I would venture to guess that our true character is measured by the things we do for free. I cannot tell you how many conversations I have with people that start with a raised eye brow. People simply cannot believe that a salesman would help someone without asking for something in return. I do it a lot.
My profession is only a part of my existence: I coach youth sports, help college kids get jobs, conduct Human Resources training and occasionally provide advice when asked... I've never been paid for any of it.
Long ago, I worked at a booth at a prominent Human Resources annual conference. I far prefer being a conference attendee and/or volunteer. In my sales career I have done everything I can to be viewed as a peer to my buyer. It takes research, listening skills and empathy. I understand why people don't like sales people; I don't either.
The only thing I dislike more than sales people are people without sales training trying to sell something. Everyone is trying to sell something.
What do you do for free? Are people surprised when you offer to help without holding your hand out?
I feel at this point in my life the most valuable asset I possess is time. The recognition of time as a valued asset provokes a study in what (and to whom) one devotes their time.
Are you chasing that big deal simply because the pay off would be huge? Do you pursue certain business partnerships with the knowledge that they will never happen? Why bother! Your time is as valuable as any CEO's. Use it wisely.
I See Your Cards
I sat next to a person in the press room at a conference. This person exclaimed, "I'm not going to a presentation, I'm here to sell something". So dangerously mislead! If you are not willing to invest in your buyer's mind frame, you will never provide value to them.
I was interviewed by a person recently for a radio show. Every question asked was accompanied by five comments before I could even answer. Don't pretend to be interested in me if all you are really here to do is hear yourself talk.
The social space is full of hacks! People who pretend to possess what all of us can get for free.
You would drop everything for your kids. You would quit your job if your spouse got ill. You wouldn't ask for compensation for coaching your kid's team.
Think About It!
The things you do for free are rooted in your life's true passion. If you are truly passionate you should share what you know to allow what you care about to germinate. Your ideas are not sacred. Everything has been thought of.... how you carry those ideas into the world is what matters.
Regrets surface when you are unwilling to put the work into something you believe in with all your heart. Regrets hang like ugly chandeliers... you cannot face a day without walking under them!
Don't Forget to Remember!