I worked in our corner shop, stacking shelves, serving customers, making sandwiches and from memory, talking too much with the other girls!
I then worked in a clothes shop, a restaurant, an ice cream shop and a hotel.
I did silver service.
Delivered leaflets in the cold.
I worked in bars and pubs, where I washed glasses and cleaned tables.
Pretty much all through secondary school and university, I had jobs.
I would start early and finish late.
I paid my way.
I worked hard, often doing two or three jobs at a time.
I came away from uni with enough money to buy my plane ticket to Tokyo where I worked as a teacher.
The funny thing is, from washing salad in Pizza Express to cleaning floors in hotels, I was always paid.
It wasn’t amazing money, but no one ever expected me to work for free.
Why would they?
So, I am wondering why potential clients are asking me to work for free.
To do a trial to prove I am worth investing in?
To make sure I know my stuff?
To just see if that book I have just written and all the experience I have, actually is valid!
Or they offer to pay me less than I pay my lovely cleaner, who is valued and appreciated and who I pay over the odds to because she is worth it.
People want me to give my two decades of experience away as if it was nothing.
To almost do it as a favour because it will make me glow inside and feel good.
Well, I have a dog who does that every day, so I really don’t need it when it comes to working.
To put businesses in the spotlight and give them the chance to shine, to grow and to build credibility, is exactly what I do.
If you can’t afford those services, then I can’t afford to give that away for free because, you know, there are bills to pay, clothes to buy and of course, that dog of mine needs food to eat if she is going to make me smile.
Think about it, I love Jimmy Choo shoes but I know if I go into their Sloane Square store, try them on, say I will take them but that I don’t have the cash right now – well they aren’t going to wrap them up and put them in one of the white bags and give them to me for free.
They are going laugh as they take away that complimentary glass of champagne, and tell me they don’t work that way.
Of course, they don’t, no one does.
If you want to have PR, that is great, but it comes at a price because it is a powerful business tool.
It is one I have used for start-ups and micro businesses and one I have used to launch TV channels on Red Square and promote the biggest computer companies on the planet.
I can write a killer press releases that have not only lead to front page coverage, but also securing top-notch jobs.
I have great relationships with the media, because they know I know my stuff, I give them what they want and just as with my clients, I go above and beyond every time.
So, please don’t ask me to work for free and it’s not just me, others have said they are increasingly seeing the same.
Don’t ask a photographer to take headshots as it will only take a few minutes.
Don’t ask a life coach to give you a free session because it will add to their experience.
Don’t ask a proofreader to ‘just’ read over your website because it’s what they do.
Don’t ask to pick someone’s brain, take their ideas and then run off and do it yourself.
Don’t as for a PR plan as part of an interview, and then run off with it and use it in-house. Rude.
I never mind offering to help or to give some advice, I am nice like that, but to add someone to my client list, well that costs.
You are being paid to do your job, so be prepared to pay those you want to work with.
It makes good business sense, it’s what professionals do.
Nothing comes for free, and to be honest expecting that isn’t just cheeky, it’s rude.
And, if you do ask for something for free, be prepared to get an answer you weren’t expecting.
Please don’t ask anyone to work for free but if you would like to work with me, pop over to www.natalietrice.co.uk and find out more about what I could do for you.