I was recently contacted by a young entrepreneur who was looking for some advice on manufacturing a product. His email title was “Young Entrepreneur NEEDS your help!”which got my attention. This guy was looking to produce a product and by the sounds of his email it was has first time in the game. His email was short and concise and asked one question. It was a simple and to the point and I knew the answer so how could I say no. I sent him a quick response which answered his question and explained the reasoning behind it. He emailed back straight away and was very thankful for the response. Along with his thanks he asked a few more questions, one of which was that he was considering a professional mentor which he would have to pay a decent sum of money in exchange for some of the mentors time each month. He wanted to know if he should spend the money on the mentor or put it towards another critical business costs. The problem was he couldn’t afford to do both. My reply was again very simple. Why pay for advice when he was doing a good job of getting it for free?
He approached me with a cold email, having no previous introduction and I answered his question. The answer I provided could potential have saved him ten’s of thousands of dollars. I was the right person to ask the question because I have been through what he is going through and he knew that.
In my time I have found that most people are happy to share advice, especially if its an area they are very familiar with and you approach them in the right way. I’m not against paying for advice but before you do there are a lot of other ways of learning from peoples experience and are willing to share their stories…and all you need to do is ask.