One of my clients – before he was a client – once said to me, “I’d like to hire you to do some consulting for my company.” When he described the project, I sort of laughed it off and responded, “Hey, you don’t have to pay me for that; I’ll just give you some free advice.” With that, he looked me dead in the eye, pointed a finger at me and said, “I’m not looking for free advice. I’m looking for a quality consultant!” Point made!
He went on to share a story with me. He said, “You know, my wife, she works out three mornings a week with a personal trainer. She gets up at 5am for a 5:30am workout. She doesn’t really like to go, but she does anyway. Believe me, she knows how to work out, but unless she has a coach to hold her accountable, she’s not going to work out. Her high quality coach keeps her motivated, on track and in shape.” Aha!
It was a great lesson to me and now, that same fellow is a dear friend, loyal client and, in many ways, a mentor to me!
Bottom line: Free is not really free. Free often comes with a cost. When you discover something of value, invest!