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What Women Consultants Need To Know Before Investing in Online Learning

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You love learning. I get it. I do too. 

You’re a consultant, you’re naturally inquisitive, and eager to expand your knowledge base. That’s a key attribute for your career. But can also be a serious problem when the temptation of online courses and programmes are all around you.

When we’re working online, we’re surrounded by temptation at every turn.

Courses that promise life-changing results. Courses that focus on something we’re already passionate about. Courses that pique our curiosity and offer an insight into some new skill or knowledge base.

You know that really great marketing copy that feels like it’s describing you and your situation perfectly? You know that feeling of ‘wow, I actually feel like you’re inside my head and you understand the things I’ve been feeling but never said out loud’? That stuff is pretty hard to resist. 

And because it’s hard to resist, lots of people buy it. And then there’s a certain buzz about it.

Sometimes we get so excited by all the buzz and the hype that our expectations are just off the scale. Karl Marx calls this ‘commodity fetishism’, and it’s basically the process by which we begin to attribute almost magical qualities to an item, and then we believe that by buying this item we will receive this magical quality too and all our problems will go away. 

This is a huge thing in a capitalist society, it’s almost ingrained into us from a very young age. We buy stuff to fix a lot of our problems. And it’s something we need to start to recognise so we can take back control and not just hand over our credit card details the minute we see something that has that sparkly feel, you know, that ‘this will change my life and my business’. 

It’s important to keep your feet on the ground. However great the online course, it isn’t a magic wand that will bring about this amazing transformation overnight.

And I think that goes double for some of the big brand mass programmes out there, you know where there will be hundreds and hundreds of people joining the programme at the same time and there may be a very big name brand above the door. I often speak to women who have paid a lot of money to join these programmes and they haven’t found that it’s transformed their whole life.

But, that doesn’t mean you should never invest in these courses and programmes. Decision-making (sadly) is never that straight-forward. Because sometimes the bright shiny thing you just fell in love with is the right investment for your business.

So if you’re feeling tempted to give-in to your natural love of learning, and invest in a course (that happens to have a really great sales page and an exciting buzz about it).

You have to evaluate whether it will actually help you achieve the goal you already set – instead of just whisking you off on a huge tangent – and then you have to evaluate whether you have the budget in place to make the investment.

Because there’s a huge difference between investing funds in a course or coaching that will help you achieve a strategic goal you’ve already set – especially if you have budget already ear-marked for personal development or business development. Or spending out money on something that doesn’t actually impact your strategic business goals.

I talk more about this in my podcast, Episode 012 – Risk, Caution and Growing Your Business, where I look at taking the right risks when it comes to spending on your business.

I always advocate that you should set aside a pot of money in your business for your own personal development, or the strategic priorities you have for your business that will require learning and investment. But this does need to be something that you keep under control because otherwise it can get out of hand, and you can lose track of whether the investment you’re making in these areas is actually making a discernible difference to the amount of money you’re making. 

So tell me, what’s the next professional or personal development learning you’d like to invest in?

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Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your feedback and future topics you’d like me to feature. You may also enjoy The Seven Figure Consultant Podcast, the show that takes you from booked up and burned out in your consulting business to THRIVING as the CEO of your 7 figure enterprise.