What’s Wrong With Free? Don’t Give Your Value Away

What's Wrong With Free Don't Give Your Value Away

As a small-business consultant, I am passionate about helping small businesses succeed. This often leads to me getting into trouble. I am more interested in helping the business succeed than my own. Although this may seem odd at first, it can lead to both my and my clients’ failures. The last few months have been spent trying to work on commissions with companies. I am responsible for building and managing a sales team. In return, I receive a percentage of the sales. This model has no upfront costs and seems to be a win-win. There is no way to stop growth.

Free is not valuable. That’s the biggest problem. Free is a word that people hear and can’t understand. Although I received a lot of praise from the business community, I can’t believe anyone could have predicted the chaos it would cause.

In the past few months, I’ve learned a lot more about human nature.

It is not motivating to be free.

It is impossible to make something work when it is free. It is free because you can take it with you and forget it. There is no obligation. Someone who has to buy something must cherish it and take good care of it.

Free things are often feared by people.

You would think that there is no such thing as free in the world. Free has been made synonymous with fraud and scams by countless fake advertisements.

It is not possible to foster respect and partnership when you are free.

You are saying it is worthless to give away something. Solid foundations are essential for building respect and strong partnerships. They must ensure that both parties can exchange equal value.

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People will not work for anything.

Nobody has ever accepted a job without compensation. An intern in an unpaid internship is paid with college credits, new skills, and strong connections in the field they choose. In the past, sales professionals were eager to work for commission-only jobs. But today, people want security and a steady income more than the promise that they can earn unlimited amounts.

People always ask for more if you give away one thing for free.

It seems that free is a slippery slope. People always want more once they get something for nothing. Why would you refuse to do all things for free if you could do just one thing? This is due to the fact that nothing has any value. It is difficult to end a relationship by saying your skills are of no value.

Lesson Learned

Many companies have to deal with the dilemma of being free from one or the other. While we are eager to promote our products and services in innovative ways, we also need to be mindful not to devalue the value of what we offer when we seek new customers and clients. Either we believe in the worth of what we sell, or we don’t. You can value the product you sell if you draw a line in the sand and then find others who will.

It is a paradox that free is hypocrisy. As business owners, we hate giving away our products, but we also hate bills. Because we don’t want to spend money where it is needed, we find ourselves stagnating in our growth potential. My lesson about free is that you must value your products enough to attract people who will value them. Value your business enough that you want to grow it. Do not spend money you could have made to save a penny. Be wary of getting free money, but don’t accept it as a fair trade for what you have to share. Don’t expect other people to give up their hard work. It is a valuable commodity, so let’s not chase after the free.

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