Have you been over-investing in business development programs? You know the ones…. those that promise you the hidden secrets to business success?
The reason I ask, is because I know how tempting it is to sign up to the next big program that comes along. Nobody wants to miss out on learning from the best in their industry, or attending the best events, but take a big deep breath right now, because there’s something you need to know:
In fact, if you spend all your hard-earned profits on program after program after program, in search of the holy grail of business growth, you will likely waste a lot of time trying to keep up with the coursework and neglect working on your business.
After spending a LOT on programs last year, I’ve decided to put a cabosh on spending this year. I have signed up for two conferences: The Content Marketing Summit and the Passage to Motherhood Conference… and unless I get a speaking gig at other conferences, that will be it for the year (with the exception of local networking dinners etc).
It was after booking-in for both of these that I saw the Content Marketing World conference is coming to Sydney. I despaired when I looked at the price (having already committed to a conference budget for 2013) but took a deep breath and thought: “You know, if I don’t go this year, the world will not end. Maybe next year!”
I hear what you’re thinking: “But don’t you run programs too?”
Yes I do, but I trust the right people will come along at the right time to work with me through the Content Marketing Cardiology program or Micro Business Bootcamp. My programs are practical in nature and therefore attract those who are ready to do the work and not just soak up more and more information. And to be honest, I don’t want anyone doing my programs unless they’re committed to putting what they learn into practice. I want my mentorees to get results, not waste their hard-earned money.
There comes a time when you have to say “enough is enough” and focus on actually doing the work.
Have a think about what you really need to put in place to grow your business. It’s true. I’ve done some brilliant programs in the past 12 months that have helped my business growth immensely, so I’m not saying don’t invest. Just think about what’s going to help you achieve your business goals.
Wishful thinking won’t, and doing get-rich-quick programs won’t, but putting what you learn into practice will.
So, in 2013, why not set a further education budget, and stick to it? Write out your business development goals for the year so you can use them as guideposts to assess every opportunity that comes your way. If it’s not a good fit right now, it might be later on. There comes a time when you have to say “enough is enough” and focus on actually doing the work.
The truth is, you already know how to grow your business. You have the answer within you. Your stories, your experiences, your knowledge and expertise lay the foundations for your future success and content marketing will help you share them.
So, next time a fantastic event or program comes up, stop and take a big deep breath and ask yourself: Does this truly align with my business goals for this year?
Over to you! What conferences or programs have you attended that you’d recommend to other small business owners? What difference have they made to your business growth?
[disclosure: I am an affiliate for the Content Marketing Success Summit but this article is not a sponsored blog post.]