Write To Me, I Want
To Hear From You
Why I Answer Short
E-mails for Free
A LETTER I RECEIVED
This paragraph from "Fred" was the first paragraph
of a rather long letter. He wrote:
"Thank you for the fast reply. It is nice that you
care, but if you'd allow me to ask, what makes you answer people's e-mails
for free? I don't mean to be rude so excuse me....."
Here is my reply:
You know, you are the first person who ever asked me this after I just
met them - even though a lot of people wonder and would probably like
I'm so glad someone finally asked me about this that I'm going to give
you a very thorough answer (and I think I'll post it on my web site after
I send it to you).
First of all I want to say that I don't answer e-mail for free forever.
I start charging after the first letter. But the question is still a good
one because I answer a lot of free e-mails.
Here are all of the reasons I'm aware of about why I do it. I've even
listed them "in order of importance"...:
I enjoy my work! I enjoy it so much that a lot of it feels like
a hobby to me.
Here's the "sappiest" reason: I really do care about people
and, since I was raised in a very poor neighborhood, I am well aware
that: some people can't pay high therapy fees, many people are reluctant
to even consider therapy, and, frankly, many people are just not well-educated
enough about therapy to realize its value. (This is also why I keep
my fees so low. I'm well aware that millions of people are sending
about $4 a minute to "Psychic Friends" and other such ridiculous
things in the false hope that it will help them to a better life -
and that most of them would be a lot better off spending that money
on therapy. But I don't think that their desperation should hurt them.
I just hope a few of them will come across my site some day, look
at my prices, and think "maybe I'll give this thing a shot too"
- and that my free letters will be helpful to all of them, and longer
term e-mail and telephone work will end up being right for many of
I really believe that a lot of the people who write to me don't
need any more than a few well-considered responses to get their lives
back on some "usual track" that they are pleased about.
They could use more, of course, but something is better than nothing!
One of the biggest problems therapists have is what to do during
the hours when they have canceled appointments or just don't have
anyone scheduled. When those times come around I simply go to my computer
and start answering e-mail. I do earn a little from this each day,
but not enough to matter financially.
I'm 56 years old as I write this, and I'm looking ahead to a "working
retirement." I want to be able to travel a lot and still work
with people in a therapeutic way. Some time after I reach retirement
age I expect to be earning much of my income on the telephone or through
e-mail (but I've got a lot of years left before I'd want this goal
to becomes a reality).
I love the feeling that I can choose to answer e-mail at any time
of the day or night, and that I don't have to schedule it. (I've never
liked feeling that I must obey a clock.)
I believe that one of the best ways to sell something is to give
it away free. And some of the people I give my samples to do end up
working with me and paying me regularly. (I only wanted enough income
from this to supplement my in person practice, and that was achieved
long ago, so this reason isn't very important any more.)
Well, these are all of the reasons I'm aware of.
I will put this on my web site, so if I think of any more reasons some
day I may add them there.
Thanks for the question!
I'll respond to the rest of your letter separately now....
Please Tell Your Friends About
Enjoy Your Changes!
Everything here is designed to help you do just that!
Write To Me, I Want To Hear From You!
Tony Schirtzinger, Therapist (Milwaukee)
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