By Kim Artlip, Columnist
If you’re a photographer, designer, developer, writer, personal trainer, doctor, mechanic, hair stylist, lawyer, illustrator, wrestling promoter or any of a million plus other professions, people are going to ask you to work for free.
So when I see a random message in Facebook, I cringe because nine times out of ten it sounds like this:
“Hey, sorry to bother you, but I need your opinion on something. I need a quick logo. It should only take you a few minutes. You could probably knock it out in your sleep. Is that something you could help me with?”
First of all, it’s not quick, it’s never a few minutes and they have no intention of compensating you for your time. And they don’t give a fig about your opinion. They simply want what they need now for free.
Sometimes, they will promise you “great exposure” or that they will split the future profits of the project with you. Side rant, that is exactly what annoys me about these so-called designers who do promo reels for free and slap their cheesy logos all over them to “build a following” up. Umm, it looks like crap when you do that. Honest to god, if people want to know who did a promo reel or a graphic, they ask.
If you are getting a lot of people asking to pick your brain and have you walk them through how to become a (insert profession here) promoter which is what I am asked about the most. I get this every week multiple times and I am pretty upfront that it is work, not for everyone and people have to have the right mindset and intentions.
There are three distinct camps here: absolutely no, never share. Absolutely yes, share away, there is room for everyone. And the third: there are some things I don’t mind sharing, but those are the things that are easy to find so, why are these people asking me anyway?
Look, Coca Cola doesn’t publish their formulas on their website, and I’m pretty sure they guard the exact recipe for KFC Chicken. Every business has trade secrets – that’s how it is! Just because you are a solo business owner doesn’t mean your trade secrets aren’t valuable.
To be honest, I have invested time and money into building my mailing lists, my resource lists but it wasn’t entirely difficult but it was very time consuming. So, I know it’s very possible for anyone else to find them. I also know that if people don’t take the initiative to find their own sources, they probably aren’t cut out to be in business in the first place. This whole why don’t you just share your work with me doesn’t always fly. If you want it, work for it.
I used to respond nicely back to inquiries and let them know that for proprietary response, I do not disclose my information that I have accumulated for the running of my business. 8/10 times I would get a nasty rude response back. So, yeah. Done and done. I didn’t sign up to get crapped on every time I open my email.
You are under no obligation to tell others how to do the things you do. You aren’t here to be everyone’s BFF, you are here to be in business and sometimes that means doing things outside your comfort zone, like standing up for yourself and protecting yourself.
That may sound cold and selfish but let’s be honest. Name me one person who dialed up the WWE and said, “I want to start a wrestling company, how do I get started?” and the person on the other end began to walk you through the process and shared all their forms and information they have gathered over the years.
None. That won’t happen.
So don’t be so douchey to think that every wrestling promoter is going to drop what they are doing to hold your hand. I’m not saying that some questions won’t be answered, but for the love of everything wrestling – Do your due diligence and put in the work.
Speaking of work, time to go promote the upcoming show on May 18th in Vero Beach, FL so until next week… Ignite your Fire, and Follow your Dreams.
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