For many years, education has been a top priority of mine. This is not to say that I’m one of those people who collect diplomas and credentials and hang them on my office walls. Quite the opposite.
I’m hardly engaging or investing in mainstream courses and am much happier to explore alternative ways of learning, on subjects that empower, shape, or reform my thinking.
In my early days as a Head-Hunter and Executive Search Consultant, training was mainly done on the job, but even so, I attended workshops on Leadership, Business Negotiation, Team and Time Management.
When I started my first business (jewelry), I did everything on my own, based on my gut feeling and by compiling lots and lots of freebies: webinars, tutorials, cheat sheets, lead magnets, you name it.
I thought I was saving by doing so. I was naïve (or arrogant?) enough to believe that I will pick up some crumbs of wisdom from different specialists, read a ton of books on the subject and figure the rest out by myself.
This strategy was good, but it only got me so far. At one point I hit a plateau.
To this day I believe that self-education is great – it trains your brain to figure things out on its own, it builds up adaptability, resourcefulness, higher processing capacity and creativity.
But if you want to run a successful and scalable business – one that you love managing and working for, one that is financially and humanly sustainable, well, then you have to be willing to invest in yourself.
My second business, the one I’m running today, is built on the same values as the first one, but the perception of education is different. Every year I include in my budgeting a large proportion for training.
I invest good money in my business tuition because I know for sure that education has the biggest impact on my business and the best ROI.
Last year for example I was invited to join the beta version of a Financial Planning course, which then derived in a second course on Business Administration. The quality of the information, delivery, discussions and group dynamic was premium and in all sincerity, it changed the way I look at business and the way I do business today.
As a side effect, my business bloomed and I experienced for the first time what it means to be fully booked for months in advance.
And it’s not just the financial aspect, which of course matters, but isn’t everything. It’s how I feel on the inside, how confident, quick in implementation, fierce and creative I’ve become. I’ve done so much for my business in these past few months and I will just share a few highlights here:
- Two sold-out workshops in December 2020 and January 2021
- A fully booked mentorship program for 4 months, January 2021 – April 2021
- Raised my fees based on the value, impact and outstanding results I had with my clients, January 2021
- Speaking opportunities: I was featured in a podcast, a video series and a radio show, January – March 2021
- Launched Women Got Power video interviews (at the time of writing this article we are at Episode 6), February 2021- ongoing
- Invested in legally securing by business (intellectual property & copyright), March 2021
- Hired my first employee — you’ve all met the lovely and talented Dana, my Communication Manager at Bianca Zen Consulting, March 2021
- Almost fully booked for 1-to-1 sessions in advance, April 2021
- Coming up: launching the Women Got Power podcast, April 2021
- In the making/ Behind-the-scenes: launching a premium professional women network, April 2021
And this just the tip of the iceberg! More goodness is yet to come.
If you are reading this, I encourage you to review where you are at in your career or business.
Are you in a construction or maintenance phase? Are you building things brick by brick day by day or are you facing a plateau? Did your career or business take a hit after the pandemic outbreak?
Is your professional life stuck or struggling?
If so, get past the freebie-hunter/ tedTalks marathon viewer phase and invest in yourself! Seek out those professionals who will help you pivot, shift or transform the quality of your life.
Pay those who have been walking in your shoes before and are 10 or 100 steps ahead, those who really get what you are going through right now and those who are true specialists in their field.
Stop making decisions based on price or fear. Start making the best decisions for you, at the right time and the right fee.
Education is not just an investment in yourself, the best you’ll ever make, it’s a commitment to yourself! One that you are worthy enough and smart enough to make!
*photo credit: Kelly Sikkema