A friend who is just getting started in consulting called recently with a handful questions and an offer to buy me lunch.
Of course, it would be much more lucrative for me to charge him a few hundred dollars per hour and then buy HIM lunch… but alas, I digress.
His main concern was that he has started taking some small projects from even smaller businesses who can’t afford to pay him even a fraction of what he wants to charge and he wondered whether I had EVER run into that before!!!
“This could be a pretty short conversation,” I said, and suggested maybe we just order coffee.
The answer, of course… is yes.
Next, we decided it may be a good idea to go ahead with the full course meal anyway, because the truth is that the decision to move forward on those type of projects can often require some time and some real thought.
There are overwhelmingly good reasons to pass, and yet… I find that over the years, I have always had my hand in a project or two just because it made sense… or because the cause was good… or the opportunity to make a huge impact was present, even if the opportunity for income was not.
That said… when building the foundations of our business, or the foundations of another’s business, there are still several watch-outs… even if the work we’re doing is completely pro bono. We’ll look at these next time!
How much time do you spend each month in non-compensated or volunteer activities?
Is giving of talents/resources part of your professional, career, or company culture?
Is service to others a strong part of your family tradition?
I look forward to hearing from you!