“Why should I have to pay for this when I can find it for free online?”

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After two years of running SWATCH Studio, I finally got this comment (I made it, ma!)

I’m not going to lie, this was a significant violation of my values and triggered a reaction within me. 

So I’m going to unpack this comment and talk about it because there are a ton of layers to this and different angles to take. Get ready for #realtalk time with Frenchie.

ANGLE ONE: YOU CAN FIND IT FOR FREE ONLINE

The truth is… yup, the content I teach in the course can be found online in one form or another for FREE.

I’m not hiding or denying that fact. Why should you pay for something you can get for free? If you just want to learn how to design knitwear, you don’t need the SWATCH Studio Circle.

But that’s not what the SWATCH Studio Circle is about. On the surface, sure, I share my step-by-step process for creating publish-worth patterns. But if you take the time to dig deep into the internet, you’ll find free resources that show you how too.

I’m not in the business of “here’s how to make a pattern.” I’m in the transformation business. What makes SWATCH Studio one-of-a-kind is all the components - the education, the community, and the resources - that make it a catalyst for transformation.

If you just see it as a class, then it’s not going to do much for you.

With the SWATCH Studio Circle, two main components elevate it above “I can find this info online” status.

  1. The community. Being a knitwear designer is often a lonely venture. When I first started out, I didn’t have a city I could lean on for support and encouragement when I was feeling upset about a pattern launch that didn’t go well or frustrated when a test knit wasn’t going well, or sad when a design submission was rejected. It made for a tough few years. This is why a having a community of like-minded people is so important. They can emphasize, provide encouragement and the feedback one needs to hear to help them get back on their feet quicker.
  2. The coaching. The only reason why I made it as far as I have as fast as I have so because I had mentors and coaches to bounce ideas off of and help me get the clarity and strategy I needed to propel my knitwear design endeavors forward. Those who show up for the coaching calls, show up for themselves, are often the ones who I see have the MOST growth and transformation. Why? Because they focus on the WHO rather than the WHAT. Instead of thinking, “What do I need to do next?” and they think, “Who can help me reach my goals? Frenchie! I’ll lean into the resources and opportunities she’s provided for help”.

Yes, you’ll be able to find the information to teach you the steps of knitwear design one way or another for free. But when you’re feeling down and discouraged, will you be able to find a community that supports, encourages, celebrates and comforts you for free? When you’re feeling the fear and self-doubt or don’t know what direction to go in, will you be able to find a group of mentors and coaches who are deeply committed to serve you and provide you with the guidance to help you towards your growth and development as a knitwear designer for free?

When people enroll into SWATCH Studio, they do so for the results they get, rather then a hodge podge of random information. The free information you find online can be awesome and useful, but it doesn't really add up to the outcome and transformation you want. The SWATCH Studio program is structured to give you the best chances of seeing the results you want.

ANGLE TWO: IF YOU DON’T PUT IN THE WORK… OF COURSE IT’LL BE DISAPPOINTING

Now, obviously, when I get an email with a complaint or feedback, I do take it into consideration, because there is a learning experience to be had and if I truly did someone wrong, I would apologize and do everything in my power to make it right. However, I noticed that this particular student never did the work. They didn’t submit their homework assignments, didn’t participate or engage in the private community nor did they take advantage of the weekly coaching calls.

So yeah. If you don’t do the work, of course, the program is going to be disappointing. If you don’t lean in, you don’t get anything out of it. 

The students who excel and succeed in SWATCH Studio are the ones who show up for themselves. They see the course as an investment, not an expense. This is to help THEM grow and develop as a knitwear designer. They are patient, in it for the long-term game. I am deeply committed to their transformation, but if they are not committed to themselves, there is only so much I can do.

The transformation is in the implementation.

ANGLE THREE: INTENTIONAL TRADE-OFFS: TIME/ENERGY VS. MONEY

There are two types of resources we can expend: money and time/energy. Almost every day we are presented with the choice of making the intentional tradeoff between spending money or time/energy. 

Between money and time/energy, one of these is a renewable resource. One of the advantages of the SWATCH Studio Circle is that all the information you need is in one place. You are paying for the ease of access and the luxury of not having to spend hours online finding the resources. You are essentially paying me to do all the research and thinking for you so you can spend more time in your zone of genius and what you love doing: designing knitwear.

You can make your money back, primarily if you view the SWATCH Studio Circle as an investment in yourself and not an expense. You can’t make up lost/wasted time. And, just from personal experience, expending too much time/energy can lead to burn-out.

Students pay for the SWATCH Studio Circle for the convenience of having all the information in one place instead of cobbling together bits and pieces of information they found for free from random sources, plus having a clear sequence that takes them logically through each step.

ANGLE FOUR: I DON’T LET SOMEONE ELSE’S MONEY STORY BECOME MINE

This is one of my biggest fears realized: getting a complaint because my product wasn’t good enough for them and that there were free competitors online.

Two years ago, this comment would have been devastating. I would have shut everything down and doubt my every move. I would be taken over by paralysis and be much too scared to do anything.

After four years of running an online business under my belt, I’ve grown a lot, specifically in the mindset area. I’ve learned not to learn someone else’s money story become.

What is a money story? On a basic level, it describes our relationship with money. This year been filled with lots of growths and shifts towards my own relationship with money - instead of being scared of it and feeling like I don’t have enough of it, I have a much more healthy outlook towards it. I view it as a resource for me to help grow my business and enrich my life and most importantly, I am no longer afraid or nervous about asking to be paid for my expertise and experience. Because I know that what I have to offer is valuable and can transform people. So why do I charge for something that you can find online for free? Because you’re getting MY years of knowledge, experience, and expertise. And that’s worth paying for.

Also, I like to lead by example: if I want my students to learn how to value their work and charge what they are worth, I need to do so myself.

ANGLE FIVE: THEY WEREN’T MY IDEAL CLIENT

Here’s the thing. The SWATCH Studio Circle isn’t for everyone. It’s not meant to be for everyone. So it makes sense that out of the 200+ students who have enrolled over the past two years that a couple would say, “Hmmm, this isn’t for me. I’m out”. 

The SWATCH Studio Circle are for those who are deeply committed to themselves, willing to take action. This doesn’t mean they are not scared or don’t struggle with self-doubt, no. It just says they are eager to act despite it and step outside their comfort zone, knowing they have a lifeline to help them out and give them the guidance needed.

So if you’re the type to…

  • Purchase a course and not do anything with it
  • Not participate or engage with the community
  • Not show up for yourself to get the help you need
  • Expect the transformation to happen automatically

Do not sign up for the SWATCH Studio Circle. If you are not ready to stretch yourself and step outside your comfort zone and do the diligent work, please save your money (or even better, spend it on some yummy yarn!). 

My best students and clients are the ones who say, 

“Frenchie, I want to have a knitwear design business. I am going to work hard for it, and I want you to help me get there”. (Be still my fluttering heart).

I can tell which ones are going to kick major butt in the industry.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I did not write this blog post to “get back” at anyone. If anything, I feel sorry for the person who wrote that because I’m not sure how well they would handle receiving a similar comment since so many of our paid-for patterns have a free version equivalent online.

I wanted to show you, aspiring knitwear designer, the importance of valuing your worth and experience as well as why it’s so important to communicate how and why your offering is more than just a product. If you see it as a catalyst for transformation, to help people, then no free versions are ever going to replace it.