I like being helpful. I think most of us do.
Since graduating in 1995 I’ve worked in the arts and music in Birmingham and almost always done voluntary work as well for projects I believe in. Most recently it has meant I’ve been on a lot of boards. Currently I’m undertaking a review of my work/life balance and as part of that I’m stepping down from most of my board commitments.
At the same time I am realising just how much of my week is taken up with giving out free advice on all sorts of things from funding, event management and well ‘can I pick your brains’ is something I hear about 4 or 5 times a week on all sorts of topics!
And I don’t mean colleagues I work with all the time who just want to talk to me (!) I mean the people I don’t know, or colleagues I don’t necessarily work with who want support with a funding application or advice on events or music projects. I get 4 or 5 cold calls/emails/facebook or twitter messages for this per week!
So – I have a suggestion. I have realised that ‘a quick cup of coffee’ with everyone who asks is currently a day per week of my time and recently when I’ve been really busy I’ve found myself quite accidentally ignoring or missing people’s requests and I really don’t mean to be rude!
My suggestion is not that radical. I’m going to spend one set day per month being available for free (or at least in return for coffee).
In the spirit of collaboration and joined up Brummie effort I will make that the last Thursday in every month and end my day at The Music Network meetings at Millennium Point at which I’ll also generally be available for chats.
If you want a bit of free advice or to grab me ‘cos I’ve been too busy – come along and buy my a coffee! Then if people want my time outside of this for advice and project support I’ll charge an hourly rate.
What do you reckon?
The dates this year would therefore be:
Thursday 24 June 2010 – 10am – 12.30pm + TMN
Thursday 29 July 2010 – 10am – 3pm + TMN
Thursday 26 August 2010 10am – 3pm + TMN (if there is one?)
Thursday 30 September 2010 – 10am – 3pm + TMN
October – in New York – sorry! (well not that sorry!)
Thursday 25 November 2010 – 10am – 3pm + TMN
December – no helpfulness ask Santa if you need something!