This is three-minute read.
“Lose belly fat in 20 days. It’s easy!”
“An easy way to save $50,000 in one year.”
“Four easy steps to make your resume irresistible to employers.”
My immediate reaction when I see these ads is, “No, it is not easy”.
Some of these ads are clearly trying to sell you a bill of goods. They are cheap marketing gimmicks that hope to get a small part of a large audience to buy their line. Hopefully you can avoid them.
But I believe others are well-meaning. Perhaps an individual’s experiences have taught them a system that works. Maybe they have researched and studied a problem from many angles. They have an answer that works.. .on occasion.. . In carefully measured ways… For some people.
Raising kids are “easy”?
But more often, I believe it is like the ad that says. “Raising Children: A Quick and Easy Planning Guide”. Raising kids is NEVER easy and quick. It is hard. It is challenging. Schooling. Navigating the teenage years. Making college choices. Learning to drive a car. Finding out how to make and save money. Just when you think you have reached “the end” of raising them (“ah, they are done with college”), it keeps going. They move back into the house. They need help with bills, life decisions, moving furniture.
So what does someone do when they read an ad or article by someone else who tells them a challenge in their life can be solved “quick and easy”? They may try, but not attain the goal. They may get discouraged. They may miss another path that might be right for them because it does not fit the “easy” path they just read about.
Career Coaching and “It’s Easy”
The other day, I saw an add for a seminar titled “When to Retire: A Quick and Easy Planning Guide”.
Is that really very unrealistic? I believe so. Perhaps what it does the most is discourage people. It can really make people feel badly: “This retirement thing sounds really intimidating, yet THEY say its easy. And quick. Something must be wrong with me.”
I think the point is that for many of the things we try to do in life, our circumstances are different. Retirement for EVERY person is different. All of us have unique circumstances. What may be easy to me may not be at all easy for you.
Depending on the person, that is not easy. It probably won’t be quick. Are you doing them a disservice by initially saying it is easy? When the inevitable bump in the road, will they reflect on your “easy” summation and decide they are incapable of achieving the goal?
Now think about yourself. Do you ever find yourself telling someone else “that’s easy”?
We hear: “I need to make a presentation.” “I want to lose some weight”. “I would like to start my own marketing consulting business”.
Our initial reaction is to say “That’s easy. I can show you how to do that right now”. It may be easy for us. Or perhaps we just use that phrase naturally when someone asks for help. The point is, it is not easy for the other person. Our quick first words only places more doubt in their mind.
We all like to help others. But if we are going to help, how about thinking through our reaction? Perhaps we best serve by trying to understand more about what the person is attempting to do before we give an answer. We can also recognize that the challenge is real for them, no matter how easy it is for us.
For those of us that respond with an “It’s easy”, let’s try to be a little more understanding. If it was so easy, would the other person ask for help?