Why giving it away for free hurts

Why Giving It Away For Free Hurts My Business (And Therefore Your Development)

Do you know why I was born to be a mentor and coach?

The answer is fairly simple and it has little to do with ‘7 Figure Launches’ (you know the ones, you’ve seen them on Facebook with little evidence and lots of “rah rah”) or being considered a Guru.

I love helping people .

At my most fundamental, I like discovering what makes people tick, and, if it’s something I have worked to master; mentoring them so they can get better at… life.

So, I listened to the old adage – “do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life” – and my life’s purpose became my business.

And here’s where it gets tricky.

Because marketing tells us we should get stuff for free.

It’s everywhere.

  • Complimentary discovery call
  • Free 15-minute chat
  • No cost quote
  • No charge to find out if we will work together well
  • Free. FREE. FREE!
  • Download my FREE eBook, get into my FREE webinar, watch my FREE video, get this module FREE, along with a FREE Mastermind, FREE online forum, FREE advertising

And, although that might seem like a great deal for you, the consumer, customer, or in my case, client, let me explain why:

giving away my coaching and mentoring expertise damages not only my capacity to build a thriving business, but 
also your spiritual development experience.

Unfortunately, I have the same 24 hours in a day as everyone else. I know, because I’m pretty darn organised and efficient, I am calm and composed, and it might look as if I am cramming more in but I still only have those same 24 hours.

This means I, like everyone else in the world living with a 24 hour day, (including you!) need to be selective about how to spend my time.

Time.

It’s the most precious commodity we have. You can’t replace it, you can’t purchase more, and you can never get it back.

Every morning we wake up with a finite amount of, let’s call for the sake of this blog, ‘time credit’. You get 24 hours.

You can’t carry over the balance to tomorrow. You can’t borrow for the upcoming day. If you fail to use your credits, they simply disappear.

You’ve got to make the most of every hour.

Unfortunately, the marketing machine has force fed us this infernal discount/free/get something for nothing message that is a complete mismatch to understanding that time is finite and precious.

For those of us selling time and experience, this is a conundrum.

And because we’ve revolutionised the way we can access information with Google, we may have lost the capacity to find gold in amongst the enormous amount of free crud littering our virtual space.

If you are prepared to spend money so you don’t have to end up down the rabbit hole of yet another unrestrained cyclone of freebies, where do you even look to find value anymore?

Contrary to popular (within my client circle) belief, I’m not a guru of personal and spiritual development coaching and mentoring.

I didn’t wake up one day and have a comprehensive understanding of personal development, people, the human condition, and how best to work with all of that together.

No, being human is an ever-evolving, ever-changing study.

To really be considered a “master”, you have to be a lifelong learner, with an unquenchable thirst for insight and knowledge.

Am I a master? I don’t think so.

Every day, I’m learning something new and different. The only difference between myself and the people I work with is that I’ve been doing it for longer, so I know more about the subject. Still, every day I’m learning something new. And to be learning something new, something I can pass on when I’m working with people who need my guidance, I must be on top of things pretty consistently.

Which is fine, until I get the call. Or the email. Or the letter.

Whatever the medium, the request is usually the same:

someone attended my workshop, and they have an idea they’d like to run by me or want to know how to market their own business. Theoretically, it should only take about five minutes of my time.

And yet time after time, “five minutes” turns into “ten”, turns into “twenty”, etc.

Before I know it, I’ve given an hour of coaching and mentoring time, outside of the usual ongoing support that is offered with my workshops and courses, and expertise to someone (for free).

This has a twofold effect.

For one, I’m giving away services for free.

This is pretty much the opposite of good business.

Do you think Amazon would still be afloat if everything on the site was $0AUD? Would Richard Branson be in business if he gave away free flights? (Who would pay for the maintenance, pilot professional development, training for air stewards? How great would the service be? Heck, you wouldn’t even be in the air anymore!)

Similarly, if I’m giving away my services for free, then I’m essentially putting myself out of business.

And who is going to take development coaching and mentoring advice from a woman who gave away all her time and ran her business into the ground?

For two, I’m taking time away from doing what I do best: coaching and mentoring.

I’m instructing all the time instead of learning. If I’m not learning, then I’m not preparing myself for my next workshop. If I’m unprepared for my next workshop, then I’m not going to have content – and people are going to stop showing up! Again, I’ve managed to put myself out of business just by giving my time away for free.

Do I want to spend time talking to you and helping you succeed with your spiritual development?

 Absolutely I do.

I’d do it 24 hours a day if I could.

If you succeed in YOUR endeavours, I succeed in MINE.

The world becomes a better place.

But I only have so much time. And I need to be selfish for the people who are ready to do the work and invest in themselves.

If I field 20 calls after each workshop that take an hour of my time, that’s 20 fewer hours I have to prepare, learn, compose, and offer exceptional spiritual advice for the development of your soul.

If I spend time on the phone chatting for free, I am reducing the amount I can share with someone who is ready to take the next step in their journey and the amount of time I can learn more (which in turn helps those I teach and mentor).

The most relevant piece of this puzzle is what ‘free’ does for you.

Because I’d like you to consider what free actually costs you.

If you are trying to collate random information, from various free sources, to help you grow as a person, you might find it a serious struggle.

Imagine trying to do that with legal advice, or financial information. Your taxes would be a mess.

You’ll spend eight times as long, easily, trying to meld together bits and pieces of ‘free’ information to help you discover what you want to know, instead of investing in yourself and asking someone who invests in their own development, and is careful and considered about how they spend their time.

I value my time. And I’ll value yours.

And that will end up costing you less in the long run.