Have you ever bought a book that promises to help you solve a problem you have… and then just put it on the shelf? It’s almost as if the act of buying the book took care of the problem, instead of having to actually reading it.
But it doesn’t.
There is a big difference between just spending money and investing in yourself and your business.
Investing implies, no demands, that there be a return for the money that you put forth.
As you know, when you set intentions and become clear about what you want and expect in return, the more likely you are to receive exactly what you’re after.
When I learned how to invest in myself is when my business took off!
So the money that I spend on photography, branding, education and professional coaching is set with very specific intentions and outcomes in mind.
For example, when I started investing in photographing my work, my intention was to have a photo that could win a local ASID award and get published in the local Home and Garden magazine… and that is exactly what happened.
As a result, I increased my celebrity in the community and had great pieces to present in my portfolio. And even better, I attracted new high-end clients to my business!
Another investment that I made (not expense) is my branding. This includes my printed materials, portfolio, website, and style.
When I say style I mean the polished way I present my business to clients though my choice of clothes, accessories, hairstyle and more. I also extend my style to my studio because I want win over new clients with their first impression of me and my space.
But the most important investment that I make on a regular basis is in education and coaching – this is what really pushed my business to the next level.
I regularly find programs and opportunities that prepare me for my next steps and business goals. Many of these opportunities are by phone or webinar because they are most cost efficient, and I always approach them with a specific intention of what I want to learn and how I’m going to use the information in my business.
Now, I think it’s clear that I’m a lifetime learner. I judge seminars and books by their amount of informational “gems”. As long as I find one that I can use in my business then I’m happy – more than one and I’m ecstatic!
These gems and aha moments help me attract new clients and discover ways to make more money from each job opportunity.
Question #1: What information is available for me in this opportunity?
Is this information something that you can use right now? How will you apply it? Will it generate income for you?
An investment is something that you’ll use now. So you’re making a commitment NOT to put the information away and forgetting about it – you instead know how it’s going to help you achieve a goal and how you’ll use it today.
Questions #2: What do you specifically intend to learn that will change or add income to your business?
Always set an intention about learning one main topic, and then add 2 more things that you’d like to know as well.
The clearer you are about the outcome you want, the more likely you’re going to get what you’re after!
Question #3: What do you intend to receive for a return?
Also ask yourself – how many new clients will it take to make this a good investment?
My answer is usually ONE! One good client is worth thousands of dollars to my business over a period of years, as they continue to work with me the return can be tens of thousands of dollars.
Set the intention of why you want something (to get new clients, to increase your rates, to have more freedom) and then take the necessary steps to create the scenario where you can make it happen.
So the next time a learning opportunity presents itself, use these three questions to help you decide if it’s just an expense or if it’s a great investment for your life and business.