Boss Lady

When people expect your service for free


An arm of my business involves providing advice to other businesses on how to amp up their strategies. And it is some of that advice that forms part of the hundreds of articles I write, sharing that advice for free.

However, every single day I receive requests from business professionals who enjoy reading those articles and now want me to address their specific problem with some custom-created strategies just for them — for free.

Do I want to help them? Of course I do. So I respond with my rates for either a phone consultation, or a face-to-face if applicable.

It is an honor to have people want your advice. It is a sign they respect and appreciate your years of experience in your industry (15, in my case) and are keen to experience the same success.

This is what business is about.

But you need to be savvy enough to separate those who are wanting free advice to those who want to pay for your services. The latter are often the more serious business professionals who truly appreciate that they get what they pay for. The former are surprisingly offended if you expect to be reimbursed for your one-on-one time and expertise.

As a business woman, there is sometimes an added expectation to give away advice for free if you’re asked by a women. This is not equality. If we are demanding men treat us as equals for our experience and knowledge then we must do the same with other women.

This is not a man vs woman issue. This is an issue of respect and equality.

Unfortunately, many women can fall into the trap of being flattered and give away thousands of hours of advice — and therefore income — purely because someone asks them to.

If you expect to take your life and business to the next level, then you need to respect yourself enough to know your value.

If you do give away free advice — and there will be times that you should — then make sure there is a large enough return. And stand your ground when you are asked for a specialised or customised supply of your ‘opinion’ or ‘help’. Make sure you respect your time and value … or no-one else will.

About Amanda Rose

Founder and CEO of The Business Woman Media. Amanda Rose is also the only 'strategic connector', a brand strategist, keynote speaker and host of Amanda Rose TV. Connect with Amanda Rose on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or visit

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    January 28, 2016 at 7:03 am

    How do you address it when it happens in side your own company? Sometimes I feel that if a male was expected to give time towards a new/ongoing project outside of normal role, then a review of pay/title/job role/scale is outlined before or during the business activity but as a woman it’s almost expected that you get on with it/ do it all first – for free and at the expense of your personal time – without the formal discussion especially pertaining to wage. How do we develop/create that equal formalised culture? There is only so much you can take responsibility for getting the meetings set in place to have that discussion AND get progress from it.

  2. Anna Mailer

    April 2, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    This is really good article:-). Best regards!

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