First off, I'd like to say that this post is not meant to intimidate, demean or offend anyone. It's being offered to help out the people just starting here, so that you don't make some of the mistakes that attract the irritation or flames of the other members. If you come to this forum with the right attitude, you have absolutely everything to gain here. After being here for a few months now, I've seen a lot of things in this forum. It's a fantastic place to learn to earn, create, brainstorm and so much more. I can't begin to tell you what a valuable community and resource this place is. While I've not yet become a money making machine (YET), I'm earning a few dollars now, and trust me when I tell you that BHW can become a serious addiction! The people who have contributed to bhw, admins, mods and all the black hat vips and veterans have voluntarily given a great deal of their time and thought to creating the most amazing IM education you could ever have. Bear this in mind: these people don't HAVE to do what they do, they CHOOSE to. They give freely of themselves, so that the rest of us can benefit from their knowledge and experience. As with any community, we're all different, don't always agree, and come from all different walks of life. Those that have been around a while have developed friendships, mutual respect and working partnerships that anyone would be honored to share. But all relationships begin by getting to know one another and building trust. The vets of the forum sometimes get ruffled or offended when newbs come strolling in from noplace and start asking for all kinds of help, downloads and the like. The most hated threads are the ones from newbs saying "How can I make money?", "Where do I find this or that?". The most common response will be "use the search" or "read". We must see these threads at least 20 times a day. This forum is home to over 43,000 members! Piece of advice #1: READ!!!!! 9 times out of 10, what you're looking for is already posted. When you first get here, read, read and read some more. If you can't find what you're looking for after that and a search, then ask. Someone will surely help you out. In the outside world, any investments you make, any partnerships you form will usually be thought out and you will exercise due diligence before going into business with someone or giving them your money. You don't just trust someone, say, "here's my $200" without knowing anything about them do you? Piece of advice #2: Don't be a sucker! Trust is earned. Exercise due diligence people! With a membership this huge, there's bound to be a scammer or a flaker or two. Do your homework before sinking cash into someone or something. Check the person's iTrader score, research them and their methods via the forums, google...whatever. Sometimes getting scammed is your own damned fault, but if it does happen, pm a mod or admin, talk to them about what's happened and get their advice. Don't run off half cocked and post your scam story until you've first approached the mods. They can often help to sort things out and advise you. We all want to make money. That's why the forum is here, and trust me, it's one of the best places anywhere to learn how. We all have taken our knocks when it comes to methods. It's frustrating as hell, but you have to keep on trying. Don't take on too much at once. Just starting out here is overwhelming enough sometimes, with a zillion different things to try, different twists and spins on things..you feel like your head will explode. Find something that appeals to you, stick with it for a while and have some patience. Most times, money will not roll in overnight. If it doesn't work out, move on to the next thing. Piece of advice #3: Never give up!! One of the hardest facts of life to face, is the fact that people really don't give a shit. That's a hard thing to swallow. Your personal problems are your own and sympathy or pity me posts will get you flamed big time. If you need help ask, but the pity party threads will get you nowhere, so don't bother going there. We're not all a bunch of hardasses, and for the most part people are good and like to be helpful when they can, but they're not here to spoonfeed you or be your mommy. We all have our problems too. Piece of advice #4: If you need help with something just post the question. The folks here are great and will help if they can. Don't beg, plead, be a pain in the ass or look for sympathy. If you wouldn't panhandle on the street, don't do it here! There's an old saying that you can catch more flies with honey, than you can with vinegar. It's so true! Don't be rude, offensive or an asshole. Being decent, pleasant and using manners will get you everywhere. If your parents didn't teach you any, then learn some now. People respond much better to you if you're civil. Piece of advice #5: Mind your 'tude! As the old programmer's saying goes, "garbage in, garbage out". In other words, if you put in crap that's exactly what you can expect to receive. If you want folks to do for you, then be a contributor. This forum is a community that everyone should be contributing too. If you don't ever put anything into the forum, don't expect to get much in return. Most of the people who have been around for a while are quite aware of those who share, and those who don't. And we almost always notice the ones who constantly ask for things and then never contribute. Piece of advice #6: Don't come in here expecting a handout! And lastly, it's not all serious. We have some truly funny people here. Keep windex and paper towel by your monitor at all times in case you end up spewing your coffee all over it. =) Enjoy your time here, get to know people and enjoy!