Free: not costing any money; not held as a slave or prisoner… (full definition here from our friends at Mirriam-Webster)
Free isn’t free – it’s an exchange. You’ve heard of the What’s In It For Me (WIIFM) – well, free is in that camp. There has to be a value exchange of some sort. Money, time, rewards.
Some may argue that bartering or swapping is free. It’s not. It still requires an exchange – of time, expertise, money, supplies. Whatever is of value is included in the transaction.
So when people ask for free advice, beware. Adrienne sums it up – spot on. Read about her “No, You Can’t Pick my Brain” here. She’s got a gratis preview copy you can download. If it speaks to you, if you find yourself shouting YES!! to the space around you, reference it, use it, and share it forward. That’s the exchange that makes it worth your while and hers to exercise the activity.
If it doesn’t speak to you, you need to buck up and understand value. Value is part of the exchange. “Free Advice” isn’t free to give if your product is the expertise and advice requested of you and the invaluable knowledge you offer. Said another way, would you NOT pay an architect for the conversation? Would you NOT pay the medical specialist for the consult? Of course not – you need to put forth equal investment, as they have spent years acquiring the knowledge you seek and rely on.
Free means being able to say yes, no and negotiate – on your terms. Free is not something for nothing. Authentic respect demands a value proposition that works to mutual benefit and reward.
Yes, you can pick my brain for a price. Just as I pay the grocer for my food, the landscaper for design work, and the insurance agent for my policy. My brain is your resource. Therein lies the value.
By the way: Adrienne is launching a Pick My Brain Tour. Details here. Hope to see you there.