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Investing in Yourself - Right or Wrong Decision?

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Mr.C

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Hi all. Quick question here, one that I'm sure someone can answer.

We've all heard that investing in yourself is one of the best things you can do. Spending money on developing your ability to provide value will bring an increased ROI vs. traditional investments.

My question is, how do you evaluate these kind of decisions?

On a personal note, I remember investing in a 200 dollar (not much, but enough for a college student) course on online freelancing. I purchased this in September 2015... and have yet to really do anything with it. Honestly, I don't know if I'll use this at all, as it seems to be a difficult area to break into.

On the other hand, I prepaid $250 for a number of sessions with a business mentor. The man in question has published numerous information products that have fared well, and is now mentoring me to do the same.

Both seemed like good ideas at the time, but only one seems to have panned so far.
My finances are relatively limited, so being able to choose the correct options would be a valuable asset.
I find it difficult to know whether the money is best spent on learning more, or if it would be better used to finance Fastlane efforts.

If anyone has any experience with investing in themselves in this manner, I would appreciate their input.

Thanks in advance everyone!
 

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SteveO

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My ideas seem to differ with the majority on these types of issues.

I learned what was needed through jobs. Most of the tools were acquired through different avenues of employment. Those tools can be learned and developed while you are starting businesses as well.

There may be some paid mentors out there that help kick-start people on the right path. I have not seen any though. The same people that do well with a mentor will do fine on their own.

I used a book to build the initial processes that were needed to get started. After that, there were trade publications and private data. The rest was just determination.
 

MJ DeMarco

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I prepaid $250 for a number of sessions with a business mentor.
Then your mentor isn't a mentor, but a guru. Mentors aren't dipping into your pocketbook.

seems to be a difficult area
So you're looking to avoid difficulty and get into something "easy"? Tell me, do you see any problem with that type of thinking?
 

Andy Black

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Hi all. Quick question here, one that I'm sure someone can answer.

We've all heard that investing in yourself is one of the best things you can do. Spending money on developing your ability to provide value will bring an increased ROI vs. traditional investments.

My question is, how do you evaluate these kind of decisions?

On a personal note, I remember investing in a 200 dollar (not much, but enough for a college student) course on online freelancing. I purchased this in September 2015... and have yet to really do anything with it. Honestly, I don't know if I'll use this at all, as it seems to be a difficult area to break into.

On the other hand, I prepaid $250 for a number of sessions with a business mentor. The man in question has published numerous information products that have fared well, and is now mentoring me to do the same.

Both seemed like good ideas at the time, but only one seems to have panned so far.
My finances are relatively limited, so being able to choose the correct options would be a valuable asset.
I find it difficult to know whether the money is best spent on learning more, or if it would be better used to finance Fastlane efforts.

If anyone has any experience with investing in themselves in this manner, I would appreciate their input.

Thanks in advance everyone!
Here's how I got started in my current business:

Here's my advice:
 
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CPisHere

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Personally I've come to the conclusion that the only GREAT investment in yourself is when you are 100% clear on what you want and the investment has a money back guarantee to help get you there.

Everyone selling information tells you that you should invest in yourself. Coincidence?

If you haven't started a business, you don't need to buy any more books/courses/etc, you need to start taking action. As you take action, there will be opportunities to invest in yourself to learn and improve what you are doing.
 

T-K

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All of your decisions revolve around your purpose. Even the basic eating-sleeping habits. Find out your purpose-goal-drive than make investment in yourself. If freelancing isn't your thing, what you really did is get fooled by the shiny object syndrome like the rest of us and plus you have paid money for it. This is not investing in yourself.
 
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Mr.C

Mr.C

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Then your mentor isn't a mentor, but a guru. Mentors aren't dipping into your pocketbook.



So you're looking to avoid difficulty and get into something "easy"? Tell me, do you see any problem with that type of thinking?
Fair point. I won't argue the semantics.

Not necessarily the difficulty of it... although I suppose I have done that in some instances. It's easy to succumb to the trap of looking for the easy way out, and it's definitely something I need to avoid in the future.
To rephrase my original post, there's low barriers to entry and a massive number of people competing for the same jobs, which does turn me off a bit.

@SteveO Interesting view. I think I'd say the same. I initially that having someone that you can bounce ideas off, look to for guidance and interact with regularly would all be good for me. That said, I haven't found this paid relationship to be tremendously useful... so far at least.

@Andy Black Thanks for the reply Andy. I've started watching your Youtube videos in the last few days, and I've found them valuable. I'm interested to see someone else doing this in Ireland.

