How Should We Deal With Requests to Mentor?

Last Update: May 03, 2019

I am sure this is a common issue but it is becoming so frequent that I thought I should write a post about it here. I am getting many requests to "mentor" brand new members. I am sure this request is common for Ambassadors and higher ranked members. Perhaps other members can share their experience with this issue and suggestions of how to handle it? Maybe we can come up with a good answer together. I wish I could help everyone but I simply don't have enough time and they need to learn to follow the steps themselves to be successful.

I am honored that people are asking me to be their mentor but I simply don't have time to do so. I am getting many such requests lately from brand new members. I don't know if they all read something somewhere telling them to get a mentor or if they just think it is good place to start when they are new and feeling overwhelmed.

It certainly makes sense to ask someone to help you with something new. I get it. It also feels like a bit of a shortcut however. They may not want to do the work themselves so instead of doing the training they ask someone they think is successful to help them. That is an honor as I stated above but I cannot spend all my time mentoring new members. I barely manage to keep the job I have and struggle to work on my own websites.

I am never sure if I should nicely point them toward the training (which I usually do) or suggest they contact their referrer or offer to answer specific questions. In the most recent case I got yet another email from a new member I have never seen before asking me to mentor them. On his profile I see where he already had an exchange with his referrer. Therefore, it is not a situation where he does not know who his referrer is. She told him to follow the training however and I am guessing he wants a shortcut. They just pop up out of the blue. Random emails requesting my help but not asking any specific questions.

That is the crux of the whole problem. They are not asking specific questions. Every time someone has asked me a specific question I have answered it. If you just want to ask for general mentoring without doing anything yourself however, you probably won't succeed here. I am always happy to help out where I can but people need to do the basics and get started themselves. If they have already interacted with their referrer and the referrer has told them to get started with the training then they might just be looking for an easy boost in my opinion.

So have you received requests to mentor someone new? Do you get many of these requests? How do you respond? How do you think we should respond? I hate to sound rude or uncaring.

Thanks for your input.

Jessica

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PeteWeaver Premium
Hi Jessica,

This is sensitive and I feel for you because you have such a wonderful personality that people want to be around you. You deserve full credit.

These requests can be an opportunity for you to actually start a mentor-ship program. It might be your niche and you already have new members wanting mentoring.

It's like going to the gym and you pay for some coaching so that you do everything right and such. I think you have that gift. But remember, Wealthy Affiliate is a mentoring program. the Chat live, the ask questions forum when every member can help.

And you can always ask questions here at Wealthy Affiliate. I've been searching around on this topic lately and here is one post that I've found that might help you with this. I thank you for this inspiring new adventure of a million dollar mentor-ship idea.

Keep up the good work.

Pete Weaver
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Swangirl Premium
Thanks Pete. I read the post by Vitaliy and it is great. Like he states though, the people asking for help need to be willing to do some work themselves. They cannot expect one of us to spoon feed it all to them. We don't have time and it is not the purpose of WA.

Just like you listed, there are numerous ways for members to get help and get answers to their questions. The problem I am having is with new members who don't even try. They simply start asking us to mentor them. When they are told to follow the training (in this case by their referrer) they go answer shopping for another mentor. They are not doing anything for themselves other than asking for mentors and when they are told to start the training they ignore the advice and try to find yet another mentor. They are coming into WA with the expectation that this is how it will work. They are not even looking around, following the advice given or bothering to start on their own.

When people ask me to take a look at their website and give suggestions I do. If they have a specific question I will answer it but I just can't hold their hand from the beginning when they won't even try.

I had not even considered mentoring for pay however. You bring up a good point. For now I will probably come up with an answer that tells them all the ways they can get help and get their questions answered here at WA. There are plenty!

Thanks!
Jessica
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wendyg53 Premium
Odd, why would a stranger ask another stranger to stop what they're doing to help them get a business off the ground?

There are plenty of mentorship/affiliate programs online where they can pay someone $10,000 for personal hand holding for a set period of time. Personal hand holding is time consuming, and time is money.

Beyond that, free personal hand holding should not be requested by a grown ass adult -excuse my NYC lingo - LOL.

