How Open-Minded and Responsible are You?

Robert Terson

As I’ve said many times, I receive calls from people almost every day from all over the world. They reach out to me seeking help and I, indeed, try to help them. It’s become a big part of my retirement life. Most of these experiences are positive, but every now and then I encounter someone whose behavior, actions, attitude causes me to scratch my head and roll my eyes.

I came across James, 29, on LinkedIn—he had looked at my profile. After perusing his profile, I sent him a message that included an invitation to connect on LinkedIn, which, by the way, he never took me up on:

I saw that you had looked at my profile. I hope you found it intriguing. 🙂 I just perused yours. Please consider this an invitation to connect, and let me know if I can help you in any way. That’s what my retirement career/book is all about–helping people, giving back for a lifetime of blessings.

If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll visit my site. There’s a ton of great material there from many of the top sales & marketing Pros throughout the US and Canada. Europeans have begun to participate, too. My email and phone number are on my profile and website; reach out anytime! Unlike most folks on social media, I like to get to know interesting people well, talk to them whenever possible. It’s led to some incredible friendships, collaboration.

If you read sales books, take a look at the 54 [62 now] reviews for “Selling Fearlessly” at; they’ll tell you about me, as well as the book, which is a throwback to the days when storytelling ruled.

Lastly, my sympathies re the Bruins, especially the shock you must have suffered in the last minute and sixteen seconds. On the other hand, as I’m sure you can imagine, we loved the outcome in Chicago–don’t get many winners here. When the Cubbies get there, God willing, the explosion will be heard ’round the world. 🙂

I received the following email response from James:

Thank you so much for contacting me personally. I am a bit LinkedIn/Professional starstruck [sic] right now. To be honest I do need help. Reason Being; I have grown weary of chasing clients down for past due balances. Honestly, It takes double the time of my contract to actually procure any money from clients. I love what I do. I would like to stay in my career path. I am sure some one [sic] as renown as you would have a few Boston area clients looking for employees. It would be a huge help if you could share any leads. Thank you so much for the compliment on my profile. I can’t wait to hear back from you 

I thought the email was a bit convoluted and contradictory: he says he loves what he does, but he also says he’s weary of chasing down clients for money and hints that maybe I can help find another job. Anyway, this was my response:

I’ve got a window of time Monday at 1:00 p.m. Central time; that’s 2:00 your time. If that’ll work for you, you can reach me at 847-577-1504. Let me know.

First we talk, I get to know you, find out what you’re doing. Glad to help if I can.

He came back with: That would be amazing! I am in. Then in another email he said: Would you like me too [sic] send you a copy of my resume before hand [sic]?

To which I replied, No. You can save that for someone who might be interested in hiring you.

He replied, Okay, thanks!  Have a great weekend!

When he didn’t call at the appointed time on Monday, I sent an email asking why. I was about to forget about the guy when he finally called—30 minutes after our appointed time. He apologized, said he thought I was going to call him. The kid is looking for help, even help getting another job, but he ignored the phone number I sent him and expected me to call him. Earth to James, Earth to James!

I directed him to the email where I’d given him my phone number. “Oh,” he said, apologized again.

So, I already was thinking this guy is a flake, which kept getting reinforced, because during our conversation…every time I proffered a possible solution to his problem(s), he’d say, “Yeah, but…” and he’d go into why that just wouldn’t work.

I finally got tired of it and pointed out his negative outlook to him. Honestly, I don’t think he got it. According to him, his many problems were the fault of all these external sources and he wasn’t interested in taking responsibility for any of them. He wanted help but he was far more interested in yapping away about his “difficulties” than listening to what I thought re solutions.

I gave the guy a name in Boston, but I was pretty sure he wouldn’t follow up. When I hung up, I looked up to the heavens and sighed.

Hey, I’m here to help you, if you’re truly a responsible individual who’s going to respect me and my time, to say nothing about listening to what I have to say. Otherwise, why bother, right?

I thought I’d tell you about my experience with James, in case it might help you recognize yourself in his inappropriate behavior and attitude. If you do, wake up and smell the coffee!


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