@Cparsons You're right there... I'm always a little skeptical of people pushing the message of "Investing in yourself" to sell me something.

@T-K I need to get clear on my purpose for sure. I've plunged into working on this information product and studying for college finals without really taking the time to figure out where it's all going. Not a great way to operate.

Thanks to everyone for their replies.
My takeaway point from this thread is: don't worry so much about investing in myself. Action is the name of the game. If I'm not doing something, gathering information isn't going to help. I need to get started... and I'll find out what needs to be learned along the way.
 

Captain Jack

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Are you sure that this mentor is actually successful?

I wouldn't pay most guys like this to mentor me because you really don't know what you're getting. Take what these kinds of people say with a grain of salt.
 

IceCreamKid

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I've spent literally thousands of dollars on courses and "mentors" who ended up being fake. Most paid biz mentors aren't worth the money IMO.

Every time I have found success, it somehow came from a place deep within me...something unique that I created to fill a gap within the market place...not some cookie cutter guru step by step product.

Does that mean all courses are a waste? Not necessarily. But if I could turn back the clock, I would ruthlessly live by the following:
1. Does this mentor/course stand by their product in the form of a money back guarantee?
2. Will I be able to recoup my initial investment before the money back guarantee expires?

If the answer to either of those questions is no, I'm out.

Don't be fooled by the images of credibility. The talk of how he made millions. The legion of followers that he may have. The Lambo in the garage. The Legendary Contributor badge. The high rep bank.

Look for the quiet biz guys who just want to live their life in peace. That's where you will find the real guidance. Specifically, you want to look for the guys who have already made their millions and are now in the downward slope of life. They just want to give back from their heart. The ones who are still on the upward slope are more likely to try to hustle you because they're still hungry for more growth and profit.
 

biophase

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On a personal note, I remember investing in a 200 dollar (not much, but enough for a college student) course on online freelancing. I purchased this in September 2015... and have yet to really do anything with it. Honestly, I don't know if I'll use this at all, as it seems to be a difficult area to break into.
This is not investing in yourself. This is buying a book, reading it and then do nothing.

Investing in yourself is all about applying what you learned. If you go take a 6 week nutrition class and then continue to eat fast food, you basically did nothing to improve yourself.
 

Valor

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On a personal note, I remember investing in a 200 dollar (not much, but enough for a college student) course on online freelancing. I purchased this in September 2015... and have yet to really do anything with it. Honestly, I don't know if I'll use this at all, as it seems to be a difficult area to break into.

On the other hand, I prepaid $250 for a number of sessions with a business mentor. The man in question has published numerous information products that have fared well, and is now mentoring me to do the same.
Investing in yourself is priceless. That being said, you will at one point or another "invest in yourself" by buying lots of things that you'll later wish you hadn't.

I've personally spent thousands of dollars before on courses/resources, etc. that were practically useless.

But because I was constantly willing to invest in myself, I eventually made the right "investments" that paid off a million times over.


It's the same way with business. Be willing to constantly "invest" in what you believe to be great opportunities. You will likely spend lots of money on opportunities that will end up being unprofitable (ones that you will likely look back on and realize you never should have invested in at all), but you will eventually invest in the right opportunity that will pay off tremendously. Execution obviously plays a huge role too.


Looking to invest in yourself?

Stop paying these "mentors" right now and get an Insiders membership. Act on the information there as quickly as you can. Post on your progress and get advice from the people here as you learn.

This will be worth 10x more than what your "mentor" could charge you....and I'm lowballing it.
 

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Mr.C

Mr.C

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@Captain Jack I suppose I may be experiencing some cognitive dissonance... thinking "Hey, I paid for this guys help, so he must be good!", although that may not be the case.

@IceCreamKid That's great advice, thank you. The criteria you've listed there are simple, but they make sense. I'll definitely have to apply that to decisions in the future.

@biophase No argument here. Looking back, I can see I've done this a lot - bought a book, consumed some form of information... and done nothing with it. Seems stupid when you reflect on it, but there it is. Awareness is the first step. Now I just need to stop.

@Valor You're right. An Insiders Membership will be more valuable than continuously sourcing out more information or paying a mentor/guru for curation.

Thanks to everyone for your responses. I've learned some better criteria for evaluating these opportunities, gotten a hint of some valuable mindset changes... and I've been given a call to action.
As I'm currently working for college finals, I wouldn't be able to make full use of an Insiders Membership right now.
My last exam isn't until the 16th of May... but I have a 10 day gap between that and the preceding one.


I've added a reminder to my Calendar to purchase the membership on the 7th of May. I'll be in a better position to act on it at that point.

