Be a Giver But Don’t Sell Yourself Short | Know When to Draw The Line.

by Jayne Kopp on March 11, 2012


being a giver

Do you give too much?

Having worked online for the last four years both promoting a business opportunity and coaching online, I am in full alignment of with the concept of serving others and being a ‘giver’.

I also am a firm believer in Zig Ziglars quote:

 “You will get everything in life that you want if you just help enough other people get what they want.”

 The problem is though, that as an internet entrepreneur, it can become difficult in knowing where to draw the line so you don’t sell yourself short.

There are so many marketers these days who provide excellent assistance, but because of this ‘be a giver’ trend being hammered home, and the fact there is so much free information out there, the public at large now almost ‘expect’ everything to be free and often cant decipher between ‘free helpful assistance’ and the clout of making a worthwhile “investment”.

In other words, people have become spoiled on one hand, while many entrepreneurs on the other hand have started to devalue their services and in the long run sometimes end up ‘giving’ where they should be ‘earning’ …and I know it can be really tough.

Don’t be fooled by my ‘matter of fact’ attitude here.  If truth be told, I’ve been there too, but what I’ve learned through trial and error is that there has to be a fine balance between providing excellent advice and assistance… without selling yourself short and devaluing your self worth.

The truth is, if you don’t find that balance, you will soon find you’ll spend day and night plugging away at your blog or at your marketing and working for nothing if you’re not careful.

This year… I decided to approach this head on:

  • I have decided I will no longer waste my time on people who question the cost of my services.
  • No longer will I waste time with people who want what I have. but don’t want to pay.
  • No longer do I offer my time for free to those who can’t see the value.

You see, it sounds peculiar, but… most of the time people don’t appreciate the things you give them for free… rather they more appreciate the things they buy.

It sounds a bit strange… but it’s true!

As of this last week or so, I have started to increase some of my coaching fees.  I have also turned away a couple of people who ‘hummed and harred’ over the price; I simply told them that if they have to question whether they feel that are worth the investment (to themselves) … then how could I persuade them to feel any differently?  Far be it from my responsibility to try to convince them otherwise.   

I found that by taking this approach, two out of four people joined me… and because my prices are more or less double what they were, I haven’t lost a cent.

It all boils down to the fact that even though I truly am  for ‘helping people’ and even though I am all for being a giver and even though  I will truly go to the ends of the earth to help anybody who needs assistance… I am not only willing to go flat out for those who are NOT serious about success or helping themselves.

I’ve learned the hard way over the years that most people these days are not willing to take a chance on helping themselves …and sadly,  this is where this whole thing has become an issue.

I have also realized that even some of my friends don’t appreciate my help.  I’ve  had friends over to my house where I’ve actually spent an afternoon building a site for them… and once they’ve left, they’ve never looked at it again.  Furthermore, they’ve never even tried to build on it.

One friend went home, looked at the site… had a few questions… but didn’t even bother to find the answers  and otherwise abandoned the site!  At the end of the day had he in fact not only wasted his time but also wasted my time that I could have used doing something productive for myself!

I have had a number of girlfriends within the last month or two ask for information on ‘getting started’ online, or asking for help and advice on how to promote existing businesses.

Since my door has always been open, I’ve even gone to the lengths of calling them up to remind them that I’m willing to help “whenever they are ready”….  Sadly, and much to my chagrin, it has seemed that when it’s time for  getting off their proverbial duff to put in the effort…they rarely take me up on it.

One friend is almost desperate to look for something to do from home and has asked me for help, expressed huge interest in gathering information about online promotion and despite the fact she is a smart cookie and I ‘know’ she could do very well, even she has yet to step up to the plate to get the wheels in motion.

I can tell you one thing… and that is I’m sure as heck not going to chase her. 

I am at this point, convinced that the bottom line is… you can almost throw yourself in front of someone in the middle of the road offering a huge ball of assistance that just might be the ‘one thing’ they need to really help them change things up… but unless they care enough to invest a little time and in some cases a little money… you are almost always wasting your time by serving yourself up on a silver platter.

