Requests come as texts, asking for my “quick opinion” on an idea, or in long emails with documents or contracts, asking for my review (and professional opinion). These are appropriate when they come from paying clients and colleagues, but I’m talking about requests for “freebies,” which are never easy for me and almost always turn into full-on life coaching sessions. I’m not saying I never ask for advice, or that I pay my friends for their counsel. We all have our inner circles where support is both appreciated and reciprocal. But looking at my chaise lounge and wondering how often the doctor is “in,” I started asking colleagues and friends about “the freebie:”
How many do you give?
Do you have a set limit per week/month?
When does a freebie become a real project? What is the time threshold?
Is there a topic of “never free” advice?
How do you choose who you say yes to?
How do you set boundaries around a quick chat?
How/When do you convert a friendly chat into a paid working or coaching session?