“We can proudly use price as a signal to tell people what we think about what we sell.” Seth Godin, The Marketing Seminar

What’s It For?

That thing you’re making. That service you provide. That idea you have. What’s it for? What’s your motivation for sharing it? Who’s it for? What’s your intended impact?

Here are some considerations. Do you want people to appreciate it or value it? Are you looking for engagement or enrollment? Are you seeking their attention or their investment?

Free Vs. Paid

Free attracts appreciation, engagement, and interest, but rarely leads to perceived value, active enrollment, or meaningful investment. Free attracts browsers, not buyers.

If what you create has value, works better when users are engaged, and is enhanced through the investment made by users, then giving it away is doing far more harm than good. It’s confusing both you, the producer, and you prospective consumer.

If it’s valuable, why are you giving it away? Why would I enroll in something that anyone can join? If I don’t have any skin in the game, why play?

Don’t Sell, Serve

If what you make, or do, or think can truly help elevate or enhance the lives of others, then you owe it to yourself to deliver it in a way that is sustainable. Giving away your effort, talent, and wisdom is exhausting and burning yourself out is not going to help anyone.

Know who you seek to serve. See them. Listen to them. Tell them, “I see you. I hear you.” That’s generosity. Providing them a real solution to their problem, a real service they need, or a real product they want is also an act of generosity.

Value increases appreciation. Enrollment enhances engagement. Investment commands attention. Facilitating a transformation is far more than a transaction.

Delivering value, encouraging enrollment, and requiring investment is generous. Giving away value, settling for engagement, and seeking attention is an act of promiscuous. Which are you?

About the Writer

Scott Perry is the author of The Stoic Creative Handbook. Now available on Amazon or, read the free chapters and get two free bonus gifts.