There’s the story about James, who hates the cat his wife bought. It destroys his furniture, hisses at him like a demon, and sits or lies between him and his wife at every opportunity. James decides to get rid of the cat, so he puts it in his car, drives across town, and loads it off.

When he gets home, James is dumbfounded to discover the cat on the couch – it found its way back home. So he puts it in the car again, drives to the next town, and leaves it there. When he finally gets home, the cat is there again! It seems to know how to get home!

Finally, James decides to take the cat far away to the coast, so, after a tremendous struggle,  he gets it into the trunk of his car and drives for hours to the seashore, where he lets the cat out. In the middle of the night, his wife gets a call from him: “When that damn cat gets home, put him on the phone. I’m lost!”

Most people, when we get stuck in life – emotionally, financially, mentally – when we don’t know what to do to change their situation – don’t ask the right people for help. Perhaps it’s pride or depression or just embarrassment. Maybe we don’t want to reveal the fact that we’re stuck in case they think less of us. Or we simply talk to the wrong people and get even deeper in the hole.

Trying to change your situation all by yourself obviously hasn’t worked out for you, so it stands to reason that you need help.

I talked with a business coaching client of mine once and suggested he get another opinion on his life insurance policy, since the premiums were high, and one can usually get a better premium quote.  He called the very salesman who had sold him the policy in the first place, and just got sold more! That was the wrong person to talk with. That’s like asking an obese person to recommend an exercise routine and diet, and then asking him if it really is unhealthy and risky to be fat. Or asking a religious cult member how to draw closer to God.

Find someone whom you really respect, whose results and circumstances in life you wish to enjoy and emulate, and who created his lifestyle himself. In the case of money, for example, don’t ask a trust fund kid or someone who inherited his money for advice about money. And the worst person to ask is a “financial planner” or someone who sells financial products. Think it through before you approach them. And then be prepared to follow their advice, or you’ll just be wasting their time.

But don’t call a cat. They can’t talk.

Robin Elliott    LeverageAdvantage.com