Kami:I’d like to take you to lunch. I have no intention of paying for said lunch, (we can go dutch!) But I’d like to get at least an hour to sit down with you, probably closer to two hours. During that time, I’d like to show you (and make you read) my business plan for my new startup. I’d also like you to not only comment on it, but tell me what exactly I should do in the marketing section of it. I’ll need it back by Thursday, but you’re welcome to take it home and send it back to me by email as long as it gets to me by Thursday...
via shankman.comJust read the recent blog post from Peter Shankman - An Open Letter to Kami Watson Huyse, APR in response to Kami's post "...Microfame Breeds Arrogance" and felt compelled to comment on it.
It all started with Peter's tweet:
New rule: If your email starts off with "I want to pick your brain," my reply starts off with "$400 per hour."
Kami took offense to that and listed it as a pet peeve on her blog, classifying it as arrogance. She summed it up this way:
I get that when you have a modicum of Internet fame that people are always hassling you to do things for them. But then again, they are the reason you have that modicum of fame.
I find it fascinating what sets people off, what gets under their skin. And then even more fascinated to see the ensuing discourse triggered by one person's tweet and another person's blog post addressing their emotional reactions to said tweet.
My Reaction to the Brou-ha-ha?
Frankly, I find this whole situation silly. These are two smart people who do related yet fundamentally different things: one is building a for-profit business, one has a business that works with nonprofit organizations. It is a given they will come at some business issues in very different ways.
When I read Peter's tweet, I cracked up and gave an internal "Right on!"
Why? Because I -- like Peter -- am in the business of making money from my ideas, from the intellectual property I generate, and from the pieces of my brain that others want to pick.
Kami is also a consultant, however, she has made a conscious choice to do business predominantly in the nonprofit sector. She, too, is paid for her consulting time, however, she may approach business in a different way than Peter, and her business choices reflect that.
Peter basically put out a tweet saying "if you want get me to do for you for free what I get paid to do for a living, guess again," and I think that is fair and not arrogant in any way.
Just because someone works in a different way or expresses their work process in a different way or decides to give away less of their work efforts than someone else doesn't make them arrogant or selfish or unappreciative of those who admire them, does it?
My personal dealings with Peter Shankman have been that he is warm, open, generous and helpful.
On a pretty regular basis, I get unsolicited private messages from him with encouragement, tips, responses to some of my openly tweeted questions, and generally kind comments. He doesn't have to do this. We aren't close friends. We've met one time in person and have had several email exchanges. I've been an avid user and supporter of HARO, but I'm pretty sure I'm not at the top of Peter's radar. But he really understands and appreciates the power of giving back and the power of networking with others in meaningful ways.
We all approach business from different places. We have different expectations of our work and our networks, and express ourselves differently on our platforms (Twitter, FB, blogs, etc.). That is totally our prerogatives. We all view or react to things that others write or say filtered through our individual, personal lenses of experience, bias, etc. That's just human nature.
But I have to say that people who are in the business of getting paid for their brains to be picked have every right to let others know "this is my hourly rate." It is just good business sense. For every person that immediately says "$400 per hour," there are countless others who will say "For you, $250" or "For you, free."
We each draw our lines in the sand at different places, and we each have the right to be as selfish or as generous as we want to be. We don't have to agree with someone else's choices.
I say celebrate the businessman or businesswoman who knows how to set boundaries, set a price for their time, and who makes conscious business choices to help grow their businesses.
And we should celebrate the businessman or businesswoman who chooses to give their time away for free, especially for a good cause or for no other reason at all except that they want to and they can.
This whole thing wasn't about arrogance at all. It was just one person's view on business and another person taking offense because they have a different approach.
That's just my two cents.
What do you say or do when someone wants to pick your brain and you are in the business of getting your brain picked?