Here’s a some advice Ramit at I Will Teach You to Be Rich shared last winter: Smart people ask questions.

Asking questions of the right people does so many things: You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, you get your problem solved, and you can potentially learn unexpected cool nuggets. But sometimes it’s not obvious what we should ask questions about. Start with the obvious.


Think about the curious friends you have. They’re the ones who are always asking questions: “How did you get your computer to run so fast? How did you get the rain to fly off your windshield without wipers? How do you like your job?”

In January, one of our trees fell into the neighbor’s yard. I bought a chainsaw to remove the debris. I read the manual, but it didn’t give any tips on chainsaw technique. I could have called my cousin, who fells trees for a living, but I was too embarrassed. I was afraid to ask for help, and this almost cost me dearly. On my first cut, as I sliced through the base of the trunk, the massive tree shifted, sliding toward me with sickening rapidity. I managed to escape being crushed by the tree or cut by the chainsaw, but that was fate. (Or the Hand of God or luck.) I set the chainsaw down, went inside, and began asking questions about how to fell a tree.

Asking questions is important.

Many people never take control of their finances because they’re afraid to ask questions, or because they don’t know which questions to ask. They’re afraid of looking stupid. They’d rather continue on their current path — accumulating debt, ignoring retirement, etc. — than appear as if they don’t know what they’re doing.

Don’t be like those people. Take control of your finances. Find a friend or a family member who seems to have things under control, and ask them for help.

Smart people ask questions.

[I Will Teach You to Be Rich]

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