What attracts you to try something new? If you did not have to pay for it, right? Free. Free, is as you know it…Free trials, buy one get one free, extreme coupling, promos, free public transportation, free dining, free samples, birthday freebies. Freebies are everywhere, just look around you. There is hardly anyone that does not love that feeling of getting something without paying for it.
Maybe not all of us. Most of us.
But it’s the way we are typically wired. It is natural to love free things. It is the way we perceive things. And perception oftentimes end up becoming our reality.
But then, is being on the look-out for free stuff harmful to us in any way?
Jess Huffman, our guru for the Entrepreneur Mindset Series, believes it is harmful at many different levels. For instance, when someone offers you something for free, it creates a reciprocity code in you. It makes the transaction feel incomplete if you don’t buy. You feel you have cheated in some way if you don’t reciprocate the gesture. And that is a truly bad feeling. No one should go around with a cloud hanging over him. What if you don’t really need the stuff, yet you feel bound to buy it just because you got one free?
Free devalues you and what you represent. It could indicate that what you are offering is substandard. In employment, people tend to undervalue and underpay themselves when they don’t feel worthy of asking for a higher salary during wage negotiations.
So, how would Jess respond if someone came to him and gave him something for free? For him, it depends on the situation. “Charge me full price. If I value you, then others will value me. In the first instance, why would you offer a price which you think is not okay? Jess says.
Jess explains in no uncertain terms that free isn’t free after all! Free costs something. And oftentimes, the cost of free is at the root of the impoverishment of Third World suppliers and cheap laborers. “Free is at a cost and unfortunately, free market trades hurt the poor and the developing nations.”
How then can new products and services enter the market in the most noticeable way to drive customer base and profitability? Jess, who has mentored several entrepreneurs successfully for over a decade, explained that businesses don’t have to be cheap to survive. “Afterall, Rolls Royce, Apple, BMW, Tiffany’s and other huge brands were never cheap, yet they have survived quite well. The problem is that a lot of new entrepreneurs have trouble with charging right basically because they have a mental block that makes them feel unworthy. So, success is basically a mind game.”
You know where we are coming at? It boils down to the mind. Everything is in your mind.
Look at it this way:
The computer, for example, started in someone’s mind. It grew in someone’s mind. It developed in someone’s mind. The designs and other specifications all were in someone’s mind.
From the mind comes the conception, the growth and birth of any entity. Now, we can sit in front of a computer. Thanks to the mind of that someone!
In essence, everything about life is an extension of how worthy we feel we are. And that includes employment and entrepreneurial efforts.
Summarily, how should you then view Free?
1 When you see Free, pay attention.
2 Don’t just throw free at people.
Have the right notion. These are what “free” isn’t:
- Free is not a humanitarian offering.
- It is not the same as gifts.
- It is not the same as you giving of yourself in service to others especially as a way of giving back to the society.
- It is not synonymous with a negotiation gone bad where you eventually end with a compromise.
Here’s what he sees ‘free” do:
“Free devalues you and what you represent. It could indicate that what you are offering is substandard. In employment, people tend to undervalue and underpay themselves when they don’t feel worthy of asking for a higher salary during wage negotiations.”
This is episode 116 of The Immigrant Life Podcast and the fifth episode of Entrepreneurial Mindset Series (EMS)
based on discussion between veteran podcaster and founder of The Immigrant Life, Dapo Bankole and Jess Huffman, Business Coach who has been working with Entrepreneurs, Innovators and Creative People for over 15 years.
Written by Yinka Bakare.