It is 6 am. I am sitting down at the kitchen table with my green smoothie and I open my personal email. Along with potential gigs, updates from the various blogs, and notifications regarding my daughters’ school, I receive teaser emails from companies I have accounts with and interact with regarding my music and recording.
These emails usually read something like:
“Limited Time Only get 75% off select Plug-ins”
“Unlimited Album Submissions 50% off until April 1st”
These offers are tempting and the countdown makes it a race against the clock to score a really amazing deal.
I have even noticed companies starting to send follow up emails asking things like “Are you forgetting something?” with a reminder that I looked at a particular product.
Days like Black Friday, coupon shopping, and websites like gilt.com work in much the same way. The feeling of “getting a really good deal” paired with “you have to act right now to get it” is hard to resist and businesses know it. Certainly, I have taken advantages of “special codes” and “today only deals” but Angie would agree that I am a horrible impulse shopper. It is like I practice “The Art of Not Buying” even when it is something I want.
Here’s an example – the audio company, Waves, makes a SSL plug-in for recording programs that accurately models the sonic characteristics of an SSL mixing board for $749. Many of the songs we hear on the radio were mixed using this plug-in. A few weeks ago they were selling this very plug-in for $249. That’s right $500 off but you gotta buy it before this day…there was even a clock counting down the hours remaining to snag the deal.
I looked at it. I dreamed about how it would make my recordings sound incredible, however I didn’t buy it. It is not because I don’t think the program is valuable, I believe it is. The reason I didn’t buy is simply because I knew that what I wanted was a dream and having this plug-in would not make that dream a reality. In the same way that owning pairs of sneakers worn by famous basketball players wont make me better at basketball. You can’t buy practice and dedication or persistence and drive and those traits certainly do not come with a “Buy Now For 50% Off” tag.
Being convinced of this truth, I close the email. I do a virtual walk away. This gives me time to consider the purchase and ask important questions like Can I Afford This? For something expensive like the SSL plug-in, I would discuss it with Angie before hitting the buy button. We have an agreement to discuss big purchases before committing to them. Sometimes sharing the WHY you want something with another person, especially someone who does not want the thing, is helpful to remove the shiny gotta have it quality from the deal. If after all of that I still choose to buy it, then it usually ends up being something I use frequently for a really long time. It is like trading up on the quick high of impulse buying for the long term satisfaction of purchasing something that gives you real joy.
Thanks for reading,