How much do you value your expertise?
Another day, another email:
“I have this great idea. Can we have coffee so I can pick your brain?”.
Ah, no, those days are over.
If you’d like my opinion, I’m happy to provide it, however, there’s an opportunity cost when we have coffee; that time is now unavailable to the 350 or so people tugging at my shirt-sleeves who need their questions answered too.
Sometimes “no” is a real answer and sometimes “no” is the best answer. If you value your time and value your expertise, there’s a high likelihood others will too. We all have bills to pay and consequently most people understand that.
I say this to my beloved Intuit ProAdvisors all the time – don’t give your expertise away for free unless it’s a conscious contribution to the community on your part.
Who’s serious and who just want’s a free ride?
It’s important to be able to vet who is truly serious and has done the hard work, and who is lazy and wants you to lay out a multi-million dollar business plan for them.
I always ask to have them send me a business plan, in writing first. If that doesn’t exist, they can’t have my time because their idea is not thought through yet.
On most occasions, I also ask if they’ve visited their local SCORE office or Small Business Development Center, both of which have very experienced retired senior executives, entrepreneurs and college professors.
What research have they done?
Like the investors on Shark Tank, I ask what they have read, what courses have they taken what businesses have they worked in that uniquely qualifies them to launch and to run this business.
If I hear crickets, it’s back to the drawing board for them. I also look for people who have done their homework and know that my mission is to double small business survival rates.
Have they read my award-winning book Accounting for the Numberphobic? How has that informed their goal setting and planning? I’m happy to send them a free study guide and I’m happy to send you, but they have to take the first step.
So do that. And ask the person who is giving you advice how you can bless them.
Be a giver, not just a taker. And then follow through. It means a lot to me to get a review on Amazon. It helps others find Numberphobic. It helps me get the word out to save small businesses.
And if you do buy Accounting for the Numberphobic; A Survival Guide for Small Business Owners, let me know. I’ll be happy to send you the Study Guide as my gift.
In your corner as always.
P.S. Stay in touch by signing up on the right for my 20 minute cheat sheet and my weekly “Dawn’s One Thing” – one tip that will help you grow profits and cash. It’s free. No spam. Just do it!