There’s a saying, “Free advice is worth what you pay for it.” And although this isn’t always the case, there’s at least one reason why paying for something often ends up being more helpful than receiving it for free. The reason? Investment.  When a person invests in something there’s usually a correlation between how much they put into it and how much attention they actually give to it.

And this doesn’t just apply to advice. It’s like the kid who saves up to buy his own car—he’s invested in it, and he’s more likely to take care of it than if it was just given to him. Or like the lady who invests in a personal trainer. Because she’s invested in it, she’s more likely to get out the door and show up for a workout.

Whenever we trade something of value for a product or service (or whatever we receive), we’re going to be more likely to use it, since most of us don’t want to waste our money. On the other hand, if there’s no investment, it can be easy to receive, but end up doing nothing. Not because what we received wasn’t good, but because there was no investment on our part. Similarly, we can say we want to grow in some area, but if we never invest into doing so, there’s a lesser chance that we’ll actually do what needs to be done to see that growth happen.

Because when we’re invested, we’ll be more motivated to not just hear or see, but to actually to do. And it’s the last step—action—that makes all the difference.