In this series of articles, I will give myself 30min to write about a topic – a rough draft to published. It will be harsh and straight to the point. Let’s see how a few of these go and if I have any friends left after this period of time. The truth is out; these really aren’t rants; they are to help people avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made. Maybe a rant or two will come about.

A good friend told me long ago that you devalue what you are giving them without even knowing it by not charging someone for a good or service.

“When there is little to no cost, there is little to no value.” There certainly are exceptions to this. I’ve spent time with people and helped them, and they appreciated it 100% and utilized the tools I gave them, but unfortunately, it’s not usually the case.

Ever have someone message you on social media or email you, and though they sing the praises of their coach publically, they second guess every little thing they don’t understand. Basically, this person is making it your responsibility to interpret what their coach wants from them, and it’s now your job to fix them or tell them what they are doing is good or bad.

My advice is you don’t answer them.

Think about this: They are paying their coach X-amount, but taking up your time that people think you have unlimited amounts of, to toss out your hard thought-out response if they don’t like it, or more likely – they still don’t understand and will keep bugging you until you tell them what they want to hear. Until the next time, etc.

My advice is don’t feed stray cats.

Because they are not stray or lost, they are bored coach/program jumpers who will eventually do the same thing to you if you happen to save the day and take them on to coach them.

I’m not saying don’t ever help people for free and charge people for every little thing you do for them; that is nonsense. 

People have simple and to the point questions all of the time, which is fine; but my advice – don’t try to fix anyone for free, and if it frustrates you as it does me when you take time to advise being pinged a complicated question, then know what you are getting yourself into when someone wants their training/form/diet/back fixed by asking a question. “Can I show you my lift and tell me what I’m doing wrong? Here’s my bench. Would you take a look at it – what do you think?” Don’t take the bait, and if you do this type of work for a living, don’t do it for free unless you want to work for free and devalue your services.

Free advice is worthless advice. You think it’s helping others, but I’ve seen free too many times, and it’s rejected for that which costs them because they are bought-in with cost, literally.

I have a friend who runs a business where he helps and has helped plenty of people for free for decades with Q&A/consulting. All this time, he thought that he was buying goodwill with his years and years of free help, but when the competition started to beat his prices, his loyal supporters opted for saving a couple of dollars when it came time to re-up the contracts and purchase agreements. They didn’t appreciate the “free” at the end of the day; their support showed this, and the free didn’t build their loyalty as much as a lower price did.

Free sucks: It devalues what you have to offer and falls on deaf ears most times. People don’t complain about free either because there’s been no cost, so there can be very little value without any cost. Think about it? How many times have you complained to management about a free app or free sample they tossed you?

Never, I know, because it was worthless, to begin with.

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Brian Carroll

Owner and Founder at PowerRackStrength.com
Brian is a retired world-class powerlifter with over two decades of world-class powerlifting. From 1999 to 2020, Brian Carroll was a competitive powerlifter, one of the most accomplished lifters in the sport's history. Brian started off competing in bench press competitions 'raw,' then, shortly into the journey, he gravitated toward equipped lifting as there were no "raw" categories then. You only had to choose from single-ply (USPF) and Multi-ply (APF/WPC). Brian went on to total 2730 at 275 and 2651 at 242 with more than ten times his body weight in three different classes (220, 242, 275), and both bench pressed and deadlifted over 800 pounds in two other weight classes. He's totaled 2600 over 20 times in 2 different weight classes in his career. With 60 squats of 1000lbs or more officially, this is the most in powerlifting history, regardless of weight class or federation, by anyone not named David Hoff. Brian realized many ups and downs during his 20+ years competing. After ten years of high-level powerlifting competition and an all-time World Record squat at 220 with 1030, in 2009, Brian was competing for a Police academy scholarship. On a hot and humid July morning, Brian, hurdling over a barricade at 275lbs, landed on, fell, and hurt his back. After years of back pain and failed therapy, Brian met with world-renowned back specialist Prof McGill in 2013, which changed his trajectory more than he could have imagined. In 2017, Brian Carroll and Prof McGill authored the best-selling book about Brian's triumphant comeback to powerlifting in Gift of Injury. Most recently (10.3.20) -Brian set the highest squat of all time (regardless of weight class) with 1306 lbs – being the first man to break the 1300lb squat barrier at a bodyweight of 303 lbs.
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