The cost of convincing somebody that something is good for them

I’ve always wanted to help people. Especially those close to me or those asking for help via phone/Twitter/LinkedIn. With remote.ma, and some posts on this blog, I wanted to convince people how remote working is good for them.

I presented a lot about remote working. From what legal entity to make. How to get health insurance. How to deal with taxes. Why it’s beneficial for you. How to prepare a portfolio. How to get a remote job. And much more.

But, even with this, I still got many questions in my inbox. Usually, from people who aren’t ready to do the work it takes to switch their career, learn something new, etc. Even after reading articles, either mine or others, they are still not sure. They think it’s too hard. Or still looking for that trick to make things easier.

I then try to convince them, one by one, that there is no trick. All shortcuts, if any, aren’t worth it in the long term. That they need to work on things they want. Invest their time on themselves and making their today’s version better than yesterday’s. Sometime it works, but the majority of times it doesn’t.

Given this success rate, I asked myself: is it worth it? And the answer is: continuing to invest so much time and energy in convincing people isn’t worth it. So I stopped doing so.

What I’m sharing is for information/inspiration. I owe my career and my knowledge to the internet. I’ve learned 90% of what I know on the internet and I still learn every day. So, with my blogs, I’m trying to give back to the internet, and probably help someone learn something new or inspire them to do something. But I’m not convincing anyone, anymore.

This doesn’t mean I stopped helping people. When asked for help, I present all options I know, and it’s up to the one asking to chose which suggestion is better for them. When asked to choose from the options, I say: “If it was me, I’ll go with option 2. But everyone is different, so you got to chose what’s better for you“. I think this is better for both of us. They will spend more time thinking about it and choosing the right answer for them. And for me, I’ll not waste my time and energy.


I made this reflexion weeks ago. But yesterday, I saw this tweet from Jason Fried.

You can’t convince somebody that something is good for them. Only they, can convince themselves that something is good for them.

Jason Fried

I think I discovered this indirectly with my experience too, but listening to this short video made me realize it and articulate this post. Sometimes, all it takes is a 26sec video to inspire you to create something.

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