Business Power: No Free Lunch

In today’s digital world, you may find that the most useful tools for your job or your business are free.

The exact origin of “no free lunch” is uncertain but seems to come from the free food (lunches or hors d’ oeuvres) restaurants, hotels, and bars offer to draw customers to buy drinks.  There is “free lunch” during “happy hour,” if you pace your drinks or if you eat in locations that have laws requiring that establishments that sell liquor also offer free water.

The expression has found popularity in at least three areas:

  1. Economics: “There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch, ” Milton Friedman, 1977
  2. Mathematics:  Wikipedia.org, No-free-lunch.org, IEEE Xplore.org; search Wolpert, Macready, and others
  3. Pop culture: “TANSTAFL” or “there ain’t no such thing as free lunch”

In Google search, the phrase types ahead to give these results multiple results.

No free lunch
No free lunch theorem
No free lunch economics
No free lunch quote
No free lunch meaning

Despite the popularity of “no free lunch” as a colorful figure of speech, many people are living better, healthier lives and building more powerful careers through free lunch everyday.

Google.com/trends is a great free tool to research keywords for your résumé, website, business names, or presentations.   Since often the things you as a person or as a business create become a digital document and finds a place on the Internet through web listings, people will more likely find your material if you use words that rank high in Google trends.  Additionally, the material you send to people for storage in their local files will be easier for those people to find through local search if you use the best keywords for those documents.

 There are free articles on how to write a résumé, a business letter, or anything else.  JayWren.com offers several articles on these subjects.  Just enter the word “resume” or the word “write” in the website search window.

To further promote your career, business, or even your point of view, there are terrific free websites available.  Some of these free websites contain extremely popular content.  All you have to do is register with the website provider and follow simple instructions for picking a template for to make your website.  Wordpress.com, Weebly.com, Blogger.com, Sites.Google.com, and Tumblr.com are free websites.

Among the most esteemed researchers for search engine algorithms, David Wolpert uses the metaphor “no free lunch” about search engine optimization.  He also has a free website at davidwolpert.weebly.com.  

Microsoft offers 10 gigabytes and Google offers 15 gigabytes of free online storage.  Google search returns 75,000,000 “free online file storage web resources.”   There are also countless free email services.

 There are, of course, shrewd shoppers who take advantage of gift getting as a lifestyle, whether through sampling and coupons or credit card rewards or credit card registration.  If you do not think food affects your career, try working without it.  Everyone eats.  As for credit cards, be judicious how you use them lest you give bankers with “free lunch.”

There are membership sites that give you vast amounts of information without even becoming a member.  Next time you want to find a person’s profile on LinkedIn and not let the person know that you looked at their profile, sign out of LinkedIn.  Then enter the information in the three most popular search engines by using the following format.

Search Engine Format
Bing.com First Name Last Name LinkedIn
Yahoo.com First Name Last Name LinkedIn
Google.com First Name Last Name site: LinkedIn

I enjoy receiving “free lunch.”

I enjoy providing “free lunch.”

As for attitude, I try to remember that I receive a lot of free lunch just as I try to remember that my glass is always half full and that my gratitude list is long.  “Free lunch” has as much to do with a mindset as it does with something for nothing.

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