No, this is not an entry because of some LQ (love quarrel) moment between the wifey and myself. Although, I must admit that we are not immune from these kinds of moments, no, this is not about that.
This is actually about something I discussed with my coach when we were talking about my interest in life coaching. At that point, I was a little undecided whether I wanted to make a career out of life coaching or simply do it as a hobby, in other words pro bono. (Yes, I am such a coaching geek!) I thought that the latter was the better way (feeling all goody-goody) so I was a bit surprised when she told me that getting paid actually makes one a more effective life coach.
Then I thought, well it does make sense, the money will probably entice me to do a better job. But… I was also sure that the satisfaction of helping someone will be so much more fulfilling, and would be enough enticement for me.
She then corrected me in that it is not the money that will make me an effective coach per se… but it is that the coachee will take the sessions more seriously if he/she has a stake in it, making the life coach more effective.
I thought that was a valid statement but, at the back of my mind, still wanted to believe that people would still treasure something even if it was given pro bono, that your mere goodness will somewhat oblige them to be committed.
This was my thinking until I noticed a trend in something else that I have been doing pro bono, web development.
As a tech geek, I willingly gave pro bono services to my friends, creating simple website for their businesses (although I do get a couple of cups of coffee as payment). I noticed that these projects usually start out pretty good: I meet with them to discuss the overall feel of the site, purchase the hosting and domains, and thereafter development starts. In the first few weeks, I normally get the materials (images and content) I ask for but slowly, the enthusiasm fades. The urgency subsides. Until finally, the project is taken over by more “pressing” concerns.
I never thought much about it and simply attributed this to people’s busy schedules… but now that I thought about it some more, the idea seems valid. They had no stake in the project (except for the couple of pesos for the hosting and domain) so it was easy to dismiss it. My free service had been taken for granted! Ouch!
Yes, there were some projects that were actually completed… but most of these pro bono projects actually took the route I mentioned. I guess, I need to be more “selective” when it comes to accepting projects and make sure that people actually have a stake in the project before I commit any of my precious time on them.
Ryan’s top five talent themes are:
Relator, Arranger, Learner, Maximizer and Individualization.
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