I like to consider myself a generous guy and am always delighted to help others however I can. But there are 6 major fouls in my book that happen more often than I’d like, such as:
Asking for money.
I will “loan” money only to friends, which means I don’t expect it back, but am delighted if repaid. Earn my trust, else learn from the guys on the sidewalk holding cardboard signs. At least they are clever about it and have a higher conversion rate than you do.
Asking for Warriors tickets.
People I’ve never met expect me to jump through hoops to hook them up with tickets, ahead of our team members that work hard to earn their way to a game. Some of these strangers even specify where they want to sit and how many friends they would like to bring along.
For my time to “pick” my brain.
I’ve said enough about this. Whatever you do for a living, do you do it for free all day? The exception is young adults that have earned their way to progressively unlock training and work opportunities. Same for university partners, since they’re part of our core mission.
A “quick” favor.
It’s never just 5 minutes, as I’ve learned from the thousands of these sessions that I’ve done. I appreciate the hustle. If it’s someone I know well, I’m glad to help. My friends understand and practice the rule of giving first before asking.
Verification on Facebook / An Introduction to Mark Zuckerberg.
For the record: I DO NOT work for Facebook! I can’t make these two requests happen.
That blue check mark next to your name or business is cool to show off to your friends. But you have to earn it. We have articles on how and even offer packages to help you get those components in place.
For 20 minutes to pitch me your marketing or IT services.
If you want something from me, first demonstrate you know I’m a human and get to know what I care about. Show you have done your homework by making one minute videos on these topics, so I can get to know you, too.
Outside of my actual friends and family (being a Facebook friend doesn’t count, unless you’re someone I’d actually want to hang out with), you’re either a student, client, or partner. We have qualifications for each.
And you should, too, so you can control your time. You don’t have to say yes to every single person that wants your precious time, even though it “might” be something. Gamble with your money, not with your time. One of these you can make more of, while the other you cannot.
When you say yes to one thing, consider what you’re saying no to- your family, your God, your teammates, and whatever is your priority.
Kill interruptions, which trade the important for the urgent. Hint: don’t fall for the urgent, non-important things. Focus on the important, non-urgent things.
As the great Nancy Reagan said, “Just Say NO!” And you can do it politely, yet firmly.
The people who respect your time, outside of actual friends and family, gladly pay for it. Don’t be afraid to charge for it and don’t fall for the trick of free consulting sessions with the lure that they “might” hire you.
If they’re not actually a friend, don’t be guilt-tripped into helping them, as mean as they make you seem. The reason the airlines have you put your life vest on first before helping others is that you can’t help them if you’ve already passed out from lack of oxygen.
Are you struggling with your business, your time management, and other issues? You can politely decline requests by saying you, yourself, are trying to get things in order and to learn. Point to someone who is better.
Don’t confuse this with the abundance vs. scarcity mentality. TIME is what’s limited- protect that.
Give money and knowledge instead. Share those freely for all to benefit via your blogs, Facebook videos, and whatnot.
You can impact thousands or even millions, but time you cannot scale.