Thursday, June 21, 2012

Saying "Hell Yeah!" or "Just Say No" - Knowing The Value

Here is why I enjoy social media and how it can lead you to something really interesting:  

A person posted an article about "A Lesson in Saying No" by CC Chapman to the National Speakers Association LinkedIn page.  I clicked through and read the post on Mr. Chapman's blog.  He referenced something called the "Hell Yeah! test"... which caught my eye.  This linked to an article, "It's Either Hell Yeah! or No" by Derek Sivers that was written in August 2009.

Both articles (linked above) are worth reading.  If you are someone who seeks ways to better handle you time commitments... then a set policies of when and how to say "yes" or "no" are valuable.

CC Chapman starts his post by talking about a meeting professional who stated they do not compensate speakers because they can get others for free.  He declined the offer to speak.  But this article goes way beyond speakers....  As many people are often asked to give up their time (and regular fee) for no compensation to a for-profit business.

I once asked a meeting organizer if she had requested the conference center at the hotel for the rooms, food and AV equipment for free. Her response was one of shock.... she would NEVER ask for that. She was confused as to who would ever consider that request (she missed my point).

My first question when someone from a not-for-profit group wants to waive my speaking fee (and this is for local stuff, as I cannot usually be away from my home without receiving my fee, as my wife and kids have a value too!!) is "Have you paid any other speakers in the last 24 months". If they have, then I will decline the offer to present.... as if they value others and not me it just hurts my soul.

I have talked before about being open to opportunity.  You cannot be so locked down and worried about protecting your time that you say no to everything that crosses your path.  We must allow for serendipity or we miss out on many things.  I am usually open to meeting with people for coffee who approach me as I love meeting people and discovering their stories.  But as part of my business I also offer career coaching for a fee... so I must look at the line between when someone is seeking a win / win conversation and when they are seeking free consulting.

I had a friend agree to help me out with a small project that became a big project.  While he did not bill me for his extra time, I did understand the value of his time that was provided to me at no cost.  I am working hard to even out our exchange by providing my services to assist his business.  It is okay to ask someone to waive fees, but only if you recognize that there is a true value.  Too often speakers are asked to present for free with the thought that the "exposure" to an audience has value.  The reality is that sometimes "exposure" is worthless.  Before offering something in exchange for a waived fee.... be sure you have audited what you are offering or the person may not get that "Hell Yeah!" feeling.

Sometimes your heart screams "Hell Yeah!" - and that is exciting!  This is now very clear and I know what that means.  I am inspired after reading Mr. Chapman's and Mr. Siver's articles.

As I think about the times when my gut was not in line with the "Hell Yeah!" theory I usually recall mundane results.  How about you?

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

1 comment:

Mary Pat said...

As a former association executive I will tell you that speakers are under valued by novice planners. The good speakers come with a fee!!