As an entrepreneur you are going to have people approach you to do free things from time to time. Is it ever good to do work for free?
Over the years we have been asked to do a lot of things for free. And we’ve said yes to some of them. But what we have come to realize is our time is very valuable, there are only so many hours in the day. As an entrepreneur every minute counts, you cannot do unlimited work for free.
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We have come up with three questions that we always ask ourselves when we are asked to do something for free. If we answer yes to all of them we know we can feel good about saying yes to the opportunity. But if we answer no to all of them (or even 2 out of 3 of them), we say no.
The questions are:
If after going through these questions you decide the answer is no, be thoughtful about how you say no. You never can tell what the future will bring and someone who asks for something for free today could bring actual business in the future. So always keep your cool and answer kindly. You can be annoyed and take time to respond, but don’t respond in an angry way. You may hurt the relationship long term.