We were asked a brilliant question today, why are we so cheap?
For high quality educational resources you can almost write a blank cheque and charge thousands. Our members tell us we should be. So why do we keep things so affordable?
The answer is simple, we are looking to make the biggest impact we can on the most amount of children and profit simply isn’t important.
Yes, we need to bring in enough to cover the costs of running the members portal, of creating new content, of web development, of the calls we have with schools etc but as long as we do that, we are very happy.
This philosophy, of bettering the world and not the bank balance, stems from my childhood. My parents were 2 of the most giving people I have ever known. We grew up in one of the most deprived areas in Scotland and they believed in the importance and value of community.
Dad was a wood and metal work teacher and then an active member of the day centre he attended as a client after being forced into early retirement at 38 years old. In that day centre he ran wood work classes for the other clients. The clients learned skills and gained confidence but he felt great as well. I would often see him heading in to help someone finish a project when his arthritis was flaring up and he really should have been at home relaxing. But he had said he would be there and they would finish their piece, whether that was a table, toy chest or whatever else, by a deadline and he would do all he could to make that happen. And do you know something, he loved helping those people and passing on his skills. He was even known to head to the local high school to support the wood work department there, when his health would let him.
Mum might have been just 5 foot and a quarter inch in height but she was an absolute power of a woman. She ran the local Anchor Boys group at Boys Brigade. She helped found and supported a carers centre in Edinburgh, back in the days when being a carer wasn’t talked about in society. She was in charge of an Air Training Corps (aid cadets) squadron in Loanhead. She was even on the school board for years and years. She too got a lot of enjoyment from this.
As a family we offered countless children a foster home. I have no idea how mum and dad managed this with 4 kids of their own at home, but they did. They did all these things for years, pretty much up to when they each died.
You see, helping people feels good. It is an amazing privilege to be able to support those who are vulnerable, those who are young and those who society demand a lot from.
Having the portal, providing training, running sessions and everything else we do, we had a choice. We could charge in line with what other companies charge, or use it as a way to help as many children as possible. So, we decided the latter was more important to us.
My simple reason for being, for getting out of bed when I am tired and feeling rotten, for keeping on pushing on when I face hurdles is simple, I love helping people.
If I can be half the person my parents were I would be very proud and so, we will continue to always choose impact over income.