Why Advice is Cheaper Than You Think

I have to admit I've been racking my brain again as of late to come up with something new and relevant that would add to your already extensive knowledge of small-scale gold prospecting and mining. When I get this sort of writer's block I've found it best if I shift gears a bit and just lay out what's on my mind despite it's relevancy or lack thereof to gold mining. So that's what this particular post is about.

The Advice "Interplay"

One big lesson I've learned over time is that advice is cheap. In fact, it's much cheaper than you think. Why is that? It usually costs the "asker" little or nothing because the "giver" of that advice is dispensing his or her wisdom freely when asked for it. So you can see already that there is a difference between solicited advice versus advice that is unsolicited. A constant stream of unsolicited advice from others is essentially the province of blowhards and know-it-alls. At least that's my take on things. Still, the advice "interplay" impacts all of us at one time or another in virtually all aspects of our daily lives, but it's never more apparent than in the realm of gold mining. Yes, there's good advice, mediocre advice, and just plain bad advice depending on who's dispensing those pearls of wisdom. You see most folks take what they hear at face value, which is a two-edged sword of sorts. Inherent trust and faith are good things in their purest forms but they can come back to bite you on the butt if you aren't doing a bit of research or fact-checking. And when it comes to all things gold mining you best be checking up on things, especially when it comes to buying mining claims, gold, gear, or whatever.

 (Well  fellers, here's how I'd do it...")


But for me the biggest factor that cheapens advice is the failure of others to follow that advice once it's solicited...or to put things in plain English, when it's asked for. I'm stymied by this aspect of the asking for advice interplay. Why is it people approach you and ask for advice if they have NO inclination to follow that advice? And yes, I could give you numerous examples of this taken from my personal life as well as my gold mining and treasure hunting "careers." When someone asks for my advice, I spend minutes, hours or even weeks and months "helping" that person, and then they go right back to doing things the same way they did before they asked for my advice in the first place! It's crazy. It's a madness of sorts that I just don't get. And I've experienced this in all sorts of contexts, mining and otherwise. Most recently I was "asked" for my advice and guidance involving personal matters by someone I used to work with. After months of attempting to "help" this person and assuming the message was clear, guess what happened? That individual went right back to the same highly emotional and problematic personal situation they were in before, as if all those sincere heart-to-hearts (i.e., advice "asking and dispensing") had never even happened! I was flabbergasted by this person's behavior and still am to a certain extent. By the way, this is a good example of what I'm talking about in this post.

The Rule vs. the Exception

Of course I've had many others as well over time...a friend in need of financial "advice" who asked for my perspective to get back on their feet (and no, I'm not claiming to be a Wall Street whizz kid). So I tried to help this person by laying out a few basic concepts about saving money thinking things were taken in stride and all clear. Some time later this same person contacted me and when I asked how they were doing I was told they'd emptied their meager savings account to take a vacation trip. So much for fiscal solvency and the effect of solicited advice. When it comes to gold mining I've experienced countless deals like this as well. Some small and some not so small. Everything from buying a claim to asking my advice on how to set up gear. The end result was (or is) the same. The folks asking for my advice ignored what they had asked for and went right back to doing things "their" way. It's downright laughable at times folks. Why the hell ask for advice and take up my valuable time if you have no idea of following that advice right from the get go?! It's like certain folks just go through the motions, while in the dimming light at the back of their brains they are still on the same wavelength of doing things just like they always have despite any or all negative outcomes. It's complete madness I tell you. Sure some people ask for good advice and then follow it. But they are the exceptions and NOT the rule in my own experience.

Crazy Enough

So I've pitched my bitch here and no, I'm not trying to throw a sitting on the "pity pot" party here. The next logical question is what have I learned from all this? Well, like the title of the post says, "advice is cheaper than you think." But the biggest lesson I've learned is NOT to dispense advice any longer, solicited or unsolicited. In other words, I've taken myself off the giving advice playing field because I'm sick and tired of people asking for my advice, taking up too much of my time doing so, and then coming to the realization that they had no intention of following that advice in the first place. I'm not up for additional crazy any longer. I'm crazy enough as it is. So I'm gonna take care of my own peace of mind now before I step up to the plate and start swinging for others. Especially where advice is concerned.

Some folks just burn you out if you let them. So the trick is not to let that happen I reckon...

Best to all.

(c) Jim Rocha 2019

Questions? E-mail me at jr872vt90@yahoo.com


  1. That's a nice highbanker in the photo. Wish I was standing next to it right now.
    Here's an idea. Get that Gold Monster 1000 and head out to the desert for a prospecting trip and then let us know how it went. Or just head out on a sightseeing trip with the wife for a day or two. Change of scenery.
    In those areas that you used to drywash..can't you access the wash?
    Doubt that they built homes in the wash. Just a idea. Maybe offer the home owner $5 if they will let you drywash in the backyard.
    Some of those homeowners would probably love to meet you.
    I know some of your readers would love to meet you.
    So don't let it get you down too much thinking about running out of things to write about.
    You could start over writing about what you have already written about and it would still be very interesting and entertaining.
    Winter right now can be depressing for everyone. I wish it would go away, but we need Winter. I think so.
    I still haven't watched the video of the old mexican gold panner. I forgot about it until today. I need someone smarter than me to show me how to open it up. That could be my nephew or one of his kids probably.
    There is snow and more snow up at the claim right now. I may head up there in a day or two and see how far I get before turning around. I don't chain up just for fun, so if 4 wheel doesn't work I come home.
    The creek must be higher than when I saw it a month ago.
    I doubt if there's any squatters up there right now. Maybe there are some Bigfoot tracks! Yikes!
    I won't ask you any advice for now and I think I figured it out on my own.
    Well I'm talking too much so I got to get out of here.
    Have a great week Jim and don't worry about it too much.
    Your readers will always be here.

  2. JR, I think that picture says it all. If it's what they wanted to do anyway, they'll do it. I think some folks ask hoping for an easy answer to all life's troubles and when they find out there isn't one, they just can't take it. Sometimes with the money advice, fear of loosing an investment stops people. I know it has me. I had a friend tell me a year or so ago that I should buy stock in the Cobalt Mine that is supposed to open here. If it go's, I would likely make some decent money. Trouble is, for at least ten years now, I have heard 'The Cobalt Mine is a go! It's going to open this summer" then nothing happens. I don't have money to gamble in that way. To blow your savings on a vacation you can't afford, is a whole nother thing though. People are funny, you can tell them "That red, glowing iron is hot."....but they just have to touch it anyway! Frustrating, ain't it?

    1. You hit it right on the head Gary. People will do just what they want regardless of advice or logic!

  3. Hi Howard,

    I guess Curtian and myself would be the exception to the rule. We came in as total Greenhorns and always took your word for Gospel. We steered clear of the Dream Merchants, Didn't watch those stupid TV reality shows or You Tube Crap and did what we were told. I just wanted to let you know that your Advice was never wasted on us and we are very thankful to have received it.

    Fred C. Dobbs

    1. Well Dobbsie, you and Curtin kept it real from the get go. Better novices never came down the pike as far as I'm concerned. Now you two are down the mining road a bit and good ol' Howard knows what your true mettle is. Good job boys and thanks!


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