Andreea Sandu.

Listen to the audio or read below for the transcript. This episode is 11 minutes long.


Happy Tuesday, lovely! I’m Andreea, your host here on The Introvert That Could Podcast. Every episode is a mix of tips on productivity, time management, and how to move forward when you’re stuck, with a sprinkle of motivation and a side of relevant personal stories. I want you to have all the tools and support you need to face the challenges of being an introvert and take action, because without action, there are no results. Let’s dive in!

Welcome to episode 9! 

Today is both a rant and a serious argument, related to one of the common objections people have – why should I pay for this when I can get it for free?

And here’s what made me record this, instead of a regular episode. The February book club is open and it costs money. Not a lot, but it’s not free. So when someone goes to the page for the first time and sees that, the first reaction is…”oh, it costs money”.

During the January month for the book club, when I setup up the FB group, I accidentally left it visible, meaning people could find it and request to join. However, you were only accepted in the group if you answered a question first. “What email address did you use for your payment?”

Most people that got there by accident, when seeing that, realized it’s a paid group, closed the window and off they went. But one person, one, replied “payment for what?”

I obviously don’t know the tone that they used when thinking and writing that, but how I read it was “what, do I need to pay for this?”, like, “isn’t everything on the internet free?”.

It’s not, and here’s why.

1. The transformation is in the transaction

Answer me this: how many PDFs or courses do you have in your Freebie Graveyard? The freebie graveyard is where all the free stuff you download from the internet goes to die. Be super honest with yourself, are there any that you never open? Like never ever? I signed up for 2 last week and now I keep getting emails from the creators and never opened those either.

YouTube is full of workouts, Yoga classes, meditations. They’re all free. Do you do any of them? The free stuff is out there, sitting unused.

Last month when I opened the book club for the first time, I started with a pay what you like option. Of course, some people decided that they want to pay 0. And since I didn’t put any rules in place, I had to allow them in the group, it was only fair. I wanted to make it easier for people to join because I wanted to start with a big group, but it was a big mistake.

When I noticed this trend, I thought maybe PayPal was not a good option, not everyone uses PayPal, this is why they’re not paying at all. So I stopped the existing campaign and relaunched with a mandatory small payment of $5. More people joined and I ended the sign up period with 16 people in the group. I did get requests later on, but I decided to enforce my deadlines.

I’m glad things happened the way they did because the results of this experiment were remarkable. 100%, and I mean it, 100% of those who didn’t pay, never participated in the group. Zero, nothing! They didn’t even say hello when I did the welcome post and tagged them! Them not paying didn’t help anyone in any way

So now, from my side, I see payment as a filter – those who want to do the work and those who don’t. I only want to work with the first category.

Of those who did pay, I had 4 people who were constantly engaged, and another few that took part here and there but not consistently. Those 4 people, 6 if I include myself and Alin, as we did the work of the book too, got results, implemented new habits, and we were part of something. 

The payment was for the structure, the accountability, someone answering their questions, the extra coaching and cheerleading from me. Alin was of course part of the group too, since he’s my biggest supporter and he said that he probably wouldn’t have finished the book at all if it hadn’t been for the group.

So, to answer that lady that asked “payment for what”, this is what. 

The transformation is in the transaction and the bigger the transaction, the greater the results. 

If you don’t put skin in the game, you won’t do it. And the amount is not relevant, because each one of us had different thresholds and different numbers we label as “expensive”. But if it makes you slightly uncomfortable, you’re on the right track.

2. Free stuff tells you the why and the what, but not the how

Well, you do get a glimpse of the how, enough to give a quick, small win, but there’s no structure and you don’t have the whole plan or blueprint. If you follow someone for long enough you will get all the information eventually, but scattered all around the internet. 

In a podcast for example, step 1 might be episode 2, step 2 might be episode 10, but step 3 is episode 5. They’re not in order, and you need to put in effort to create the plan yourself.

This is what you pay for – the structure and the guidance, once you’re tired of trying to figure it out yourself.

3. You pay for time.

You either invest money or time, and to be honest, at this point in my life, time is a million times more important than money. So if it saves me time, I’ll get my card out in a second.

At some point, we all need to accept that the world is changing. The only way to get rid of ads in the middle of the video or the podcast will be to pay, the tools that really make a difference will not be free, and why should they?

So you can keep wasting precious minutes or pay.

You can go hunting for coupons or pay full price and use the hours you saved to make more money.

Yesterday I created an image for Instagram and the app I used is free, but adds a watermark on the picture. It usually doesn’t bother me, but in this case it was covering a bit of the writing. So I had to make the decision between redoing the whole thing in another app, or take back half hour and just pay to remove the watermark. I paid, and now I have even more awesome features for just 1.99.

We all have money issues and we need to start fixing them because we’re wasting our life away hunting for freebies that we don’t use.

4. You pay the creator.

I put a lot of free stuff out there, but I don’t think everyone understands that this is my job, this is not a hobby that I keep alive with my corporate job money. Me not getting paid for what I do is like you not getting paid at the end of the month. Or going shopping and not paying for your cart. I bet you call that stealing? 

And I’m honestly not saying this because I want your money, but because I’m sure people don’t yet understand the online space and think that it’s all free. 

Just like you pay for transportation to get to work, I pay for my vehicles too. Hosting this podcast, sending the weekly email, doing webinars on zoom, all of these cost money, just like using your car or train for the commute. The tools are my commute.

If you ever followed someone online and then they suddenly disappeared, it’s probably because they couldn’t afford to keep it a charity.

So please be mindful that this is a real job. And more and more brick and mortar businesses will switch to the online space because they can reach more people, it’s only logical. Why have a physical location in a town with 20k people when you can be online and reach 5 billion?

It’s much more obvious once you are in the online space. I followed some people for a long time and the moment they had something to sell, I bought it, as a way to say thank you and take my knowledge one step further. This is why we put out free content, to build trust, for you to know us, to know what we’re about.

5. You are your biggest investment. 

This is my argument when someone says they can’t afford something. I’m not saying that sometimes it’s not true, but most times, your phone is more expensive than the product you can’t afford to buy. It’s about priorities, not about money.

Most of my money goes on my education, on books, courses, certifications, coaching. Because I know that the only thing that will make me money is me. The stock market is great, but I trust myself much more. People don’t invest in education because they know it takes effort. An online gym costs exactly the same as Netflix, but Netflix is pleasure, the gym is not.

When you invest in you, you invest in change and that’s uncomfortable, but that’s how you build a better life.

Before I go, I want to remind you that the February Book Club is open for enrolment. Next month is all about thought work and meditation and how to change your life using your mind. Fascinating stuff.

Sign up here

Ok, thanks, love you, bye!
This was it for this episode, but if you want to continue the conversation, I’d love to hear from you! Comment here or find me on Facebook and Instagram. But the best thing you can do is sign up for the Life Lesson Letter, the weekly email I send out every Thursday with new content and insider-only freebies and details. Sign up now and you’ll get instant access to all available goodies, including the latest PDF “From overwhelm to taking action: 6 steps to find more time in your day, declutter your to-do list and get things done“. Just go to

Thanks so much for being here and I’ll catch you on the next one! Have an amazing day

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