Leading On Management: There Is No Free Lunch

I met with a potential client recently who made the statement:nofreelunch

“I won’t hire someone to do that. I’ll do it myself, because it doesn’t cost me anything.”

Eeeeeeeeeegads! I almost choked on my coffee. (And I was buying the coffee, so although there was no free lunch, there was, in fact, free coffee for that prospect.)

Needless to say, this individual did not recognize the value of investing in themselves and their business to get a particular job done. Instead, they believed that, by doing it themselves, it wouldn’t cost them.

I walked them through the project’s scenario.

Me: “What expertise, market research and information do you need in order to complete your project?”

Them: “Oh, I already know everything I need to know.”

Me: (keeping my poker face in place) “That’s great. If the market research is done, and you have all the expertise required, how long do you think it will take you to complete the project?”

Them: “I figure it will take a week.”

Me: (thinking to myself…whatever you think it will take, at the bare minimum, double it) “OK, and how many hours will comprise that week?”

Them: “What do you mean? It will take a week.”

Me: “Yes, but let’s break that down to hours.”

Them: (big pause) “OK, let’s say 40 hours.”

Me: “Alright then. And what do you pay yourself? What’s your hourly rate?”

Them: “What difference does it make what I charge out? If I’m doing it myself, it doesn’t cost me anything.”

Have you heard this scenario before? I call it the head-in-the-sand-are-you-serious? scenario.

It doesn’t matter if it’s online or off. If you are doing something yourself because you think it “doesn’t cost me anything”, that is a grave mistake. EVERYTHING costs. Even “social media”.

I read an awesome comment by Sara Hawkins over at Margie Clayman’s site where she said:

“Few things in business are free….it’s not Social Freedia.”

I LOVE that phrase…”Social Freedia”. It’s NOT free. Everything takes TIME. And TIME is MONEY.

As a business and life coach, my job is to save someone their most important currency: time and energy. Because if I can help them be more effective and efficient, alleviate them of those things that are bogging them down, get them from point A to point B with less effort and more reward, then my assistance is an investment, NOT an expense line.

When someone says “I can’t afford you”, what they’re really saying is, “I’m not prepared to invest in myself and my business. I want to do it all myself because [sing along with me]…”It doesn’t cost me anything.”

I’m a big believer that, when you do a cost-benefit analysis, if you can do it better, cheaper, more efficiently and effectively by yourself, then GO FOR IT! But if that’s not the case, then aligning yourself with expertise, or hiring out will get you to where you’re going with less angst, and more reward.

Needless to say, this prospect did not become a client that day. We had our coffee, I provided as much benefit as I could in our time together, I shared resources and followed up, by email, with lots of additional resources that would be of benefit to them.

What do I know for sure?

There is no free lunch.

The “one week” project took far longer than anticipated.

The time spent by the business owner was an expense line, not an investment.

How do I know this? They called me to tell me so.

This post has been republished with permission from Kaarina Dillabough

Kaarina Dillabough

Kaarina Dillabough

Business Life Coach at Decide2Do
Kaarina is a business/life coach living in Ontario. For over 25 years her high-voltage energy, expertise and experience has inspired those she has worked with to reach beyond their grasp, to attain great things in business and in life. A former Olympic sports colour commentator and coach, Kaarina parlayed her coaching skills from the gym floor to the boardroom, working with business owners to improve their profitability and prosperity. In doing so, she has seen people grow both personally and professionally. Kaarina is known as an inspiring motivational speaker in areas such as branding, marketing, business growth strategies, and personal growth and prosperity. She is a passionate, seasoned coach and accountability partner with a proven track record, who loves nothing more than helping people achieve their goals in business and in life.
Kaarina Dillabough
Kaarina Dillabough

Comments

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40 Comments

  • May 8, 2014

    KDillabough

    mssackstein Thanks Starr: I appreciate your support:)

