Some advice that was given to me as a business owner by a few business professionals, on serval occasions is that I should give away products and services for free. I understand why that may be a good idea and naturally, my thoughts were “who would miss out on such valuable events/products if it were offered for free”?!
Very quickly and unfortunately, I learned that a lot of people may sign up and express interest but not many will not actually show up to an event if it is FREE.
It is heartbreaking when so much hard work and planning is done to create a great experience for people who don’t even show up. On the contrary, I am always thankful for the people who do make it and participate. Most of the time it’s my closest family members and associates which makes me more appreciative of my support system.
Most recently I partnered with Atrium Health (formally known as Carolina Health Care Systems) on an initiative to certify as many parents, teachers, and administrative staff members in MHFA (Mental Health First Aid) as we can. The MHFA class is an evidence-based, eight-hour course that teaches participants how to identify, understand and respond to signs of suicide, mental illness, and substance use disorders to prevent tragedies. After taking the class, people report that they have a better understanding of mental illness and feel more empowered to help others. I started this initiative in acknowledgment of local suicides, drug abuse cases, and school shootings across our Nation also to support the healthy, growing LKN community.
Today, June 27, 2018, was the first of six classes I planned to host this summer. eighteen People registered for the class (the maximum of students our training room can hold) and only four people showed up. I was disappointed because I used money that I didn’t really have to purchase coffee and snacks that went merely untouched.
I’ve had this happen far too many times since I’ve tried to follow the advice that was given to me so, here’s what I decided: From now on I will require a $15 security deposit that will be refunded to those who attended the event. I made this decision since it became apparent to me that individuals do not feel obligated to attend events or provide a notice of absence if the event is FREE.