Friday, August 14, 2009

Are you willing to work for free?

A lot of has been written about Chris Anderson's new book "Free" and while I haven't read it yet (I have it on my nightstand) I think there is a different kind of "Free" that people don't talk about enough...or actually do.

I am talking about free work.

Call it Advising, Consulting, Working for Food, whatever, it is something that you should do a little of if asked because (and this is the closest I get to preaching) the more profile you get for your work and if you want to get along in life you have to be prepared to do a little free work.

I get asked to give advice a lot and up in till now I have almost never said no, and being honest I am going to have to start being choosier because the sheer number of requests is growing too fast, but one of the reasons I do say yes so often (and that you should too) is because it is the Free Work that keeps you sharp and is usually the real fun projects that allow you to do the work that you can later use as examples to get paid work.....or if that isn't an aspiration of yours you can use these fun projects to use ideas and skills that just don't come to play in your day job and there is enormous value and self worth in that....just be careful not to be taken advantage of.

My Dad once told me that "if all the ideas you dream up are being executed on then you don't have many ideas". I could write another 5 paragraphs about that observation alone but I am going to leave it hanging so you can find your own meaning in it.

....and for those who where hoping this post would be more about Chris Anderson, I am sorry if I let you down but I hope you got something out of this and below is a video of Chris so this post has something for everyone :)


elizabethonline said...

It's possible that it's actually *your dad* who is the smartest man in the world.

+ this was great. Keeps me in check.

saulcolt said...

There is a small chance that my dad has a ghost writer :)

Karim Kanji said...

Saul -

Interesting commentary.

I wonder if people do free work in the hope of getting paid work or because they just enjoy it?

Michael Kozakewich said...

I tried to give someone free work, but they turned me down. Probably because my method was horribly horrible.

I'll keep trying, because it's an extremely powerful concept.


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