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You did the right thing. Save the article’s good idea in that part of your memory reserved for “well, the next time I’ll…” I know it’s happened to me.

One thing I’ve learned as a doctor for 15 yrs – once a person receives PROFESSIONAL SERVICES for FREE, the uphill battle to convert them to a paying client / patient / customer is as difficult (and as fruitless) as trying to stop the tides. Like the ocean, they will keep coming back and back and back until you finally move on.

My professional career is REPLETE with these bad decisions over the years – my wife’s friends, my landlord’s daughter, the patient with one too many questions who stops me in the hall, the lady at the wedding who thought “He’s gonna see me for FREE” when I really said “give me a call, I’ll take a look at it Tuesday” – all these turned out to be BIG mistakes because I had no policy in place for these situations early on.

I actually lost my best friend from college 2ndary to one of these misunderstandings (saw him and his 2 family members professionally gratis ONE TIME and he took gross advantage of it for years before I TRIED to put a stop to it and the ensuing fight brought our friendship to an abrupt end).