Almost everything in life is a barter. There is always a trade-off of some sort.
When you go to the beach (a seemingly FREE activity), the following intangible costs often apply:
- The opportunity cost of doing something more valuable (something that makes you money or is more enjoyable).
- The cost of gas to drive to the beach.
- The depreciation of your vehicle (mileage and the future cleaning that will be necessary to remove all of the sand tracked in).
- The pain of a sunburn (and/or the cost of sunscreen).
This concept is universal and applies most demonstratively for a consulting business. See the scenario below:
Business XYZ possesses a mission that you are personally passionate about. They are looking for guidance and come to you for consulting. However, you quickly find out that they don't have the budget necessary to pay you what you're worth. However, you grow conflicted for you stand behind their core values far beyond business and money and really want to see them succeed.
While the entrepreneur in us all never wants to undervalue our services, these situations often leave us with an internal struggle.
My advice: Always do the right thing. If you can lend your expertise at no cost to Business XYZ, they will not only be forever grateful to you, but the following will also occur:
- You'll feel happy and fulfilled for your benevolence.
- You'll get referral clients from Business XYZ.
- Business XYZ will hire you as soon as they can afford your services.
It might not always apply, but it's easier than you think to do the right thing and help others out when necessary.