You Need To Ask To Be Paid!

You Need To Ask To Be Paid!

Do not feel bad about it – when you ask people to pay for services you render to them. Yes, NEVER feel remorse that you are asking to be paid. The fact is this – if your service is good enough for that entity to need it, it must be good to be paid for.

Yet, you must know when you offer free services to support local communities, NGOs and build personal brands, but anything outside, emerge out of that fear: ask to be paid.

Many here have written thinking it is “stressful” to do so. Yes, that woman sings for free in the village while Beyonce makes tons of money for singing! It is very unfortunate.

Here – people know I charge fees to speak except in universities and NGOs or community-building related events. Anything else, the game plan is PAY. There is nothing wrong about it except that Hillary Clinton could be paid $500k per talk and Bill Clinton $1 million per talk when Ndubuisi Ekekwe can only command $10k per talk for most public talks ($5k within Africa). My number needs to move urgently because I think these guys have one head like me.

Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, combined to earn more than $153 million in paid speeches from 2001 until Hillary Clinton launched her presidential campaign last spring, a CNN analysis shows.

In total, the two gave 729 speeches from February 2001 until May, receiving an average payday of $210,795 for each address. The two also reported at least $7.7 million for at least 39 speeches to big banks, including Goldman Sachs and UBS, with Hillary Clinton, the Democratic 2016 front-runner, collecting at least $1.8 million for at least eight speeches to big banks.

The analysis was made at a time when Hillary Clinton has been under scrutiny for her ties to Wall Street, which has been a major focus of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail

So, next time they invite you to speak in that conference, ask to be paid! Certainly, evaluate that platform and do the opportunity cost. If the derivable value is more than your projected monetary compensation, go and speak for free. But where your talk value is more than the value derivable from the event, ask them to pay.

May I repeat it again – do not go home to tell your spouse that there is no money in this house when you have missed an opportunity to bring money home. You should not talk for free unless it is a charity event or one with derivable value to advance your advance.

Be bold – make it clear to that institution that you would like to be paid. I was in Lagos two weeks ago – I helped a brilliant young man get paid to talk in a conference in Lagos. When they invited him, he was so excited and just wanted to talk. He called me (as a mentor) and I told him, to ask them, to pay him.. He ended up getting paid N90k. For him, that was progress.

Practically, I am surprised that Bill Clinton charges $1million which means I have rooms ahead. Please get out of the African mentality where people have water table underneath and yet cannot find water to drink. Your talent must pay your bills! It is not “stressful” to ask to be paid!


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13 thoughts on “You Need To Ask To Be Paid!

  1. This is interesting. Sadly, many organizations and people in Africa (Nigeria!) think they’re doing you favors when they ask you to use your talent to work for them. They try to blackmail you into either doing the work for peanuts or doing it for free because they’re giving you “exposure” and for that, you should be grateful, even if and after you’ve worked through the opportunity cost and decided that your pay should come in.

    Thanks for the reminder, Prof!

    Reply
  2. Awesome!!!! The emotional blackmail in Nigeria is just too much. They expect you to render your service for free especially from family and friends when you are starting up.But i have come to realize that when starting up a business, never put your family and friends first, don’t even market your service to then, cos they will pull you down
    Thank you so much Prof, I’m encouraged

    Reply
  3. Awesome!!!! The emotional blackmail in Nigeria is just too much. They expect you to render your service for free especially from family and friends when you are starting up.But i have come to realize that when starting up a business, never put your family and friends first, don’t even market your service to then, cos they will pull you down
    Thank you so much Prof, I’m encouraged

    Reply
  4. I think this article is just what I need at this point in my career. I am an expert in free talks and services. I have that guilt that asking to be paid could amount to greed. It sure feels good to do free stuff but my finances suffer in return. I must now charge a fee when the next opportunity comes. It has to be worth it. Thanks Professor for sharing this knowledge.

    Reply
  5. Dear Prof Ekekwe,

    I am on the verge of relocating to Canada with my family. I am a finance person but have no certification yet.
    I seriously need to be guided on what to do when I get over there to ensure my family and I will be OK, i mean what to do to earn good money and be comfortable.

    Reply
  6. I wish I read this message yesterday, I’d have demanded to be paid for a free service I rendered. But then, like you said, there must be a balance.

    However, I still need to learn how to stop guilty for demanding to be paid; because talents and passion will not pay bills if we don’t make them pay.

    Thanks, prof.

    Reply
  7. This relates to my story.

    When I started building websites, I practically did it for free most of the times. I got scared when it’s time to negotiate that I’ll lose the job. “Hey, I cannot pay you that amount for a website, after all, I can get any of my boys to do it for free. I just want to patronize you”. Then I’ll say “Pay me whatever you have, sir”. And I actually collected N20,000 per job.

    One day, I attended a webinar hosted by a web development guru in the US. He made us understand you can actually charge big bucks for your services and you will get paid. When next I got a call, I told the client to pay me N150,000. He asked why? I explained and he paid. It was like a miracle.

    However, I stopped this line of business some few years ago because I needed to “up” my value box. Hopefully before this year runs out, I’ll launch a new digital marketing platform where the least I’ll charge is N1million per job and I’ll go on to charge up to N10million. It’s all about how valuable you think your service is. If you can’t afford it, I’ll move on to the next company who can.

    The reality is that there are organizations who can actually pay you what you’re worth. Its a matter of you first accepting you are worth that amount.

    I don’t mind getting known as the most expensive website builder in Nigeria. It’s a nice title.

    I love this write up.

    Reply

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