Sunday, April 17, 2016

Are You getting paid for Your Time and Knowledge? Find out what You need to do Now!

Have you found yourself in this situation?
You are working hard to get your business's name “out there”. You blog, share relevant information, and create strong social profiles ~ everything aimed at establishing yourself as a “go to” person in your field. Suddenly you are getting requests for help from others wishing to do what you do.

You are flattered, but how much help is too much?
This has happened to us.
We have been approached by people who, because they have seen our blog, are interested in starting their own background check company or their own small business blog. We have also been contacted by small business owners who are struggling to keep their businesses afloat during the pandemic. They are looking for any way to reach new customers or generate interest.

They have also seen our numerous articles on Paying it Forward and the benefits of Small Businesses helping each other.

We are committed to and believe in it all. This includes mentoring, lending a supportive ear, sharing tips, and, in general, passing on whatever we have learned to help others.
For us, mentoring is a great way to share our “real world” knowledge on small business, background checks, and blogging. We enjoy helping others learn the industry ins and outs and pointing them to useful resources. It is also fulfilling to know we are encouraging talented individuals to achieve their goals. You can find more of our thoughts on Mentoring in Mentoring, How You can ‘Make a Difference’!”.

Simply put, we believe that sharing what we know is an easy way to help. And it gives us the drive to keep learning so we stay on top of things!

We also enjoy finding ways to use our own Small Business and blog to “Pay it Forward”. We actively promote other small businesses and try to introduce new entrepreneurs to our own connections. Find out more ways we use Access Profiles to help others here!

But when does "paying it forward" become more than just lending a helping hand? In other words, How much is too much? 
We all know that helping others isn’t always easy. It can sometimes derail our schedules and cost us time, money, and resources.

To be effective at giving to others, we have to be on our game when it comes to time management. We must take into account our own commitments and our limitations. Allowing ourselves to be stretched too thin helps no one.  

Blocking out time to help that works within our schedule is best. Small favors like quick introductions, answering a short question, or pointing someone in the right direction are relatively easy to achieve.
Or maybe we are willing to block out more time to help someone we feel can really use our guidance or is especially deserving of our help. Then, by all means, we should go for it.

But what if these requests for help turn into something much more demanding?  
When does it become a drain on our time and energy? Or, what do we do when we begin to feel we are being taken advantage of?  
That is when we need to remember that we ourselves, our time, and our knowledge have value.  
It has taken all of us years of research, education, and trial and error to know what we know.  

Simply giving that away on a large scale doesn’t make sense. We need to learn to protect our investment!
This is not to say that helping someone in the short term or once in a while should be off limits.

But how do we decide that someone has crossed the line? How can we reconcile our desire to help others succeed with the need to be paid for our time and knowledge?

For us, that line is when someone continues to come back again and again, and never considers that the time we spend to help them has value. That is when we take a stand. 

Our solution? Find a way to meld our desire to help and our need to get paid!

3 Steps to Help You Pay it Forward and Still Get Paid What You are Worth:
Recognize that Your Time and Knowledge has Value
Why else would they be trying to learn what you know?! You have spent countless hours on education, research, and development. That is worth something.

Decide What to Charge For 
Specific guidance and detailed information top our list. Time consuming or regular on-going conversations also fall in this category. 

This is when having a list of your services and costs comes in handy, even if it is simply a cost per hour. Knowing in advance what you will charge for, and being able to share that up front, makes sense. This way there will be no surprises.

We still choose to keep in mind their particular circumstances and will offer discount rates to those just starting out, who have fallen into hard times, or who have been respectful of my time. But that is our choice ~ not theirs.

Decide What to Give Away for Free
General questions, some quick tips, or simply being there to bounce ideas off of, is free in our book. This is where we share things like what to consider in setting up their background check business or why they should start a business blog.  

In fact, blogging is our on-going effort to pay it forward and share what we know for free. We have referred to it often to answer a question or to make a point. Directing them to a specific article in answer to their question or solve their problem helps us both!

However, when it comes to HOW to do things, then that moves into our pay column!  

Reconciling our desire to help with our need to be paid is not easy.  
Our initial instinct has been, and probably always will be, to share what we know without thought of money. And many of you probably do the same.

But we have begun to understand that this is not fair or wise.
Finding a way to do both makes more sense ~ and still gives us the opportunity to help others. And this is fair to us all! 

Authored by   

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