Hi, I’m Rachael and I’m an online course junkie.
Today, I realised in the last year I’ve spent over 20% of my income on courses, ebooks, workshops, webinars and online challenges.
That’s 300 hours of my time, and over six grand dedicated to learning that:
- I had no self-belief.
- I actually do know my sh*t!
Let me expand.
You see I left corporate marketing all jazzed up and full of fire ready to help newbie business owners get marketing-savvy. But what I left in that office – along with my job title, to-do list, and cosy corner desk – was the value I placed on myself.
I believed without the validation of those around me, a quarterly bonus and my identity as Senior this, Head of that, I couldn’t help anyone, I didn’t know anything of worth.
So I started learning, taking courses, splashing cash around, seduced by the guarantee of huge business growth, tempted by the promise of instant knowledge and suffering major FOMO!
And ha ha, here’s the kicker! Whilst looking for the next knowledge fix, taking back-to-back courses and doubting my ability to do the work, I was already DOING THE WORK. I was already working with clients, teaching them foundational marketing, helping them to find their niche, create amazing content, and watching their businesses grow.
I believed I wasn’t good enough, but here I was getting results for clients and amazing feedback for me.
Why didn’t the external reality match the internal belief?
I have no idea? (I’m sure there’s an amazing mindset coach out there who can offer a view or two)
I can’t tell you the secret to believing in yourself.
But I can tell you what worked for me.
I stopped all courses and started implementing what I knew. What I’ve always known.
Every day I wrote down what I achieved.
Not what people said I was good at, not the praise or external validation. I wrote down the things I did that brought me joy, the times I set myself a task and achieved it, the writing I was proud of, or the time I managed to update my website without crying tears of frustration. The quiet moments of satisfaction of a job well done.
And pretty soon, after a few weeks of daily writing, the self-belief grew. And, now when I’m feeling a bit wobbly or face something new, I take a look at that list and remind myself I don’t need to learn anything new or get praise from someone else. The evidence is there. I am good enough.
Fast forward to today. I’m not anti-learning. Far from it, I’m a curious bean, always will be. And I’m a big fan of investing in your business (aka investing in yourself) – it’s the best darn way to grow your business and your confidence. But now, when it comes to signing up for courses, I’m a little less gung-ho.
Here are the things I ask myself before pressing the ‘buy now’ button.
- Do I need this for my business?
At the beginning of the year, I created a kick-ass business plan – I love it. And it helps me focus on growing my business every day. So, if new ‘Shiny Course A’ is aligned with my business goals, if it will help me Grow my Audience or Build my Email list, I’m in. (For example, I’m taking a conscious content marketing course right now to help me reach more people) But, if it’s a nice to have or something ‘I’ve always wanted to learn’ I close the tab, delete the email and move on.
So, maybe ‘Shiny Course A’ is aligned with business goals. But what if you’re snowed under with clients? What if school holidays are coming up and if you need to take time off?
Ask yourself whether you have the time and energy to invest not only in the learning but also in the implementation (It ain’t a good ROI if you don’t action what you know) Don’t forget, like buses, these courses come along all the time and if there will be another one right around the corner when you do have the time and energy to make it work – let it slide and trust that you’ve made the right decision
- Is it the way I like to learn?
I like accountability, I like hand-holding. I like someone to walk me through simple steps and give me homework. This is how I learn best. So, for me, a course that’s pre-recorded modules, with workbooks that you complete in your own time, has thousands of people in a facebook group and limited access to a tutor ain’t gonna work for me.
I dig a weekly learning session, with dedicated time for doing homework and access to an expert when I need it. Yep, these types of coaching courses are usually pricier, but I’m prepared to invest that little more because I know I’ll get tons from it.
This is the most important one for me.
Is this someone who’s just popped up in my newsfeed, or someone I’ve been watching for a while? Do I like their vibe, do I like what they say? Does their approach chime with my conscious business ethics? (Read more about ethical business here) Now’s the time to do a bit of research; read their blogs, watch their lives, ask people in your fb communities if they’ve taken their courses, and get some real, honest feedback.
Check-in with your instinct and pick your expert carefully.
As a reformed course addict I know that if I stay clear on what I need for my business, trust my instincts and ignore the FOMO. I’ll be OK.
And I also know I know my sh*t! Hooray!
I know you know your sh*t, but do others? Click here for a free, no strings, no sell clarity call, and let’s get your message out there!