I recently witnessed members of a facebook group debating how much an online course on mixing pop music should cost. The comments were interesting. Suggested prices ranged from $5 - $1000. This thread got me thinking about the price we pay to learn and grow.
I have spent a considerable amount of money on online courses in the past few years. I personally have gotten much more value out of the courses I purchased then what I paid for them. I am at a point in my music production and business journey where new & actionable information is extremely valuable to me. Consider this:
When you first start learning something it is relatively easy to level up fast. The lowest hanging fruit and all the answers to beginner problems are widely available. Google it. Youtube it. You will probably find an answer.
As you advance in your knowledge and understanding, of a certain topic or trade, information becomes more scarce. The ranks are thinned. There are objectively less people who have advanced as far as you are now and therefore less reliable resources to help you. No matter where you are at on your journey there is someone yet ahead of you and others behind.
These numbers are arbitrary but let's say 100 awesome points makes you a world-class master of something. Starting out I might be a 2 awesome points music producer. I then stay up all night on Youtube watching every video on music production I can find. By the next day I have gained 5 awesome points and am now a 7 awesome points music producer. Woah... Not bad. In a month of endless Youtube videos and reading blogs I become a 25 awesome points music producer. I then get hired for my first gig that I later regret doing for free. I produce my very first song for another artist and after that project I become a 33 awesome points music producer. All this happens in a six month period.
It is way easier to go from 0 - 33 awesome points then it is to go from 33 awesome points to 66. Refer back to that graph at the top of the page. It could take a lifetime to get to a 100 awesome points or if you're like most people, then you'll never actually get there.
As you progress, new knowledge / information is going to become more and more valuable to you. Starting out maybe a mixing course on pop music is only worth $5 because you only have 2 awesome points at mixing and you naively feel that you can learn all there is to know on Youtube for free. Maybe you are an intermediate level 50 awesome points mix engineer hungry to get better. At that point dropping $300 on a mixing course might seem like a worthwhile investment (assuming the mix engineer teaching you has more awesome points than you).
Considering how difficult it is to reach 98 awesome points in anything, what would the value be of an online course taught by a 99 or 100 awesome point person to that 98 awesome point person? $10K? 100k? $1M? The knowledge at that point would be priceless.
If you want to be a world-class master of anything, a famous artist, or sought after producer, then you are going to have to make an investment. In some, if not most, cases a massive investment. That could be an investment of time, money, hard work, etc... You will never get there if you do not invest.
Founder of @lostharbormusic