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“I want to copy the graphics of your book series without buying them. Will you email the pictures to me so I don’t have to photocopy them?” A friend of mine who’s written a series of books was once asked that question.
“Will you send me your presentation so I can use it to give to my friends?” I was recently asked. “I can’t afford you so I just want your presentation.”
I strongly believe in helping non-profits and those with challenges. In fact, I’m so sympathetic that my husband told me that my next philanthropic endeavor is to raise money for the Biever Family College Fund. Profit is NOT a 4-letter word.
My presentations are my work product. I share parts on Slideshare. However, I am not going to give away my full presentation for others to use. My name is on it, and it’s my brand. My time and expertise went into creating it, along with what I say with each part. If I let you use it, I dilute my brand.
I explained to my friend that a lawyer won’t give you a lease template for you to make your own. Instead, the lawyer takes the template and adjusts it to fit your needs, using time and training for which you are charged. The same applies to my work.
I don’t walk into a restaurant and ask them to give me a free meal because my budget is tight. If I don’t have money, I eat somewhere cheaper or fix my own. If I’m desperate, there are food pantries and other resources so I won’t go hungry. Doesn’t the same apply to owners of small businesses?
How to handle the flow of requests for donations of money, products, and me?
Make a donation budget. Plan, pick and choose who you help and how much to help and how much you can afford. When that amount is capped, you can explain to those asking for more that your donation budget for the year has been met and wish them well. When you focus on building your business to make it MORE profitable, then you can help others more in the future.
If you don’t value your own work product and think it’s worthy of buying, no one else will either.