Reward is a great motivation. In fact if you know that you are not likely to get rewarded for a service you are rendering or about to render, more often than not you may get de-motivated.

I’ve taken a close look at the current situation in the world in general, and I find this one thing is stamped over individuals, stamped over businesses, stamped over corporations, stamped over nations, and that thing is GREED!.

The current economic downturn in the world can be traced to high level of greed prevalent in our society.

The question to you is, “are you greedy too?”

I asked because if you are greedy, then it might be very difficult to understand, utilise and profit from the ‘power of free’. Greedy people don’t just get it.

A quick look through your life will give you an indication of your greed level, or if you find the next paragraphs hard to do, maybe it is saying something to you.

Imagine you’re about to get on a train during rush hour and everyone (I mean everyone) was in a mad rush to get a seat, so it was very chaotic. You’ve been talking to a friend you just met on the train platform who lives a lot further away than you on this train route.  As people rushed to get a seat, your new friend hustled and secured a seat. You didn’t get a seat. Because he is going further than you, you were happy for him, but instead, he reached across to you and offered you his seat saying “I can give you my seat till you get to your alighting station and I will take over for the rest of the journey. In a packed train where everyone was out for their own gain, your friend sounded like an angel. Your friend stood out!

The power of free is a formidable weapon in the Market place. Because the majority of the people/businesses/organisations/corporations are greedy, they love free things. In fact, they lose their sense of logical evaluation when free is on the table. How many times have you registered for a free trial that eventual costs you a lot of money because you forgot to cancel, forgot to downgrade, didn’t read terms and conditions, or just simply loved it and upgraded to a paid service?

The words in bold capture the essence of the power of free. “An enjoyment bundle that costs little or nothing to give the recipient a taste of your offering that will propel them towards becoming a paying customer”

If you are part of the greedy group, to give free will be a big problem, because not everyone that gets free progress on to become a paying customer, so be ready to lose some things, however, the rewards and returns of ‘free’ can be equally mind blowing.

The power of free works, and I want you to determine how you can utilise it to improve your life this year. Apart from the reward it brings, it also safeguards you from becoming the part of the growing greed population.

A few ideas as to how to use the power of free are  below

Job Seeker – One way you can use the power of free to get a job is to offer to work or be an apprentice for free. Free does not mean unfocused, lazy, not doing your best etc. The whole essence of free is to get you into the industry you like to work in, prove yourself and the employer (s) can then pay when they see how good you are. Give your best and at the same time you will be improving your skills too. Beware of very greedy employers who will be willing to only use you.

Career Person – Take on “reasonable” extra responsibilities for free – Volunteer to do things that need to be done. Remember, if other employees are greedy, your little gesture of “free” will go a long way to make you stand out. Your employer will notice, and don’t be surprised that you’ll be one of the few to keep their job, get a pay rise, or better pay conditions.

Business Person – “Free Samples” – Don’t under estimate the power of free samples as a business person. Some people will only want a free sample and walk away, however, if your product/service is good, then they will come back to patronise more. Ensure the “free” strategy is well planned and implemented. The “free” can be used to create awareness, increase sales volume (e.g by increasing size at same cost), give back to clients or increase overall profit.

Entrepreneur – Free prototypes/proposals – Depending on the line of business that you are in, developing prototypes at a reasonable cost can be very productive. Even if a prototype is too expensive to do for free, write a convincing proposal highlighting which part of the work you can do for free. My Web design company wrote some proposals last year that didn’t really bring anything in terms of contracts. We also built at least 3 prototypes for clients who have not gotten back to us on whether they’ll do the projects or not. However, recently we offered to do a free social media strategy campaign for a real estate company and that free service has opened a great door.

Also, the “Power of Free” does not mean do ‘free’ for everybody. In some cases, you need to find 1 person, 1 organisation, 1 client that you will do a free for who will end up bringing other clients that will pay. Find the right ground to sow a seed of ‘free’ and you will reap bountifully.

I remember some months ago, I walked into the office of a director in the government service in Nigeria. I’d been battling for months to get approval for a voluntary project I’m doing in the education sector (www.mathsandyourfuture.info). I introduced myself and explained my purpose of coming and briefed him about the project. He looked like he didn’t have my time, and when he spoke, I knew he didn’t have my time. He questioned my competence, questioned my skills, questioned my commitment, and eventually asked for a certificate I didn’t have. I was also trying to explain myself and show him that I’d done very well in this role in the UK, but it fell on deaf ears. So I picked myself up, and walked out of the office. The Director’s Secretary witnessed the whole event and as I was leaving I told her about competence and even told her how much my salary was in my last role. She didn’t believe, I didn’t have anything to loose and (rightly or wrongly) in the safest way possible I proved it to her. I told her how much I’ve done on the project and why I needed the approval because I needed sponsors and I was already liaising with Intel at the time. Although she didn’t know who Intel was, she got the picture and went back to the director and told him how big the project could possibly be especially with international sponsors, so the director called me back in and asked the ULTIMATE question –

How much will this project cost the Ministry of Education?(and subtly what will the sponsorship contribution be like?

I confidently replied “From me, this project is free; this is my way of giving back to my country and the people of the community. In terms of sponsorship, I want to do a, b and c etc”

The magic word in that reply was FREE. A few days later, the approval was granted!

On a final note, ‘free’ gives you access.

Note: It is not every “free” that is geared towards profit making. There’s something called social corporate responsibility. You too can be very responsible. Do free and let God reward you too.

Try it! Put a free or (subsidized) service together. You will be amazed the kind of doors “free” can open.

If you want a partner/advise/suggestions/contributions or someone to bounce ideas off, then you can drop me a mail. 

ibukun

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