A Sudden Realization That Completely Removed My Guilt With Charging Money

20 replies
The other day, someone linked me to a section of Amazon that had Kindle books for FREE. I browsed through them and saw some with really interesting titles. So I decided to get them. No harm, right? They were FREE.

A couple days after that, as I was walking through the city, I noticed a man handing out flyers for his band. They were going to perform at The Echo (a venue in LA), and the flyers were for a FREE pass to go. So I thought, what the hell? Why not? I'll take one. I might not be busy that night.

A few days after that, I went to a garage sale. One area of the sale had a FREE sign in front of the section. So I browsed around and grabbed a lamp.

Now, what do the Kindle books, the flyer, and the lamp all of in common? Yes, I realize they were all FREE. But aside from that. That's right, they all ended up IN THE GARBAGE.

For all I know, there could have been some real gemstones hidden amongst those Kindle books. Maybe some real powerful books that could have changed my life. I could have also discovered a brand new style of music from that band with the flyers. And the lamp... well, the lamp was total garbage. It broke.

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that MONEY puts "value" into products. Do you think if I paid $47 for one of those Kindle books, I would have left it sitting there NOT read? No way. Do you think if I paid $25 to see a band play, that I would skip it? No way. Do you think if I paid $237 for a lamp... I would never pay that much for a lamp.

If you think about, EVERYTHING you would ever want to know about Internet Marketing can be found in this forum for FREE. Yet, you see thousands of people buying WSOs everyday because of the price-tag. They believe that if they have to BUY it, the information will be more valuable. And if you buy a $27 10-page report, do you think you're going to read it? HELL YEA you are!

Which brings me to MY story:

I was working on a product but was struggling with the idea of selling it. I still had the mindset that everything should be free. I'm a huge believer that ALL INFORMATION SHOULD BE FREE. I still am. I believe everything on the internet should be free.

Then it dawned on me, if I just gave it away, would anyone even watch it? There is a little over an hour of content in this product. Who would sit through that if they didn't think it was of high "value"?

I have a product that I TRULY believe in. I WANT people to watch my videos and learn EVERYTHING they can from them. I want to share it with the entire world if possible. I would give it all away for free, but if I did that, it would just end up in the GARBAGE! It's "value" would be perceived as low and it would probably be forgotten. I don't want that! I want people to learn! My product will get them to where they desire to be!

So now, I am going to put a price tag on my product. Best of all, I don't feel any guilt in doing so whatsoever. Because if putting a price tag on my valuable product is what it takes to get you to watch it, then that's what I'm going to do. That way, in the end, we both get to profit.

Long story short: Don't feel guilty about profiting from your efforts and products.

I guess it's just how I was raised and looked at money. It may sound like a silly thing to you, but that was a HUGE mental block that was holding me back for a while. I'm good to go now! And ready to profit!

Sometimes (a lot of times) I see WSOs that make me dumber after I read them. It makes me want to punch the person who's profiting from it. But then I remember what I learned. I'm sure in his mind he believes he/she has a very valuable product and just wishes for everyone to learn from it. And the only way for everyone to win is with a price-tag!
#charging #completely #guilt #money #realization #removed #sudden
  • Profile picture of the author mikeb209
    Giving away free stuff is a VERY good strategy depending on the end result you're trying to achieve.

    For example if you're trying to build your list, you give away free newsletter,reports etc.

    If you have a rock band and you're trying to get known, you give away free tickets.

    If you want to share your video with as many people as possible then the best way to do
    that is obviously by giving it away for free.

    Sure some people may find it of little value and disregard it but for the most part it will accomplish it's goal.
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    • Profile picture of the author VictorV
      Yea, I agree 100%. That was Facebook's strategy for a long time. Same with PlentyofFish. Also a bit of luck and timing.

      But I'm just trying to get over the guilt of SELLING things. And this was the realization I had that would let me push forward and allow me to sleep at night.
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      • Profile picture of the author paulie888
        Originally Posted by BaoTV View Post

        Yea, I agree 100%. That was Facebook's strategy for a long time. Same with PlentyofFish. Also a bit of luck and timing.