Thanks again everyone.
See you on the Inside.
 

DWX

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There's always going to be mixed views with this. Personally, I like to invest in high-quality training material and take action on the content as I go (this could be ebooks, PDFs, online courses, forum threads, etc.). I've never really had a mentor, so I cannot comment on how effective this is, however, from what I see, there is A LOT of high-quality and cost-effective material available that will probably teach you more about a chosen subject than what one man could.

Plus, you could use the savings as start-up capital. Just my 2 cents.
 

NonMagicalGenie

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Even with all the books and courses you take it's not going to save the problem. It may help, but it's like a quick-fix to a deeper problem.

Instead of looking externally why not look internally? Like others have mentioned.

Could the right person guide through the right path? Yes of course. But if you don't know what you want to do and why you want to do it, even the greatest person may not be able to clear that up for you.

And you won't know who to seek guidance from. You'll just keep going from person to person, course to course.

Investing in yourself goes far beyond being mentored by someone. Understanding yourself internally will get you toward the right path and the right person.

But first you have to know you.This way, if you do find a good mentor they will know what you're trying to do and you'll know how you can help them.

Instead of looking for a quick-fix attack the deeper issue.
 

W4RHRSE

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I have had a few mentors in my life, not one ever charged me for it.

Books and tapes of successful people are cheap (especially through the library). As far as courses. I leveraged my time. I got jobs. Ergo, I was paid to be trained.

It has made a differance in my life, but it may not be for everyone.
 

SteveO

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It is not really practical to put people in buckets because everyone is truly unique. But, I have noticed in the work and business space that people can be grouped into a couple of buckets when it comes to training and learning.

I have rarely asked for formal training. There are many others that fit this category as well. There are some that come onto a job and want their hand held while they get training and direction.

I have one employee that constantly asks me what I want done. I told him that we already went over that. He has information on his tools, tasks, and the priorities. Quit asking me what to do next. I will come and talk to you if I see that there need to be a change in direction. We have this conversation a couple times a week.

I don't like it when I ask people what they are doing and they respond with "Whatever you want". I am asking so I can get an overall picture, not redirect you at the moment.

It is hard for him to self-start. I like his work though and would like to get him to be more independent.

Formal training is usually just a lot of information. Some is useful and some is not. There are tools (knowledge and equipment) that need to be learned. I do take specific training classes on occasion.

It just seems so much easier to figure things out by jumping in. Make your mistakes, adjust, and move forward.
 

Duane

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You are still young, just like myself. When I was 18, I knew I didn't just want to work menial jobs, but I didn't start a business or anything until I was 21. If I would of jumped the gun and started a business before I knew how to do anything, I would have failed epic-ally.

Figure out what you want to get into and go out and get a JOB in that area. Sacrifice your time to let someone train you on the job/learn at the expense of someone else. I can't tell you how many F*ck ups I did that cost my boss tons. I made enough to get by and I'm a lot better off now because if I would have made those F*ck ups when I was just starting a business, the business would have failed.

You might find out you hate that job and would never want to get into that field. I learned about 10 different areas I didn't want to go into along this journey (there are a lot more things to get into besides e-commerce/freelancing, those might not be your thing, they weren't for me).

Once you find your thing and gained those skills through a job (whether it be cold sales, coding, writing copy, w/e), take that leap and start the business. You don't have to rush into anything. Take action yes, but take smart action and never stop amping that action up.

We all want that massive success right now, but what I found is that highly successful people are process oriented, not outcome oriented. If you focused on the process and not the type of lambo you'll be driving or how much money x business will make, you wouldn't need a guru to tell you what to do.
 

DaveC

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Hi all. Quick question here, one that I'm sure someone can answer.

We've all heard that investing in yourself is one of the best things you can do. Spending money on developing your ability to provide value will bring an increased ROI vs. traditional investments.
Unless you are in a super specialized technical field like brain surgery or aeronautics, most of what you need to get started in any industry can be found in a combination of the 1) library, and 2) one or two quality forums, and 3) relationships in the industry. 1 and 2 are easy because you can do them from behind your computer, but 3 is where I have gotten an acceleration to my businesses.

Most of the online training courses I have bought are just repackaging what is already out there with some slick marketing. In person conferences are usually the same thing unless you can find quality, mastermind like groups. Those are few and far between.

Don't forget about health...having high energy and healthy body does wonders for productivity. The ROI on a healthy diet and workout routine is extremely high.
 

Andy Black

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Jon L

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I love this thread.

I 'invested in myself' for 20 years...reading all sorts of books, paying for countless therapy sessions, 2 years of 'business coaching' etc. I did learn a few things.

