Or why I never help anyone for FREE
These are 3 real life incidents that happened to me.
Before I divulge into the story, let me give you some background
- I am a Freelancer who makes money only when people use my services.
- I never get a monthly guaranteed salary.
- There are months I earn a lot and then there are months I earn nothing
- I have over 4,000 articles & videos shared for free online
- I worked for nearly 5 years for FREE offering my services without charges
- Everyday I work 8 to 14 hour creating content for FREE online as a Branding exercise offering value added content for FREE
- And because of this people come to me for my services — I do not havre to market my services to anyone
- And anyone who comes to me — I take 100% in advance from the person before I start my work.
- No money — no work
- Given that I have been cheated many times after delivering the work — the 100% payment in advance has been my policy.
However, having shared this — let me tell you I used to help people who were poor or truly genuine cases — until these 5incidents took place.
Read these 5 incidents and let me know what you think — Should you help people who really need help or should we keep it strictly business?
I would love to read your comments below.
- I never reveal client information or the identity of the person I deal with even if the relationship goes south. A policy I have strictly maintained since 11 years.
- In all the cases, I informed the potential clients of my terms and conditions i.e. payment has to be made 100% in advance and following the service with 100% delivery of the service — a letter of recommendation which I would use for marketing my services
So read on.
INCIDENT AT #5 — HARVARD BUSINESS BADMAN
I have dealt with a few Students from Harvard. But in this case - I have to literally slap myself because I was stupid. And it also happened because those days I was new to getting Harvard Business Clients. It was a novelty at that time.
The client in particular was a Harvard business student (wasn’t a fake one). Really good looking guy, very presentable, very articulate, very successful profile and someone who wanted my guidance where his personality was concerned. I was really impressed with his profile.
Getting carried away by how intelligent & smart he was, I fell into the trap of excusing him for the fact that his credit card wasn’t “working” at the moment, so I took his word that he would pay me immediately after the service was completed and oh yes of course — he would give me the wonderful letter of recommendation.
The service was provided, the young client was exceptionally happy. And that was it. I never heard from him ever again.
Guess, I was stupid after all to buy into his “credit card wasn’t working” strategy?
INCIDENT AT #4— THE GIRL PUSHED INTO PROSTITUTION
I received a rather long, lengthy email from a young girl who was hardly 17 years old who poured her heart to me and let me know how she was forced into prostitution by getting into the wrong company. And how she escaped her perpetrators and was now starting a new life in a new country with a completely new identity.
Given how detailed the email was, I really felt sorry for her. And so going against my own business principles, I agreed to have a skype session with her on her Personal Brand.
In hindsight, I should have paid attention to the fact she was sporting on Apple’s new Airpods (it was newly launched back then) and that she was sitting in a very posh apartment.
I guess sometimes we men fall for sob stories, especially if it involves a young helpless woman — after all don’t we love to be the knights in the shiny armor?
So as promised, I gave her my best and delivered what was promised — helping her with her Online Brand & Career.
After we achieved the results, she promised to honor her bit on the payment + recommendation.
And well — It has been many years since — I guess, I am still waiting for my charges to be paid.
INCIDENT AT #3— THE BOY WHO WANTED TO COMMIT SUICIDE
So what do do you do when a 17 year old young man comes crying on your door, letting you know he is he looks up to you, you are his role model, he failed in his exams and he is so depressed that he wants to commit suicide?
Well, you would do what I did I suppose.
Take him in, ensure he is made to calm down and following that do whatever it takes to help the young man. And this is exactly what I did.
I literally helped this boy for the next 6 months of my life in every way possible.
Everything was fine, until one fine day I started to see emails of threats, and messages of cyber bullying appearing all across my inbox.
Given that I had friends in working for the cybercrime division, I asked one of them for help — Loh and Behold! who does it turn out to be than this very same young man!
Without making it into a big scene, I ensured that the boy was called into the Police Station to explain himself. Shivering to the point where he literally pee himself in the pants — he admitted to being a troll and even admitted that he was jealous of the fact that I was very successful and he wasn’t.
He begged me not to make this a legal case as his Father apparently was a very abusive man who would apparently beat him to death.
I dropped all legal charges against him because if I had taken him to court, it would spell disaster for him.
No idea if he uses this same
INCIDENT AT #2 — THE WOMAN WHO CRIED RAPE
What would you do if a woman turned up on your door step broken, battered, bleeding and bruised because he her ex-lover violently abused her?
Well, I assume any well intentioned person would help out. And that is exactly what me and my ex-wife did. We did our best to help her emotionally, mentally, and even financially.
Given how well-connected I was in Dubai, UAE those days, I even helped her get a good job in a reputed local company.
She then requested and opted for my Personal Brand Coaching — which I let her know wasn’t for free but I could make an exception where she was concerned but by charging her an amount we both could agree upon.
So we agreed upon a 1 year coaching program which she would pay me eventually after one year.
So for one year, I mentored her, coached and trained her. She even took literally $17,000 worth of Educational material, professional help and services both from me and my teams based in India, Philippines & Srilanka.
So finally, the payment date arrived. And, she told me she had the money.
And this is EXACTLY what happened.
She came up to my apartment.
Let me know that one of my self of products (I used to sell products also) she was interested to buy it off and sell it for double the price to another potential client. Even though I found that very illogical but too good to be true (You know what they say about something being too good to be true) — I agreed.
