56 PM   #21
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I have known many people who do strange and impulsive things that I would never do. I learned too that they don't listen or want advice.

Now, I just say, "wow, you're so spontaneous, I could never do that because I'd be so worried about all the details and how it would work out"

With one friend it's sort of a joke between us, they never follow through anyway so I don't even bother saying anything and I don't freak out like I used to because I used to take them seriously.

If you're seriously concerned, then I think folks have offered nice ways to be supportive. Also, given the economy and possibility of going back into the workforce with any ease, I'd try to "straddle" and keep the regular job while trying out the new gig till it ramps up enough to cover the bills. But they can get that type of advice from any book on starting a new business...

If i think of something clever to say, i'll put it here...
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Old 02-08-2009, 09:12 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
The last time I said "Wow Groovy " . I was wearing tie dye and smoking wacky weed.
I think Moe is the one who should become a standup! You are on fire tonight, girl!

I always just listen, ha--in my experience people have already decided they're going to do what they're going to do. And I'm really bad at predicting success or failure (and I hate any risk), so they would usually be smartest to do the opposite of what I think. So just send those young whippersnappers over to me!

“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:30 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by bright eyed View Post
I have known many people who do strange and impulsive things that I would never do. I learned too that they don't listen or want advice.

Now, I just say, "wow, you're so spontaneous, I could never do that because I'd be so worried about all the details and how it would work out"
+1 That's pretty much what I always did. I would sort of turn it into a joke about my reluctance to go out on a limb for fulfillment and sticking to a duller but surer approach. Of course, now I couple it with a cheerful discussion of the obvious benefit to my approach - I retired wild, happy, and free at 56. But the reality is that I, and many like me, did spend decades in a sort of OK but at the same time slightly toxic work environment. I always acknowledge that for some faced with a similar situation it may be better to take the risk to change your life by pursuing other means to earn a living. Knowing myself I concluded that the employment alternatives would get quickly get old and could derail my trip toward independence.
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:37 AM   #24
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If someone is seeking my opinion on a business related idea I will tell them what I think and why. Though I have to agree normally those doing so are seeking validation of the path they have already chosen and will likely ignore any input you may have. People who know me know what to expect - there will be no sugar coating - so unless you want to hear it don't ask. I never given unsolicited advice.

However, I am much warier when it comes to input requested on personal relationships. I tend to take a listening position and nod my head at the appropriate place, having been burnt at a very young age.

I be a girl, he's a boy. Think I maybe FIRED since July 08. Mid 40s, no kidlets. Actually am totally clueless as to what is going on with DH.
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:57 PM   #25
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A good friend (best man in my wedding) spent 4k on a futures trading scheme (Optioneer). Then got his dad to do the same ... triied to get me to buy in too. Sooo I listened and pointed out the BIG red flag (33% trading commisions for the broker); and said "no thank you, let's see where you are in 5 years".

Only took 4 years ... he lost 60k. His dad lost around 10k. Both have closed thier accounts. No big "I told you so!" (I am in the red for the year too). But we'll commiserate our losses over an adult beverage (or 2).
FIRE'd since 2005
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Old 02-09-2009, 03:03 PM   #26
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I have a terrible track record of telling people exactly what I think. Famously I give advice on relationships (gladly informing them that the guy--or girl--is a jerk and to ditch them).
While this makes it so I can sleep at night, knowing I've warned them of some pending pitfalls, it doesn't really make me the kind of person you just "bounce ideas off of".
I wish I could be more like Ha, and consider my actions, but perhaps there will still be time for me to change my ways.
Having said that, I wish you all the tact you can muster, Ha.
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

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Old 02-09-2009, 04:35 PM   #27
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I've lost acquaintances over this sort of thing. Good riddance to most of them, but now I just smile and say some BS and move the conversation along to other topics. But if some of my friends came up with sort of nonsense (unlikely given the decent amount of common sense among them) I would be my usual self and ask - are you f*$(%ng crazy?!?!?
There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is having lots to do and not doing it. - Andrew Jackson
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Old 02-09-2009, 05:41 PM   #28
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My best idea is to send them to someone else for the bad news.

I recently established an LLC to do independent consulting work and went to several FREE counseling sessions with SCORE (service corps of retired professionals, I think). It's a bunch of retired businesspeople who volunteer their time through the small business association to mentor people who are starting or having problems with their small business. I think they have chapters in most major cities. The "counselors" I interacted with were definitely helpful and I get the distinct sense that a lot of what they do is try and talk people out of bad ideas. Or at least take them through some discussion and help the person realize it's a bad idea on their own. There's never any charge, and you can go as many times as you want.

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Old 02-09-2009, 06:26 PM   #29
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I once tried to talk a friend out of putting some of her retirement money into a [deleted] annuity. She was aware of the negative press on the subject but did it anyway. She continued to mention it to me every once in a while, although she seemed embarrassed by it.
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Old 02-09-2009, 06:58 PM   #30
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My friend got into Quixtar. I nodded politely when he told me. Then I nodded no politely when he tried selling me their stuff.
Angels danced on the day that you were born.
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:17 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by bssc View Post
My friend got into Quixtar. I nodded politely when he told me. Then I nodded no politely when he tried selling me their stuff.
Had to google that. Ahhh, Amway and Rich De Vos discover the internet.

