I’ve got a new mantra these days. I’d rather work for free, than work for nothing. By that I mean, I’d rather donate my services to a cause that I believe in then allow people to purchase my services and products for a fraction of their value.
A lot of people are using the economy as an excuse for not wanting to pay for things. Yet they continue to purchase services and products from others at full price. That’s fine. But please don’t tell me you don’t have the money to invest. Tell me you are choosing to invest your resources on something else, like donuts and coffee for your Friday morning meetings.
Don’t think you are going to get the same value when you pay pennies on the dollar for services that usually go for much more. Here’s what I mean by this. I had a conversation with a colleague yesterday who was recently contacted by a business owner who wanted her to do team building. She could have easily agreed, but instead took the ethical road. She asked specific questions so she could determine if team building would indeed help him achieve his objectives. So as to not waste any time, she asked him what his budget was. I’m not going to reveal his answer here, but I can tell you that it was less money than a night in some NYC hotels.
My colleague thinks he may actually be able to find someone to do this for that amount of money, but is doubtful much will change in the way of people’s behavior. This money would actually be better spent on the donuts and coffee that I mentioned.
If you keep treating your trusted business advisers as a commodity, then don’t expect them to be there for you when you need them most. Or if they are, expect to pay full retail for services that have been offered to you in the past at a favorable rate because you used to have a relationship with these people.