Recently I decided to help people out with a project for fun as apparently they didn’t know anyone else who had the qualifications to do what they needed. So I agreed to do it for the heck of it and they got the results that they desired. The interesting thing was when people found out that I helped them with this a lot of people were upset that I didn’t charge them money. The essentially thought they took advantage of me and at the same time people should be compensated for a skill that is needed like in this case. I know for a fact they could have easily been charged at least five hundred dollars elsewhere too.
I guess the thing for me was I was doing it for fun so I didn’t think too much of it and it was fairly easy for me. Then examples were brought up such as lawyers just read pieces of document and charge people hundreds of hours as you are paying for their many years of accumulated knowledge. So in that sense I shouldn’t undervalue what I offer just because it is easy for me. But it makes you wonder where do you draw the line there?
For example, an over the top example could be you need someone to quickly translate something. Therefore, you ask say a friend to quickly tell you what something means. You could argue that is translation and interpretation services. So should you charge money there? In those cases I would assume again the person finds it too easy to want to charge anything for that. But should you?
I think for myself it comes down more to out of pocket expense for the task at hand and whether or not the people I am doing it for are trying to use it for say commercial purposes. Then I have to think of it as business. Or would people say you should always charge money in these types of cases?