I get inundated with requests for help from magicians and start-up businesses all over the world.
Most of them asking for advice on what they can do next, or how to improve.
I’m lucky enough to be in a position where my company brings in a decent amount of money and I’m healthy with a nice roof over my head and a wonderful girlfriend.
BUT…. Nobody seems to realise the implications of asking for someone’s time and good ideas. Often that advice they’re asking for goes into earning them money and not me.
So I have to balance the TIME I dedicate towards those free offerings. As not one person who’s ever asked for my commercial advice has ever offered to pay for it. (Until yesterday)
Often the umbrella of friendship shields them from ever assuming they should.
So I ask you, how much are you worth?
Hard to answer right? And that’s the problem with artists and creatives.
Labour is easily priced. Asking a friend to wallpaper your house because they’re (Not he, women can wallpaper too) handy is almost NEVER met with an expectation of it being FREE.
You see how much time went into it, and you pay accordingly. Or at least offer.
YOU: “Thanks for putting up that shelf mate, here’s £20”
MATE: “No, don’t mention it, buy me a beer or something”
Insignificant to some, I once bought my neighbour a £10 gift card for borrowing a sachet of cat food to help an injured cat I found on the way home from the gym. It had been hit by a car.
The cat food was probably worth £1. So why did I pay 10x that for a favour?
I valued the time she took getting out of bed late, to offer advice and food for the rescue animal. Then posting it on Facebook to find the owner in a local group.
SIDENOTE: It worked, the cat was reunited with it’s owner the next day. It had been missing 7 days.
As there are only 24 hours in a day, you’ve got to steal time from somewhere or someone else in order to give it to someone else.
- Less sleep.
- Less time with a loved one.
- Less time working on your own ventures.
Should that all be free? That’s rhetorical. I don’t have an answer for it.
One of my core values as a man is to be a mentor to people. It gives me value beyond monetary terms.
However, with growing reach and responsibility I’m feeling the strain of requests for help from my new friends and readers.
Currently I have 99+ unread messages on my personal Facebook alone. Way more factoring in Instagram, Texts, What’sApp Messages & Emails.
You want me to check your business cards, or new youtube video, but my girlfriend wants to spend some time with me and I haven’t visited my mother in a week.
Perhaps you work a 9 hour per day job. You also sleep 9 hours.
Math dictates you now have 6 hours for yourself, your own ventures, hobbies, the gym, close friends, chores around the home, visiting family and growing your relationship.
Does it sound like enough time? It’s not.
Now how does that fit with your own life? Do you have kids? That’s a 24 hour responsibility + work + everything else I just mentioned.
Why then, do people assume that your time isn’t worth anything?
The people that get help from me are the people that respect my time. The ones that say “Thank you for the time taken to read this, I appreciate any help you could offer”… I’ll lose sleep for you people.
I’ve seen magician’s collect royalties for my handlings and businesses begin from my suggestions in passing. Without my consent.
Yesterday a friend of mine Sam was the first person ever to say. “I’ll pay you for your time, of course”
Sam is an artist.
So the lesson here, disguised heavily in a rant, is that time is valuable to us all, not just me.
As artists, creators and entrepreneurs we need to value the time others give to us in our commercial endeavours.
The people that are helping you earn money for FREE are losing money.
Time is money. That’s not a cliche.
For you, you need to dedicate a set amount of time per day you’re willing to offer help. Anything over that people should expect to pay.
Your hourly rate can be worked out from there.
Surprisingly I’ve seen consultants in multiple industries earning £1,000 for a meeting. The money is in their account before their behind sinks comfortably into the conference room chair.
Those people understand their value and price themselves into a position where their time is instantly respected by all.
You need to decide how much you’re worth.
As a creative, nobody will ever value you, unless you do.
“A man who spends all his time feeding others, goes hungry.”