WARNING: 5 Reason you should NEVER fix a computer for FREE

After doing 10 years of IT work I can definitely tell you , this guy is dead on, this is just a little something I pulled from a post over on the Spiceworks community website, so its not something I came up with originally but I just thought this was too good NOT to share lol

It is in our nature to love the puzzle. We are obsessed. The lot of us. We love puzzles. We love the challenge. We thrive on finding the answer. We hate disarray. It bothers us deep in our soul.

We love the accolades. We love to be seen as the digital white knight fixed the server, the computer, the email, and anything else that life depends on.

We love it so much, we sometimes make horrible decisions. Sometimes, we work “FOR FREE.”

We’ve all done it. A friend, a neighbor, a relative, a good client, a bad client, a pretty girl… Whoever it was, and for whatever reason, we all threw them a technological bone and fixed something for free. In rare instances, it can be a rewarding experience. Perhaps your buddy gave you a beer. Maybe someone said thank you. Maybe there was a smile on their face, and that was rewarding enough.

More likely, however, that five minute task you thought you were signing up for turned into 40 minutes, then an hour, then a commitment. Wow. You didn’t see that coming.

1.

1 You Break it You Bought it.

When you sit down to fix a problem that presented as a simple one you are creating a contract. Not a legal contract, but a social one. The computer owner is trusting their computer with you. It’s their baby, and you’re the doctor. So you sit down, and begin to fix a problem.

In the process, something else breaks. You fixed one thing, but something else goes awry. What’s the best part? Neither you nor the user notice it is broken until a day later when they call you to blame you for breaking something else.

“I thought you were going to fix it.” They complain.

This is the primary reason you charge money to fix something. You break it, you bought it. The user / owner will expect you to warranty your service even though THEY received all the value of your time, and you received nothing in exchange.

2.

2 People don’t respect things that are free.

People don’t respect things that are free.

I learned that quote from a man who runs a non-profit organization. Image that. A man who solicits donations for a living candidly told me “people don’t respect things that are free.” You know what? He’s right.

Free advice. Free upgrade. Free entry. None are valued. Free advice is seldom wanted. Free upgrade was something you were going to get anyway. Free entry? The band playing tonight must not be any good.

People associate the value of service with the amount of money that is exchanged for it. How else do you think that lawyer can get away with charging $400 an hour? People naturally make the assumption that if it costs an arm and a leg, then it must be worth it.

So, if customers and friends will assume that the most expensive car is the best one, what will they assume of the free car? Do you want the heart surgeon who charges $500,000 per surgery or the one who works for beer to operate on your mother?

3.

3 They will expect it forever.

In law, the concept of a precedent is vitally important. Judges and lawyers look to previous cases to decide what the interpretation of the law was because if a case was settled one way before, chances are, it will be settled that way again.

Gamblers playing craps look at the past behavior of the dice to, mistakenly, assume that the good luck will continue.

Users will figure if you fixed it once for free, you’ll do it forever for free. There is no reason why they should respect the thousands of hours you have spent learning and researching the art of computer science. There is no reason that they should respect the certifications you hold. There is no reason that they should honor your abilities by paying your fees. Why? Because you did it for free. Once!

When they come back and you try to get fees, they will meet you with resistance in the form of guilt. “I thought we were friends” they cry. “You didn’t charge me anything last time.” They argue.

Setup the expectation that they are going to pay (or barter) from the onset. Demand the respect that you deserve. Make sure they understand you are a professional. After all, that is the difference between a professional and an amateur. Professionals get compensated for their skills.

4.

4 The demands will only grow with time.

Give them an inch, and they will take you through three operating system upgrades, two virus infections, and a crashed hard drive. Once you’ve set the precedent and created the expectation that you are their knight in shining armor, they will begin to call you for everything. They will suck up your time and resources. They will not be grateful. They will involve you in 30 minute hypothetical conversations then disagree with your expertise.

5.

5 It Weakens Your Backbone

Working for free is not only unprofitable, it weakens your constitution as a professional consultant. For many consultants, asking for money is difficult. They email out a silent invoice after the fact and hope they get paid. This practice can lead to unbalanced books, debt, and a going out of business sign. The simple fact is: if you don’t ask for your money, you’re not going to get paid. No one just hands out checks.

