My job is my hobby. That being said, it is my job. I get paid to do it. I'll be the first to admit how fortunate I am to have landed a career that I love, but there is also a downside. I often get asked to lend my services free of charge.

First and foremost, there are some cases when I somewhat understand. Non-profit organizations, for example, I understand them asking. However, most of them have at least some kind of a budget for food and entertainment. Regardless, my main issue is with people, including friends, asking for freebies. It takes time to grab all of my equipment, the set-up process is painstaking and time consuming, and this isn't even counting the actual playing of the music/emceeing the event or the breaking down of equipment afterward!

I look at this way: I don't go to your job asking you to do my taxes, cook my food, fix my car, hook up my cable or ANYTHING else for that matter for free. Hell, even if I ask my my aunt to sew a button back on my pants, I still pay her. Just a little bit of common sense (and this just doesn't go for me): if you wouldn't expect to do your particular line of work for free, why ask anyone else?