It’s so important to remember, we all have the right to make a living.  That goes for me, you and even those who are too complacent… but if you do nothing more than give, give give, you certainly won’t get paid for what you are worth or might get cornered by those who take, take, take.  but never actually go any further because they think the freebies will always be there.

The reason I’m writing this is because it’s time!!  It really needs to be said!

I know so many incredible people online who possess awesome talent, are  helpful and share knowledge  freely to boot, yet are getting nowhere fast.

I even know people who were on the ‘rise’ in their online career who have given so much of themselves, kept super busy helping, helping helping, that, because they were not making it pay what they were worth, ended up throwing in the towel on their businesses because they did not achieve that balance. 

The trick is that you simply must position yourself as a leader… if indeed you are a leader.

You have to stick to your guns on what you are worth or you will indeed work your tail off for nothing in return.

I’m not sure exactly what it is… but I do have an inkling that part of the problem is that deep at the core of most of us… we DO want to help.  We have great intentions; we want to be seen as givers because at the heart of our being we are.  With that said though I think we’ve all become so entrenched in this ‘go giver’ thing that the line has been crossed by some people and they now feel  ‘badly’ about accepting payment for what they do.

It’s ludicrous!  Really it is!

I firmly believe everyone deserves a helping hand and solid advice.  I think it’s great we give it as well, but on the other hand however, we all have the right to make a living and if you do indeed provide quality services and assistance, you need to earn fairly for what you provide.

I have also found that by spending time with people who are serious about what you have to offer and letting the people who are looking for handouts go, in the long run puts you in a much better position.

Yes… you will say ‘bye bye’ to some contacts.  You may pass up more than you feel comfortable… but at the end of the day you will rarely lose out.

The truth is, the people who are not serious about helping themselves, deep inside couldn’t care less if you presented everything to them on a silver platter.  They still won’t do anything productive with everything you do for them … free or not. 

In case I’ve scrambled your brain with this home truth, I’ll give you an analogy based n my industry which of course is anchored in personal development and empowering others into entrepreneurship:

If you were to approach a well known luminary such as Bob Proctor, T Harv. Eker… Jack Canfield, etc., (all in my industry) … do you think they’d spend any time trying to talk you into hooking up with them? 

Didn’t think so.

Now don’t forget… these gentlemen started out just the same any anyone else.  They’re just flesh and blood, started from nothing… but because they knew the value of what they know and teach… and stood by their own self worth… the end results are blatantly obvious.

Now this analogy may not be suited to your industry… but you can apply this example to anything you do in life whether you’re a personal trainer, a dietician, a beauty consultant or whether you promote a business opportunity and mentor a team.

In fact, you can be  to much of a giver  in regular everyday life whether a business is involved or not.

Another analogy about giving and preserving value is a thought  that comes to mind when I think about  my lawyer.  Yes… I do have one as unfortunate as that may be. :-| … and I do try not to think about this too often! :-)

The deal is, my lawyer is high end.  (Again unfortunately)… but as much as I hate to say it, he is worth it.  (When it comes to lawyers that is)

Before I hired him though, I went on numerous consultations and sure, … I found lawyers who were not ‘quite’ as high end.  I even knew a lot of the answers to what I was looking for… and even had ‘free’ information to help me with some of my concerns. (Imagine that).

The thing is though, I wanted to make sure I had the best legal team behind me…and knew that once we got into the ‘guts’ of the issue, I’d be  much better off moving forward with someone who knew the ropes inside out even if that meant paying!

The decision was obviously mine.  I had to decide whether my time/ or whether “I” was worth the best care (so to speak).

I can assure you my lawyer didn’t spend any time trying to sway me to his firm; he just knew that if I didn’t want his level of advice… it’d be my loss. 

Inside I knew it too and was very aware that if I wanted to get things seen to, quickly and professionally, I had to bite the bullet.

He on the other hand knew how to preserve the value of his services.  (as  most lawyers do… and so should we BTW)

Did I do a cartwheel right off the bat?? (Hell NO!)

