With Joe Wehbe Podcast Blog

The Answer To Your Question Is… IT DEPENDS

If you’re reading this you’ve probably asked me, Joe, a very simple question.

Well, at least it seems like a very simple question. But instead of a simple answer, I’ve sent you this instead.


Questions Like…


… how do I set up a blog?

… what’s the best degree to choose for me? 

… how do I set up my website? 

… what’s the best way to set up a website?


Or Even Real Estate Questions Like…


… what’s the best area to invest in? 

… when is the right time to buy?

… when is the right time to sell?


Why Can’t I Just Give You A Simple Answer?


If these questions had one simple, magical answer, you’d be able to google them, the best google result would appear top of the page, and everyone would find the answer there.


But the answer to your question is not as clear as “Who won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2019?” (The Green Book). And so Google doesn’t answer this question for you. Something interesting about Google though…


Their Answer Might Be Different Based On Where You Are


Take a less direct and specific question, like “where is the best area to invest in?” – you can understand why this will give you a different answer based on the different location you’re googling from.


I’ve just googled it and here is the top result after ads: “Top 15 Suburbs to Invest in Sydney in 2020”. It’s contextualised the advice to 1) my city and 2) my year. But with Google’s algorithms, I’m sure it’s contextualising a lot more information.


It might also be factoring in age, interests, purchasing behaviour and heaven knows what else! It is trying its best to INDIVIDUALISE and PERSONALISE my advice.


Lesson One: The Answer Is Different Depending On Who Is Asking It


The Librarian is not extinct yet, and they will not be for some time. That seems funny in a world that has Google and Siri. The reason is that neither people nor technology are adept yet at completely personalising advice and your search for what you are looking for.


“The best way to set up a website” is different for a fashion blogger starting out than it is an experienced fashion blogger. It’s also different for an E-Commerce business as it is to a videographer, and in some cases, say a videographer with a low budget, might be better off with a Youtube channel or Instagram page before a website!


Lesson One: The Answer Is Different Depending On Who Is Asking It. 


Lesson Two: People Ask For A Tactic Without The Context Of Their Strategy Or Goal. 


A common mistake in the art of asking the right questions is asking for an answer to a question about a TACTIC without the context of the overall GOAL or STRATEGY. 

Take for example the question “What is the best way to make money?”.


In one example, this could be a STRATEGY. If someone cannot afford their Minimum Viable Lifestyle, say a struggling homeless person, then they need money urgently to support their GOAL of affording food, water and shelter.


However in another case money could be more of a TACTIC. For someone who already has their Minimum Viable Lifestyle, money is probably just a tool to do something. Someone who runs a charity has the GOAL of helping people relieve financial stress.


The STRATEGY might be to provide small loans to kickstart local businesses, which will lead to better income levels (in theory). So a TACTIC will be raising money from the people most able to support this mission. That’s very different than the answer to a fourteen-year-old at school asking “what the best way to make money” is!


So I don’t answer questions to people who ask TACTICAL questions without the context of their STRATEGY, and GOAL. A lot of these people lack one or two of these, meaning that you are wasting both your time by answering this question. It doesn’t make sense to give people isolated TACTICAL advice.


Lesson Two: People Ask For A Tactic Without The Context Of Their Strategy Or Goal. 


Lesson Three: Different People Need Different Things At Different Times. 


This is where advice and questions get even more nuanced, and subtleties become more important. 


Imagine for example a young man interested in becoming a videographer, who has spent three years procrastinating and putting off making any videos. The most important thing the young man needs is confidence – he needs to start. He needs to open ‘The First of a Thousand Doors’.


So if he asks a question about whether he should set up a website or make a Youtube channel, my answer might be based on whichever gives him a lower barrier to entry. A Youtube channel is free and easy to setup for example… and videos can be uploaded on private, reducing the anxiety of others seeing them before they’re ready.


