No One Respects Free

Everybody loves free stuff. I mean, what is better than receiving something in return for nothing? 

The problem is, more often than not, we don’t really respect free.

There’s no skin in the game so why would we? If you’re not invested, emotionally or financially, there’s no real reason to be committed or broken by failure or success.

How many times have you misplaced or broken something that was either really cheap or you received for free? Generally speaking, we’re not all that hurt by it, 

Not nearly as much as if say we misplaced a brand new MacBook that we spent $1000+ on. That hurts. 

The only difference. We were invested in that computer. 

So why am I bringing this up? 

At Endeavor we provide an insanely important service… well we BELIEVE our service is insanely important. And we try to supply that service to everyone. We want to be a part of the community and help people.

So we offer a few free classes and seminars. 

The one common thing we see across the board when a seminar is free versus paid for is no shows. 

If I charge $100 for a seminar and ten people register for it, ten people are going to show up. If they can’t show up, they will contact us to let us know and discuss options. We don’t have no shows. They don’t exist when $100 is on the line .

But every Saturday we offer free classes at 10am at the gym. 

Last Saturday for instance we had eight people in total signed up to attend classes. 

Two showed up. 

That’s a 75% no show rate. 

No e-mail letting us know they weren’t coming. No effort to try to reschedule. Just decided not to show up. And believe it or not this is common. 

Now, five or so years ago, this would have frustrated me… A LOT. The reality is, I have learned this simple fact, people do not respect free. 

When there is no investment, it’s easy to decide to skip a seminar because you are running late, or drank too much the night before, or just because you don’t want to. 

It’s easy to just no-show and not send an e-mail because YOU are not invested in the course. It’s hard to see that the people not he other end offering are invested. That they put time into marketing, tracking registrations, sending follow up e-mails, preparing for classes, etc… 

It’s also hard to see that something FREE could actually be of HUGE value to you: You know like, getting into shape to add years to your life. Taking a yoga class to increase flexibility or help prevent/rehab injury. Or how about learning to defend yourself and your loved ones just in case you’re ever attacked.

It is difficult for us to take “free” and give importance to it. 

There’s many reasons why this is, but it is very very common and something to keep in mind.

Now, does this mean you shouldn’t offer free classes? Or give your services for free? 

Not at all. In fact I wrote an entire article on this exact idea. 

For us, we know there are A LOT of people that desire these services that maybe can’t afford them. We realize this can be a great way to help people that might be intimidated by the facility, come in and try it out. And realistically, even if we bring value to ONE person, it is worth the time.

The importance is to understand this overall idea: 

The higher the investment required, the less people you will appeal to, but the more dedicated and committed those people are going to be. 

The less investment required, the more people you will appeal to, but the less committed and respectful those people will be. 

The key is to know what your goal is and match the offering to that goal. 

We will continue to offer free classes? Absolutely.

Will people continue to no-show? You can be certain of that.

But at the end of the day, the purpose of this specific program is to be a place for the community to come and be supported no strings attached. If the goal of the program was specifically to get committed and long term people, then we’d be charging big money. 

So the next time you see a service that costs a bit more than a “similar” one, before you judge it, consider that it might be that way on purpose, and might be exactly what you need.

And as a piece of simple respect. If you sign up for something that is free, before you judge it, consider that it might be exactly what you need as well. And if you’re not going to make it, it sure would be nice if you let the hosts know… you know, out of basic courtesy hah!

Be good, train hard, stay safe.

-aaron

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