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I want to do what you are doing, could you tell me how for free?

 
Fred Morgan
steward
Posts: 977
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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I probably get this request about four times a year. Someone with no experience in a foreign country, does not speak Spanish, has never run a business in their life, hasn't even managed a small store wants me to teach them how to do what I do, but of course they have no money...

I generally don't know if I should be amused, or offended. I bet Paul gets the same.

What always gets me is how often people assume your time has no value whatsoever, nor you ideas, or your investment, etc. Sort like those who borrow tools, and return them dirty, etc.

The funny thing is that clients of ours who have paid are always so thrilled that the president (that would be me) is willing to spend all day with them as we walk the fields, without charge - and they invariably pick up my meals.

I guess it is how you are raised, as they say down here. If you have lived a life where everything was given to you, you don't value anything.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I'm wondering how serious they actually are. "I want to do what you're doing" is probably just a passing wish or fancy on their part, especially given the characteristics you listed (especially no business experience). I think it's probably completely idle and if they were really serious, they would understand such information probably isn't free. I tend to feel if someone really wants to be doing something, they would be taking steps to actually do it (like, say, learning Spanish, etc ). Otherwise they're just blowing hot air and that is the extent of the value of their conception. Which is why they put no value on your expertise, in my opinion. It's all imaginary, a dream.



 
Chuck Freeman
Posts: 116
Location: Southcentral Alaska
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Anyone with a niche gets hit, we probably get 75 to a 100 of those a year about homesteading in Alaska. Mostly we take them with a grain of salt and refer them to our forum. I figure if they are serious they will do thier own foot work if they won't I figure they are to lazy to make it out here anyway.
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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state of the jungle #53: "Please give me detailed instructions on how to make a permaculture site like yours, but, you know, without you."

I get so many snarky, nasty, disrespectful demands of me that it has become what I expect when I encounter somebody new.

One of my all time favorite books is "Lamb" by Christopher Moore. In the book, Jesus (yes, THE Jesus) at age 18 (or so) and his best friend Biff seek out the three wise men. And they are on to wise man #2 who is a buddhist monk. They found his place and it seems they have to wait outside for three full days before they allowed to enter. About two minutes in, Biff says something less than respectful and the two boys find themselves outside again - waiting another three days. Of course, Jesus was very forgiving. It's sort of his thing.

I find that most people have an expectation that all other people are to serve them. Kinda weird.

 
Jeanine Gurley
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Posts: 1399
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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I used to work for a veterinarian that got these sorts of phone calls all of the time. This is a true story:

Freegan: “I think my cat has ringworm, can you tell me how to treat it?”

Vet: “You’ll need to bring it in to be tested so we can figure out if it really is ringworm”.

Freegan: “Can’t you just tell me over the phone? I don’t want to have to pay just to have someone look at the cat”.

Vet: “I’ll tell you what, just rub your face all over the cat and wait two weeks – If it really has ringworm you’ll know it”. Vet hangs up phone.
 
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