I get tech support requests all the time at my teaching job. I say no plenty because I'm getting paid to teach kids, not fix the adult computers. If I do fix something, it's because I have the time and I feel like being nice.

You don't sound like you have the luxury of being nice, so saying no is a proper thing to do for your self preservation.

You come first always, and there is no negotiation on that. This is a community of people who want to succeed, that means doing the work and the training.

This is not pre-school. Do not feel bad about saying no.
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Swangirl Premium
I agree Wendy. I have been here 3 years and never asked a high ranking member to look at my site since I didn't want to bother them. I would never dream of demanding someone mentor me for free when I didn't even try to set a up a website yet. How are these people so presumptuous?

If someone asks me to look at their site I do. I don't spend a ton of time at it but I will look and offer suggestions or tell them it looks good. If they have a specific question I will answer it if I can. These people don't have any specific questions because they haven't even tried to create a site yet. They don't sound like they have even started the training. Maybe I am wrong but that is how it sounds from their emails. I am not wealthy. I am not sitting around twiddling my thumbs and even if I was I would want to help people who showed some initiative first anyway!
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wendyg53 Premium
You are within your right to completely ignore requests from strangers who are not asking specific questions. It's different if it's someone who's familiar to you from comments, etc. on the platform. But a complete stranger who is brand new...just ignore them and they will go away.
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Swangirl Premium
Yes. I agree.
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Stella2 Premium
Hi Jessica;

This has nothing to do with people asking for mentoring or a shortcut. That's happening everywhere, in every topic, all the time.

I have a website on a different topic with tons of info in the posts, and I get people asking me "show me the complete step-by-step process please." They don't even want to work at reading the material.

That's what it boils down to, wanting a quick fix from someone else who they perceive as successful. But you can't change that or make it go away, not as long as you post about your successes. It's just one of the prices of "putting yourself out there."

The real issue here is your very kind nature feeling bad and not wanting to say no. But you must and that's something you must work on. You don't need to stop being kind. That's a wonderful thing, but sometimes kindness encourages others to stand on their own two feet.

Jay and Eric are correct. Do what is best for you in this case. Develop a general answer pointing them to how to gain success using the resources here, and post it every time to save your self time. Then release the encounter and move on.

You'll get used to it, and it will become second nature. And you'll see a shift in yourself, too, when you start putting yourself first. I know, I had to do it in my personal life and it makes a huge difference when you can do it.

Sorry to be long winded, but I felt the real issue needed to be covered. It's not the requests. They're going to happen, and even more often as you succeed and post openly about it.

The issue here is your need to grow into a new role, where you guard your own space, health, and affairs.

Best to you,
Stella :-)
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Swangirl Premium
I agree Stella. I have been working on that in general for years now. I am trying to get my husband to understand why I have to say no so much and he is starting to as well but it was so hard for him. He feels totally stressed out too since his job is hard, time consuming and underpaid. He often doesn't even have time to take a lunch break though we both work in government, union jobs. He works long hours and hardly ever gets overtime though he is overtime eligible. There are so many rules that they don't have to pay it. You have to work over the hours set per day and also over the hours per week, so if you worked overtime on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday but not on Thursday and Friday then you wouldn't get any even if you worked 12 hour days with no lunch! If there is a state holiday in the pay period you have to make up the time for the holiday before it counts toward overtime so you may work overtime the whole week and not get the extra pay etc. etc. etc.

So when he works his job and then has to deal with our property business as well as our own building, help me when I am sick, help my Mom, his parents etc. he really has no time left. I am convincing him it is ok to say no to every random invite if he doesn't have time.

Anyway, I know I have to say no here too I just get annoyed with the whole situation since these people don't seem to even try to get started on their own or even follow the advice they are given to start the training. I agree. People seem to want endless shortcuts.

Thanks
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EdwinBernard Premium
Jessica,

Here is what I would suggest to anyone who asks you to mentor them. You will probably know that their question was covered by a lesson they took.

Suggest they review that lesson again. And if they are still stuck, fill out their question in the gray box above. And they will get a list of trainings, blogs etc that addresses their question.

If they do not get their issue resolved that way, then they can post their question in the discussion area below the training. And someone will answer them.

Then there is a wealth of information that Jay Neil provides in the weekly webinars. Maybe they do not know that this is all archived in the Live Events tab.