        But I'm just trying to get over the guilt of SELLING things. And this was the realization I had that would let me push forward and allow me to sleep at night.
        I'm glad you're getting over your guilt about selling things online.

        You're absolutely right, when you give away things for free (especially digital products) they'll more likely than not end up collecting digital cobwebs on someone's hard drive. The majority of people won't even open your ebook or report to read.

        By charging them for your information product, in many cases you're doing them a favor, because then they'll be more likely to peruse your product and take action on what they learn, since they paid for it and now feel the need to make use of it as a result of that.

        Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    BaoTV - you tell a good story. It kept me interested to the end. Good job.

    I do not know why anyone would feel guilty about people volunteering to pay you for your work though. That's what a sale is -- people volunteering to pay you for something they want from you. You shouldn't feel guilty about that. You did the work, you should be paid for it.

    You wouldn't expect me to work for you for free would you? I wouldn't expect you to work for me for free either.

    You are right on the money with your analysis ... many people do place more value in what they pay for than in what they get for free.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joe Benjamin
      Originally Posted by mikeb209 View Post

      Giving away free stuff is a VERY good strategy depending on the end result you're trying to achieve.

      For example if you're trying to build your list, you give away free newsletter,reports etc.

      If you have a rock band and you're trying to get known, you give away free tickets.

      If you want to share your video with as many people as possible then the best way to do
      that is obviously by giving it away for free.

      Sure some people may find it of little value and disregard it but for the most part it will accomplish it's goal.
      This is true.

      Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

      BaoTV - you tell a good story. It kept me interested to the end. Good job.

      I do not know why anyone would feel guilty about people volunteering to pay you for your work though. That's what a sale is -- people volunteering to pay you for something they want from you. You shouldn't feel guilty about that. You did the work, you should be paid for it.

      You wouldn't expect me to work for you for free would you? I wouldn't expect you to work for me for free either.

      You are right on the money with your analysis ... many people do place more value in what they pay for than in what they get for free.
      You not understanding WHY people would feel guilty would mean you
      were lucky enough to be raised in a home where you're parents believed
      it was best to serve people by asking to charge for your work.

      Very, VERY few households BELIEVE one should make money from their
      efforts, and often times it takes a lot of MENTAL work to overcome past
      upbringing and mental blocks.

      Yes, logic tells us it's "okay to charge for your work"...but in this case,
      logic "loses" over feelings and upbringing unless that person is willing to
      go through the uncomfortable phase of weeding out those old feelings
      which are NOT easy to do and does NOT happen overnight.

      Originally Posted by paulie888 View Post

      I'm glad you're getting over your guilt about selling things online.

      You're absolutely right, when you give away things for free (especially digital products) they'll more likely than not end up collecting digital cobwebs on someone's hard drive. The majority of people won't even open your ebook or report to read.

      By charging them for your information product, in many cases you're doing them a favor, because then they'll be more likely to peruse your product and take action on what they learn, since they paid for it and now feel the need to make use of it as a result of that.

      Paul
      I stopped giving away free stuff a while ago, and not only do people
      respect you MORE when you charge them for something (even if they
      never buy from you), you'll enrich their lives and your own.

      It IS a win-win situation.

      As for MY personal opinion:

      It's good you SAY you've overcome your mental blocks of charging
      money for your work (products or services), but the REAL test, my
      friend, will come from actually making money from your new LOGICAL
      reality.

      I say logical because...

      you're not "done yet".

      It's one thing to ADMIT you and the end-user are better off if you
      charge money for something, a totally different ball game when you
      are actually doing it, because what is LIKELY to happen after you
      recognize you're mindset is not where you WANT it to be that'll best
      serve you...

      you'll encounter bouts and challenges to accept the money.

      Just because you SAY you've changed, doesn't mean you have. Be-
      cause, psychologically and unconsciously you will still choose NOT
      to buy something because you believe it should be "free anyway".

      Breaking a habit is going to take more work and effort on your part,
      and the HARDEST habits to break are psychological and ingrained.

      It's like coke head who says he's gonna' quit someday, and without
      even knowing it next day he's in a coma from an overdose.