I helped her with all the material in her car.
She let me know she was getting the payment along with the payment she owed me.
She drove off.
I waited in my house.
And then I kept waiting
Until finally, when I called her — her phone was switched off.
After one week of trying to get in touch with her — when I did get in touch with her — I found out she had run away from the country talking all the things I had given her. And when I did ask our common friend about it — apparently the story was “I tried to rape her” and that is why she ran away from me.
She even threatened to publish it online and ruin my reputation.
Well, its a good thing I had my ex-wife who was the witness to this entire episode. And also that I had evidence on Camera & Video for our interactions. Or I suppose my brand would have been destroyed then.
INCIDENT AT #1 — THE MOST UNGRATEFUL WOMAN I EVER MET
After informing this lady about my terms & conditions and agreeing to a price — This woman came to my house to meet me. I looked at her — she had a torn dress, dilapidated handbag, shoes which were completely worn out and though she had made incredible effort to look presentable — I knew for a fact she was going through a very tough time.
She had come to meet with regards to:
- Getting her Resume Rebranded
- Getting her Interview, Communication & Negotiation Skills sharpened
- Coaching her to get a job in the Middle East
A gig that normally takes 3 to 6 months being charged at $5,000. And we agreed to it before hand.
After looking at her — I repeated my charges once again for the services that I was to provide — she agreed to it. And then I told her — fine, please pay up and let us start.
To this, she hesitated and then let me know, if we could start the work and she would pay me in bits and pieces. I told her up front “NO” and I repeated once again that I would do it ONLY if the payment was made in advance.
Suddenly she broke down in tears with the following sob story:
- The husband and wife had overspent on 5 credit cards & loans.
- The both were without a job
- The Husband was jailed because of non-payments of Cheques (non-payment of cheques is a criminal offense in Dubai, UAE)
- She son wasn’t able to go to school since the past year
- She was living on food that neighbors would donate to her for free.
I thought about it for a second and then decided, I would help this woman out.
So for the next week, I not only Rebranded her Resume, I not only mentored her every single day for hours and hours on her skills, I not only arranged money through my contacts to get her funds for her problem, I also called up every single person I knew to help her get a job. And within a week, volia! she was offered a job in a Large Local Company (my clients was in a good position), even her husband was offered a job.
Once the offer letter was sent to her, I breathed a sigh of relief and wrote about this on my social media platform. But as usual, I never mentioned any name, any identity and nothing that would reveal who the person was. I simply mentioned that I helped a woman in need and helped her and her family overcome emotional and financial obstacles. There was no name, no date, no information about who, when, how what of this woman.
The following day, I called her up to check up if she had accepted the job offer and if she had collected the money that my friends had promise to donate to her.
I tried calling her many times during the day (must have been 8 times) — No response.
The next day once again I tried — No response.
The third day however, I called up all my contacts and friends who had pledged to help her with money and also the potential employer who had confirmed with me he would be giving her the job — they all informed me she was not only in touch with them — she was going to come down to collect all the money promised to her.
Finding something not so right — I asked them to hold on to the money, to postpone the act of charity until I found out what was going on. I also verified with them if the number I was dialing was the same that they were using to get in touch with her — turned out it was the same number.
So immediately I tried calling her from another cell phone number and to my surprise — she picked up the phone asap!
Not wanting to waste time, I asked her what the hell was going on and why was she avoiding my calls! At first she kept beating around the bush and then when I let her know her Bullsh*t wouldn’t work with me, she angrily responded “How dare you use my name to make yourself famous and rich?”, I was like “WHAT???. What the hell are you talking about?”
And then she went on to state that “Do you know people back home in the Southern part of India know how famous and popular I am. They all respect my name & family honor. You used my name & incident to become famous and leverage on my situation. How dare you ruin my public reputation & family name?”
I was dumb struck!
I then asked her where exactly did I mention her name, her identity, her religion, her country of origin or anything even remotely ‘specific’ about her. She responded by stating that “Oh, I am famous back home. Anyone reading your article would know it is me.” And to my shock and horror — SHE EVEN THREATENED ME that she was considering taking legal action against me for this!!!
Enraged (Enraged was not even the right word here), I screamed profanities at her (which I never did in my life) and let her know none of my contacts would be giving her the money, none of the people I know — whom I introduced to her would be offering her any job and on top of that I let her know I would be reporting her incident to the police if she even came near my house (she was residing in the UAE illegally). And I cut off the phone immediately and ensured all my contacts were updated about it.
I didn’t bother about this incident at all after this as I blocked her contact from contacting me ever again.
I think it was nearly 3 months later that I received an email from her, profusely apologizing and begging me for forgiveness. Apparently her friends and relatives (who never bothered helping her) had ‘brain-washed’ her into thinking I was a bad guy and that she deserved ‘remuneration’ that I was using her story to become ‘more successful’. She also stated she was at fault and now she had even taken a loan (can you believe that?) and she would pay me 100% in advance if I could do the same thing for her what I had done for her before.
Guess what — I let her know I was waiting for her to come near my house so that when she did, I would go to the police and ensure she was put behind bars for being such a vile imposter.
So which one did you like?
Which one did you feel was the most shocking?
And do you feel I am right not to give anything for free?
Let me know in the comments section below.