“The real price of everything, what everything really costs to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it.” – Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations
We all want free stuff, but we don’t value it.
That’s not really surprising when you think it out logically. The higher the price, or even the perceived value of something, the more you will value ownership and attach more commitment. Psychological studies have proved this time and time again. The higher the cost of a wine, the more valuable (and tastier) it’s perceived to be. The higher the cost of tickets to a baseball game, the more valuable they are, and the more likely you’ll attend the game. If you pay for a gym membership, studies prove you are more likely to workout given the cost of it.
Consider some of the top marketing and business leaders in the world today – to attend one of their seminars costs thousands of dollars. Is the information really worth it? Sure, there’s value in the information given. But sometimes it’s also used as a psychological tool to ensure compliance and commitment. If you pay 1,000 dollars to hear a speaker, you most likely will listen and commit to what they have to say.
A couple of months ago I purchased a $400 dollar course from Graham Cochrane, a Christian business coach and founder of the Recording Revolution. I’ve always enjoyed his free content and the way he presents his worldview and opinions on topics of interest. I’ve read or listened to much of his written articles and videos. But there was no sense of urgency or value to it – I consumed it at my leisure. Not so once I bought one of his courses. Now that I had applied dollars to his content, the value of the information soared, as did my compliance and attention. You can bet I consumed every bit of that course on a daily basis!
Even Tony Robbins, one of the most influential and expensive motivational speakers today (one million dollars for a 1-on-1 consultation) got his start by paying forward to a future commitment. In his book, Money: Master the Game, he describes how he first began to change his life to become successful:
“I did it,” he said, “by going to a seminar by a man named Jim Rohn.” “What’s a seminar?” I asked. “It’s a place where a man takes ten or twenty years of his life and all he’s learned and he condenses it into a few hours so that you can compress years of learning into days,” he answered. Wow, that sounded pretty awesome. “How much does it cost?” “Thirty-five dollars,” he told me. What!? I was making $40 a week as a part-time janitor while going to high school. “Can you get me in?” I asked. “Sure!” he said. “But I won’t—because you wouldn’t value it if you didn’t pay for it.” I stood there, disheartened. How could I ever afford $35 for three hours with this expert? “Well, if you don’t think you’re worth the investment, don’t make it,” he finally shrugged. I struggled and struggled with that one—but ultimately decided to go for it. It turned out to be one of the most important investments of my life. I took a week’s pay and went to a seminar where I met Jim Rohn—the man who became my life’s first mentor.
Tony’s mentor understood that part of following through on a plan of action was putting enough value forward to keep his compliance to the plan and long-term commitment to his goals. It was a maxim that was instilled into Tony and is now one of the reasons he charges so much. He doesn’t need the money. Instead, he explains that it ensures his clients pay attention and do the work he talks about, giving him a 100% success rate.
What value do you attribute to your health, fitness, and body?
Remember, it’s an investment in you. Be radical and bet on yourself.