Am I glad I bit the bullet?  (Hell Yes!!)

And this is just my point about knowing when to be a giver and when you’re giving too much to the wrong people!

You want to attract “hell YES”  people to you… because whether you realize it yet… or not… you and your time is worth something.

With that said, if you feel your time is NOT worth paying for, and then you need to bring your skills and services up to the stage where you feel they are.

Getting on your blog each and every day singing the praises of giving, giving giving yet you’re not making a red cent is doing nothing but eating our time and you will soon find out you’re burned out to a crisp.  The sad part is unless you really think about this you you’ll keep spinning your wheels for next to nothing.

The bottom line is, I am not saying “don’t be a giver”… I do think you should be, but not to the point you’re selling yourself short to people who just don’t give a crap care.

One must find the balance between providing valuable direction and advice, but also reap the fair well deserved rewards for their efforts.

Have you been in this trap?  Are you giving a lot more than you receive? Are you afraid to admit it??

What’s your take on this? Have you found a balance?  Have you been a ‘taker’ perhaps… and if so does this ring a bell with you?

Spill the beans… let’s talk it out!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Oliver Tausend March 16, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Hi Jayne,

that’s truly a very tough question, thanks for bringing it up. What I found with ‘Mentoring for free’ is that people who don’t feel worthy can’t accept free help. Those with the “too good to be true” mentality too. And they wouldn’t want to pay for the help either. Some of them can’t pay because they’re broke “thanks” to all the (worthless) help they paid a lot of money for.

Others however, freely accept the free help and are grateful for it. They feel deserving – they would pay money too but they finally realize that they don’t have too.

This creates a bond and a relationship beyond imagination.

The money follows inevitably, but chances are not directly from this person, but from someone else. That’s the indirect nature of networking.

Thanks for sharing your insights.

Be blessed



Jayne Kopp March 16, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Hi Oliver, I agree with everything you said, and like the ‘too good to be true mindset’ as you call it. People aren’t even willing to take a chance… not on putting in the time or money.

As far as those who accept the help… yes I do feel they are deserving… (funnily deserving is something I want to write about soon as I had a fellow talk about ‘being deserving’ to me a couple of weeks ago). The word ‘deserving’ keeps coming up over and over again. ((funny)) or not?

Talking about networking… it’s so awesome. I just started a networking club in my home town of Tsawwassen, BC called the ‘South Delta Masterminds” and its amazing the attention it is getting. ((very exciting)).

Great to see you again Oliver. Too bad I’m not away all weekend with Harv! :-( oh well…. can’t kick myself for trying… or being trutheful and drawing the line on what felt comfortable.



Michael J March 15, 2012 at 12:39 am

Great article Jayne! I have definitely experienced a lot of the things you wrote about. I like to help people, but at times it does get to a point where you’re really being taken advantage of. Like you, I finally had to draw the line and say no. It probably cost me some friendships. But in the end, you really do have to consider what will benefit you as well.


Peter March 12, 2012 at 9:34 am

What a lot of people told me is that people value advice more if they have to pay for it. They will do more with this advice. The more they pay, the bigger the chance they actually implement the change.

And you’re right. That doesn’t mean that you can’t help people for free.

It also means that you can’t “save” someone who doesn’t want to change – even if it’s very obvious what he/she could do to feel better etc. I’ve tried it, but it really doesn’t work. It just leads to unhappiness.

But I want to be happy, so now I have also developed clearer boundaries.

I think you’re spot on with your article. :)


Jayne Kopp March 16, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Hey Peter… thanks so much for your comment.

You know, we have to set boundaries. As you say, it’s ok to help people for free… and as you well know, some people are not serious enough, hence our efforts are thrown to the wind… and as Oliver said, some people don’t feel deserving… or have the belief.

It’s a tough call sometimes, but on the other hand we also have to value our own time.

I do believe each situation deserves a unique judgment call, however as you say… people really do appreciate the help more if the cough up.



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