I read a story about Pablo Picasso a while ago and just popped in my head. I don’t remember from where exactly, but I found it on Charging By the Project or the Hour:
Legend has it that Pablo Picasso was sketching in the park when a bold woman approached him.
“It’s you — Picasso, the great artist! Oh, you must sketch my portrait! I insist.”
So Picasso agreed to sketch her. After studying her for a moment, he used a single pencil stroke to create her portrait. He handed the women his work of art.
“It’s perfect!” she gushed. “You managed to capture my essence with one stroke, in one moment. Thank you! How much do I owe you?”
“Five thousand dollars,” the artist replied.
“B-b-but, what?” the woman sputtered. “How could you want so much money for this picture? It only took you a second to draw it!”
To which Picasso responded, “Madame, it took me my entire life.”
Interesting, isn’t it?
So, you, the artist. Would you hesitate to say sure, I can help you, but not for free?
The sooner you start appreciating your time, the sooner you’ll be recognized as the professional you are.
Don’t fool yourself. There’s no reason to make a consult for free.
Don’t feel bad. You are where you are because of hard work. Why would you give it away for free?