A bank that lends everyone money will go out of business. Treat your volunteering bank that way too. Helping others is very important in life but there’s a limit to how many people you can help, who you should help, why, how you help, and when.

They may not really need your help. Your advice may be ignored so your help is not really helping (e.g. they want “the couch time” of free therapy but have no commitment to real change). People can treat free help like there’s no cost to it. You may not be the best person to help. Your help may not be good for you. You may be always helping for the wrong reason. Help the right person at the right time for the right reason the right way to try to achieve the right result.

Always ask yourself, “Is my help needed, why I am helping, am I the best person to help, will my help actually help, and are my time and talent better spent elsewhere?” before making a commitment to volunteer your time and talent. Remember you’re the President of this bank. You approve the loan.