STOP doing things for free for people who should pay you

As a result of my Blog earlier about 'being in control of your business'I thought I would start another conversation around something that Alan Stevens and I have started to discuss there... the subject of delegating the things you are not good at.There is a problem inside networks that I come across a lot and that is the exploitation of kind, generous, giving people!Reciprocity is a great thing to achieve in life 'the giving and receiving' not just the giving!I believe in Universal Energy and all that, when I give help randomly and supportively, I don't expect immediate return from that person or anyone, but I do know that it is a value that is good to have and makes the world better.Sometimes it is taken too far though. I talk about this in a Blog I wrote called 'the more I give the more people take', written in December in 2009 in response to a conversation I had with my daughter.There are some skills needed when you network that protect you from exploitation. Many find it hard to say no when asked 'can you do me a favour', if this is a problem that you have then I suggest you seriously think about how to say 'NO' sometimes, politely but with a alternative solution offered.One suggestion I was once given was to offer my help in varying levels1. say I would be happy to help you, I can give you 30 minutes on Skype, I do this for 8 people a month, I an fit you in on 15th November is that works for you, this provides the solution that you can give, if they want more then....2. If they want more and you wnat to GIVE more then ask them if there is a skill they have that would be great for you and/or your business. often there is and at this point you can agree your fees to one another and if they are the same then hey presto!"I will invoice you £500 a month for my time which is for 4 hours of Coaching on Social Media"" You invoice me £500 for your Graphic Design skills which would be excellent for me"The excellent thing about this is that at any time you stop wanting their skills or they stop wanting yours then the invoice stops, and the other person can decide if they want to continue to buy or not.When we are in business we must protect our business and our time and ourselves and remember we are in business, e are not a charity. This does not stop you from kindly sharing your knowledge, kindly giving some time, but it stops you from repeating the same mistakes over and over again of not defining how much someone can get of youHave you any tips or experiences you can share here please?warm regardsPenny PowerFounder of Ecademy and Digital Youth AcademyHelping you build social capital in your business and lifeFollow @pennypowerI support:Digital Business Britain Manifesto;&nbsp