Have you ever considered what the value is you put on things you receive for free?
When someone says “have this free item, offers you a free coaching/training session or even a Buy One Get One Free promotion, what image do you conjure up in your mind about that product or item because it is free?
Alternatively, would you make remarks such as, it cannot be very good why they are giving it away for free, they want to get rid of these items or do you just wonder why it’s free?
Do you think because the items free it’s not as important, doesn’t matter or has no real value.
When I started thinking about what free meant to me and the value I put on things that I received for free or freely, I came to the conclusion that there really are only a few things in life that are truly free and that everything else comes at a cost, whether it is to you or someone else.
When Costa Coffee gave away free coffee, it was reported that the lines to the coffee shop was down the street. Would you have thought that this would be the response they would have? Would you have thought that people generally do value things that are given away free, helping to spark an interest in that product.?
It is said that an item having no cost mean a decrease in benefit or value however it can also add to its benefits and value as we have seen in the Costa Coffee example.
‘Free’ doesn’t just apply to the consumption of products or services.
The challenge here is that we have to look at the ‘real value of free’, from a number of different angles. The truth is that if we are looking at something ‘free’, to only relate it to consuming, what would be the real value you would put on it, considering there was still some form of cost involve, even if it’s not for the consumer of the product or service.
If we move away from linking free with things that we consume, ‘free’ can mean being free to act on or get things done as we wish, so that we are not under the control of others. It can also mean no longer being confined or imprisoned or even being enslaved or about removing something or someone who is considered undesirable or restricting.
What about our time? Does time have a value when it is given freely?
There are many examples of individuals giving their time freely through volunteering and other activities. What value would you put on someone’s time that is given freely? Would you consider it valuable, as they are doing something for someone or an organisation without wanting a monetary value in exchange?
How do others value you and your time? How do you value yourself when you give away your time freely?
One of the first things I considered that we are given free is life are life itself. We come into this world freely, however our mothers are the ones who pay the price for us to receive life for free, through the pain they have bringing us into this world.
The second thing that I believe we receive freely is love, although we do hear it said there is a price to be paid for love, but the truth is real love does not cost anything, it is given with no expectation of return just because they love and want to make another happy. When love is given in this way it is priceless, however very valuable.
Think about it we do not pay anything to come into this world. Most of us are the product of love why we are here, although we know there a some exceptions, all of us came to this life free and freely.
Last but not at all least is our first breath and all the other breaths we take throughout our life time. This is given to us as a gift that we enjoy freely and without charge. I suppose you can say we enjoy these three things for free because we cannot put a value on them as they are priceless.
My conclusion is that the real value of ‘free’ is priceless as the things we get for free no value that we have in the physical world can be marked against them. What’s your real value of free?