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How Much Should You Give


There’s a lot of debate over whether FREE stuff is appreciated.  I’ll tell you soon.

We’ve always given a lot for free.  Health Coach University Library, lots of business building, mentoring and tools, and it’s always been good.

I have the equivalent of at least an $8000 course I’m offering it for free.  It’s created, it’s one of the best, in content, material, presentation, and reception, not to mention results, and I’m giving it away for free.  I had a choice of turning into a post-secondary education facility, shorten and dissect the materials and quality of the program, put it away in a drawer – or give it away for free.

Since the beginning, I wanted to give away scholarships – this is the mother of all scholarship offers.

Reasons and Things You Should and Should NOT Give Free

I’ll start with the “should not’s.”   Time and information are the things most coaches say they give away too freely.

Don’t give away coaching calls.  It is true, there are a lot of people who will think because you’re giving it away, that’s what you do all the time, and also, they won’t value it as much as if they’d paid for it.

The other thing, it costs money to give things away for free.  There is support; I learned with DSD how much support a thing can take – it’s darned expensive.  It takes time, lot;s of time, and it takes your focus away from other things that you might need your attention.

FREE stuff needs to be just as good as the stuff you charge for – otherwise, no one will trust what you’re selling them. So the other thing you must do is keep your materials updated and improving – EVEN IF IT’S BEING GIVEN AWAY FOR FREE.

Reasons and Things You Should Give Free

First, there are altruistic reasons for everything.  The very first thing we did, was to give JDRF the proceeds to our first E-Book, Sharing the Health.  It was new, and I was pretty sure I’d be putting more time and money into it than I’d get back – as a first endeavor.  It’s funny, but I thought of all the times that I was motivated, and one of our biggest motivators is to help others.  That in itself might have been a little selfish.  It drove everyone with a higher purpose; myself, partners, sales and we turned it all back over to JDRF – and still do.  It was a little E-Book, and you can’t sell them for much, I’m fairly sure that we still haven’t earned enough to repay the costs, but what we lacked in financial profits we gained in education, knowledge, and ability to implement and market.  With this example, we gave it away – but not really, it retained it’s valued because it received money – we just didn’t keep the money.

It’s funny how things work out. First, I planned on paying a school for the awards, using the referral fees and creating a scholarship fund for students who showed scholarship, intent, and need. Referring schools for money isn’t allowed.

So here I am with a massive investment in the school – a huge following and a lot of eager people who’d like to be health coaches.  We’ll see what the support and time look like with our next group of free students.  We might not be able to do it again. We’re sure going to give it a shot. This could end up being a huge win-win.  We’ll watch and see.

We’ll help to get you ready for the business of coaching people to better and happier lives. If we can, we’ll even see if we can help place you.  We have more individuals, doctors, and chiropractors asking for health coaches.

I’m figuring that our coaching, programs, and website and membership software will be just what you need to get your business up and running the right way.  We could end up just fine, able to support and focus on the free school as well as on the other products we sell.

Another thing’s okay to give away is a trade – where you provide something very valuable to your potential client in return for their name and email to be added to your list.  Then you keep nurturing them until they’re ready.  This makes sales easy because when they’re ready, they come to you.





Cathy Sykora

Cathy Sykora

Founder, The Health Coach Group

Cathy helps health coaches build and maintain successful businesses that improve the lives of others.

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.What to Do

Be authentic.  I remember a business that started out like it was altruism.  The business went on professing it’s good will and intent to enrich lives.  I kept waiting; it wasn’t a non-profit. I knew it had to ask for money sometime, for something.  Every time they tried to sell something that amounted to something the loyal tribe got angry. So they kept backing off.  Then finally the business closed up and dropped all their loyal followers and reinvented themselves as a straightforward business that charged.  I can’t even imagine how much money it had to cost to keep that thing going and how much was lost.  If they had been straight up from the start, they wouldn’t have grown as quickly, but they would’ve made money – in this case, not even as fast, but at all.


Altruism is always right if you can afford it.  The beautiful thing about doing well is that you have more to share with the world and although that’s free that you shouldn’t look for a return on, it gives back in the most delightfully surprising ways.  Plus it makes you feel happy.

Don’t be sneaky – say it like it is.

Things that you give away that take from your personal life, business or other customers are not good. Because of the investment of time, talent and treasure, it’s just not a good idea. Place your assets elsewhere.

Things that you give away that can be a win-win are the sweet spot for your business and free stuff.

Try it – do you have a giveaway for your business yet?  Something you can trade for names and emails to build your potential client list?







    Thank you…


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