Sometimes we ask things of other people without asking ourselves what our asking means. (a purposely confusing statement for the conundrum we often create) Confused? While screenwriter Josh Olson wrote crudely on the subject, it was exactly the right point of view to get point across to those of us who just don’t get it!
Should you really ask? What exactly ARE you asking?
I’ve often consented to doing “favors” for others “gratis”, both within and outside my realm of expertise. However, me myself, I tend to have a lot of guilt about asking others for their input in my personal and business endeavors. For whatever reason, when I am asked –I just can’t say “NO.” There have been very few times when I say, “no” (usually due to previous obligations or my inability to oblige) but more times than I can count where I’ve said, “yes.” (insert sigh here)
After I’ve agreed and committed myself to undertaking someone else’s task I have taken on a duty. I place an extreme amount of time and thought into my efforts. Yet, to no avail. It seems that no one really gets it (it really doesn’t matter who asked).
I will stress about the deadline (even a perceived deadline), have increasing anxiety about the time it was taking me, skipped a few meals in order to make up for that time, passed on another appointment, neglected some of my own work, obligations, duties, chores, or worse…family. In the end, someone says, “thanks” or “that’s ok, I got soandso to do it” or “I’ll keep that in mind.” All the hours of built up tension and hesitation at presenting a result less than par because a certain somebody entrusted you with something that may or may not impact their future, comes to an unclimactic poof. Whatever. Right? I could NOT agree with Josh Olson more. I second his emotion and that of other fields that run into the same dilemma.
Excerpt from the Article by Josh olson:
“There’s a great story about Pablo Picasso. Some guy told Picasso he’d pay him to draw a picture on a napkin. Picasso whipped out a pen and banged out a sketch, handed it to the guy, and said, “One million dollars, please.”
“A million dollars?” the guy exclaimed. “That only took you thirty seconds!”
“Yes,” said Picasso. “But it took me fifty years to learn how to draw that in thirty seconds.’ “
I think Josh Olson’s tone in this article is perfectly suited for the encountering audience. Good job Josh! Way to be a dick!
“So the next time you engage a so-called friend, or friend of a friend or otherwise forcefully demanding “gratis” = FREE services/ consultation from them (doesn’t matter for what) under the usual unoriginal guise of friendship-related contractual obligation–ask yourself what am I truly asking for? Would I do the same for them? How should I respond after they’ve given this professional gift of their own free will? Finally ask yourself …Are you really that good of a friend?
I just have to say it…..” I will NOT read your F!@#$! Script! I will NOT write your F!@#$% recommendation, paper, letter, give my opinion, take your photo, photoshop your picture, come to your event, write about that event, blog for you etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. ” Whew…
I’m just tellin’ it like it T-I-Tiiz!