High performers work for free. The difference between working for free because you’re a loser and working for free because you’re a high performer is what you get from the deal.
People often ask me how to become a writer. The answer is to write for free. You won’t get paid for years. I wrote for decades before I saw any money from my writing.
Here’s how to decide if working for free is a good idea for you:
1. Can you reach your goal without working for free?
If you are aiming to do something that people don’t really like doing, then there is no point working for free. Whoever is hiring is grateful to have you. Child protective services, for example. It’s an impossibly difficult job—low pay, high stakes, and your hands are tied, even in some of the most difficult cases.
But you know how you can tell when it’s a job no one else wants? It’s really easy to get. If you are having trouble doing the work you want to do then it’s a pretty good bet that it’s not easy work to get.
All other jobs—the jobs that people genuinely want to have—are candidates for free labor. Read more