I give away a lot of free knowledge, advice, free coaching/mentoring, and tons of my time in my professional and personal life because I believe in peoples' potential and want to nurture that. But it's not okay, after I've given a ton of free shit to folks, to then turn around and ask for more free advice, teaching, my time and opinion...not cool...not cool at all....
We have to get away from this idea that knowledge is forever free. It's not. That's what interning and paying your dues is all about: earning the opportunity to learn...that's really the only learning that will take you anywhere in this life. Asking for free shit is a crutch. It means you don't value the information which means you're either not going to follow through or you're going to do it in a half-hearted, part-time kind of way because you didn't value it to begin with.
I interned for 5 years on Capital Hill, for free in a children's theatre company and then stayed on the road in minor parts in the regions for 6 years straight making less than unemployment. I did that because the things I learned from those experiences were invaluable and worth their weight in gold because I had to fight and struggle to learn it. Every hurdle I've conquered from grad school to moving into film and tv, I paid good money for the best coach in town and it was worth it. Because I was learning writing , producing and acting for the camera fast and consistently. But each case, I paid someone to teach me that...The result was I wrote a couple of plays, produced some movies, broadway plays and moved my career in Film/TV. Because I paid for it, I actually cherished it more...and the persons who taught it to me taught me at a high level of achievement because they were pros and they trained me to win.
So next time, you're asking for a professional favor of someone's time. Stop and think about what you're asking and if you've earned the right to some invaluable free advice. If the answer is no, then you have work to do. And that's a far more important realization than getting a minor question answered. If you're not willing to pay for that advice, it means you're not ready to be successful...and I coach folks who win. It makes me a better teacher, human being and artist to watch folks soar.
So get to it....and stop trying to get more by half-stepping and doing less. If you're working in your comfort zone, then you need to hire somebody to get you out of it. Because you're not reaching for the stars, you're holding onto the ground with cement blocks of fear on your feet. You're meant to become far greater than that.
April Yvette Thompson