Free from you is a paid job for someone else.

Does being free do more harm than good?

As more people try to seek work online amidst business shutdowns, we discuss what no one else is.

This article will divide people, like most uncharted waters do.

In the last few hours we’ve witnessed numerous fitness apps launch free versions of their product ¬†– which is definitely from the goodness of their heart and not at all an attempt to capture emails – ¬†within the same 24 hour period that every personal trainer in the country became jobless.

It made us feel ill. Why?

Today, hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs as businesses (gyms, pubs, cafes, bars) across Australia were placed into mandatory shutdown for a period of up to 6 months. The people that operated these businesses or were employed by them are desperately looking for ways to generate income to support themselves & their families. They need to pay mortgages and bills. They have to buy groceries and medicine.

One of they only ways they can do that in the middle of a global pandemic that requires social distancing is to try and pivot their business or work online.

If you keep giving way everything for free, they will not be able to do that. It’s simple maths. Zero dollars leaving the wallet is much more appealing than one dollar leaving the wallet.

We need a job economy. People need to be able to charge for their services like they always have. Telling the global community that a service is worth zero dollars by giving it away for free does more damage than it does good. And we can’t assume things happen in isolation, we’re a species that thrives on learned behaviour. Teach us that one thing is free and we’ll start expecting everything is.

As part of a global community how do we come together to provide resources and lift each others spirits, without undermining someone else’s ability to earn a living during this difficult and confusing time? We want you to:

Allow hospitality venues who are trying to survive the ability to sell you a digital book of recipes.

Allow the yoga teacher who is suddenly out of work the chance to pay her bills through paid online classes.

Allow writers to keep earning a living through paid editorial work.

If you’re still struggling to work out how to make decisions, try this:

  1. Stop giving content, programs, books & recipes away for free. Allow others to charge for their expertise.
  2. Instead, look at adjusting your price models: perhaps you can offer discounts of referral rewards as an alternative?
  3. Implement tiered levels: by not allowing free access to all of your material, you encourage people not to expect everything for free, thus increasing the likelihood they will still pay for services from those who need it most.
  4. Think of other people: it might make you feel good momentarily when people gain access to your product for free and they sing your praises. We get it. But we want to argue the counter point, because someone needs to. If no one speaks up for those who have suddenly found themselves jobless, how will they and our economy ever return from this?

If you are trying to pivot online or have an online business that you would like us to shoutout to on our channels, please email esoteric@willowandblake.com. We’d like to help you by reminding the world that even during turbulent times, you are worth whatever price you put on yourself.