Quixtar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Quixtar business model differs from the earlier Amway business model in many aspects, such as the way distribution is performed as well as the products and services offered through partner stores. Rather than ordering product from a distributor who delivers them in person, Quixtar customers can place orders online and have the products shipped to them directly.
Can you still buy their "wonderful" laundry detergent that was concentrated so you only need to use half as much, for 10x the cost of the big name brands? Such a deal.

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Old 02-09-2009, 09:44 PM   #32
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Ha, do you think they're going to take your advice? If so, give it in good faith. If not, nod and say "Uh-huh, good luck with that."

Or, you could say "Yeah, I remember when I was young and crazy."

"You'd be surprised at how much it costs to look this cheap." -- Dolly Parton
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:18 PM   #33
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I've learned to remain silent. If they ask my opinion then I give it. But they usually don't. And I'm usually right.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:34 PM   #34
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Of course, I also have been on the other side, but I couldn't figure out if the friend was trying to be helpful or trying to make sure that nobody became successful. I told the friend that I'm working with for a startup company that recently got purchased by a large multinational because I wanted to see how entrepreneurs think and work. Note that I have not yet joined a startup, but the friend into a 2-hour talk about how startups will never work even if they do get VC funding. Then after trying to explain to him that I'm not at a startup for about 2 hours, I finally hung up the phone. Two weeks later, I got a sarcastic email about how he wished me the greatest success. You tell me what the heck this guy was up to.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:24 PM   #35
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That sounds very annoying.

I don't care what they plan, I will keep mum. It did make me feel a little uneasy, because when a guy destroys his career he often loses more than just a job.

These people area lot of fun, and I want them to be sure to have enough time and money for happy hours and parties.

But unlikely things do well, and seemingly sure things crap out. So I should remember that there are gods, and there are men. I belong to the latter group.

"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:16 AM   #36
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Much good advice for me also. I need work on the "Judgemental" disease.
ERD50 and Dex's listening link are good.
My cousin told me about his intention of going into business with a friend. Have you made a business plan? No, we are going to "wing it". I liked how I handled that one. One good out of a hundred could stand improvement.

Where is that pie shop?

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Old 02-10-2009, 10:15 AM   #37
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Look them in the eye, pause for a second, and then say:

"You're joking, right?"
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Old 02-10-2009, 01:15 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by haha View Post
20 years ago we had some friends (a family). The guy had a good job, the woman stayed at home. He was making a long commute to Seattle from our town, so she got the idea that he would quit his job and they would together start a pie shop in the town.

I told them all the reasons why it would likely not work, and promptly lost them as friends. (They didn't do the pie shop, they moved to Seattle and he became a very successful manufacturers' rep in his field.)

But ever since I have always said, WOW, Groovy! no matter what hare-brained scheme a friend might come up with, 'cause I would rather they find out for themselves than chance losing a friendship.

To bring it to the present, Friday night I went out with a group of young people that invites me to functions from time to time. I like them all, and particularly the one couple to whom I feel closest. The guy is a C++ and Java programmer with apparently good skills, and a good high payng job. But for reasons that I don't really understand, he has become philosophically at odds with the corporate world, and so he wants to go together with a couple of semi-employed anarchist philosopher guys to do web design. I am sure they can scrape up some clients, in fact they already have. My feeling though is that there are way better ways to live that scrambling for low end web business.

One of these prospective partners has already lost a good looking woman because her ideas for how he should be spending his life were less laid back than his. My friend also has a Helen of Troy quality GF. I guess I just have a feeling that you shouldn't take too many chances with some types kind of risk.

So, I said WOW, GROOVY at the idea, but I feel not great about it.

What do you folks do?

Ha, you have to do what lets you sleep well at night. That is, do what's best for you - not in a selfish way, more in a "To thine own self be true" way.

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Old 02-10-2009, 11:49 PM   #39
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I think that people need to take some risks....and if they are young enough to recover from taking this risk....then wish them all the luck.
I am a firm believer of the "life is short" group and I have yet to regret my escaping corporate america!
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:51 AM   #40
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Several comments:

There are different types of friends...some that you can be brutally honest with and some that are nice to spend time with and some in-between. You need to determine what type of friends these are and whether or not it's important that they stay at the level or move to either of the other levels. If these friends are ones that really do value your opinion, then be brutally honest. If they are merely nice to spend time with, then in my estimation it really doesn't matter what either party thinks.

As for starting your own business, I'm with WM. In fact, I just started my own LLC consulting business. Several changes in my life 'forced' a re-evaluation. However, before I made that choice, I did a lot of personal research: I interviewed several other consultants in the field asking them how they set up their business, what they charge, how they work, etc. I also read books on starting your own business and different types of business models. I figured out what I could charge and how much I would need to make to meet certain goals. I spoke with prospective clients asking them if they would hire me for consulting jobs and what for. In short, I tried to make as informed a decision I could - what was the unknown? The current economic slump or the depth of it - however, one could look at this as an opportunity for a consultant if you have just one project to be done - you don't need to hire an employee, you can hire someone to do just that job.

I know I'm cluttering up a retirement board with 'work' stuff, however, *if* your friends ask what you think, you might ask them how they came to that decision and what research they did into the pros and cons. Frankly, you might learn something yourself. As for your opinion, you notice with that approach you've asked them for theirs along with rationale and after listening can decide if you agree or disagree and/or even share that.

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“We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.” - George Orwell/Winston Churchill
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