Setting up the expectation, especially when you fix a computer for the first time for a client, is vitally important in establishing boundaries that ensure you are paid in a timely fashion. Working for free, throwing out freebies, “comp”-ing your time hurts your ability to ask for the sale. It hurts your credibility because the client will assume that if you’re not charging them for a given task, you didn’t know what you were doing or you made mistakes.

It may give you butterflies, but ask for the money. Do it openly and notoriously. Your clients will take it as a sign of confidence.

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I have a plan for you…and some random thoughts

Last night, as I walked to end of our rather long driveway to take out the trash, I looked up at the sky and noticed what a beautiful, clear and starry night it was. As I looked at all the stars I spotted a constellation or two, most notably Orion The Hunter. And as I looked up at this great big sky with all these stars, more stars than I could have counted in an entire night, I realized how great and awesome they were, and just the idea that these great big balls of gas in space are so far away we still have not found a way to even travel close enough to explore them first hand other than by some probe or space telescope. Yet despite being so far away we are able to perceive them with our own eyes as these bright dots in the sky. Even more amazing is we still are only beginning to scratch the surface of exactly what “space” out there beyond our planet, in which all these stars seem to hang, is made of. Now taking all this into consideration , how amazing and how powerful, must God truly be to have created it all? He placed every star in the sky , he set the boundaries of this planet and that planet, he set Earth in just the right place/distance from our sun, any further it would be extremely and bitterly cold, too close and we would burn up. God knew EXACTLY where to place us, and whats even more amazing is that as big and great as God is, as powerful as he is, God desires to be in a relationship with us, as insignificant and small as we are, he made us to show us his goodness, that we might experience God in all that he is, that he could be glorified by us witnessing Him. Not only that, he promises us that he has great plans for us, plans that are for our benefit.

Now  God never did promise us that things would go smoothly and perfectly 100% of the time, and I don’t think that myself or any other believer actually thought that he did, but somehow there is this unspoken expectation that everything would go according to plan, we would never skip a beat, all would go off without a hitch….or at least that is what we WANT to happen, however unreasonable that expectation may or may not be.

The real interesting thing though, is that even if things DON’T go as planned, even if there are obstacles that crop up, problems, or even failures along the way in life, it’s not the end of it all. God promised us in Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. ” the key point here is that God has his own plans for us, and those are the ones he is going to carry out. It’s our own plans trying to accomplish something other than what God wants that often causes so much friction and stress in our lives.

God has this great plan for us and I would believe its a wild and adventurous plan, a great big plan. After all we do serve a great big God don’t we?

 

 


Did God really just do that? Yes, yes he did

I love the story of Gideon (no not the guy that left that bible in your hotel room) … In Judges 6 there he is hiding out, using the wine-press for thrashing wheat to hide from the Midianites and an Angel of the Lord appears and says “The Lord is with you, mighty man of valor” and Gideon feels he should point out some basic facts like hey his clan/tribe isnt the biggest and baddest in Israel, and he is kinda the runt of the litter…if you read on you find he wipes the floor with the Midianites, he does it with about 300 men (I sense a good movie in there) but wow talk about calling that which is not as though it already was, Praise God, he comes to each of us and calls us a mighty warrior.

We all have those struggles in our lives, we have to fight that fleshly/worldly old nature that sometimes forgets its dead already, we have this world and all the garbage it throws at us too, man, its rough sometimes…Im serious, ask anyone from the most prominent evangelist to the guy that just got saved last week, is it any wonder sometimes when God calls to us we do a double take, almost as if to say “what, me Lord? you must have the wrong person, don’t you know….” But if there is anyone who truly shows us the power of speaking life or death over a situation, even in a more literal sense, its God. God has a plan, his will includes us doing stuff for the kingdom, and while its true that at that exact moment the facts we state might be very true of us, God made everything out of nothing, in fact he spoke it!! , he used a boy and 5 smooth stones to kill a 9foot tall warrior, he made the stand still, parted seas, rose people from the dead…yeah..the facts dont really mean much to Him haha, he speaks TRUTH, and the truth is that God speaks in a way as to declare truth, truth that we just haven’t realized yet. He calls that which is not as though it already was!! He does this because it is who God says we are that determines our identity as Christians.