I have learned a lot more, though, in the last 2 years of running my business than I did in the 20 years I spent 'preparing.' I've learned more in the last 6 months than I did in the last 2 years because I decided to 'take charge' of my business and direct it where I thought it needed to go (vs relying mainly on input and direction from others).
 

Delmania

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We've all heard that investing in yourself is one of the best things you can do. Spending money on developing your ability to provide value will bring an increased ROI vs. traditional investments.
Investing in yourself is definitely one of the best things you can do, but it not about spending money. @DaveC mentioned healthy eating habits and exercise. There's also picking up a meditative practice, writing in a journal, etc. Basically, investing in yourself is not about money, but about time, making sure that the majority of your time is moving you forward on the path you want for yourself. After all, memento mori.

Will you need to spend money? Yes, but very rarely will you need to spend money on courses or books. Sites like Coursera can help with the former, whereas your local library can hep with the latter. Investing in yourself there would be to make sure you have a reliable internet connection, and an up to date library card.

On the other hand, I prepaid $250 for a number of sessions with a business mentor. The man in question has published numerous information products that have fared well, and is now mentoring me to do the same.
As mentioned, a mentor isn't after your pocket book. A good quick test to identify if a potential mentor is a mentor is how you get his attention. If you need to pay them, he's a guru. If you need to prove value to him, he's a mentor.
 

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The-J

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If anyone has any experience with investing in themselves in this manner, I would appreciate their input.
The ways I've invested in myself:

- Books. Read the books, write important takeaways, then execute in whatever way you can. My latest one: The Challenger Sale. Still not finished with it. Miracle Morning changed my life even though I've slacked on it past few days. TMF was the pivotal work for me, though, and I'm glad that I got to thank MJ in person.
- Went to a Fastlane meetup with the last of my money in the bank. Came back with a job working for a Fastlaner who taught me a lot about the inner workings of a software business. My takeaways: it's all about the sales process. I built her website and ad campaigns and worked for her for months.
- Went to another Fastlane meetup. Learned a little about outsourcing. Learned what it feels like to lose all your money when you think you're ballin hard.
- Went to the most recent Fastlane meetup. Learned a hell of a lot more about outsourcing (@Omni @kamanuci @Boom, you guys kick a$$) and got to speak with so many awesome people.
- Started consistent meetups in my location. Mostly the same people but I tend to learn most from the newcomers. Gives me an opportunity to give back and also learn a lot of new things from the progress others make.

Most important thing? Taking action. For years I took only cursory action: I pretended to make progress by doing 'busy work'. Yea, it was action but not big action, and didn't lead anywhere. I had to learn what real 'taking action' is. Real 'action taking' has to scare the shit out of you. It has to represent a risk. It has to be dealing with somewhat unfamiliar territory. As you get more experienced, the less it will scare you and the easier it becomes. Taking big action isn't buying a website and hosting a blog; it's spending the money to drive traffic to the blog. The difference? One action will put you forward (in this case, getting readers and opening yourself to criticism while risking your money to do so); the other action will keep you right where you are.

Never have I once paid to have someone mentor me (I got paid to be mentored, actually). Never once have I gone to an expensive seminar with a famous guru in attendance. I buy books, figure out what I can apply immediately, then do it. I reread those books to look for important takeaways I might have missed. I PM forum members for help, figure out how to apply it immediately, then do it. You need to do it too. At the end of the day, it's not about the money you spent: it's about the effort you put in.
 

sharkas

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Actually, if you don't want to spend money for courses : http://tvbb.biz/index.php
I get most of the best content for free on the Internet, with a little search.
Books and some example of successful people is all I need to learn skills.
 

HyperFocus

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This is not investing in yourself. This is buying a book, reading it and then do nothing.

Investing in yourself is all about applying what you learned. If you go take a 6 week nutrition class and then continue to eat fast food, you basically did nothing to improve yourself.
Biophase

I love you! You are an amazing member here.

True, apply what you learn!!

Moreover, when you are learning immediately ask yourself 'How can I use this in practise?', take your time and THINK on how you will DO.

Its the reason why I need so few books to become better than 90% of the people doing it for 20 years in almost any industry.
Its because I instantly compare knowledge and use it. Jump in the water to learn how to swim. When its a complex book I read slowly and think in between reading and take notes + do small practice exam.

I have very smart friends who have read 10times more books on a given subject yet it seems like they have never read any.

Just reading a book through without comparing it with your existing knowledge and finding out where when u can use it is useless.

Then u might as well read fiction, at least its more fun then
 

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