I don't know whether I was asking for trouble making my Entrepreneurial Profile Test free, or whether I have somehow passed through a window where I am now considered part of the entrepreneurial 'Royal Family' - but it does seem increasingly apparent that the whole world wants something from me, yet no one is prepared to pay for it.
In just the past week, I've received a highly detailed 10 page executive spec put together by a prefessional recruitment agency asking me to consider becoming the non-exec Chairman of a (not very high profile) Charity (minimum 3 days per month committment) for no fee; several requests to travel the length and breadth of the country to speak to various small 'non-profit making groups' about entrepreneurship - again no fee; not to mention the increasing number of emails every day and unsolicited packages through the post containing full 30 page Business Plans and product prototypes, requesting my opinion on their business idea. Oh, but no, they don't want to pay for the advice either.
Then, there are the bashed-out-in-60-seconds emails, usually sent from hotmail addresses, which go like this:
I have an idea for a web site but i havent got a clue what to do with it. where do i start. please could you give me some advice of where to go first. I know you are very busy but please could you give me a clue on the first steps.
Now, maybe I have the word 'Mug' tattooed on my forehead, or maybe people genuinely think I sit here with enough time and inclination to wipe their entrepreneurial arses for them, but I would estimate that 90% of this mail I receive is from people who haven't got the first hope in hell of making it in business.
Because they are either:
- So busy looking for a 'tick in the Box' from some magic authority that their idea will be a success, that they forget to run it by the people whose opinion really is the only one that counts in business ie THE CUSTOMER
- So frantically looking at ways of 'making money' and getting 'freebies' that they forget that real success in business comes from GIVING rather than TAKING
- Too lazy to bother to even put together a few decent ideas on how they could make their business work, and want someone else to lay it out on a plate for them
Now, I really don't wish to sound ungrateful, and it is always nice to feel wanted and appreciated. And this is not to say that I am not happy to help - and indeed helping, inspiring and motivating entrepreneurs is now my business.
But if you want anything more than a quick line of advice or to be pointed in the right business direction, please respect the fact that I am not a registered Charity.
If you want me to take you seriously and you would genuinely like my input and advice, all the details are on my website - just pay me the courtesy and respect of offering at least something in return for my time.