There was a time I got paid for the hours I worked as a teacher. Whatever ideas I gave outside of “teaching hours”, I gave for free.
One day, in 2006, I noticed that there were thousands of people who sell regurgitated ideas online. They sell ideas they read somewhere, usually from the same “somewhere”. They sell ideas they heard from so-called gurus and thought-leaders who regurgitated classical ideas. And they became instant millionaires.
I was envious.
Doing the same, I thought, was easy for me. Most teachers teach based on what they get from textbooks. I was not an exception.
I was a voracious reader. I saw many opportunities to “teach” people because I felt I had to share whatever I learned. Only that I was not earning anything.
During my active years in Toastmasters, for example, I was not only sharing what I have learned from the organization. During the evaluation and education segments, ninety percent of what I shared were ideas from the books I read. I read hundreds of public speaking books. But it was when I quit Toastmasters that I saw the difference between an amateur and a professional speaker.
I was never a fan of the theatrical type of public speaking they do at the World Championship of Public Speaking. WCPS is only for the members of Toastmasters. During my first two years in Toastmasters, I joined contests too. And never again.
In 2011, after five years of speaking, training, and consulting I decided that unlike others who earn from regurgitated ideas, I will charge clients for something else more valuable.
Today, I give my readers ideas for (almost) free. I am still a teacher and I like showing doors to people. It is up to them to pick which door to enter.
I charge clients for strategy and implementation. Both of these require time and hard work. This is why I can freely give hundreds of elegant ideas to millions, but I only work with few clients as a strategist, designer, and creator.
I am not asking you to do the same.
If you think you can earn millions by repacking ideas from others, you can sell them as pdfs, ebooks, or books. But if you like to work with others you respect and trust so you can see amazing results together, earn money from insights and implementation that 1000x results.
P.S. There is nothing wrong with charging people for ideas. Thinking, creating, writing, and spreading ideas require effort and time. People who share ideas are sharing a good chunk of their lives with you.