Play along with me here:
You’re a family physician, and a pretty well-to-do one at that.
A friend of yours has four children and constantly calls you whenever his or her child has a sniffle. What do you do?
A.) Politely answer their questions, time after time, day after day, phone call after phone call.
B.) Recommend they pay a visit to your office and actually consult with you professionally.
Sometimes, friends may seek professional advice from other friends — and that’s perfectly O.K. But, how do you know when they cross the line of a friendly question, to a full-fledged client?
“It’s great to be an expert in your field, and it’s flattering to be asked for your opinion or advice, but sometimes people cross the limits of personal and work-life boundaries. Just because Jonas Salk gave away the polio vaccine for free and Craig Newmark refuses to charge for Craigslist, you don’t have to be a philanthropist too,” writes Jodi Glickman, CNN Money columnist.
As altruistic as you may be, you don’t have to provide unlimited counsel to friends and family around the clock. You should be helpful when you can, but you are entitled to put meaningful limits on the pro bono advice you dish out regularly.”
An individual may feel obliged to help his or her friend just because, well, it’s a friend. Nonetheless, even though the line between professional and friendly advice may be blurry from time-to-time, there is still a line and it’s probably best to know when it has been crossed.
Read on at CNN Money.