The stumbling blocks of free

One of the first sizable donations Pivot Adventure ever received was enough to sponsor 12 students through our Resiliency Course. We were ecstatic, to say the least.

It turned out though that the hard part wasn’t securing the donations. No, it was finding families to participate in a free course.

Once we were able to find students, we later found out that parents were not committed. In fact, other extracurricular activities (i.e. sports) had a higher priority. Why? Because they actually cost money.

Here’s the thing, education is now almost free. MIT has published all of their courses online for free. Library cards are free. Access to the internet is a monthly subscription…a bargain.

We have more access to more information than anyone could ever consume in their lifetime. Yet, the dropout rate for most online courses is over 90% within two weeks. 

Making your work, your education free is not the most generous thing we can do. Changing people for the better is the generous act. And you can’t do that without enrollment.

Money is a placebo. The amount you charge changes the story customers tell. The story your customers tell will determine the type of enrollment you get.

Which means finding ways to raise the stakes (and that might mean having the guts to charge more).