      But...

      you took the first step and you're on your way...but the TRUE test
      of your fortitude is yet to come, because the RESULTS will prove to
      YOU rather or not you've truly broken an old, nasty habit.
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      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
        Banned
        Originally Posted by WhoIsBenjamin View Post

        You not understanding WHY people would feel guilty would mean you
        were lucky enough to be raised in a home where you're parents believed
        it was best to serve people by asking to charge for your work.

        Very, VERY few households BELIEVE one should make money from their
        efforts, and often times it takes a lot of MENTAL work to overcome past
        upbringing and mental blocks.
        I don't know of a single person until this thread that doesn't believe that you should make money from your knowledge and efforts. Of course, I live in a capitalistic country, but when I need work done and people from other countries offer their services, they don't hesitate to put a price on it.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Good thread & I understand your point.

    However...

    If you think about, EVERYTHING you would ever want to know about Internet Marketing can be found in this forum for FREE. Yet, you see thousands of people buying WSOs everyday because of the price-tag. They believe that if they have to BUY it, the information will be more valuable. And if you buy a $27 10-page report, do you think you're going to read it? HELL YEA you are!
    I don't think it's because of the price tag that people are buying WSOs. The reason they buy them is the WSOs are the cliffs notes of IM, they want the shortest route to profits.

    They also see others jumping in, & decide they want a piece of the action.
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    • Profile picture of the author paulie888
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      Good thread & I understand your point.

      However...



      I don't think it's because of the price tag that people are buying WSOs. The reason they buy them is the WSOs are the cliffs notes of IM, they want the shortest route to profits.

      They also see others jumping in, & decide they want a piece of the action.
      The internet has made information available on an unprecedented level to anyone with an internet connection.

      However, many people are forgetting that time is money. While you may be able to look up information in a report just by browsing through the internet, how much is your time worth to you? If it takes you 5 hours to do it, when you could have just bought and perused the information for $27, I think the choice is clear - even if you value your time at $10 per hour (which is ridiculous, we should be valuing our time much more than that) then looking for that information would have cost us $50 in terms of opportunity cost.

      When you look at things this way, then buying the report at $27 is a complete no-brainer.
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  • Profile picture of the author YoichiSpeaks
    I think it all comes down to the marketing.

    For example, if you brand yourself, people will WANT to buy your stuff because they like you.

    People buy emotion. Thats why many people sell junk that sells hype and dream.

    NLP practitioners, hypnosis experts, salespeople all know people buy because of emotion.

    Now its up to you if you want to abuse the power or help people.

    I think if you position yourself where people are dying to hear from you, then money chases you all the time.

    How much is your time worth to people who are seeking your help that could solve their problem?

    When your only helping one or two people at first you might not be able to ask for a premium price but once you start to get a flock of people wanting to spend their time with YOU so that YOU could help them because they see other happy customers that bought from you, then you get to decide how much your time is worth to these prospects.

    That helped me shift my thinking about asking people for money.

    Because we all only have 24 hours a day to spend. How you put a value to that is up to you.
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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi BaoTV,

      This thread is all very well if one desires to take a bunch of snippets of information, mangle them together and jump to broad conclusions without applying much logic or reason - in order to ease one's conscience about their business dealings.

      If I may, can I attempt to inject some of that logic and reason and see where it gets us?

      The whole premise of this thread is -

      Don't feel guilty about profiting from your efforts and products.
      (And at this point you have moved the thing from applying purely to yourself into something which is meant to help other people.)

      The reasoning for this decision seems flawed and I see no explanation for why anyone should feel guilt in the first place, except this -

      I still had the mindset that everything should be free. I'm a huge believer that ALL INFORMATION SHOULD BE FREE. I still am. I believe everything on the internet should be free.
      Could you possibly explain why you feel this way?

      Perhaps if you didn't have this seemingly flawed idea in the first place, you would have no need to take action to avoid 'feeling guilty?'

      Therefore, in order to solve this problem, you simply ask yourself WHY you feel this way and unless you can come up with valid reasons to explain it, you simply discard it as a flawed idea, or preferably find the real reasons why you feel this way and eradicate them through logical/rational means.

