How to Stop Doing Things for Free
In English, it sounds like this: “Alicia, can I buy you a cup of coffee? I’d like to learn more about your business.”
The super smart business translation is: ”Alicia, can I buy you a cup of coffee so I can pick your brain and get some free advice from you?”
Let’s break down what it takes to “do coffee.”
- Shower, get dressed, fix hair, put on makeup (guys – you have it easy)
- Drive to the coffee shop
- Order coffee
- Chit-chat until the brain picking begins
- Drive home
A one-hour coffee is actually a three-hour coffee.
Let me ask you something – How much money could you make in those three hours if you were following up with prospects, marketing your business or scheduling sales meetings? It’s time to set some business boundaries.
Exactly. That’s why I don’t do coffees.
Everything I need to learn about someone I can learn on the phone. And if the person wants to pick my brain for free, I’ll find out sooner on the phone than I will at a coffee meeting.
Change Your Mindset
Every time you say “Yes” to something, you are saying “No” to something else.
For example, I spoke with a blogger this weekend who said she is contacted by brands who want her to review their products for free. Reviewing a product on a blog takes time:
- Using the product
- Taking pictures of the product
- Writing a post about the product
- Setting up the blog post for the most visibility
The brand is benefitting from her hard work in creating a social network, is getting access to her audience and is getting more brand visibility.
She told me that she has a hard time saying “no” because she feels like it’s being rude. I pointed out to her that every minute she spends doing this free work for a brand, is a minute she’s not spending with her son. (Family time is very important to her.)
What are you trading out for free time?
One of my favorite coaches, Adam Urbanski says, “You are worried about offending people who have no intention of paying you? You should be deeply offended that they value your time and expertise so little that they aren’t willing to pay you.” Amen Adam!
What is your profit waster? To what do you need to learn to say “No?” Take a stand. Draw your boundaries and you will make more money in your business.