It’s funny… People will pay top dollar for a good cup of coffee, but then those same people head over to Facebook, ask a question, and get upset if I give a short answer that’s “not long enough.” Today I was taking a break from my busy schedule to answer a couple of questions in a new Facebook group I recently joined. Then another question was raised and my answer was, “The answer would be too long to post in a Facebook comment. In fact it’s so long I’m detailing it in an almost 90-minute session in an upcoming course.” I didn’t post a link to the course, I simply was trying to state the fact that Facebook comments weren’t the place for that detailed of an answer, and I wasn’t going to answer it that way.
That one little comment started a comment war… and a string of comments from a few people upset at me asking if I’d only answer the question if they “paid for my course.” All of a sudden several people were saying things like, “In a previous comment you said you had no problem sharing.” When they conveniently ignored the rest of my answer in that comment that said, “I have no problem sharing… where appropriate.” And here’s the thing about answering questions… One leads to another, then another, and before I know it, I’ve got an entire training I’ve just given away on Facebook for free to people who will probably never buy anything from me. Why would I invest all that time and energy when I already give away tons of free content in my free webinars, this blog, guest interviews, etc.?
Here’s the thing… I’ve been in the publishing industry since 2003. I’ve spent well over six figures on coaches, training programs, workshops, seminars, software, training for that software, etc. Not to mention my own time investment learning my trade and becoming one of the most well-respected experts in the publishing industry. What’s funny is that people seem to have no problem handing tens of thousands of dollars over to a university to earn a piece of paper that says they “know something,” when they usually aren’t even learning from people with real world experience. (Yes, I have one of those pieces of paper… a real, honest 4-year degree in Fine Art, and I can tell you the real world people I’ve learned from have been waaayyyy more worth the investment than the debt I owed the government for years.)
So while I don’t mind answering a quick question on Facebook or sharing a resource, I will NOT give away everything in my head for free. There’s a hard line in the sand that I will. not. cross.
Why do I respect the line? First of all, there’s so much information stored in my cranium that it would make most newbie authors’ brains overload (just ask any of my students… lol). And secondly, I’ve paid dearly for the information in my head, both in time and money.
Here’s the hard truth… Sure, you can learn a lot from the internet. You can get a lot of people’s conflicting opinions on matters such as ISBNs, what printer to use, what designer to use, to even use a designer, to edit or not edit, etc. You can waste hours of your life digging deeper into the hole of confusion.
You can invest a little time and money in a real world expert who not only has been there and done that, but has learned themselves, taught others, and become one of the top experts in their industry.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked with my customers who spend years trying to figure out something when I gave them the solution in less than 10 minutes. That’s when I hear things like, “I wish I’d known you then” or “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”
So now I want to ask you a question…
Do you expect people who make a living at something to coach you or train you for free? And the even BIGGER question to ask is, do you expect other people to ask YOU to give THEM answers for free, if that’s what you do to put food on your table and clothes on your kids’ backs?
Now I’m making a stand, and I want YOU to stand with me. It’s time for us all to:
RESPECT each other. Respect the experts around you. Quit tire kicking and quit trying to get advice for free.
RESPECT yourself. Respect yourself enough to invest in yourself. Invest in quality training. Invest the time.
RESPECT your tribe. There are a lot of people who are ready and willing to pay for the knowledge in your head. And I can guarantee you from personal experience (both myself and observed in others) that when people pull out their wallets for information, they’re more likely to take action on that information and actually do something. They respect what they pay for. And they’ll respect you more.
It’s time for us to quit being cheap-asses. To stop testing the waters to see just how much information we can squeeze from experts without opening our wallets. It’s time for us to value each others’ knowledge and expertise. And it’s time for YOU to take a stand and quit resenting when people take information, coaching, etc. from you for free. After all, if you’re not respecting that hard line in the sand and continue giving it to them, there’s only ONE person you can blame for them continuing to ask you for free advice and training—YOURSELF.
If you’re ready to invest in yourself, click here to grab an “On Demand” laser coaching session with me today.