Remember at the beginning of COVID, when you were going to organize your pantry closet, start using that ab DVD and actually read all those business books you have bookmarks in half-way through chapter one? At least the pantry closet looked organized for about a week!
Personal and business development has been invaluable and distracting, as I have built my multiple organizations over the years. In the DIY age and the rise of the online entrepreneur came a surge of “how-to” home training. But before you jump on the bandwagon to washing your face or whatever self-help thing we are doing right now, let’s consider the benefits of why we are making this decision.
At the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, I was a personal development junkie. Anybody who was making more money than me (or who at least looked like they were) was someone I looked to for advice. I read book after book after book. I followed all the influences. I did what they did. I took their courses, signed up for their manifestation seminars, and learned how to build my business to seven figures at least a dozen times. Let me save you some time and tell you that they all pretty much tell you the same thing:
- Get motivated somehow – this is different for everyone but figure out how to encourage yourself to work from 4 am-10 pm daily and still maintain a work-life balance and sleep 8 hours and read a book every 30 days and go to the gym because that’s what entrepreneurs do.
- Charge more money – this one is helpful; most of us are undercharging for our time at the beginning of our business builds. But, most of these seminars are not going to give you hard numbers to base your pricing on, so beware of leaving more uncertain than you were when you went in. Do not get discouraged though, refer to point number one.
- Become an internet influencer or just pay $10,000 for their next leader generation seminar, which will basically make you an overnight internet influencer, no problem.
I am sharing this from experience. Every NEXT seminar I went to, and every NEXT book I read was finally going to be the one that made me a millionaire. Then I finally hit the place in my business build, where I understood that my addiction to personal development was interfering with my ability to do work that was really going to make me a millionaire.
While personal development and motivational speakers are 100% helpful when carefully chosen and timely placed, please do not overdo it. There is so much available now that it is hard to figure out who to follow, who to listen to, and what will give you the most benefit. A sixteen-year-old Instagram influencer can be standing next to a Bentley in her latest post, but it doesn’t mean it is her car. Choose wisely who you allow to influence your decisions.
So how do you choose what personal development is right for you?
- Define your goals, determine what challenges might come up while working towards them, and then find support for these specific needs. For example, let’s say your goal is double your income next year; challenges may be that you cannot do all that work without adding to your team or feel you struggle with prospecting. In this example, I would recommend finding training, books, and resources related to how to scale a business. What tips and tools can you find that help make you more efficient while working your way up to hiring that next team member as you grow? Look for sales seminars that give you defined lessons you will learn, such as closing language, how to write copy for advertisements, or exactly how to use a lead generation software such as Active Campaign. Beware lead generation services unless you have genuinely vetted them.
- Consider cost-benefit analysis. Honestly, are you going to get your return on investment for a $10,000 seminar? Not likely. Listen, I have seen Tony Robbins live, and while he is amazing, there is nothing I walked away with that translated into $10,000 in income to my business. Nothing can replace you doing the work! So before you drop an uncomfortable amount of cash on the next best thing, really think about what the value is that you will be receiving for not just your money but your time. Every minute you spend self-helping is a minute you are not getting paid for the actual work you get hired for.
- Ensure that whatever you choose to emulate, listen to, and learn from aligns with your mission in vision. If you have not already defined both of those, do it right now. Consistency is the key to success. If you are all over the place with new service offerings, new pricing models, and an energy level that is going up and down every 90 seconds, it is a turn off to your existing and potential clients. Stability and consistency are reliable, which makes you trustworthy. Trustworthy business owners can charge a premium because they have brand recognition and buy-in from their clients. Do not start copying the posts of every other influencer on the internet because they look successful, so what they are doing must work. It might work for them, but bikinis and Bentley’s may not work for your law firm brand.
As a recovering personal development junkie, I have to be honest and say that I still love a well-placed book or seminar. Now, however, my seminars are two hours instead of two days in another state. I read maybe thirty pages a week of whatever book is inspiring me at the time with no obligation to myself to finish it if it stops being inspiring. Moral of the story? If you are at the place where you are wondering why you have not had your big business break yet after you have taken all the seminars, stop taking the seminars. You can overdose on personal development.