The “Grumpy” Poet – ‘aint nothing FREE!



– Mike Monteiro, Co-Founder of Mule

If you’ve not had the opportunity to see Mike’s presentation from Creative Mornings San Francisco “F*CK YOU PAY ME”, the most popular Creative Mornings talk of all time, I urge you to do so as both a client and service provider (video at end of post).

I could just re-iterate this presentation, as it’s absolutely important to understand the value of the service and the providers you hire, but I’m not going to. Instead I’m going to use his presentation as a springboard to discuss a subject that really ticks me off – startups, entrepreneurs, and young businesses expecting everything under the sun for little or no budget!

Stop being a mooch!

I get it. You’re just starting out. You have a new business or business idea. You have no experience. You have no money. You need help!

Good help, genuine help, still has a price tag, and it ‘aint equity. Look, I owe my career to collaborative and open source projects and culture. It’s where I got my start and earned my war stripes. That being said, I never did and still don’t expect to get anything for free.

It amazes how many “youngins” expect a free ride.  I don’t mind pointing you in the right direction, or introducing you to a few people. But I’m not going build your brand, define your business model, validate your product or service – all without being paid. I mentor many startups in my free time, but using my business for those “favours” just doesn’t make sense.

This is a business! We have to keep the lights on, pay people, and most importantly we need clients. We love our clients at Brendan & Brendan. Our clients have worked hard to have the budget to hire us to provide quality service. They could’ve chose anyone, but they chose us. Clients choose us, because of us, not because we’re the cheapest. We sell ourselves and our experience. As for our services, every agency offers them.

Like any successful firm we give back. Every startup and entrepreneur needs a positive influence and a chance at success. But, the hard work has to come from within. If you want to succeed you have to work for it.

When Brendan and I started this company we had no money. We quit our jobs and took a huge risk. We did it without funding, bank loans, or favours. It wasn’t easy, but having families at home to support motivated us to make it happen, and because it’s been our dream to own and run a business where we are doing what we love for people and brands we love.

A final note …

Startups, we love you. And we want you to succeed, but you have to earn it!

Here’s Mike’s presentation from Creative Mornings – enjoy!

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