After doing all of that they are still lost, I am afraid that maybe WA is not for them.

Personally, just listening to the lessons is not enough. Going through the tasks required is what drives the lesson home. Chances are many do not do the work in a timely manner and that can be a huge problem.

Wow sorry to have taken so much of your time in responding!

Having said all that I'd love you to mentor me!

Just kidding Jessica.

Cheers.

Edwin
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Swangirl Premium
I agree. I think these people have not even started the training however. I plan to write up a standardized answer like yours above explaining they need to follow the training, look up existing posts and trainings in the search bar etc.

They are just brand new and insisting they need a mentor.

Thanks
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laparra1 Premium
Good Morning Jessica,

I can understand it can get too much. Especially as most people who sign up with Wealthy Affiliate have a mentor to start with.The person through whom they got here when signing up. It is up to that mentor to help as that person receives a commission.

Have a nice weekend, Taetske
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Swangirl Premium
This person already talked to their referrer. She told him to start the training. I think he wants a shortcut!

Thanks
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laparra1 Premium
Clever person to want a short cut. Soon this person will find out that having a website is mainly the result of following the lessons and to your own sweat and tears.

Perhaps a WA post on the rights and obligation of a mentor/referrer is needed? I must say that my mentor was there when I needed advice.

Greetings from the south of Spain, Taetske
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Swangirl Premium
In this case their referrer already addressed it and told them to start the training. The referrer can't be held responsible for someone who chooses to ask for more help from others and ignore the advice they were given already.

These people want someone to do it for them or at least want a summarized guide provided by a "mentor". The problem is that they are not interested in digging in and learning themselves. You know the saying..."You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink".

Thanks!
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Linda103 Premium
I am too new to have been asked but it does look as though these people are looking for a shortcut.
I would be curious as to what they mean by mentoring. I have to say too, that if anything the person you entered by would be that mentor to a certain degree.
I don't think its rude or uncaring to say no, we all have to go through the training and learn for ourselves otherwise no knowledge is retained and built upon.
Success comes from hard work, not having it done for you.
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Swangirl Premium
Yes, I agree. If you don't learn to do this yourself you probably won't succeed here anyway. I just struggle with a polite way to say this. Thank you.
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Linda103 Premium
I suppose it's: If you have a question I will help if I can, otherwise you need to do the training?
Or the alternative: Don't be lazy, get on with the work.
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Swangirl Premium
Thanks Linda! That made me laugh.
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Linda103 Premium
Glad it made you laugh.
Although to be honest if it was in real life I would go with the second option.
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Swangirl Premium
Oh, I know you were serious Linda. It still made me laugh though.
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merlynmac Premium
I've had a few requests myself. I usually respond by letting them know I'm happy to help where I can but that they should reach out to their referrer for mentoring and tell them how to figure out who their mentor is.. I go on to suggest they fill out their profile so others can get to know them and then point them to lesson 1 of the OEC.

Now, if this is my referral, I'll go a bit further and see what they might be needing assistance with but, if they aren't, I will respond to specific issues but not general "will you mentor me" types of requests.
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Swangirl Premium
Yes. Since his referrer already told him to start the training I think he was answer shopping.

Thank you!
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RoseAnn1234 Premium
Unfortunately, some people outside of WA promote the idea that if you want a mentor all you need to do is to ask. The worst that can happen is that the person can say no.

Generally, this relates to people getting together occasionally and swapping ideas and help. Mastermind groups are a similar concept.

Many new people think that perhaps they will gain more by asking people to mentor them as it does happen in many courses. Of course, this is usually for a once off fee of around $10,000, or even a monthly fee.

For this reason, I think many new people who get overwhelmed by all the information and the big job ahead of them simply reach out. They may not necessarily be looking at not doing the training but trying to get help with it.

Of course, for anyone with a lot of knowledge and time, this could always another business model to consider.
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Swangirl Premium
Yes, it seems to be a common assumption of many new members here. It is a foreign concept to me. I guess I am just inclined to try to figure things out on my own first and only ask questions if I can't find the answer on my own. I don't want to bother members here so I have never asked anyone to look at my website even if I wanted to.