      Your explanation for how you reached this decision about pricing seems odd. You seem to be saying that due to three isolated experiences of your own relating to free items (even though the lamp was 'garbage'), coupled with your perception of the availability of information on the forum upon which you have reached a slightly spurious conclusion regarding why people pay for information in WSOs, has decided your whole approach to pricing in your business?

      So overall, what you are concluding here is that due to your opinion about why people pay for information when it can also be found for free, plus your experience with three items you received for free, you should not feel guilty for charging for information - even though you fundamentally believe all information (and everything else!) on the internet should be free anyway.

      There seems to be an overwhelming amount of twisted and flawed logic here, although the majority appear to be agreeing with you and thanking you for it.

      Here's a suggestion - instead of basing business and pricing decisions on flawed logic and your own personal preferences and experiences, what about basing your business and pricing decisions purely on what the market as a whole tells you when you test, sell to and survey them?

      If there is a gaping hole in the logic somewhere along the path that leads you to a conclusion, then that conclusion itself is probably not based on logic and therefore probably not a logical conclusion to make.

      I don't mean to attack you, but if I spent time making this appraisal seem nicer, it would probably just confuse the issue and detract from the point - but apologies if you feel I am being harsh. This forum needs more clarity and rational thinking in my opinion, because I feel that too many people are just blindly going along, posting agreement and thanks, when in fact, we would all be better off if we had the guts to say what we really think and confront any illogical beliefs that we have before spreading them around as new threads.

      The harsh truth is that if this thread is demonstrative of how you construct your information products, then I have a clue about why you might have felt guilty charging for them. Harsh? Yes. Helpful? I think so. Solution - if you understand my points, then use the same type of logic to construct your arguments, lessons and conclusions within your products.

      I'm just trying to get over the guilt of SELLING things.
      There's nothing wrong with your goal there. In most instances, people shouldn't feel guilty for selling things.

      But if you are to try and achieve this by fooling yourself because you have failed to understand the problem and therefore the solution, you're only delaying the issue until it rears it's head again and you realise that you never solved it in the first place.

      It's simple - in the first instance, use your answer to this question to start solving it -

      I still had the mindset that everything should be free. I'm a huge believer that ALL INFORMATION SHOULD BE FREE. I still am. I believe everything on the internet should be free.
      Why do you feel this way?

      .........................

      By the way, on your blog you have a post that starts -

      I’m not taking any credit for this post. I found this information a few months back. I don’t remember who wrote it or where I got it from, but it’s an amazing read. It will simply blow your mind and the way you think about Internet Marketing:
      If you put one sentence (or a part) of the post you have re-printed in that post into google inside speech marks ("), you will find it easier to discover who the person is who originally wrote it and give them the credit, in order to avoid accusations of plaguarism.

      Hope this helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    Nice post. Thanks for sharing.
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    nothing to see here.

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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi Andy,

      Nice post. Thanks for sharing.
      Do you disagree with my points?
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      • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
        Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

        Hi Andy,



        Do you disagree with my points?
        Haha - no.

        I wasn't saying that I agree with everything he said, I just thought it was good that he had overcome his hangups and was promoting ensuring value was maintained when offering products that took time and resources to create.

        I'm not sure why someone would feel guilty about selling their products and I definitely don't think everyone should give their stuff away for free.

        I do believe information should be shared but I also believe that people often undervalue their own time and knowledge - I've done this in the past and doing everything for free just because you can is not a good strategy as you build an expectation.

        It is also my experience that the more people have paid for something - the more likely they are to value it.

        But I have also experienced the fact that no matter how much people pay - that is no guarantee that they will use what they paid for.

        I've seen people line up to pay $1000 for a piece of software and 85% of them never used it.

        So while I accept that making something high-ticket actually won't guarantee anything, it will usually make sure that only people who see the value to be equivilent or higher than the price are likely to buy - and therefore more likely to use.

        I don't really like to make such statements because I'm hugely aware that there will be exceptions.

        I also get your point that in the case of people starting out in IM - a likely cause of guilt in selling is because they don't believe the product has the value the price is asking for - and in many cases they're right.

