Yes, I said ‘secret sauce’. I want a turn with the buzz word. Full disclosure: I am an introvert. Extroverts are fun and all, but it turns out introverts bring their own secret sauce to the executive suite. (Okay, I’ll stop with the secret sauce references.)
Ask good questions. Practice on yourself. Mildred Baily asks, “Where are you?”, and this is a great question for self check-ins. Introverts do this often. We tend to spend a lot of time in our heads, reflecting. If I am stressed or unhappy, healthy questions remind me of who I am, what energizes me, what I value. Strengthen your core with good questions.
Care less about the crowd. Know your unique power. Look, it is exhausting trying to be, do, think what you imagine you should. Rather, be informed of what is current, know what is relevant, and sell, serve, iterate yourself. Hire out the rest.
Fun. Remember that? Fun is still there for you. You may have been busy with someone else’s version of fun. Not a bad thing, but your soul needs sprinklings of what you delight in or fatigue sets in. Where are you, that you that you used to love? Charismatic leaders know fun.
Favors, Freebies and Discounts. Where do we draw the line and should we draw the line?
I want to support my favorite charities and delight when my work fills a need. When I can help a friend or relative, it is a blessing for both of us. Usually.
We have all been there. That uncomfortable moment when we know we are overextending ourselves and resentment is creeping in. It doesn’t have to be this way and we do not need to react by saying a firm ‘no’ to all future pro bono work.
The solution has to do with understanding our time is a limited commodity, as is our money. Take a quiet break and a pad of paper and write down a budget for types of donated work with time allotments for each per week and month. Study your list, are you uncomfortable? Edit until you feel satisfied.
Working free, free of resentment, contributes to a life of abundance.
For more detail about working for free, check this article by Marc Zegans.
Do you have any tips on handling requests for pro bono work? How to you manage your yes and no response?