There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

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Once upon a time, before I managed so many businesses (www.MediaMinister.co.uk and www.advantageinc.co.uk being the chief ‘runners’), I was known to donate a lot of my time helping other entrepreneurs and business-owners. Perhaps too much time, in retrospect.

I’d take on voluntary roles and tasks, and always be ready to offer help and advice to those that sought it. But lately, I’ve had to be a bit, well, mean…

As nice as it is to meet interesting people over coffee (if you’re lucky) or lunch (if you’re REALLY lucky), I’ve had to put my foot down and say no to those who want to meet up to ‘pick my brain’ (what a horrible image that conjures up!). I simply don’t have the time or the energy. Besides, I wouldn’t expect my lawyer to give me free and impartial advice in exchange for a few hours of my undying attention. Actually, I can almost hear his response: “Of course you can pick my brain . . . for £250 an hour.” 

Psychologists and behaviorists have observed that women in business tend to fall into the trap of giving away our time and ideas for free because we’re afraid to ask for compensation. Being the ‘carers’ in society (and presumably in business), we are almost conditioned to WANT to help people. But ultimately there is the danger that we end up feeling overwhelmed and undervalued — especially if we try to be everything to everyone, or simply give too much of ourselves away.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I’m too busy to help people full stop. I still relish the idea of being able to share my opinions, knowledge, ideas and experiences in the hope it will make a difference to someone’s life or business. That’s why I publish a newsletter and am active on social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. It’s why I do teleclasses/workshops and produce business-building tools. It’s why I always try to help as many people as I can. And it’s why I am a blogger.

It’s a well-worn, clichéd ‘win-win situation’ for everyone — my ‘reach’ is extended so more people benefit and my ‘life-balance’ is a little kinder thanks to the freed-up time I have stolen back from no longer partaking in ‘pick-my-brain-for-free’ meetings.  🙂

What about you? How do you deal with the ‘brain-picker’? I’d love to hear your thoughts — especially if you are a fellow consultant or freelancer.

• Related post: Are You Investing Your Time Wisely?

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Marketing Video — a short course in business growth

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Just made my first ever video. It’s called “The BIG Question…” and you can watch it: http://bit.ly/do6wUg

Or here on this blog:

Would love to know what you think. (Be gentle!)  🙂

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Headlines Are More Important Than You Think…

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Sometimes, it can seem as if the world is conspiring against you and your marketing efforts. But not if you use a time-tested powerful headline.

In the world of marketing communications, both online or offline, your headline can lead to marketing success … or failure. Copywriting and marketing pros alike turn to certain headline formulas that they know will always work well.

In the lead article in MediaMinister’s latest newsletter, Communiqué for Success,  I present my favourites, and show you how you can use each one in your own marketing. To read “Top Proven Headlines to Boost Sales” as well as the rest of the ezine, please sign up first. (You can unsubscribe at any time, and I NEVER abuse my subscriber’s email address. Your details are safe with me.)

Subscribe here.

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Healthy Workforce Grants for Sussex Businesses

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For every 80p spent on health promotion and intervention programmes, £4 can be saved due to reduced absenteeism, temporary staff and improved motivation, says The European Network for Workplace Health Promotion.

Which is one of the reasons The Sussex Active & Healthy Workplace Initiative has launched the ‘small grants scheme’. This has been set up specifically to help Sussex-based businesses improve the health and well-being of their workforce, and to “support employers to make a positive change by increasing the opportunities available to employees throughout Sussex and working towards improving the health of the local workforce”.

Now The Active & Healthy Workplace Initiative is working in partnership with West Sussex — Ahead of the Game, (with support from Healthy Mid Sussex and Crawley Borough Council) to provide the opportunity for Sussex businesses to bid for up to £500 to cover eligible project costs. (Subject to available funding)

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These businesses will also be supported through the Active & Healthy Workplace programme giving them access to many additional benefits.

For more information or to apply for your grant, visit www.sussexsport.org (all grant applications must be received by Friday 30 April).

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