I don't often find gems in older posts or articles but I came across an article that was written by someone I know and posted on Forbes. Her name is Adrienne Graham, and to prove that I know her, here's the interview I did with her last year:


Anyway, the article was titled No, You Can't Pick My Brain. It Costs Too Much, and it became such a sensation that she was able to write a book on the subject. This is a pretty savvy businesswoman I have to say.

The premise of the article and the story is that there are a lot of people looking for free information and free advice, and if you give too much of it away then people feel they should always get free from you and you'll never make any money. The article goes deeper than that but it's enough for you to get the idea, though if you're in business you should check it out.


As someone who writes multiple blogs, giving away too much has always been one of those things I've battled back and forth. On a couple of my blogs I actually do give away a lot of specifics to things, and I've written some articles in tutorial form. However, I did that after doing some research on things that gave me trouble, skipped some steps, and I just filled in the blanks. Those were quick hitters; I didn't mind it so much.

It's an issue that's come up over the years from friends of mine and some of my business colleagues who don't understand the concept of blogging. They say "Aren't you giving too much away for free? Won't it hurt your business?"

Well... part of it is a fair question. Although I've gotten business from writing this blog, I haven't gotten a lot of business from it. Part of the reason for writing the blog is to get business, but part of it is to help my SEO (search engine optimization) by having consistently new content. Overall it's not the highest ranked website in the world, but it does pretty well when ranked against other blogs on the topic of leadership.

However, that's not the response I usually give. What I usually say is "I don't really give it all away. As a matter of fact, the only thing I'm giving away is my opinion." And that opinion covers leadership, diversity, health care, motivation, and anything else I talk about here.

So, if the blog is only opinion, when do I actually help anyone? I help individually through my executive coaching/mentoring. I help through my training programs and seminars. I help via my revenue cycle consulting. And I help through some of my products.

I've made it easy to reach me through the blog via my About page, and on every page of the main site is my phone number. I do that because, when all is said and done, the purpose of this blog is to show myself as an authority, as someone who knows the subjects I can consult on or talk about pretty well. Yet, if people want real solutions... I need to be paid. That's what professionals do... and it's fair.

I participate on LinkedIn and I'm connected to a lot of people. I post articles there, and I've increased my presence to a degree. This means I sometimes have people reaching out to me by message. Sometimes they want to market to me; that's okay because I hope to market to some folks as well.

Other times, I'm being asked for free advice. Now, if it's about being in business and the person is newly working for themselves, I always give that advice for free. I don't mind that because it's not the core of my business, and I remember when I got into consulting no one would talk to me, even people who didn't do what I do, saying I could take business away from them. Bah! There's enough for everyone.

However, if it's on one of my specialty topics... I might give the first answer without going too deep. If there's a follow up question that's when I say there's a price for my time... and to date I've never had a single person take me up on it. Adrienne calls those folks "tire kickers", folks who aren't really interested in learning if it's going to cost them anything, folks who don't value your knowledge, and thus folks you have to be ready to walk away from... which makes it pretty convenient when they walk away from you first. After all, I am a professional. lol

In closing, I want to reiterate this one fact. There's a lot of information on this blog and my other blogs. I've been writing this one for more than 10 years. I bet that if you wanted something specific regarding leadership, all you'd have to do is search in that little box at the top right and you'd probably find something addressing it.

My opinions actually are sometimes helpful, and if that's all you need... you can thank me later. But if you want more... well, there's enough people who can tell you what I've done for them that have paid me; I'd like to think I'm worth the help I can give.

Major lesson for everyone, and you can take this one as a fact; if you don't believe you're worth it, you're probably not and people will treat you that way. Believe that you are; you'll feel better and have a better chance of being successful.