Looking to start a business or a blog? Then you’ll read a lot of advice or tips about how to first provide “value” for others, especially on the web.
What you may not read much about is how you can be quickly drained of your motivation to keep providing value, and eventually, start to hate people like Clay Collins once did.
I have personally struggled with this problem over the five years of providing free valuable information in my field.
Over time, my energy and goodwill for fellow man were sucked dry. To my alarm, my creativity dried up too. At one point, I decided for the betterment of my mental health, I needed to start ignoring the continual streams of requests for free advice.
You can take a more productive approach than I did. I hope you don’t let your creativity and generosity degenerate and dry up!
Here are 5 ways to keep yourself productive and creative and prevent your good work from risking your ability to keep providing value:
- Have clear rules of engagement with your readers and visitors from the beginning
- Use template responses (gmail now has canned responses) that you can personalize to save time
- Have a list of outside resources you can point out for someone whom you can’t help
- Make information products from questions you get over and over again, put a price tag on them, and don’t apologize for wanting a return on the value you provide!
- It’s OK to just ignore some emails that are, frankly, inane. I know people who create folders labeled “stupid emails” to save themselves from sending back what they REALLY think.
If you have been on the web a good amount of time, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. I’d love to hear how you’ve handled entitlement issues on the web!