        Andy
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        nothing to see here.

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  • Profile picture of the author MalBryc
    Originally Posted by BaoTV View Post

    Long story short: Don't feel guilty about profiting from your efforts and products.
    Great advice. Thanks for sharing.
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  • Profile picture of the author yves
    I have to admit, I agree with the part about regarding free stuff as (slightly) less valuable, I have to be honest I do, so I fully associate with the op post.
    Also, I think when you start out in IM and are not used to selling info it can be a bit daunting, so finding a solid reason for putting a price on your products would help.

    I can totally see where ex-rat is coming from and definitely agree with the points and admire the consideration of the topic, although I think this way of thinking might come with quite a bit of experience in IM and selling info products, maybe.

    Well I think that is enough diplomacy for one day

    Yves
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  • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
    Banned
    Originally Posted by BaoTV View Post

    I was working on a product but was struggling with the idea of selling it. I still had the mindset that everything should be free. I'm a huge believer that ALL INFORMATION SHOULD BE FREE. I still am. I believe everything on the internet should be free.

    Then it dawned on me, if I just gave it away, would anyone even watch it? There is a little over an hour of content in this product. Who would sit through that if they didn't think it was of high "value"?
    Please.....what really dawned on you is you figured out that it's hard to make a buck if you give everything away. The real deal is you want everything on the internet to be free....except for YOUR stuff.
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    • Profile picture of the author VictorV
      @ExRat-
      I couldn't let your post go unread.

      "I see no explanation for why anyone should feel guilt in the first place, except this.." Ok, this opinion of yours is written ambiguously. Either you personally can't understand why anyone in general should feel guilt, OR you can't find reasons in my post for why anyone should feel guilt. I would hope it's the latter. And if that's the case, this post wasn't meant to expose my reasons for feeling guilty. That would involve a long history of how I was raised, environment, etc... Now, if you can't understand why anyone would ever feel guilty about selling something, then I would just end my counter-argument here.

      Why do I feel all information should be free? That's like asking "why do you believe in lassez-faire or why do you believe in democracy? I could write a 100-page dissertation on this. I didn't feel it was necessary to get into, so I left it out of the post since it was not relevant to my overall point. It was just my own personal opinion.

      "Perhaps if you didn't have this seemingly flawed idea in the first place, you would have no need to take action to avoid 'feeling guilty?" First of all, why is it flawed? Is it flawed because you personally see it as flawed? If that's the case, I have A LOT of opinions I should pass your way to get checked.

      "ask yourself WHY you feel this way, and unless you can come up with valid reasons to explain it, discard it as a flawed idea or preferably find the real reasons why you feel this way and eradicate them through logical/rational means" Ok, assuming I'm a robot and I can switch my feelings on and off through buttons of rationality, I would accept this as an acceptable solution. However, seeing that I am human, I think you need to re-examine the logic behind your advice before people begin to start "blindly going along, posting agreements" to you what you have to say.

      "So overall, what you are concluding here is that due to your opinion about why people pay for information when it can also be found for free, plus your experience with three items you received for free, you should not feel guilty for charging for information - even though you fundamentally believe all information (and everything else!) on the internet should be free anyway." First of all, it's more than just 3 examples. I just listed 3 in the post. And yes, my fundamental beliefs contradict my actions. It sucks, but it's what I have to do to survive in this business. Have you never done something that wasn't in line with your beliefs? I don't believe in taxes either, but I still pay them.

      "instead of basing business and pricing decisions on flawed logic and your own personal preferences and experiences, what about basing your business and pricing decisions purely on what the market as a whole tells you when you test, sell to and survey them?" I really hope this is a joke. You're saying to not base any business decisions on your own personal preferences and experiences. I guess the market always knows best then, right? Why waste time with creative thought and personal beliefs when you can just ask 100 people for THEIR opinion. I'm starting to find a lot of "overwhelming amount of twisted and flawed logic here."

