Free isn’t Free

The perfect chocolate chip cookie.

Yesterday was National Cookie Day, at least according to the guy outside the restaurant where I was eating. His job that afternoon was to let everyone know it was National Cookie Day and that they could get a “free” cookie inside.

I had one of the cookies, actually two. 🙂 They were good, very good.  But they weren’t free.  You had to go inside to get one. Therefore, the “cost” of a cookie was to deviate from your destination for 30 seconds and go inside the restaurant.  That’s a low cost, but it isn’t free. I saw a number of people say no. They didn’t think the cookie was worth the cost of deviating.

Nothing is free. Things can be cheap. A 30 second deviation from your destination is pretty cheap for a warm chocolate chip cookie. But, it’s not “free.”

When we say “free”, what we are really saying is it doesn’t cost money. We’re saying you don’t have to pay in dollars and cents. When we advertise “free” we’re saying we’ll take something else in exchange of money.

When we don’t ask for money, we’re asking for something else? It’s usually; time, attention, or information (name, email, phone, etc)

These things don’t lack value. Ask anyone what their time is worth and many will tell you it’s more valuable than money.

Free isn’t free. It never is. When you say “free,” be clear about what your asking and  make sure what your giving is worth what your taking.

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