7 Free Subscriptions For 2021

Ask my Dad, I'm a sucker for a great deal, subscription, the trial period to get what I need for the time I need it, and then PEACE OUT, cancel without hesitation when the 7 days is up. I love this so much I make the idea of missed and money saving opportunities a little annoying. "Do you work for Hulu or something?" I bet my Dad thinks.

Binge watch the final season of Homeland in a week? I can do that. Make sure my CBS trial period runs through Super Bowl weekend? No problem. I've had my digital calendars filled with "Cancel X Subscription" events. I get a lot of satisfaction from this: HA HA major network or software issuer, you're not going to trick me into forgetting, and thus giving you $60/month, for a service I really don't need for the long term. I'm on it, like flies on poop.

There's a rather funny meme going around the internet that people want to cancel their 2021 subscriptions because the first 7 days were just awful. It's funny, and also sad. I'll quote A Tribe Called Quest's Q-Tip,

"I really can't say I guess I laugh to keep from crying. So much going on; people killing, people dying." (Steve Bilko (Stir It Up), November 1993).

I wish I could cancel 2020 and 2021 so far; our country is not in a good place, and it's obvious to any side of the isle. But 2021 is not yet a lost caused yet for new subscriptions. I have compiled a list of 7 things you can subscribe to right now, free of charge, no trial necessary:

  1. Kindness: first and foremost, to anyone, particularly the folks who may not see things they way you do.

  2. Fighting the pandemic: wear a mask and stay socially distant until you get your doses of the vaccination.

  3. Supporting local and small businesses: advice on how to do this from the BBB.

  4. Open-mindedness: in concert with number 1; you don't know what you don't know.

  5. Comfort Zone Evacuation: (Harvey Deutschendorf, Fast Company, September 2020): in concert with number 4 and 1, but also as it pertains to things you may not understand or want to know more about (a particular skill, philosophy, concept).

  6. Apologizing: you know when you've rubbed someone the wrong way. Own up and say you're sorry. Only good can come from such a move.

And 7, engaging people in entertaining, thoughtful, and action-orienting ways. And no better way to do this than with a dynamic presentation or story. Remember, as a speaker, moving audiences is your job.

Let's go back to 2003 and take a page or two from the thoughts of Harvard Business Review contributing editor Bronwyn Fryer's on communication: “If you can harness imagination and the principles of a well-told story, then you get people rising to their feet amid thunderous applause instead of yawning and ignoring you.” (Storytelling That Moves People, HBR, June 2003).

If you're going to subscribe to anything in 2021, subscribe to a commitment to be an audience captivating storyteller. Whether you're stuck in your ZOOM box, or when we get back to live events with a room of 1000 people, or even for people in your pandemic bubble, the gift of escaping into a story, especially in these times, is the gift that keeps on giving.

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Paul D. Kreiter M.Ed.

Speaking Coach * Creative Services