Thursday, May 28, 2009

Value Your Time

As many of you know I worked as an IT recruiter in a past life. Yes many of us have a shady past. A lot of us also have skills in addition to how we might primarily earn our income. I frequently get requests to help someone find XYZ type of person. As I am the type of person with a strong desire to please/help out my impulse is to just immediately say, "Sure I can help with that." This however is not the best thing either person for a few reasons.
  1. This will distract me from how I primarily earn income.
  2. This is will give them an inaccurate perception of the cost of this extra service I am providing them.
  3. It sets a precedence that I don't value the skills I am exercising on their behalf which means they won't feel bad asking me to do this over and over again for free.
How do I handle this? Two ways:

First there are definitely times where it makes sense to provide a little something extra to a client or a business partner where you have a symbiotic business relationship. Just make sure that when you do there is some sort of valuable reciprocation if only to solidify your presence as a service provider of your primary occupation.

Second charge for your time/skills. This will weed out the folks that really need/value your help from those that don't. It is extremely easy form your own company as a payment/liability limitation mechanism (For Florida folks the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations) and you can easily manage invoices and funds through great tools like Less Accounting and Freshbooks.

So will I help you find your next employee? Sure, happy to help through Adam Lowe, LLC as long as it is a direct placement and you're willing to pay a nominal fee.