This year, 2007, has been one of learning and getting a business off the ground. Along the way, I have made my mistakes in choosing the folks I’ve worked with, and I’ve been blessed by working with folks who were heroes in every way.
But the hardest one of all I had to deal with was, by far, myself.
First, I had to learn to value what I do.
Then, I had to learn how to explain it to others.
Finally, I’m learning I have to ask them — tell them — that I need to get paid.
Sounds simple doesn’t it?
Yeah, it’s a lecture I’ve given often enough to everyone. You could probably find several versions of it right here on the pages of this very blog.
Yet, twice in the last week, I heard someone say, “I’m not giving free advice anymore” at the same time he was asking for free advice from me.
All I said was, “Yeah, I know people do the same thing to me.”
So I guess you could say that a couple of good friends sat me down. Well, they’ve been trying for a while now, but I’m a slippery character. Maybe I’m at a point where it means something, like whether I’ll keep blogging, or maybe I’m just growing up and ready to take responsibility. Or maybe it’s that I think it’s time that I build my own dream.
Whatever the case, one of them challenged me to answer the question in a blog post. This is it.
“Why do givers not ask to be paid?”
I cycled through the answers. You might be surprised with where I landed. I sure was. But, when I tested my answer, it held up. And, when I handed it back, the questioner agreed.
Is it pride?
No, I think of the givers I know. They’re not prideful people. They’d humble themselves for a cause.
Is it fear?
Not really. The real givers I know would walk through fire for the people they care about.
Is it a disdain for money?
Not a chance. Givers I know understand that money is a tool that makes it easier to give more and more generously.
So what is it then?
It’s the DNA of a giver. A giver lives generosity from the cellular level. Giving is without strings.
It’s not sensible and sure won’t pay the rent.
So how do I draw the line between the giver and the business person?
I’m asking for your advice.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!