Clients who want you, pay you. Many of you are new to this area and very hungry for work. You take the very first response you receive & oftentimes it's costing you time and money. You do this in hopes it will lead to actual work, like waving a bone to a dog. You're the dog. I'm saddened when I realize so many of you find yourselves in this position, and I have to ask you. Why did you come here? Why did you stop your miserable job to make a living for yourself? Free of downsizing and job cuts. Tell me? You want to be your own master. But look at you, you're still living like an employee. This is not why we're here, employees aren't bosses. Employees beg to be hired - masters make everything better; for a price. Do you pet your dog after he obeys you or beforehand? People aren't dogs but you catch my drift. Stop behaving like one. We've all run into toxic clients, including myself. They want your time & energy devoted entirely to them for little 'if any' compensation, treating you NOT as a businessman...but a mere employee....a slave. You are courageous. You know you can help businesses grow, reaching their fullest potential as a team, as equals - professionals in different fields. Use your courage damnit. Charge for your first consultation, let them pick your brain after THEY pay the toll. As a personal statement man-to-man/woman...carry yourself with high esteem. A friend of mine is a consultant called by Fortune 500 companies who lived in a studio apartment. Don't devalue yourself based on your surroundings.