Marketer Cami Pham: Why I stopped helping people and I recommend you do the same


We have been told that people need help unconditionally, and especially when they least expect it. Of course, this is absolutely true. Occasional expressions of kindness can change a person’s life in many ways. However, each coin has a negative aspect.

The source Translation for Mixstuff – Igor Abramov

My mother taught me to never advise people nor try to help anyone unless they ask me about it. I always thought she would just be cold, indifferent to the people around her. However, over the years, I realized that she was right. My mother is one of the kindest people I have ever met.

Society always insists that helping others is a noble cause. To be honest, I do the same thing.

We have been told that people need help unconditionally, and especially when they least expect it. Of course, this is absolutely true. Occasional expressions of kindness can change a person’s life in many ways. However, each coin has a negative aspect. It is very important not to turn a blind eye, for any shadow of this kind, to this shadow side.

I do not want to say that helping people is always bad. But at the same time, it is not always good. There is something good in bad, as well as bad in good. Therefore, helping people is not a bad idea, but it cannot always be called a good one. Here are three cases when I basically don’t help people, and I recommend you do so.

1. Stop helping people who don’t deserve your help.

This is not always easy to do. After all, we were all taught to help people – and rightly so. However, you should leave this common misconception.

Famous American comedian and TV presenter Sam Levenson said, “When you grow up, you’ll find that you only have two hands, one to help yourself and the other to help others.”

The founders of startups are often asked to share ideas, provide useful advice. I understand how difficult it is to manage a startup, as I myself have been doing this for a long time. However, for some time I stopped sharing knowledge for free.

In the past, people invited me for just a cup of coffee so that I could only get an idea. However, now I think this: If you have several million dollars in the bank you get from venture funds, digging into my head for free is only indecent, especially if you don’t even bother to pay for my tea .

They do not understand that I also need to feed my family, pay the mortgage and meet the deadline. They do not understand that in order to make time for a coffee break, I must compensate for the lost hours to complete my main task and not sleep until 2 in the morning.

If someone believes that my time is worthless, then I have no time for such people!

If people do not care about you, you should not help them. They just don’t deserve your help.

Now I just call people at an hourly rate and take out a square payment terminal. Yes, you may seem rude to many such behaviors, but it makes my life easier and makes me happy. People take me more seriously. If someone cannot pay for my service or advice, I usually come up with some other way for them to compensate for my time.

  • Rule No. 1: Never provide professional services for free.
  • Rule number 2: Never forget rule number 1.

Next time, if someone asks you to speak at their conference for free, do not agree until you have agreed on more attractive terms. If they can’t pay, ask for free space for your advertising stand, time to promote your business, or perhaps a free conference ticket. This will immediately show whether people are serious about attending your event.

People will always try to use you if you allow them. You do not have time to help everyone without exception, so only help those who deserve it.

And remember: the first person you are bound to help is yourself. If helping people makes you sad, stop doing it. Just stop helping people once and for all.

Sometimes you have to be selfish and put your interests above strangers. Never mind the fact that society encourages you to do it differently.

2. Stop helping people who don’t value your help

I agree, my biggest weakness is that I love helping people. I help them, whether they ask for it or not. But, following such philosophy of life, you never know where to expect trouble.

A former client of mine was performing poorly. My team spent several days analyzing all the data and trends to find out the cause of the problems. It was not part of the agreed service, and we did not bill it. We did this because we took care of client success. My colleagues found serious problems in their business model and strategy. We showed our findings to the customer, and as a result, he immediately terminated the contract and refused our services.

We worked in the principle of compassion for our client. We told him what he did not want to hear. That is, in fact, we lost money and time because we tried to help one person. And finally, we made it such that the person hates us, expresses professional judgment for him.

Remember: The easiest way to turn a friend into an enemy is to give him advice he does not want to hear.

When I offer my help to someone, I really want to help. But many times it happens that people are not ready to help me. And this is normal. Any change for the better requires a lot of effort and time, and most people do not want to go that route.

You should not give advice when people are not ready to take them seriously, or one day they may return and blame you for the fact that your recommendations did not help them. In a word, I have stopped helping those who do not want my help. Less unnecessary suffering, more time for ourselves.

3. Stop helping people if you can’t finish the job and do everything the best you can.

This is the most important point. To offer help to someone, if in fact you are not ready or cannot help, is a gross mistake, if not more. I have performed it many times, and I still regret it in some respects.

A few years ago, my parents were abroad and asked me to take care of the house. I do not know how to water the plants properly. I poured some of them, but some, by contrast, did not have enough moisture. A month later, when the parents returned, all the plants died. If I had not offered help, someone else who knows how to take care of plants, and then my father’s precious plants would have survived to this day. Of course, since then the parents have not allowed me to touch the plant.

Trying to help people often does more harm than good when you don’t have the skills or time to do so.

Offering help without being able to do the best you can is a big mistake. It is like being blind and offering to teach someone to be attracted. With your offer, you give people the opportunity to find the best help. And in some cases, your kindness can also hurt people. One of the easiest ways to destroy mutual trust and good relationships is to help a person you cannot provide and bring it to the end.

After all, in the end, everything in life can be good or bad, so you should try to find the right balance between the two extremes.

One should always weigh carefully before offering one’s help. If you do not do this, you will inevitably lose time, money and good relationships with people (both personal and professional) who are dear to you.


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