      "In most instances, people shouldn't feel guilty for selling things." Maybe if you were raised on a car lot selling used cars as a child, then obviously you shouldn't. You keep hammering on this point. I can't tell if you actually have a hard time grasping the concept of feeling guilty about selling something or not. Maybe you've been in the business for so long that you can't step out of that mentality for one second to visualize what it's like. Hypothetically, if someone agreed to buy a simple one-page wordpress blog site from you for $5,000, would you do it? I wouldn't. I don't know what your answer would be.

      I'm not trying to FOOL myself into anything. It's just an epiphany I had about money and how it affects perceived value of items and how it has helped chip away at my guilt. There is a general psychology that people put more value into things that cost more. I know because I'm guilty of it all the time.

      All in all, if you were legitimately trying to be helpful, your post wouldn't have been worded that way. And just because you say "I don't mean to attack you and apologies" doesn't deter from the rest of your condescending syntax and tone. That's along the lines of "I'm sorry I slept with your wife." It doesn't negate the actions.

      You weren't so much trying to help me as you were trying to make a statement about your own bitter feelings about people and their posts in the forum. I'm sure the forum was much better back in your day before it got infested with people have illogical and twisted opinions.

      If that actually is how you help people though, with responses like that. Then, I am going to have to apologize. My apologies.

      Although, your Google advice for my blog post was good. Sometimes I forget that Google knows everything.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarah Bosen
    You shouldn't ever feel guilty about working hard on something and charging for it.
    This reminded me of my neighbor a few months ago...
    She had a couple of old chairs she put on the sidewalk with a sign saying "Free", no one took them. Then she changed the sign to say "10$", next morning they were gone.

    If people see the price tag, the perceived value goes up!
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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi BaoTV,

      Thanks for the reply.

      I couldn't let your post go unread.
      Good! That's why I posted it. I have a habit of phrasing my responses in a way that often elicits a similarly direct response. This often raises some hackles, but I still find it effective, regardless, in creating an interesting and helpful discussion.

      All in all, if you were legitimately trying to be helpful, your post wouldn’t have been worded that way. And just because you say “I don’t mean to attack you and apologies” doesn’t deter from the rest of your condescending syntax and tone. That’s along the lines of “I’m sorry I slept with your wife.” It doesn’t negate the actions.

      You weren’t so much trying to help me as you were trying to make a statement about your own bitter feelings about people and their posts in the forum. I'm sure the forum was much better back in your day before it got infested with people have illogical and twisted opinions.

      If that actually is how you help people though, with responses like that. Then, I am going to have to apologize. My apologies.
      I believe that you are mistaken about this, but nonetheless, it got you to read my reply and apply some thought to it and reply yourself - that was my main aim.

      I won't reply to each part of your reply, as it would get too long-winded so I'll try and briefly summarise.

      ...assuming I’m a robot and I can switch my feelings on and off through buttons of rationality, I would accept this as an acceptable solution. However, seeing that I am human, I think you need to re-examine the logic behind your advice
      What I am suggesting is to become closer to this goal of being able to 'switch feelings on and off' at the right times.

      From your OP -

      I guess it's just how I was raised and looked at money. It may sound like a silly thing to you, but that was a HUGE mental block that was holding me back for a while. I'm good to go now! And ready to profit!
      I too was raised like yourself. I wasn't raised on a used car lot. I don't think it's silly, unless we fail to overcome it. I too have suffered the same problem.

      All I am trying to do is to get people to understand the real reasons why people suffer this guilt, so that they can truly eradicate it from their minds permanently, so that it doesn't come back again.

      I believe that if they harbour beliefs like this -

      I'm a huge believer that ALL INFORMATION SHOULD BE FREE. I still am. I believe everything on the internet should be free.
      ...then they will find it more difficult.

      I see no need for you to have to write a 100 page dissertation, but I still wonder why you hold on to these beliefs, when you also seem to believe the opposite.

      Why should 'ALL INFORMATION BE FREE?' Why should 'everything on the internet be free?'

      Do you not have a short answer? If the answer is 'because I was conditioned to believe this' then surely you also now understand that that conditioning was wrong and based on unsound, illogical reasoning?

      Should all food be free? If not, then how are people who spend their lives working to present good, helpful information supposed to pay for their food?
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      Roger Davis

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