Occasionally, people will ask me for something and I will say no.

They will then say, “Well, there’s no harm in asking.” That’s a fun, old chestnut but it’s a lie.

Sometimes there is a lot of harm in asking. Sometimes you burn a relationship when you over ask. Sometimes you hurt a friendship when you ask for something you shouldn’t. Sometimes you ruin a business deal when you ask for something.

The truth is, there’s a fine line between hustler and jerk. You and I both have friends that over ask. They demand favors, make constant requests and feel like leeches. Then, when called on it, they claim, “I’m just hustling! There’s no harm in asking!”

There is though.

Be smart. Don’t use people. Don’t seek favors without giving any. And never believe there’s no harm in asking.

There is.

Sometimes a lot.