Satya writes: This week Kaspa wrote about our unusual courtship and about learning to trust. We decided to ask people to pay whatever they wanted to pay for our e-courses this month.
I am also going to trust you now by being honest about how our e-courses have been selling and by telling you how our experiment went.
When we first set up Writing Our Way Home, our courses got filled up, quickly and easily.
Over the past two years, we’ve noticed numbers gradually dropping. We keep looking at the materials and asking for feedback and we remain convinced of the quality of what we’re offering. People tell us that our e-courses change how they experience their lives. And so what was happening?
It’s impossible to be sure but we guess it’s a mixture of more competition (many more people offering e-courses) and people having less money swishing around. Our courses are also in the category of ‘things that are crucially important but easy to not spend money on’ – like learning or therapy or keeping our bodies healthy. When we’re anxious about money, these ‘extra’ things are usually the first things to go. That’s understandable.
And so we thought we’d experiment with trusting the universe even more than we do now. How would it be for people to pay whatever they chose for what we offered? How would it be to trust you? We made some pay-what-you-like buttons and we waited…
The courses start today. Writing and Spiritual Practice is now completely full, and Finding Your Way Home has just a few spaces left. We suggested that people pay £50 / $80 for the month – they actually paid between $10 / $13 and £50 / $80. The average of what people paid was about 65% of the suggested course fee. The extra number of participants means that we got the same money as usual. We’ve been able offer our e-courses to more people, including those who wouldn’t have been able to afford the usual price. Win win!
So yes, I think it was a very good decision to trust you : )
What does this have to do with valuing yourself?
When we leave the price up to you, you have a choice about paying what you can afford (or a tiny bit more), or paying as little as you think you can get away with.
It’s tempting in life to pay whatever we can ‘get away with’. I am very familiar with that impulse. ‘If I give her less money for petrol, then I can buy myself some ‘free’ cake on the way home’.
I think that this temptation to pay less often comes from a fear of scarcity, and an undervaluing of ourselves and of other people. More and more, I’m choosing to hire the more expensive builder who comes highly recommended, or to buy a high quality toaster, and feeling good about spending the extra money as it’s bringing me extra value, and also rewarding the builder for the care they take with their work. The builder gets more money to spend on his own life and family. I can feel good about supporting them and supporting the value of them ‘doing good work’. I can feel good about my nicely-built-converted-garage.
I’m not denying the reality of tight finances. Sometimes we simply can’t afford to shop at the ethical supermarket and so we do our shopping elsewhere. Sometimes there really is no spare cash.
But what I’m talking about isn’t really about the figures. It’s more about our priorities, and about being conscious of where we put the money (and time and energy) that we do have. It’s about valuing others and ourselves, and trusting that the universe will provide us with what we need (maybe not what we want, but what we need!)
When people pay what they can afford, rather than less, they are making themselves and their learning and wellbeing a priority. I’ve seen this valuing-of-self rippling outwards and changing people’s relationship with money and with abundance. It’s pretty powerful stuff.
I guess that most or all of the people doing our e-courses will be paying as much as they feel comfortable paying. When people have finished the course, I’ll ask them if they thought it was worth what they paid, and whether they’d like to pay anything more. I’ll ask them how it felt to pay what they wanted to. It’ll be interesting to see what emerges.
We’ll probably repeat the experiment with Eastern Therapeutic Writing & Writing Ourselves Alive starting in July, so you can either pay the usual price now or come back when we’ve made the new buttons. Or if you’re quick you could still sneak into Finding Your Way Home starting today.
‘Thistledown’ by Jo Starkey