Take another example now, a young lady who is confident, has already made videos consistently but who lacks a clear message or goal behind them. In this situation the advice might be to stop and do exercises instead that bring clarity around her message.


Lesson Three: Different People Need Different Things At Different Times. 


Lesson Four: All Advice Is Bad Advice. 


This one sounds funny, but I have long-felt it to be true. All advice is bad advice, as people tend to give the advice that is best for them, not you. No one fully knows you, even if they know you better than you know yourself. So, all advice is bad advice, including this advice. It just depends on how bad it is.


The easiest to observe example of this ‘bad advice’ are parents who give career advice to their children. Every generation enters the adult world in an environment vastly different to that of their parents, yet parents will often push them in a direction for something they regret.


For example, parents who never went to university spend years feeling left out, and so hope to rectify that for their children, regardless of their children’s context. They have overlooked the GOAL of helping their child navigate their way in the world happily and securely, and zeroed in on one TACTIC for doing so!


Most People Are All-Too-Happy To Give You Their Winning Lottery Numbers


Sir Isaac Newton was not the first person to have an apple fall on his head, yet for him this was the trigger to discover gravity. Obviously, a non-scientific person would not have reached the same conclusions just because an apple fell on their head!


One of my closest friends found his current partner as the first person he matched with and went on a date with on a dating app. As such he swears by and campaigns for all his friends to use dating apps… but his experience is a true anomaly. He has won the lottery (Congratulations mate!) and has been conditioned to think that his numbers will win for everyone, because of his experience.


Yes, a dating app can bring success, but it is far from guaranteed!


Most advice is completely personalised for the person who is giving it. The best advice however is completely personalised for YOU. 


Lesson Four: All Advice Is Bad Advice. 


We Crave The Single Answer…


We all want and have come to expect a single answer for everything. We are not comfortable with uncertainty, so most people are looking for one line in a book to solve all their problems and answer all their questions.


But no matter how small or simple your ask of me today was, I would like to reassure you that all this is necessary, and that the joy is in the questions. The discovery lies in the uncertainty!


Don’t Feel Bad For Having Asked A Question! This Is An Opportunity To Learn!


Talk to anyone who frequently gives advice, and understand their frustration when no one implements the things they take the time to advise on. The lack of follow through makes them more resistant to giving advice in future because they don’t have time to explain what I’ve written here time and time again.


But the lack of follow through is not because people are lazy, full of shit or alafac. It’s because they so often lack clarity, and are talking about a tactic in isolation.


My sending this to you today is not to offend you, rub your nose in ignorance or anything of the sort. It’s a genuine desire to help! We’ve all been where you are, especially myself, starting out on some sort of exciting new journey!


I hope once you’ve got all your wins and triumphs that you’ll try to open this door for others as well! You might not come back to me because you realise you’ve got more work to do or questions to ask, and that is fine! It’s the art of going through doors in life that not everything we start is what we expected it to be.


How To Get Advice Or Answers Off Me


Remember today’s lessons. Your first question is always “What is the right question to be asking?”.

Hint: Don’t start with ‘how’ if you haven’t asked ‘why’… 


Map out your GOAL first. Create a simple, best-you-can-think-of-with-current-resources STRATEGY and then unpack the TACTICS that will make the STRATEGY successful.


Remember of course, despite how simple your question was today about ‘how to set up a website?’ or ‘where is best to invest?’, today’s four important lessons that will change I hope forever the doors you open and the intentional journeys you embark on in life:


Lesson One: The Answer Is Different Depending On Who Is Asking It. 

Lesson Two: People Ask For A Tactic Without The Context Of Their Strategy Or Goal. 

Lesson Three: Different People Need Different Things At Different Times. 

Lesson Four: All Advice Is Bad Advice. 


Feel free to use this post when people ask you the wrong questions. 

Remember, the best way to open a thousand doors for yourself is to open doors for others. 

With Joe Wehbe – The Podcast

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