7 Ways to Spot a Brokeback Entrepreneur (And How To Avoid Them)

Are you bitter that your network isn’t producing results? Angry that the people you’ve been networking with isn’t sending business your way? Tired of working long hours on your business only to see your bank account almost empty and your bills piling up?

The problem lies with you – yes, you. You have been giving too much away for too long and you’re now attracting brokeback entrepreneurs.

Who’s a brokeback entrepreneur? This is someone who operates using a frugal mentality, but refuses to spend any money to operate their business.

You’re a smart entrepreneur with an awesome product or great services. However, the only way you can start to reap the financial rewards you deserve is to rid your life of these brokeback entrepreneurs.

First, you need to spot them. Then, you need a strategy to avoid them, or if they’re infiltrating your life already, you need a plan to get rid of them. Here are my 7 tips based on what my friends tell me.

  1. Brokeback entrepreneurs always pick your brain. They will email or call you every time they encounter a problem that you have the expertise to solve.

    How to avoid them: Draft up an email that lists all the freebies you offer on your website. This will include links to your blog, articles on your website, your podcast and any other advice you freely offer online. Then end the email by saying, “If after reviewing my free resources you still have questions, you can rent my brain at $200 per hour.” You’ll never hear from the brokeback entrepreneur again.

  2. Brokeback entrepreneurs copy from you instead of thinking of fresh, new ideas. They will plagiarize your content, copy your website design and use your trademarked name in their marketing materials.

    How to avoid them: Use a website such as copyscape.com to monitor who’s copying your website content. Being proactive in protecting yourself will prevent the brokeback entrepreneurs from messing with you in the first place.

  3. Brokeback entrepreneurs attend every free event you offer. They live for the $0, no cost teleclass, webinar or workshop. They will never, ever pay for any of your events, preferring to listen to the same free one over and over again. Then, they’ll approach you at every break or dominate every Q&A session to get free advice.

    How to avoid them: You can’t. Instead, cut off the questions being asked by the the brokeback entrepreneur (without being rude of course) and invite him or her to contact you via email. When he or she does, follow my advice in #1 above.

  4. Brokeback entrepreneurs are uncomfortable when you upsell your products or services. They will email you after your teleclass or approach you after your speech and scold you about how wrong it is to use 2-minutes at the end of your 50-minute information share to sell them anything.

    How to avoid them: Keep your cool. Remember, price is to a brokeback entrepreneur as billions are to Trump, so they’ll never be your customer since they’ll never spend money with you. Instead, thank the brokeback entrepreneur for their advice, then move on to the next person. Don’t get into an argument with the brokeback entrepreneur. Chances are, when the brokeback entrepreneur complains to her or his colleagues that you actually tried to sell something, the brokeback entrepreneur will have egg on her or his face.

  5. Brokeback entrepreneurs will seek to barter their services with you. They never want to spend money on anyone’s services simply because no one is spending money with him or her.

    How to avoid them: Not all bartering relationships are bad. Instead, define the arrangement up front by writing up a statement of work. Detail the start and end dates, what’s included and excluded in the project, plus a timeline. Also, issue an invoice that shows the value of the work you’re providing, but has a $0 for the amount owing. Chances are, the brokeback entrepreneur will find someone else who isn’t taking the bartering relationship that seriously.

  6. Brokeback entrepreneurs expect you to drop everything for them. Because she or he is sitting in their home office twiddling their thumbs, the brokeback entrepreneur expects that you are as well. The reason why she or he has so much time on their hands is because they aren’t making money. So, when they leave you a voicemail or send you an email, they expect to see a response within the hour.

    How to avoid them: Update your voicemail greeting to let people know when you typically return greetings. A typical turnaround time is 24-hours. A rule of thumb is to respond to your clients and prospects inquiring about your product or service that same business day. Typically, a brokeback entrepreneur is neither, so get into the habit of responding to networking contacts within 3-business days.

  7. Brokeback entrepreneurs hang out together. Those who feel they shouldn’t spend money for anything beyond registering a domain name hang out with those of the same mentality.

    How to avoid them: If you want to be a millionaire, hang out with millionaires. If you want to have a successful business, hang out with people who have a successful business. If you want to be broke, hang out with broke people. It’s just that simple.