The Problem with Free

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I used to never fully finish a book. I’d start reading something; find it exciting and interesting at first – but half way through my attention span begins to wander and I question if this was the right investment. This not only happened with books, but I had this tendency even with courses, lecture videos, seminars and anything educational which I’d attempt to learn.

I’ve been raised in an age where anything you could ever want you can get for free. What I’m talking about is in regards to ‘cloud’ based products which could be sent through wires: movies, tv shows, music, albums, videos and even books. I would stay up late and bombard myself with an endless supply of material in regards to whatever topic I wanted to learn about. I remember having over 200+ books on how to make money on-line, and I didn’t read a single one – which I attribute to them being ‘free’.

Free Isn’t Really Free

Through my understanding of marketing I’ve found that a lot of things which are ‘free’ are designed to suck you into spending more money later down the line. Let’s say you get a free video course with one of the books you’ve purchased, or whatever bundle is combined with whatever you just bought – I can guarantee that a lot of the time these “bundled” items lack in quality and are usually used as sale’s pitch to other products.

Throughout the material you’ll find tons of affiliates, or just the seller promoting their own products. I remember in one of the make money on-line eBooks every second paragraph had at least something they wanted to sell, or a product that will complement the information I was reading. It wasn’t free at all.

Quality is also another problem when something is free. These free materials are a lot of the time outdated, low in value, don’t offer much in terms of education and cover just the very basics. It’s just not worth your valuable, valuable time.

It’s also evident with the recent surge of free material such as websites and especially apps, that a large component of free is that it comes with advertisement. How annoying is it when you’re playing a relaxing game, or reading relaxing article on a website that an ad just pops op and distracts your experience.

Main Problem With Free

I understand that all those listed things may not be that bad to you when you’re receiving something for free anyway. Those aren’y the main problem, or aren’t problems at all but just mainly ‘side effects’ of someone wanting a return in value that they’re offering.

The biggest problem with free is how it affects your commitment. It is all based around your perceptions of the “free” material, and the mental blockages and doubts which arises as soon as you get it. What free ultimately leads to is this:

You don’t value it as much!

When I was first getting started with internet marketing, I thought I was the king of the world and success would come quickly to me when I downloaded a $3,500 video course, for free. I was excited and couldn’t sleep because I thought I’d just stumbled onto a gold mine that only millionaires can afford to buy these things. Who in their right mind would spend $3,500 on a bunch of videos?

I found out the hard way that it wasn’t so much the videos that you were buying – it was also your level of commitment and appreciation. The more money, or your own effort, you invest into something the harder you will work at it. If you worked hard for your money, whatever you buy you will truly appreciate. If your Dad gives you 20k a month because he’s rich, and you buy this $3,500 course, it wouldn’t really matter to you. You wouldn’t value it because you didn’t put any effort into it. But if it was valued at $15,000 then it would be worth a lot more to you even though it’s exactly the same.

Let me sidetrack a moment and show you some real life examples – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of transcendental meditation, offered a course to become enlightened in 2003 – and valued it at $1,000,000.  The people this was aimed at were the wealthy and celebrity types who can easily obtain any learning material they wanted, but had so much money that they didn’t value whatever they bought. One of the participants was the famous director David Lynch, who is now a face for the Transcendental Meditation movement.

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So what it essentially comes down to is your relationship with the material. It’s just a simple equation of you spending more effort to get something there for you value it more.  This applies to other areas of life as well – where people who are the richest and happiest are the ones who work motivated and achieve things on their own – rather then get it through ‘free’.

So every time that I want to learn something now, or want to educate myself in a certain area – I will pay for it with money, or whatever form I can so that effort has gone into it from my part. I will ofcourse evaluate if the investment is worth what I’m getting out of it , as there are a lot of low quality products valued at higher prices – but use your gut

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