Do you have friends who are always asking you to work for Free, or at drastically reduced rates?
A tale of 2 friends
“Joanne” (not her real name) and I met when I was a magazine editor. At the time, Joanne sought me out for some free publicity. She was engaging, lively, and fun to be around. She got her free publicity. Soon afterward, we also became friends.
A few years later when I had a writing assignment for a major women’s publication, Joanne asked me to pitch my editors to write a feature article on…her. When I was employed as a television producer she wanted a free video. A short while later she wanted money. I never gave her the money because my great uncle taught me, if you loan money, never expect to see it back.
I lost touch with Joanne after that, but she returned a few years later with a new deal. She wanted me to become one of her clients, so I became a client…for over 10 years. Recently, however, Joanne wanted a free website. At a moment of weakness I said, “Yes,” but when I realized “Yes” meant building the WordPress site, designing her web header, writing all the copy and marketing it, too, well…I had a change of heart.
Another friend, “Margaret,” (not her real name) ask me to design and make a one-off book for a special event. She never asked for a price break, although I did give her one. Fifteen years later our friendship has continued to grow, and today I consider her to be one of my closest friends.
My weakness has always been that I would give the shirt off my back for my friends. So, what is it about trading good and services with friends that turns us into marshmallows or vipers?
Have you ever worked for a friend who is still a good friend?
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