I had a business strategy problem.

Each time I get off of stage, I am asked by someone in the book signing line how they can go deeper into my content.  It’s humbling, but it’s also a bit embarrassing, as an entrepreneur, to admit that they can’t. “Um, well, you can’t. I don’t have anything else for you…”

Until now.  Well, until maybe now.

Over the winter I developed an online course so that I’d have an answer.  “Why, yes, dear reader, you can… and now for the low, low price of…”

And then, boom, #CoronaCancel.

As a business owner, as an entrepreneur, as the product and the revenue stream, I was faced with a decision:  see this as an opportunity to sell an online product to people who were suddenly at home and online all day, or take a measure of the temperature (ahem) of the universe and hold back and launch it later?

Then I realized that there was a third option: offer it now, but do it for free.

Is that really a business strategy?

Yeah, yeah, I can hear you asking, “But, why would you give away an amazing course that you spent so long building, into which you poured your ideas, your energy, your resources?

It’s simple: never has there been a greater moment to be both of service and strategic at the same time.  So, here is a peak into my new business strategy.

I’m going to offer the course for beta testing throughout March to a select group of 150 people who offered to help.  Then, in April, I’m going to give it away for a deeply reduced price or even for free to everyone and anyone who wants it.  I’m going to not worry about maximizing “current money” but maximize value and service instead. Between March and April I’ll get loads of feedback, product testing, typo alerts, and the like.  

In May, or maybe June — I’m reserving the right to call an audible on the field on this one depending on where we are with the virus, the economy, and any one of twelve other not yet identified factors — I’ll start selling the course.  It will have been pressure tested and perfected. I’ll have hundreds of people who will have taken the course and (hopefully) been helped by it, and those people will be excited to share about it with their friends. I’ll even offer affiliate links so that they can benefit if their friends buy it.  An army of familiar champions asking you to buy something is way more effective than me asking you to buy anything.

In other words, future money is worth more than current day money.

Turns out that it’s the best business strategy idea of all.

I have no idea whether or not this plan will work, but a plan that includes both service and strategy has to at least be the right start?

Think about your business.  What can you do, today, this week, this month, for free for others?  If your work, like mine, is dead in the water, you aren’t making any money now anyway.  And, you are panicking on a daily — hourly? — basis. So, what can you offer to others that provides value, gives them some help, demonstrates your brilliance?  You can always charge later, but you might as well use this time to serve others. It will help your heart. And, if you can do some with some sort of strategy towards opening up the potential for future income, that might keep the anxiety at bay, too.

By the way, if you are interested in knowing more about the course as I begin to open it up, drop me a line at [email protected] and we’ll make sure you’re on our list.

Want more immediately actionable ideas like this?