Are you doing more things for free nowadays?
I know I am.
I give free estimates for my painting company. That means someone calls me and I talk to them for free. I drive to their house
for free. I spend 20 minutes to an hour with them for free. I drive back home for free. I sit at my desk and write out the bid for free. Then I type it up on my letterhead for free and email it to them for free. This process can take anywhere from one to three hours typically…all for free. Imagine how many hours a year I am doing this stuff for free. It’s time I cannot get back.
In the online world I am involved in many different things. We have two active blogs where I produce a large majority of the content and I do all that for free. I do all my social media stuff for free. I promote Paso Robles and the Central Coast for free. I help people with advice on where to eat, drink, and sleep in Paso Robles…for free. I’ve written many blog posts for other websites for free.
I guess what I am saying is that it seems I spend good chunks of my days either doing things for free or doing things I would rather not be doing.
Why is that?
Is it the same for you? How much of your time are you giving away? How much of the time that you give away would you rather not be giving away? Why do we feel so inclined to do it even though it bothers us or takes us from the things that are more important to us? If you could say no more often without the fear of what that no could lead to…would you?
Is there a cost to all the free?
Monetarily speaking, no…unless that “free” time could have been spent doing something where you can make money. I think the real cost is what it does to us. In my mind I start thinking about all those wasted hours and how I am unable to get them back. What if you knew you were going to live for 100 or 1,000 or 10,000 more hours and then you’d die, would you be more cautious with how you spend your time?
I’m not saying you’d spend it trying to make money but I think you would be picky about what you choose to do. You might say no a bit more often. I’m working on doing less for free but know that it doesn’t mean I don’t like you, it’s just that I value my time too.