Happiness 101 is a Gift

Greetings! With the tremendous growth of Happiness 101, I have had many people tell me that it is time to charge for the class. Some have told me I need to mass market the class because Happiness is, after all, what everyone wants. I certainly could do that and probably make a handsome profit. Charging for the class has never felt quite right to me but I could not put my finger on exactly why.

I have been told by many that participants will value the class more if I charge for it. I think there probably is SOME truth to this statement. I know that when I was paying for my own college, I paid a lot more attention than I did in high school, just because I wanted to get my money’s worth – even if I did not particularly like the class. Still, charging for the class just did not feel right.

I was told that giving the class for “free” cheapened its value. This logic resonated with me a bit as well. How many sales pitches have started with the word “free”. “At least charge $5”, they tell me. To this suggestion I was always appalled. I know the amazing value the class brings to people. It has brought hope to people who were hopeless, helped people climb from the depths of depression and given happy people more tools for their tool belt and an opportunity to meet like-minded people. If I was ever to charge for the class, it would certainly be more than $5

My best attempt to explain my stance on offering the class for free has been to ask people to imagine greeting a friend with a hug, stepping back and saying “Okay, that’ll be a dollar.” It just would not feel right. So, after much discussion with several different people I decided that Happiness 101 is no longer “free”. Happiness 101 is a GIFT. I give it freely and without expectation of monetary gain. I do, however, consider myself to be paid in full though no money has changed hands. I am paid in what Tal-Ben Shahar calls, The Ultimate Currency (book: Happier). It fills me with happiness and joy to teach the class and I feel as though I get as much from my students as I give to them as the teacher – and, by the way, frequently the students ARE my teachers.

I do like the mass marketing idea however. So much so that I am going to do it. However, I will not be peddling DVDs and/or CDs. I will be releasing this imperative information on the free market through YouTube and iTunes. I believe strongly that Happiness is something that everyone should have access to and be able to afford.

Happiness 101 just celebrated our one year anniversary. It started out in the waiting room of my private practice. Though the room the room could comfortably hold a dozen people, it was clear that we were outgrowing the space. I want to thank Ace Test Prep for coming to our rescue by allowing us to use their class room, which has allowed our attendance to grow. This week we celebrated our biggest class ever – 21 people! You can thank Ace Test Prep by directing anyone you know that might be prepping for the LSAT, GMAT, MCAT or DAT tests to their website: www.acetestprep.com ‘Tell ’em we sent ya.

Buy it!
I want to thank everyone who has supported Happiness 101 by letting their own light shine, by bringing in new people and by teaching others what they have learned about Happiness, thereby spreading its effect far and wide. Studies have shown that Happiness is contagious (see the DVD “This Emotional Life” hosted by Dan Gilbert). Just by you becoming happier, you can “infect” people you do not even know. Finally, I want to thank Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness. With all of the studying I have done about Happiness, I return to her book over and over again. If you truly want to be Happy, start by buying her book.

Join us for Happiness 101, Mondays at 7pm. The address is 220 East 3900 South #11, Salt Lake City, Utah. You can always look at upcoming classes by going to www.saltlakementalhealth.com and clicking on the Upcoming Events tab or call 877-476-6338 for recorded information

Frank Clayton
Licensed Professional Counselor

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