I am happy to do things for free. Also for you! But only when I trust you, believe in you, and when you commit to making things happen.
Some people ask me, “Can you please review my blog post?”
Quite often, they ask, “Can you help me with my business idea?”
Half of my Gmail archive consists of emails from people asking me to read their books or try their software products.
On LinkedIn, someone even asked me, “Can you recommend some software developers for our company?” This guy seemed to think that I send complete strangers a file with the names of contacts who are switching jobs…
They all hope I help them out for free, of course. Nobody ever inquires after my hourly fee.
Help for Free
Don’t get me wrong. There are many things I do for free. But I always do these things for friends, clients, and business partners. I help people I trust and believe in. (Such as Ovidiu Negrean, with his very interesting Nugget app, which enables you to tweet great quotes from the best books. Why don’t you try it?)
But helping everyone??
I am fortunate to be connected to tens of thousands of people on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other networks. Thank God, most of them do not presume that a mere connection is enough to justify my help with their writing, development, promotion, or recruitment. I have only limited time available to help others. How should I pick the ones who deserve my support? Well, I certainly won’t pick the ones who are the noisiest or most persistent. 🙂
I prefer to invest support in people who are committed to a good cause, who collaborate in a network, and who show competence in achieving their goals.
For example, I just paid a good sum of money to Happy Startup Camp. They are our pals, and they need support. They deserve it.
If you want me and my friends to help you (for free), join Happy Melly and spend some time making things happen in the network.
It turns out this simple constraint is enough to decline most requests for help. In my experience, many people are simply not committed, they don’t collaborate, or they are not capable of actually taking action and making progress. I can’t count the number of times I’ve listened to people talk about their business ideas, and then, after I offered them my time and input… nothing happened.
There is no shortage of ideas. There is a shortage of commitment (and collaboration and competence) to make things happen.
I look forward to work with those who make things happen.