Its just like Roman 4:17 says it is, its like when God calls you a mighty warrior…BAM!! right then and there, you are now a mighty warrior, as if he literally calls it into existence. We live in such a wonderful, marvelous and upside down and inside out kingdom, so today, rejoice and remember, God has called you his Children, he sees you as the mighty warrior like Gideon, our fight may not be against flesh and blood but its certainly one heck of a fight and in this fight the weaker and less capable we are on our own, according the worlds standard and the more dependent on God we are the greater the things he can and WILL do in us and through us!!!


Daily Devotion with Greg Laurie “When the Honeymoon is Over”

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2011

When the Honeymoon Is Over

Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

—Revelation 2:4

 

 

Sometimes as believers, we can look back and say, There was a time in my walk with Christ where my love was much stronger than it is today. That affection is gone. That passion is gone. The communication is broken down. And in effect, the honeymoon is over.

 

This was the situation with the church in Ephesus. Jesus told them, “I know your works. . . . Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love” (Revelation 2:1, 4). They were an active, busy, engaged church, but they were lacking in love. The apostle Paul, and possibly the apostle John, had pastored this church. When Revelation was written, this church was in its second generation. Therefore, many of these people had been raised in a Christian home. They were born to believing parents and had been taught the Word of God from their youth.

 

Jesus even said, “You have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary” (verse 3). “Labored” could be translated, “labored to the point of exhaustion.” These were hardworking people. They were discerning. They were faithful. But they were guilty of a sin that the average person could not detect: they had left their first love.

 

They had not lost their first love; they left it. If you lose something, you don’t know where it is. But you can leave something. You can walk away from it. That is what Jesus was talking about. He was telling these believers they no longer loved Him as they first did.

 

They were so busy maintaining their separation, they were neglecting their adoration. They were substituting perspiration for inspiration. It is a big deal to lose your first love. Why? Because it can lead to worse things down the road.


Milk and Meat, “Am I right with Jesus” or “how now should I live”

as believers we need to move on from the “am I right with Christ” this is something that should be firmly established in our lives, this is the milk of our spiritual walk and not the meat, we should be moving on to developing and seeing fruit, fruit in the ministry God has given us and fruit in the sense of the fruit of the spirit in our lives, if we are so focused on a “am I right” mentality, we will be wasting so much time doubting and re

affirming our faith we can easily become of little use to the kingdom, while its true we need to check ourselves, Id be very careful with the phrasing “am I right with Jesus” or “is my heart right with Jesus” …are you a christian? then let us move on from these foundational and elementary truths of salvation and let us press on into the meat of the gospel and put our focus on living and producing fruit instead, if we offend God or perhaps commit something wrong then by all means let us rectify that as soon as we are made aware. But it is nearly impossible to focus intently on salvation and being made right with God over and over again, and at the same time focus on moving past that to a state where one finally understands “I am a Christian, I have received salvation and been made right with God now, my sin has been dealt with, I must now pursue living as such and no longer as one seeking salvation and right standing with God over and over again” In Ephesians 4:17 through the rest of the Chapter Paul talks of the importance of how we should live, not a regular occurrence of something that so closely resembles the act of “getting saved” on a daily or weekly sort of basis. Even Christ himself put a great deal of emphasis on what the kingdom of Heaven was like and instead of what it was not like.

 

Again using Paul the apostle as an example, the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Corinthians is a sort of checklist of things that should be showing up in our lives, we can never hope to mature in our faith and grow in intimacy with God if the extent of our relationship is a sort of daily “is my heart right” there is the concept of accountability issue between believers which is a wonderful biblical concept to keep us aware of our faults and provide support to improve them, the problem though , I fear, is beyond a simple issue of semantics, its something deeper, there is something very specific and pointed about the wording of “is my heart right with Jesus” and I don’t mean the difference between some sort of new or old school preaching style. That phrase strongly indicates dealing with a sin and salvation issue, which for a sinner is wonderful, for one who lacks an intimate relationship with Christ, still an enemy of God and friend of this world such a thing MUST be dealt with before anything else can be done in their life , for God. But for a believer, for one who knows Christ and strives to live according to how the scriptures describe the Kingdom of Heaven and how our Lord and Savior laid out the way in which, and standards by which, we should live, it seems like going backwards and a hindrance to growth to teach one another to continually check that condition of that. We are to grow strong in Christ, to mature in our faith by developing the disciplines needed to live as Christ has commanded us to live and to learn to gravitate away from desires and practices of this world and towards those of God through the help and fueling of the Holy Spirit.

