#272: How to Invest in Yourself and Make Sure You Have a Return on Your Investment

December 7, 2018

#272: How to Invest in Yourself and Make Sure You Have a Return on Your Investment

I didn’t always believe that I had to invest in myself in order to move forward. I thought I could do it all on my own. I had ten years of experience as a CEO, I had an MBA. Why shouldn’t I be able to run an online business all by myself? 
When I talk about investing in yourself, I’m referring to coaching, consulting, networking or being surrounded by a community from which you can learn. I thought I had to make money first before I invested in these things. But I soon realized that this was backwards thinking. If I didn’t know how to make money in the first place, how was I ever going to invest? I finally understood that I had to start investing in myself to grow my business. And when I started, I was amazed at how these investments always made a return, sometimes much bigger than the amount I actually invested.
Curious how that worked? Let me take you on my investment journey. 

The First Return Investment: Community

The first investment I made was an online course in February 2013. I was at a low point. I had been diagnosed with repetitive strain injury a few years before and was still recovering. I had lost my job twice in two years and was living on unemployment benefits. My husband supported me during this time, but I knew I had to change something. During a skiing holiday in Austria – my husband skiing and me laying in bed with a stomach flu –  my sister pinged me and asked if I was going to buy the course. I remembered that I had told her about Marie Forleo and how inspired I was by her teaching to create a life and business you love. 
I knew I had to get my act together. I had to invest in myself. But $2,000 seemed like a lot of money, especially because I was unemployed. On the other hand, it had been a while since I was running a website agency and I wasn’t on top of my game in terms of online marketing. I knew I could use the training. My husband said: “Just go for it,” and that’s what I did. 
The course turned out to be a little too basic for me. However, I saw a lot of value in having the community around me that came along with it. I saw the community as my real return investment, because as it turns out, some of them became my clients or mentors down the road. It also inspired me to create my own community, which later became the SOMBA community where women can get inspired, share experiences and exchange their stories.

Mindset Change

A year later, I tried out different workshops. I did Your Best Year Yet and as a result created the Passion-A-Thon program. I was slowly moving in the right direction when a friend told me about a program she bought for $497 to help her with accountability and getting things done. In November 2013, I decided to invest in the same program. 
By March 2014, I knew what my business was going to be about and made my first revenue: $180. Of course, I knew I couldn’t live on $180. I had to grow my business, but I was still resisting the idea of hiring a business coach. I was building my email list on my own and reached 1,400 by September 2014. I was hosting a number of webinars but I was not making as much money as I wanted. I knew that I had to learn how to ask for the sale and how to launch my products. That’s when I decided I needed outside help. 
I got a recommendation for a business coach and contacted her. She said that working with her would cost me $5,000 over six weeks. I remember thinking that $5,000 is a lot when you don’t even make that kind of money yourself in a month. But I knew that with some help, I’d be able to make sales. 
Feeling nervous, I paid the $5,000 upfront. Within a week I made $1,500, before I even had the first call with my coach. 
Investing low amounts definitely pushed me in the right direction, but having invested $5,000, I wanted to make sure I got that money back and suddenly, my mindset changed. I’m not saying you should go into dept or do anything crazy with your finances, but whenever I invested in myself, it has worked out. My coach advised me to do one-on-one coaching sessions and I made $5,500 in 90 days. 

The Next Step: Mastermind

In 2015, I decided to invest in conferences and it turned out to be a big game changer for me. I attended Money Bootcamp, a mastermind with Denise Duffield-Thomas, Off the Charts with Nathalie Lussier and Social Media Marketing World. All three events gave me a return on investment: I was able to double my revenue and get over my money mindset issue. I didn’t fully realize until August 2017 how much I benefited from making connections and talking to people face-to-face at these conferences. When I decided to create my podcast, I could go back to many of these people and invite them on my show. 
I was ready for the next step and decided to invest in a mastermind. I picked Lisa Larter’s mastermind because I loved her energy and approach. To me, she was the real deal. It cost $20,000 and I remember that I was surprised at how much money it costs to work with someone on that level. But I knew I could trust her, which is the most important thing when you sign up for a mastermind. You absolutely need to trust the coach leading it. 
With Lisa’s guidance, I went from making $164,000 in 2015 to $340,000 in 2016. I definitely credit some of the success to her, but in the end, it was me who did the work. It was very helpful to have a community of other entrepreneurs surrounding me, and that’s the main reason why I recommend joining a mastermind. 
But my biggest growth in business was about to happen when I decided to take the next step. Having seen how a mastermind could benefit me, I wanted to join one where launching was the main topic. I love launching and I love teaching my clients how to launch. I came across James Wedmore’s mastermind. It was a $30,000 investment, $25,000 if you paid upfront. I signed up and as a result, went from $340,000 revenue to one million. The inspiration of being surrounded by other people who were doing big launches, as well as getting insights into how James did his launches enabled me to make this big leap with my business. 

Stepping It Up

In April 2018, I attended Digital Deep Dive with Gary Vee. It cost £10,000 for one day, plus all the expenses that come with a trip to London. It felt crazy investing all this money in just one day, but I’m a huge fan of Gary Vee. He runs a big media company and I was inspired by his message. Attending his event was also going to open the door to his private Facebook group with everyone who attended the event in it. I knew that this was going to be the return on my investment. Sometimes, investing in getting close to a person and making sure that person knows about you is going to turn out to be one of the biggest returns on investment you can have.  
My next investment was in 2019 when I came across Iconic with Ali Brown. I’ve been watching her from afar and for me, she’s the true leader in online business. She focuses on seven- to eight-figure female entrepreneurs and that really appealed to me. I decided to invest in her conference. It was a two-day conference with 80 women, all making seven to eight figures, and it cost $3,000. 
I loved it. Later, I even made a podcast episode with Ali Brown where we discussed some of the takeaways from this event. When I saw the offer to join her VIP day, I knew that I needed to get to know this woman better. I had paid £10,000 to get very limited access to Gary Vee, and was ready to invest $15,000 for a day, just the two of us, with Ali Brown. As a result, I decided to work with Ali in 2019 and bring about some changes in my business. We created a plan how to get me from seven to eight figures and figured out how I can make four million in 2019. 

How Are You Going to Invest in Yourself?

Thinking about the goals I have for my business today, I’ve already invested $100,000 in coaching and masterminds and I plan to add another $50,000. If you’re just starting out, these numbers might sound crazy to you. If you’re not making $150,000 a year, it’s hard to imagine someone investing that number for coaching. 
But the more your business grows, the more you will understand that what got you to one point won’t get you to another. If I want to reach eight figures, I won’t go there if I have the same mindset, coaching or community that surrounded me when I was reaching for seven figures. 
The lesson of investing in yourself is to always step up your game. I’ve invested in online courses and they did provide me with some help and return on investment. But investing in coaches and masterminds where people are already doing what I want to do is what brought me ahead. I’ve gone from having a small mindset to being willing to invest in myself more and more, and it has brought me bigger returns on investment each time.
Think about what type of support you need and invest in yourself. 

Resources Mentioned:

Let’s Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet!

Are you ready to take your business to the next level? We’re now accepting applications for more fabulous women like you to join our Mastermind Programs in 2019! Visit the website to learn more about each of the amazing mastermind programs we have to offer and apply today! Applications are reviewed and approved on a first come, first serve basis.
Don’t put your success on the back burner! Apply today!

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