You can’t teach what you can’t sell

Jan 27, 2023 | Blog

If you can figure out how to get people to consume your content for free, you are 80% of the way there to being able to sell it. Attention is far more scarce than money. 

— Tiago Forte


Making Our Dreams Come True


The topic of money has become an intrinsic part of the human experience. It’s one of those things that we all need and use to one degree or another. Attracting money helps us to create and facilitate many elements of the lives we want to live. At the same time, for some, acquiring that money can be a tricky path to navigate.


As conscientious entrepreneurs, we want to create scenarios where we’re calling in sufficient abundance to fuel our mission and fulfill our visions, and we want to do it in a way that celebrates an alignment with our ethics and values.

Many people have seen the acquisition and use of money handled in degenerative ways. As a result of witnessing this abuse, some well-intentioned people end up pushing money away. Or, at least, they choose not to orient their lives toward generating it.

Nonetheless, we’re often attracted to using money when we have a need or desire we want to fill. If we’re conscientious consumers, we purchase things we feel good about and see as regenerative in one form or another.


Improving the Quality of Our Lives


Consider this for a moment;
For us to find out about a product, service, experience, or piece of information that will make our (or someone else’s) life better, someone else needed to provide it and then inform us that it exists by putting it in front of our attention.

To help us improve the quality of our lives, someone chose to not only create value but then had to create some type of marketing material so we could learn about it. Some kind of information went out into the world to get our attention to let us know that there’s a pleasure to be found or a lessening of pain if we exchange our money (or attention) for what they have to offer.

Most providers of goods or services must open themselves to receive money in exchange for what they have to offer if they want to continue offering it in a way that’s regenerative to their lifestyle. But that isn’t enough.  They have to let us know that it exists. That’s what we call advertisement.

Putting that advertisement in a place where their ideal customer will find it and wording it in a way that communicates its value is marketing. While many marketing tactics can be manipulative and pushy, they don’t need to be. Conscientious marketers use magnetizing methods of inviting people in by providing value and building trust.

When that trust is built, and the transaction is made, people get closer to meeting their needs. It’s a harmonious process that most of us engage in regularly and often enthusiastically.


But what about your product or service?


  1. Are you giving others the same opportunity to learn about what you offer?
  2. Are you putting your offering in front of others where they can see it?
  3. Are you providing value to build trust?
  4. Are you enthusiastically inviting others to do business with you?

If not, why not?

Many people, especially in the environmental and social wellness fields, seem to have a jaded or even pessimistic viewpoint of money, capitalism, marketing, and selling. They carry an imprint from what they’ve seen as degenerative products or inauthentic communications in an attempt to sell a product, and therefore have developed a distrust for marketing in general.

They may have developed an insecurity in marketing themselves or trying to sell what they have. This can often be based on their perception of what “selling something” might look like to others. They hesitate to “put themselves out there” altogether. The result is that others don’t get to benefit from what they have to offer.

Many beginning entrepreneurs hope their product will generate attention from word of mouth and other organic passive means. While this sometimes works, for some people, very few find this their path toward thriving.

Most people who end up thriving by sharing what they have to offer the world, at some point in their journey, decide to go ahead and sell it.


This applies to free content, too!


Those committed to altruistically offering their products or services for free or through some other campaign of gathering funds to support their lifestyle still need to get over their taboos around sales and marketing. (Unless, of course, they’re content with a small audience of family, friends, and neighbors.)

I came across a quote that’s fairly popular in the field of marketing. And it simply says, “You can’t teach what you can’t sell.”

Sure, to a limiting degree, you can offer something for free, and some people will come to learn it. You can provide videos on YouTube and offer them for free; people will watch them and might even put that information to use. To a degree, yes, you can teach things for free. However, there’ll be a limit to the impact you can make.

It requires putting yourself out there clearly and confidently. To reach a broad audience with your mission, you have to put your product, program, or service out there with every bit of intention to hook the psyche of someone who could benefit from it, as if you intended to sell it to them. Even if they’re not paying with their money, you’re asking them to pay with their time and attention.


Choosing the best information for you


There’s an overload of content in our world. People can get free advice, free advice, and free advice all day long.

Many people these days live in cycles of consuming free information. Even then, they’re lending their attention to those who understand ways to attract it. Even if you give something away for free, you’ll be most successful in getting people to hear, let alone follow, your advice if you present it using similar tools and methods that successful industries use to present their products.

The capitalist system has learned a lot about the patterns of the human psyche.
It’s time to put that all to regenerative use!

If you’d like support in presenting your product, service, or free offering to the world so that others will find and benefit from what you offer, schedule a free Clarity Call with me. It’s time to get your message out to the world.

I’m here to support your contributions to this movement,
Jason Thomas
Regeneration Nation Costa Rica

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