The Myth of Giving Things Away.

Helen Tremethick
2 min readMar 16, 2023
Black text on a teal background reads, “Generosity needs to feel good. Otherwise, it’s just martyrdom.”

I was following a Facebook post yesterday where the OP was recommending “if you want to grow your business, give everything away”. Be overly generous THEN people will be clamoring to pay you.

Thankfully Natalie Bullen chimed in, echoing my thoughts and adding nuance to this nonsense.

This recommendation is straight out of the bro marketing playbook. It presupposes that you have the capital and longevity to “give everything away” and it’s based on not only generational wealth but an inherent safety net not available to most.

Wait. It gets worse.

The recommendation to be overly generous, to give everything away, creates an imbalance in the marketplace: positioning those who have (and are able to discount) versus those who have not (and therefore can’t). This disproportionately hurts those who can’t afford to give away their thought leadership, literally discounts the value of their expertise, and perpetuates the very problematic circumstance of White folk benefitting from the hard work of the global majority.

Whew.

But it’s attractive nonsense isn’t it? Because we all want to be generous. We want to lift others up. We want to help.

So what do you do?

This tucks nicely into an Instagram Reel I posted the other day that talks about generosity.

When you’re compensated well enough to feel generous, everyone benefits. And that’s the trick right there: you need to have the capability and capacity to do so.

Generosity needs to feel good. Otherwise, it’s not generosity, it’s martyrdom. When you feel able to be generous, you will be. In fact, you probably already are.

Don’t be fooled. Generosity for you will look different than generosity for them. Not only is that okay, it’s perfectly normal.

And on that note, if you’ve been waiting to work with me, this is your chance. I went ahead and discounted my Spark Intensives 46%! I’ve never discounted these before and I doubt it’ll happen again. Put in OPRAHMOMENT on checkout and it’ll automagically discount. You have until March 28th to get in on this.

Leave a comment if you have any questions and while you’re writing, let me know how you’d like to be generous this year.

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Helen Tremethick

Regenerative Business Designer + Coach. ❤️ Weirdos & Queerdos . Renegade . Kinda Nifty . Thinks writing third person bios is hilarious . helentremethick.com