I understand they likely feel overwhelmed at first. I did too. I am happy to help if I can but I don't have the time to hold their hand if they don't try at all on their own. This last person was already talking to their referrer who told them to start the training. It appeared he wanted a shortcut instead.

Thanks for your thoughts.
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ValerieJoy Premium
I haven't recently had requests for mentoring but in the past, I had a period of frequently receiving such requests. I used to fall for it, but I wouldn't do that now.

It annoys me that people will join a program and not follow the training provided for them. Particularly so with WA.

As it is with you, Jessica, I don't have the time, nor energy, to spend with people who can't reason things for themselves.
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Swangirl Premium
Thanks Valerie. I agree. It shows they don't want to take initiative. Especially this last one since I saw the conversation he had with his referrer (she told him she was) on his profile. She directed him to start the training so I think he wanted a shortcut.
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ValerieJoy Premium
Anyone who does as he did, is not deserving of help other than the training. Initiative is seriously lacking in his case.
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Swangirl Premium
Thanks Valerie.
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Cav1966 Premium
I have had a few here and there..i am always polite and point them to the training.however.. if they do have a question i try to answer and do tell them my door is always open
But ONLY to the ones that ask questions..to me that shows they r doing stuff on thier own and not just looking for shortcuts.
A lot of the questions i will point them to the answers by way of whatever training answers it .
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Swangirl Premium
Thanks. That is how I am feeling and it seems to be the general consensus here as well!
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LLettau1 Premium
Certainly the requesting person see some strength and value in your presence within WA. To my thinking the wonderful training offered by Kyle, Jay, and others is a collective mentor-ship that is on an Ala cart platform. They also can field a question blog.
Larry
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Swangirl Premium
I suspect some of them just go down the list of Ambassadors and top ranked members and ask the same thing of all of us. There is nothing personalized in some of these requests.

I agree. We have open access to an amazing wealth of information here. Thanks.
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FKelso Premium
Interesting -- I just got a request from someone to mentor them. I gave him the standard "go to training; pick which one you want to go through" and explained briefly what they are both about. If he comes back, I'll tell him to follow the training. If he does that, and then asks questions, I can try to answer him. However, I got the feeling from him that he thought I had some magic bullet that would get him where he wanted to go much faster. We can suggest and we can answer questions, but people still need to do the work for themselves or they won't learn what they need to learn.
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Swangirl Premium
Yes. I suspect these people go down the list of top members and probably send many requests. They hope out of 50 one will say yes I guess. It would not be hard to take one message and copy and past it to all of us.

I agree.
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magistudios Premium
Hi Jessica,

As someone who gets a plethora of coaching/mentoring requests.

It is important to stand your ground and say no.
As noble as your intent to help is.. you would be sacrificing your own business in doing this.

Follow with what @ericcantu said below.
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Swangirl Premium
Thanks Jay. I am sure you get that every single day. I appreciate your encouragement to just say no!
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Mick18 Premium
I've never had that happen. But I would send them to who ever referred them. If no one, then to appropriate training.
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Swangirl Premium
In this case I saw he already had a similar exchange on his profile with his referrer. That is what made me think he was just fishing for an easy answer.
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Dee0620 Premium
I'm too new for anyone to ask. I say go through the training and find other supporting materials to help you get to where you desire. Continue to learn- that's really the key.

Best,
Dee
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Swangirl Premium
Yes. Thank you Dee.
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jgtripp Premium
Granted I'm new here, and I don't have any experiences with anyone asking me to mentor them. I do however have several (15+) years of experience with people asking me for tech help. My recommendation due to that would be to post something along the lines of "Prior to asking me to mentor you please do the following: 1) Go through the training. 2) Ask your sponsor/the community. 3) Use the search functionality." I use a similar style for people asking me for technical help, to point them to the resources to resolve the issue themselves where possible. If they still can't resolve it, then they follow up with me.
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Swangirl Premium
Exactly. I realized while writing this that I need to come up with a standardized response like that.

Thank you.
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Anushia-9 Premium
I just refer all my mentoring requests straight to you - would you like me to start sending them elsewhere?

Kidding! Hopefully you'll not unfollow me for that.

Seriously though, I'm yet to receive any such requests, but can understand the issues. I think that while some people use the lure of mentorship to help gain subscribers, most people on here are far too busy to make such a big committment.

