Generous and Professional

Is free — giving work away without charging for it — a generous act?

The short and unsurprising answer is, of course, that it depends.

The longer answer is a tension between a desire to be generous and a need to be professional.

Lots of people I know want to be generous, and will frequently give things away. But there comes a point at which they recognize that they can’t give everything away — and that leads to the complicated question of what to charge for and what to give away.

Free can indeed be generous, but professionals also know when, why, and how much to charge. It’s worth learning how to be both.