Right now I’m on my way to my first business retreat. I’ve purchased courses before but this is the first trip I’ve ever invested in for myself and my business. I’m both excited and nervous about this retreat. Excited at the idea of spending the entire weekend with other women who own and are growing their own businesses and nervous that I won’t feel that it was worth it. That’s why I wanted to talk about it here. It’s important to invest in yourself and your business.
There are plenty of ways you can invest in your business. You might buy a course or coaching program in an area you’re trying to strengthen your skills, you can go on retreats like the one I’m headed to now, you can hire a virtual assistant or start outsourcing certain aspects of your business that aren’t in your “zone of genius,” basically if you’re paying for something that you think will improve or help grow your business, your investing.
I’ve found that a lot of entrepreneurs and side hustlers are scared to spend money on themselves or their business. They have the same worries I’ve had, what if it’s not worth it? I can’t afford that. I’m doing this to make money, not spend money, etc. There are a million excuses and you can always find a reason not to spend the money. So I wanted to share a few reasons why you should be investing in yourself:
Spend money to save time.
I love to learn and I know if I take the time, along with the magic of the internet, I can learn pretty much anything for free. But the thing is, teaching yourself something involves a lot of research, trial and error, and time. Time is probably the most valuable resource for any fempreneur. In many instances, it’s worth it to pay someone else to teach you something than to try to teach yourself. Yes it costs money to do this, but they will have collected all of the materials, research, and their experiences together for you. Which means you can cut the time it takes you to learn. Another aspect of spending money to save time is outsourcing. You may think you don’t have the funds to hire a virtual assistant or to outsource certain tasks that you are either bad at or hate doing. But think about what you could be doing with that extra time. Instead of slogging your way through the accounting once a month, you can create a new product or lead magnet once a month. Time is the most important thing we can get as business owners and there is a finite amount of time in every day. That means you have to find ways to work more efficiently, which can often mean spending money to get back time.
Learn valuable lessons.
You might be thinking “what if I buy this coaching package and end up not learning anything?” While that is possible and had happened to many people, there’s a valuable lesson in that experience. Before you spend money on yourself or your business, figure out (to the best of your ability) if the cost will be worth the outcome. If it’s a course, coaching program, or retreat, talk to past customers to get a feel for their experience. Spend time researching the seller, do they have a dedicated community of followers that they engage with regularly? Chances are they’re going to produce a quality product or service, or all of those fans would go away. If you’re looking to start outsourcing, again try to speak to past customers. Review what their strengths and weaknesses are, their portfolio of past work, and have a very frank discussion about what you’re looking for and what your expectations are for them.
Build your network.
Sometimes, the product or service is valuable, but there is a ton of extra value in the community around it. I fully expect to leave this retreat with useful tips and a plan for my business in 2019. But I also expect to leave with a network of over 20 fempreneurs who have shared that experience with me. Expanding your network is a very important part of being a business owner and it’s tough to put a price tag on that. But you can be sure it’s an added value for any investment you make. The same goes for outsourcing, you are now in a little club of businesses who have used that resource in the past, and of business owners who have made the choice to outsource that service. Use that to your advantage and connect with those people and companies.
Spending money is the easy part.
Buying something is the easy part. When you purchase anything for your business, keep in mind that you’re not only investing time but you’re also investing some money. There’s no point in buying that course or the coaching program if you’re not going to put in the time to learn. It doesn’t matter how amazing the product or service is, if you’re not focused on it, you’re not going to see the value. The same goes for outsourcing, there are very few things you can outsource without spending some time onboarding that new person, teaching them how you do things, and setting up systems and processes. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is when I have a client who won’t answer my emails or calls, then turns around and says they don’t feel like they’re seeing the value in my work. You definitely get out of it what you put in so be prepared to dedicate time when you’re investing in anything for your business.
If you’ve been thinking about purchasing something for your business, I hope this helped you to decide if you want to do it or not. The truth is, you know what’s best for yourself and for you business. It might be a great course or coaching program, but it might not be the right time for you. Or it could be an amazing virtual assistant but you’re just not ready to delegate. Think about your goals and ask yourself if that thing you’re thinking about buying will get you closer to that goal. Then make the decision and keep chugging along!
Ready to invest in your business? Check out my Straightforward and Simple Marketing Course for Small Business Owners.