I rarely post personal articles on here but thought it would be nice to share a quick update of what I have been up to lately – including trying to figure out the best way to invest money. Hint: It’s in yourself! Thank you for allowing me to support you.
The Biggest Investment I Have Made in Myself: The Best Way to Invest Money
First, I am so thrilled to have supported and coached almost 200 clients in my first year of launching CultiVitae. I appreciate all of the wonderful feedback received and nothing is more rewarding than hearing how I’ve contributed towards your work fulfillment or landing the career you’ve been vying for! Thanks for all of the love and support!
As I continue growing as a coach, I have really tested the question of what’s the best way to invest money? While Google results will yield stocks, gold, real estate, and maybe even fidget spinners, my answer is in personal development.
There are essentially two types of investments I’ve made: the ones I absolutely need and the others that did not guarantee a specific result or outcome.
On making on investments I absolutely need
To sustain this website and all of the technical components to run the backend, I have never questioned or flinched at a single purchase. $300 a year for Leadpages to deliver my email campaigns? Sure. $350 for HostGator to host this website? Why not. $5 a month for Google mail business? Yep. $60 a year for Boardbooster? $149 a year for evergreen timers? OK and sure!
The list goes on and on and on. Sure, I cringe when I have to enter the 3-digit code on the back of my credit card, but I know it’s necessary so I do it without pause anyway.
On making investment investments I’m not guaranteed a specific result or outcome
But what happens when that investment doesn’t have a concrete, tangible result? Recently, I had to make a one-time payment of almost $10,000… $$9,249 to be exact! gulp!* That’s the pretty penny my most recent coaching program I enrolled in cost me.
(Side Financial Hack Note: those of you that know me know I’m big on being frugal. I decided to put the entire payment on a credit card that gives back $1,000 in travel credit. I might as well take a vacation somewhere tropical to reward myself… amiright?!)! 😉
Before this, I also paid a business coach $2,000 – not even for 1:1 private coaching support – but for recorded courses she created as a one-size-fits-all approach. Another big gulp at the moment and even weeks after that purchase. At this rate, who knows, I might just go out and buy a boat… kidding.
Every time I contemplated whether or not the programs were the right investment for me I went into this vicious train of thought cycle:
– What if I pay for all of this and nothing changes?
– What if I get all of this information but do nothing with it?
– What if what they teach doesn’t apply to my current situation?
– What if after all of this I’m in the same exact place only worse with being $10,000 shorter?
– What if I can find all of this information on the internet or in books?
And then I did what I always do… I consulted people with all varying backgrounds and opinions to hear all of the reasons why I shouldn’t move forward. Nevermind they didn’t know exactly what was going on in my life or in my business. I just wanted to hear their thoughts on a quick 30-minute recap of my dilemma.
A few optimistic friends of mine said, “That’s great! Sounds like a solid investment that you’ll be able to recoup quickly.”
A few supportive friends also said, “You’ll do great at whatever you put your mind to – go for it if it feels right!”
But the majority of my friends said, “Are you crazy? You’re already supporting so many people without coaching training or credentials. You get a ton of referrals and repeat business. You don’t need it! You’re doing just fine. You’re probably already more qualified than other coaches out there.”
My evaluation of why fear of the unknown gives me pause
Do you have any friends that seek you out to come up with a solution to their problem? You listen. You analyze. You provide it on a silver platter and weeks later, when you follow up, you only find out they end up doing the exact opposite?
I’m not sure if you’re this way, but I feel deep down inside we already have a strong sense of what we should do. We just like to hear what others’ opinions are in case we can be swayed. But most of the time, when we’re asking for opinions, we’re already 95% sure how we want to execute and are looking for affirmations.
I journaled and mind mapped so hard (hehe) on why I had this vicious cycle of self-doubt. When I came to think about it, I realized this is the largest investment I have made in myself — ever. I had never paid $2,000 for training or education, let alone $9,249. That $11,249 was staring at me right in the face and a wave of panic set in because of the sticker shock.
My friends ask, “What about undergrad?” I was fortunate to have a full-ride scholarship and other scholarships and financial aid that made me never even have to pay for books. It pays off to be an academically astute minority in the states. 😉
This is truly my first investment ever. And it’s downright terrifying to invest in yourself. Companies have invested in my ten times over with sponsoring me for conferences, executive trainings, industry events, etc., but when it comes to my own pocketbook it suddenly becomes questionable.
On why I ultimately decided to believe in myself and invest in myself
For those that follow me on social media or read the weekly newsletter, you’re probably quite aware that I follow a number of influencers and gurus in the personal development and growth areas. Some of my favorites are Tim Ferriss, Tony Robbins, and Marie Forleo.
One of the common themes they have in all of their teachings is the importance of investing in yourself.
There’s also a lot of talk about how if a program is priced at $10 you’re likely not going to get the same value as if it’s priced at $800. Even if it’s the same content! I personally believe this because I’ve purchased four courses on Udemy during their sales (Photography 101, YouTube video creator, Life coaching, and Art of Negotiating) and I can tell you none of them are 100% complete. In fact, most are between the 0% – 20% mark and it’s already been months to a year. There’s $40 down the toilet ($10 x 4).
But what about that business coach course I dropped $2,000 on? You bet I watched every second of the videos (some twice!) and did all of the homework and exercises in it. I was committed to completing it because I made a huge financial commitment to myself.
So where does this bring me today?
I’m really thrilled to expand my coaching skills and implement my learnings into teachings. The courses and programs I have enrolled in have inspired me to take new action and I have seen results out of it. Most importantly, I’m thankful for having the confidence in myself, pushing away the fears, stretching my opportunities, and being determined that the investment will be recouped because I have new resources and techniques in my toolbox.
But I am also aware of the clients I service. I really wanted to go into the career coaching business to serve the clients that truly needed support: the unemployed and underemployed. I want to be conscious of the fact that there are thousands of job seekers out there that have been out of a job for months or are swimming in debt.
For these reasons, I’m excited to start planning and launching ecourses and group coaching programs in the near future. I believe this will not only allow me to educate and guide more people but make it more affordable for those that truly can’t afford the average private career coaching programs out there (industry averages are $3,500 – $5,000).
So stay tuned, my friends! Life is an exciting journey. Don’t let fear hold you back from what you really want to do inside. If you believe in yourself, commit and truly dedicate yourself, anything is possible. Don’t let fear drive all of your decisions but do let it help you make informed decisions of what you really want out of this precious thing called life.
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