Q26: Why Do I Feel Like I Am Being Unprofessional?

“Why Do I Feel Like I Am Being Unprofessional in Giving Away All My Best Work?”

Together with my clients and colleagues and friends a few of us have been reading THANK & Grow Rich by Pam Grout this summer. I put the word THANK in caps every time I use it because many people misread it and think I am recommending Think & Grow Rich which is a fine book too, but not the one we are reading together during August 2017.

Grouty was looking over my shoulder as I was writing this, my own book.

Quite early on in her book Pam says something which puts me in mind of the perpetual challenge experienced by a client who always tells me that everything on social media is a waste of time, including blogging. She’s a professional writer and if she’s not being paid to write then she’s not a pro, she’s diminishing her craft and she’s giving it all away for free.

I half agree with her, the other half of me believes in giving away your best stuff, that’s the way my world works but it isn’t my client’s reality. I certainly take her point. However, I also believe it goes to scarcity.

Pam Grout’s middle name is Abundance.

Pam says:

“It’s not fair and other patterns of thinking that lead us around by the nose. Anytime we look at a situation and feel that it should be other than it is, the malevolent puppeteer in our brain erects a wall of static.

Here are a few other plot points the evil puppeteer uses to heckle us:

Something needs to be fixed
There’s only so much to go around
If I give of myself, people will take advantage
If I follow my heart, I’ll be alone
If I pursue my passion, I’ll be a laughing stock
It is dangerous to follow my joy”

A couple of those made an appearance in this book, even before I read Pam’s list, but you’ll notice the pertinent one is right there, slap bang in the middle: “If I give of myself, people will take advantage.” I’ve highlighted it in yellow so you can’t miss it!

My client is rare. She is a woman very much in a man’s world and her experience of being taken advantage of in those circumstances is true for her to the extent that it has become a fact. I have listened to her as she’s told me her stories. I would occasionally try to winkle in a thought that if she could change her mind the results would change too, but these beliefs were far too embedded to change overnight or possibly at all. To my client they are facts. I am not so wedded to my version of the world that it is essential to convert all my clients to my way or the highway. So we agreed to respectfully disagree with one another, but we always gave each other a fair and equal hearing, out of mutual respect.

Oddly, no sooner had she stopped being a formal client and moved to PWYW, than I noted her sharing a lot more of her content online in a way I would have wished she’d done when she was with me. I commented immediately upon how much I was enjoying her social media output and she replied that she had found an easy way to do it.

I wonder what miracles and opportunities will come from her new-found ease with free and fantastic top-notch content? And, of course, her content is top-notch, she’s a pro, remember?


  • What do you give away for free?
  • How do you feel about that?

Are you happy with those feelings, or is there a useful change of heart or mind in the offing?

Your Biz Your Way

If you have enjoyed reading my words here, you might also enjoy my book - Your Biz Your Way: Learning to Trust Yourself. Relax! You've Got This. Find out how to buy the book here Read My Book