I received a couple of offers to speak to groups of professionals about LinkedIn, unsolicited, last week.
I said no to both. They were not paying for my expertise.
Now before you condemn me for being high-and-mighty, saying “no thank you, though” is honest and enabling, something a mature businessperson has to earn and learn to say well.
I did give each asker ideas to provide themselves an opportunity to find a funder, sponsor, or other way to charge for the event and encourage each member bring a prospective member that have worked in the past for me, as a win-win for both parties to the transaction. Alas, that was not in the cards. They said no.
The bottom line is that something has to give…before you have nothing left to give.
I possess a ton of meaningful and beneficial material. I love sharing it when I am recognized for the time and effort that went into mastering the thoughts I offer.
For another viewpoint, see a Forbes.com article that I refer others to all too frequently, aptly titled “No, you can’t pick my brain. It costs too much.”
Yes, there are ways to answer “no,” properly and professionally while you retain your polished brand image and self-respect. Yes, I was polite and honest as I said no thanks.
And I might add, askers can be more cognizant that our knowledge base as consultants in skills needed in this pandemic marketplace is neither acquired overnight nor via informal hobbying. This is our profession. It is not offered over coffee or casually. It is agreed in a formal contract, professionally presented, and followed-up for ancillary business.
So to round off this discussion, do I like saying no? No.
Do I want to turn people down who can benefit from my perspective on my favorite topic? No.
But should I respect my hard-earned stripes as a consultant, blogger, author, speaker, trainer, coach?
That answer is not “no.”