 

I would strongly question a teaching that puts a strong emphasis on something so elementary and so much the spiritual milk at the point of neglecting moving forward and deeper into the teachings contained in the bible that lead to Spiritual maturity, stability, and growth

 

*These words contained in this message here are my opinions, they are based on Scripture and personal experience, professional education obtained on church ministry, and the anointing of the Holy Spirit…anyone is welcome to disagree, agree, give approval or disapproval or otherwise share your opinions on this…should anyone feel inclined to disagree please be aware that I may counter and disagreement and do not be offended if such a thing occurs


Faith Vs Feelings

I heard a very brief message earlier from Tony Evans on the radio , he talked about faith and the difference between faith and feelings. He mentioned that sometimes we have too much faith in our feelings and that sometimes causes a great disconnect.

What we feel, essentially has nothing to do with our faith. Now that’s not to say that feelings are somehow wrong…that is, if you feel sad you are sad, if your mad then your mad, no mismatch going on there. But the problem is our feelings are stupid, they are ignorant of whats really going on, they are after all simply what we “feel” and our feelings cannot interpret what is going on around us, they cannot take into account our faith, they just react.

The bible is full of examples of what people did, in faith, not based on how they felt. Faith is so important in fact, that without it we cannot please God, Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. ” So we can see that as believers, faith is important to God and therefore should be to us as well. Now when I talk about faith I cannot neglect to mention the importance of our faith being tied to actions. If you tell me all day that you wanna be a Dr. but then you tell me you don’t plan to go to college? or that you want to be professional athlete but I never see you outside practicing, that faith is useless, Im probably not going to believe that YOU really believe that. James 2 speaks to us about the importance of marrying our faith to actions, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?” Notice that nowhere in there does it mention anything at all about what we “feel” , it doesn’t say if you claim to  feel like you have faith it reads “if someone says he has faith” its a declaration.

Now if we allow our feelings to rule and determine what is or isnt, instead of clinging to our faith, we will completely miss out on any number of great opportunities to grow our faith,in fact its those times when it FEELS like things are going wrong, or that we FEEL like we dont have any faith, that we are presented with a wonderful chance to stretch and exercise that faith. Sometimes doubt and fear creep in but we have to remember that if everything we felt was right God would have no need to leave us with his word and faith would be of no use to us. Faith brings us power, its what draws God’s attention, it was what caused Abraham to be declared righteous before God, and faith is the antidote to fear. Sometimes we even have to speak to ourselves we have to tell ourselves what we believe by faith to be true, to remind our feelings they are not in charge and we do not trust them alone. Psalm 43:5 is a great example of this “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” Even David, the ever so memorable King of Israel, known as a man after God’s own heart had to check himself, he had to stop and say “even though I feel downcast, and turmoil , I have faith, I know that I will praise God again I still believe that God is my God and my salvation” see it doesnt mean that we shouldnt feel, and it doesnt mean that our feelings are fake, we just simply cannot rely on them to guide us through this life. What we feel comes from the heart and while the heart is the wellspring of life and our feelings can be a powerful thing, the bible also tells us this about the heart in Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” , if you go back to Hebrews Chapter 11, the “Hall of Faith” you read all about the fears and insecurities those guys faced and yet they still acted in faith, their hearts were, just as Jeremiah describes,  deceitful, yet they overcame this with their faith. In verse 1 of Hebrew Chapter 11 we read “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Everyday I wake up and I know that the sky is blue, maybe its cloudy and I can’t see it but I know that above those clouds and beyond that gray murkiness lies a gorgeous blue sky, I don’t always have to see it to know for sure its there , how silly would it seem if every time it got cloudy out or there was bad weather and I couldn’t see the blue sky I thought that the sky was gone? no longer exists or is no longer in place? Well we do that sometimes with God, when we let our feelings that tell us there is a storm in our lives, override our faith that tells us there is still hope, our God is still with us even though it doesn’t feel like it.