Also, I fully agree that far too many people are not willing to actually follow the training before asking for help - every day you see such requests from people who have obviously made little or no effort. Maybe they are still searching for that "magic button" that most of us now know doesn't exist.

I firmly believe that you should politely turn down such requests and just help out in the Live Chat and various Discussions as and when you are able, as you always do.

I know it can be difficult turning people away, but unfortunately there are times when you have no alternative.

Don't lose any sleep over it, Jessica - there are only 24 hours in a day.
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Swangirl Premium
Thanks Steve. I feel like I am being selfish saying no but there is really no way to keep up! I am getting several of these requests per week now.

I agree. We see these new people often in Chat where they have not looked at the training but just want to find someone to hold their hand so they don't have to.
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ericcantu Premium
I just point them towards the member who referred them. If they don't have one, I just direct them towards the community and to the training. Encourage them and be polite and they'll thank you for replying. :)
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Swangirl Premium
Yes, I just need to not worry about saying no so much I guess. Directing them to the training, search bar, classrooms etc. is the only real answer.
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remapot3 Premium
Why not. As long as you are comfortable with it. Nest wishes
Sham
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Swangirl Premium
Thanks
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SondraM Premium
Nicely explain to them that for people that are not your referrals, that you have to charge $65 per hour, or what ever that rate might be.

Of course, you can then provide a link to the training.

You are not being uncaring. Our time is limited and worth money.

Similar to you, if they have a specific question, I will answer.
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Swangirl Premium
Yes, that would do the trick I am sure. I don't want to sound greedy though. I think I need to come up with a set text to use each time I get such a request. Then I won't agonize over it or overthink it each time. I need to direct them to the training, search bar, classrooms where they can ask questions etc.
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SondraM Premium
That is true.

I guess I don't consider it greedy, because as a CPA, I have to charge people in real life for in depth business advise, reviewing contracts etc.

Just because I am online, does not mean that my time is worth less.

You have gotten some great tips though.
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Swangirl Premium
These people are not going to pay anything. They want a freebie I think.
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Selenityjade Premium
I unfortunately haven't received any requests for mentoring, probably because I'm only in the 400s rank.

That said, as we do see a lot of people wishing to get shortcuts, I'd probably first point them towards the training and their referral sponsor, telling them that once they start along with training and continually build up their website, to contact the person who referred them, and if they still have problems with SPECIFIC questions their mentor isn't helping with, then they can contact you. Mention that the basic steps are lined out in training and once they've got those down, then they can get help with more complicated stuff.

This will probably weed out the people who want short cuts and you are still polite :)
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Swangirl Premium
That is pretty much what I have done so far but I just wondered how others handled it/think we should handle it.

I guess I just need to not feel bad saying no and tell them to follow the training, search in the search bar, ask questions in the appropriate classrooms here, see if blogs or questions or training already exists that answers their question etc.

I just feel awkward saying no but successful people need to learn to do that since there are not enough hours in the day to please everyone else. We need to stay focused on the end goal knowing that is the only way we will reach success ourselves and therefore have the ability to help many more people from that position of success. (I have seen that in the past and it makes sense). Kind of like if you give away all your pennies to charity when you are poor you will feel like you are doing something but in reality if you saved and invested and scraped up all you could and then became rich, you would actually be able to help many more people (or animals or whatever your cause) in the end. It is hard since I want to donate to every cause but I know I can't. There just isn't enough money. In this case, there isn't enough time! The question is where do you draw the line?

I need to come up with a standard reply to these requests I think. That way I don't need to agonize over each one. I should write up a good approach to finding help like those we discussed and then use it and not worry about it any more.
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Selenityjade Premium
You're definitely right, you can't help everyone! But you also don't want to be hand feeding everything the training covers to people looking for shortcuts. Don't feel bad for saying no!
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Swangirl Premium
Yes. Thanks!
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Vickic3 Premium
Hi Jessica
I often get asked for help and I am also real busy.
I normally refer people to a link of training
Vicki
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Swangirl Premium
Thanks Vicki. I need to come up with a text to use each time I get these requests! Then I wouldn't have to overthink it each time.
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