BE HONEST. When was the last time you respected professional goods and services you didn’t need to pay for?
Let’s take that a bit further. When was the last time you signed up for a free workshop or webinar and didn’t bother to show up? When was the last time you held the same “can’t be bothered” attitude towards something you’d paid good money for?
Now let’s turn all that on its head. I’m assuming you’re a professional in your field for this bit – whatever field that may be. When did you last give loads of your time and advice for diddly squat? When was the last time you kept giving, giving and giving, only for the people you’d been sharing all your resources with to drop you like a hot stone and start paying one of your competitors for the same services you offer?
That, my friends, is a classic example of being royally shafted… and you know who’s to blame for that? YOU!
We all do it. We all want to help. I’ve done it myself on many occasion. But… there comes a time when we all need to start believing in ourselves enough and RESPECTING ourselves enough to charge appropriately for our time, for our services and for our expertise.
If we keep giving ourselves away for free, it’s little wonder those potential clients think they’ll get a higher level of service when our competitor from down the road strolls in with bags of confidence and a reassuringly expensive package of options. We’ve paved the way for them beautifully. We’ve shown that client just how much they need those particular services, thank you very much, and now they’re happily shelling out for the perceived ‘pro’.
FIND YOUR LANE AND STICK TO IT
Am I telling you to batten down the hatches and stop helping people where you can? No, absolutely not. I do loads of what the Americans might call pro bono work, but there’s a reason and a line and I’ve learned where to draw it. I’ll help people in need get a leg up, I run bursary and partial bursary schemes for some of my programmes and I’ve been known to provide free mentoring and coaching to people who just need to get a foothold… maybe they’ve been ill, maybe they’re just down on their luck, maybe they’ve never been taught to believe in themselves.
The point is… I CHOOSE WHEN TO DO THAT WORK. And I do it because I want to pay it forwards, not because I think I need to bend over backwards in order to win new business. Keep bending over backwards and all you’ll do is hurt your back! I draw that line. I believe in myself enough – and produce good enough results – to be at ease charging for my time.
I’m no different to you – I learned the hard way, and the last time I had that horrible, sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I felt I’d been treated like a mug, I decided not to feel that way ever again.
Do I get stick for expecting to be rewarded for my time and effort? Yeah – sometimes – particularly if someone wants a freebie and, to them, it’s just half an hour over a coffee or a ‘quick’ Skype chat, or a bit of time picking my brain for information they could easily learn on one of my seminars, or in a mentoring session. There’s never any issue with people who also expect payment for their services… they tend to understand the respect thing… as well as the concept of ‘flow’. It’s usually the people who *don’t* respect / believe in themselves who expect a free ride and turn up the aggro.
Here’s the thing… my bank manager doesn’t accept kind gestures as mortgage payments. My utility providers don’t accept self sacrifice in exchange for electricity, gas and water. And the self belief inside me – the expertise, knowledge and years I’ve spent honing my craft and getting to the point where I KNOW I’ll be able to help you – doesn’t accept less than a fair exchange any more.
People, honestly, I can’t tell you how important it is to have self belief and self respect in business. In life, actually. Don’t tip over into arrogance, but DO draw a line in the sand RIGHT NOW and decide when, how and under which circumstances you’re willing to work for free. In all other cases, know your worth and stick to it. And if you need a bit of help with that, just click to www.TazThornton.com/mentoring and we can sort out a mutually convenient time to get your awesome unleashed! Because I’m worth that, and so are you!