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What are you doing for free that you can actually do for a fee?

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‘If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life” — Marc Anthony
There are many things we do for free that we can actually do for a fee. As long as you have something you do for free to help others solve their problems, you have something to sell. If you are good at something and can afford to make a living from it, why do it for free.

You have a talent or a skill? There are people willing to pay you for that skill, so why let go the opportunity of making money from it? I am not saying we should be money freak; I am simply saying that you deserve to get paid as long as you are adding value to others. Money is actually a reward for the value we add to others. You cheat others when you collect so much and render so little. Also, you cheat yourself when you give too much of yourself away for free.

There are many occasions when we really need to do things for free- may be to gain experience, as a volunteer work or to add value to people that you know cannot afford to pay as a humanitarian service. You can even do your first freelance job for free or low pay, just to gain the experience.

The truth is that when too much of what you offer is for free, you make your service unsustainable. Transiting from the “Free Zone” to the “Fee Zone” is one of the cores of sustainable entrepreneurship. Don’t stay in the “Free Zone” forever, monetise your service. It is not selfishness; it is making yourself a priority.

In the superhero film, The Dark Knight, there is a line that is worth mentioning that I will like to refer to: “If you are good at something, never do it for free.” I have always told people that your desire to do something for free should be out of conviction and not out of ignorance.

Many people are doing things for free because they don’t really know the value of the service they are rendering. Some people are getting paid for services that they are not rendering well, which I call fraud. Many are being paid handsomely for services that are far inferior to yours. If you can offer this service well and get legitimately paid, why not?

One area I would really like to emphasise is our hobbies. Your hobby is your ‘natural’ business. Hobbies are those activities we are so passionate about that, not only do we do them without getting paid, we often pay to do them.

I am here to tell you that you can flip that around. You can actually get paid to do the same activities you already love to do in your spare time. One of the major reasons why people are so poor is simply because they give too much of themselves away for free. When a lot of what we love doing is for free, it becomes an open invitation to poverty.

I am not disputing the fact that we must do some things for free to bless others, but it must not be everything. When everything that we do is for free, we gradually bankrupt our potentials.

Your ability to exchange and leverage on what you love doing for money is the core essence of entrepreneurship. When you are constantly adding value to others without financial returns, then you are defrauding yourself. Many are simply poor because they are ignorant of how most of the things they do for free are linked to their wealth and financial freedom.

Many people are living in a manner that is unsustainable. When you give too much of yourself away for free, you deplete your ability to earn a sustainable income. The principle of wealth is simply exchanging ‘values’ for money.

We are being paid simply because of the values we are adding to others. You deserve to be paid as long as you are adding values to others. Stop offering yourself for free, and except you are doing a volunteer work or humanitarian service, make sure you get paid whenever you add value to others. Stop letting your emotions or ‘excessive’ generosity get in the way of living a sustainable and decent living.

If you cannot stop the emotions, then you can decide to give a part of your wealth for free after you have been paid, but never allow your emotions or over-generosity to hinder you from getting paid for adding values to others. There is so much joy in getting paid at what you love doing. There is tremendous joy in earning income from doing something that you might happily do for free.

Blogging was a hobby for Linda Ikeji, but today, she earns a fortune from it. There are many hobbies and skills that have the latent capacity to be turned to wealth. The list is unending, but I will like to mention a few.

Hobbies and skills, such as photography, public speaking, writing, proofreading and editing, interior decoration and event planning, cooking, baking, home or office organising, graphic and web design, drawing and painting can be metamorphosed into money-spinning ventures.

Walt Disney’s love for sketching and drawing created one of the most vast entertainment company now known as the Walt Disney Company. KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) was born out of someone’s hobby of cooking.

Whether as a full-fledged passion or a retirement plan, monetising your hobby is the most sustainable way of living.

Look inward and repackage what you love doing to make money. Making-money from your hobby is not just sustainable; it brings you deep satisfaction and excitation. Stop giving too much of yourself away for free.


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