  • May 8, 2014

    KDillabough

    jackdrsm Thanks Jack: much appreciated 🙂

  • May 8, 2014

    KDillabough

    CandaceChira Thanks for sharing this Candace 🙂

  • May 8, 2014

    KDillabough

    uncommonchick Many thanks for sharing this Lakesha 🙂

  • May 8, 2014

    KDillabough

    janetcallaway Thanks Janet, and aloha 🙂

  • May 8, 2014

    KDillabough

    MizMeliz Appreciate the share Melissa 🙂

  • May 8, 2014

    KDillabough

    ThinDifference Always a delight to “see” you Jon: thanks for sharing

  • May 8, 2014

    KDillabough

    tobywneal Thanks a bunch Toby 🙂

  • May 8, 2014

    KDillabough

    bdorman264 Did someone say lunch? Thanks Agent 86:)

  • May 8, 2014

    ThinDifference

    KDillabough You’re welcome, Kaarina. Have a great day!

  • May 8, 2014

    bdorman264

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    gingerconsult

    bdorman264 KDillabough That’s odd

  • May 8, 2014

    KDillabough

    prosperitygal thanks so much Michele:)

  • May 8, 2014

    KDillabough

    bdorman264 huh?

  • May 8, 2014

    MizMeliz

    KDillabough My pleasure!

  • May 8, 2014

    bdorman264

    gingerconsult Not as odd as me but when my IT person gets back I will have her explain it again & let you know She thinks it’s on your end

  • May 8, 2014

    gingerconsult

    bdorman264 Thanks, Bill. I’d love to know so I can let my IT folks know as well. 🙂 you can email at http://jolneyATgingerconsult.com

  • May 8, 2014

    KDillabough

    RandyConley Thanks for the share Randy: hope you’re having a terrific Thursday 🙂

  • May 8, 2014

    KDillabough

    harleenas Many thanks Harleena: I always appreciate your support 🙂

  • May 8, 2014

    harleenas

    KDillabough – Most welcome Kaarina. Me too – have a nice day ahead 🙂

  • May 8, 2014

    KDillabough

    SusanMazza thanks so much Susan. Great to “see” you here:)

  • May 8, 2014

    KDillabough

    GirlyGrizzly thanks Amber-Lee:) I will continue to spread the word for Stand for the Man in Black

  • May 8, 2014

    KDillabough

    shane_barker thanks so much Shane:)

  • May 8, 2014

    KDillabough

    amabaie Thanks David: I appreciate it

  • May 8, 2014

    uncommonchick

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  • May 9, 2014

    KDillabough

    TanveerNaseer Thanks Tanveer: I appreciate the share 🙂

  • May 9, 2014

    KDillabough

    KellyMcCormick_ Thanks Kelly and happy Friday to you!

  • May 9, 2014

    KDillabough

    mikehenrysr Thanks Mike: I appreciate it!

  • May 9, 2014

    KellyMcCormick_

    My pleasure, have a great #FF KDillabough

  • May 10, 2014

    KDillabough

    kerijaehnig Much appreciated Keri 🙂 Happy weekend to you!

  • May 10, 2014

    KDillabough

    timbo1973 Thanks Tim: hope you’re enjoying your weekend. The snow is finally gone from here: woohoo!

  • May 10, 2014

    kerijaehnig

    KDillabough Happy weekend to you!

  • May 11, 2014

    timbo1973

    KDillabough You’re welcome Kaarina. The weekend’s going well thanks. I hope yours is too. Glad to hear the snow’s gone!

  • May 12, 2014

    KDillabough

    PASmithjr thanks Al:) so good to “see” you:)

  • May 14, 2014

    KDillabough

    ContemporaryVA Thanks for the share 🙂

  • May 14, 2014

    ContemporaryVA

    KDillabough, you’re welcome! 🙂 -TJM

  • May 19, 2014

    KDillabough

    livfreelivrich Thanks for sharing this Jonathan.

  • May 19, 2014

    livfreelivrich

    KDillabough I got a 403 error when I clicked this link.

  • May 20, 2014

    KDillabough

    livfreelivrich Thx for letting me know: link is now working:)

  • May 20, 2014

    livfreelivrich

    KDillabough You’re welcome, Kaarina.