We must also remember where our faith comes from Romans 10:17 states  “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” So our faith has its source, not in what we feel but in what the bible tells us, God left us instructions, and asks us to be with him daily because he knows that is where we will get our faith from, it is where we will be able to weed out anything our feelings are telling us that may not line up with Gods will. Like I said in the beginning of this post, our feelings are ignorant, they cannot think they cannot take into account God’s will our his word, they are reactionary in their very nature. They can be useful, if I am feeling happy and decide to smile or just relax some that can be good, if I am sad there is a need to express that feeling, there is a release and relief that comes from it, and after all it was God himself who wired us to have these feelings, but learning to put our faith first and overcome the misdirection that these feelings can cause us sometimes play a huge role in this journey of knowing God and discovering who we are in Him.


The move

God makes his people several promises in scripture… Wait I think several is an understatement, a ton of promises, lately I have been clinging to Jeremiah 29:11, I know that FTC and CCH both left me with a mixed bag of experiences, and there are plenty of people who could easily sit on either side of that fence, but in FTC Pastor Dave spoke to us all after morning prayer one day, to impart some good stuff to us, it was probably something Pastors Jeremiah and Bianca had told us plenty of times, but maybe it was because Pastor Dave said it in a different way, or because I was his armor bearer, he spoke about the importance of memorizing God’s word, specifically the promises in Gods word and he told us how important it was to stand on those promises. Now I’m not talking about the promise of a nicer car, more money, or a nicer more expensive anything, I’m talking about those life changing, hope giving, faith filled promises.

With this move to Alma GA it has seemed like an ending, I’ve been thinking all this time “this is the kind of place you end up at, not start over” but then Jeremiah 29:11 popped into my head, God makes an amazing promise: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. “…to give me a hope and a future … I thought Lord what kind of hope or future is out here? I just spent the last 12 or so years of my life living just west of Atlanta in Douglasville, I mean I was even starting to really get good at handling that Atlanta traffic , I was a day away from closing on my first house and while I was doing tech support at the help desk for a company called Spacenet I was trying to build up my own computer repair biz on the side. I was able to spend time with project one ministries reaching the homeless in Douglasville, I could drive into Atlanta and help out with Rescue Atlanta Church anytime, I had met so many people and i would occasionally run into someone that knew me from facebook and that was cool to meet in person out of the blue.

Then I lost my job, didn’t close on my house, and the few clients I had regularly and one new one totally dropped off the face of the earth and neglected any of my attempts to contact them, no matter what I applied for I could even seem to get a call back for an interview, all of the sudden I felt more like someone that should have been joining the homeless to get help/aid instead of ministering to them, I mean it wasn’t THAT bad but it sure felt like it, then mysteriously a good number of friends sort of disappeared when I needed help, I found out there are a lot of people who will hang out and join you for a meal and call you “friend” but very few will stick around when your really in need of a real friend and support. Then 2011 hits and a few months in little has changed except where I was living a room roommate in a town house my mother owned , a room mate I barely knew, smoked in the house( I dont smoke so you can imagine what that was like), had been to jail at least twice in the last year and was being investigated for making a terrorist threat. Then a few months later I end up having to move down to Alma, GA , and compared to Douglasville it felt like moving to the middle of nowhere, it seems rural almost, dirt roads, 4 wheelers, and church, going to church felt like going back in time a few decades… I guess you could call it culture shock, and it was funny to think I’d been on missions trips to remote villages in the middle of Honduras and some of the poorest places in Jamaica and was fine but moving to Alma was tripping me up. So clearly it was a confusing and disheartening thing and I just couldn’t figure out how this would give me a hope and a future.

But God said, and when God speaks, when he promises, amazing things ALWAYS happen to those who heed and hold onto that. so here I am waiting and believing in faith that God has plans for my future, I still believe even, that God has called me into ministry even though I’m not sure when that will really happen or what it will look like but once in a while I open this word document on my computer, the file is appropriately named “future with God” I’ve documented the few dreams God has given me, some short stories, emails and some supernatural encounters and some scriptures God has given me, it all reminds me that even if I were forced to move into the absolute utter wilderness without a person around for miles, that even then God would move all of heaven and earth if that’s what it would take to fulfill his promises and keep his word, not do much because of me or who I am or can do for God , but because of who God is, it’s his very nature to be faithful and true to his word.

For now that’s where I’m at, it’s the good, the bad, and the ugly … because I believe God wants authenticity so that when things look good and right it’s because of His work in that person or situation and not because someone put on a “everything is already perfect” mask …I look forward to what God will do in me and what he will use me to do