Fun doesn't have to equal free. Does it?

Does fun have to equal free?I was chatting with Toby, this morning, about his “Professional Peer Referrals” post. And as I was describing my issues with the whole “pay to play” concept, something dawned on me.

I have a really, really hard time charging people for intangible work that I enjoy.

Now, what–he says, gracefully sidestepping the “oldest profession in the world” commentary–exactly do I mean by that?

I mean, I like giving referrals. I like brainstorming with people. I like coming up with new ideas.

And while there is, undoubtedly, intrinsic value in those efforts, I generally don’t charge for them. And part of my issue with charging for those activities is my actual enjoyment of those activities.

Those things are fun.

And, if I like doing those things, then why would I charge for them? Isn’t satisfaction enough?

And, generally, the brainstorming winds up generating a tangible activity. Something for which I can charge. Like a plan. Or a creative piece. Or some targeted consulting.

But there is value in the brainstroming that is driving those follow-on projects.

I mean, when you’re on the corporate side of the desk, you’re generally earning your paycheck by doing those things. So, I know there is some value there. Isn’t there?

And while I don’t want to become a lawyer who slaps the time clock every time he picks up the phone, I don’t want to continue to give away my time, simply because I enjoy that activity. And I don’t want the perception of my consultation to be devalued, simply because I choose to do it for free.

It’s a difficult spot. But I’m thinking that there has to be a happy medium.

Doesn’t there?

About Rick Turoczy

More than mildly obsessed with the Portland startup community. Founder and editor at Silicon Florist. Cofounder and general manager at PIE. Follow me on Twitter: @turoczy
This entry was posted in consulting, Creativity, Entrepreneur, Value. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Fun doesn't have to equal free. Does it?

  1. Pingback: Valuing Consulting Services versus Contractor Labor | More than a living

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