Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about offering up your time, and people taking advantage of it. I spoke to a group a couple of months ago, and a few people asked to have coffee and meet with me afterwards. I said yes, and when I met with one person, he chit chatted the time away, and didn’t take much advantage of the opportunity he had to pick my brain. As we were leaving, he mentioned getting together again in a couple of weeks to brainstorm on our businesses. WHAT? Sorry dude, that ship has sailed. We aren’t at the same stage of our companies, and I have people in my life for that. Plus, you aren’t a good use of my time.
Sure it’s harsh, but let’s be honest: it’s true.
About a year ago I met with someone starting a company as a favor to a friend. Cool company, not a lot of use for my business, but I did refer this company to a client of mine. My client had 2 calls with them, and then they asked to meet in person with my client. My client emailed me and said “I’m busy, I understand their business now, and will refer if it makes sense. Is it Ok to say no?” YES, it’s okay to say no!
Folks, if you need something from another business owner, make sure you maximize the time you have with them. Don’t expect that they want to meet with you more than once, and if all they offer is 30 minutes on the phone, TAKE IT. I mentioned this in my blog post on Tuesday as well, this article explains my sentiments probably better than I am today. If you aren’t willing to pay for it, please assume we aren’t willing to give it away.
Now, this doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy learning about new companies and there will be times when I am looking for a specific kind of company to work with. BUT, I’m busy running my business. And unless you want to hire me to help you with your business, I have work to do!