There are some people who try and get all their learning for free. They listen to free podcasts, they sign up to any free reports going and come along to free talks or workshops. I have come across some people who have spent £100 travelling to a free seminar but would not pay £100 for a seminar on their doorstep!

Is this behaviour clever or does it really hold someone back? In my experience, people that pay a lot for their training are more likely to take it seriously and actually implement the recommendations. On the other hand, there seems much less of a commitment when access to the information was easy. There is another aspect too. The free content is normally just a taster. The person who never progresses beyond going for the freebies is unlikely to ever get access to the full content.

There is a further aspect of never investing in oneself which is more subtle and more problematic, especially for people in business to provide expertise and learning. Those who never invest in their own development will attract people of a similar mindset. Birds of a feather and all that!

Lets be clear, this is not about people who use free as a way of sampling. There is nothing wrong with going for free reports in order to check out someone’s expertise but if that is all you ever do then you run the risk of holding back your business!! How many hundreds of thousands of pounds in lost business will it take before the penny drops?

The thing that made the difference for me was when I started investing in myself. Of course, I had to budget and prioritise my expenditure but as I started seeing learning in the same way as any other investment then things began to change. These last few weeks I made such an investment and the sum involved made my eyes water and wonder if I was doing the right thing! Yet I have already had a payback and am confident that it will turn out to be my best investment to date.

Free stuff is great but if it holds back your sales and stops you paying the mortgage then it could come at a price you cannot afford.