Wednesday, 26 September 2007

No More Mrs Nice Guy

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:

hi rachel
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.
kind regards

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.


David McQueen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David McQueen said...

Hi Rachel, I am the lower down the pecking order than you and get the same thing. Please can you write an executive CV for me, or look over my business plan.

Now I do pro bono work and also partner with friends I know to brainstorm ideas, but this should be a choice that we make, not something expected from people.

Royally pisses me off as well!!!

David McQueen said...

Sorry that should say people say to me "please can you write an executive , etc."......

Ian said...

As a part time business mentor (one with real business experience)for my local council. I see a lot of the people that you list that have little or no chance too.
Most people new to the idea of actually running a business themselves come to it with an enthusiam that cannot be dimmed, it doesn't matter that you show them the website doing their idea already and explain the concept of first to market and so on.
It is the enthusiam that I like, it may be that only 10% of them actually start, but the other 90% get a sudden wake up call to just how much goes into just getting a business started, never mind running one too.
I find that in a lot of cases a business may not even start, but the person does leave the experience with more of an idea of how hard it is to actually do this, and they go back to work with a different attitude to work and to their boss.