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How to decide if a course is really right for you

There are so many courses, coaches, and programs out there, and a lot of them offer incredible value, wisdom, and resources… For the people that truly need them.

So how do you decide whether a course is right for you, right now?

  1. It’s for you if… it solves a problem you’ve already identified.

I hope that you’ve already figured out the things holding you back. There are plenty of ways people can tell you about a problem you didn’t even know about, and then sell you the solution. Sometimes that’s helpful. Sometimes it’s not a problem you need to fix RIGHT NOW. 

I see a lot of people in the industry selling education about Facebook ads. But if you don’t have the budget, and don’t know what you’re trying to achieve or the wider strategy to support it, that course isn’t for you RIGHT NOW.

But you’ve probably identified a few things that you need to work on or need help with, and you can prioritise them first.

So if a course or coach is solving a problem you’ve already identified, go ahead and find out more! If you didn’t know about this problem, check in with yourself: is it really a priority for you right now?

  1. It’s for you if… you can afford it.

There are two factors to affordability.

The first is can you afford to pay for it right now? If you have the literal cash in your bank account at this very moment, great! Keep finding out more. If you don’t, and would consider putting this on a personal or business credit card, you need to be really, really confident that you’re going to get a return on your investment, and in the relatively short-term.

Because that’s part two: the ROI. I’m all for investing in your personal, professional, and business development. This is essential for growth. And sometimes gaining confidence and a positive feeling is worth the investment without any numbers on it, but let’s also give our brains the opportunity to do some maths.

To cover the cost of this course, coach, or program, what level of revenue would you need to bring in? For example, The Better Business Collective is £250 when you pay upfront. If you’re a product-based business (the core business type for The Collective) and you have a 25% profit margin on your products (the rate I recommend as a minimum), you need to make £1,000 in sales to cover the cost of the program.

Since The Better Business Collective is four months long, you’d need to make £1,000 over the course of four months to break even on the investment.

So when you look at the program and the resources offered, are they tools that will help you to make MORE THAN £1,000 on top of your normal turnover in that time frame? (I’m fairly confident that the email templates, marketing support, business review, and live workshops will bring in a lot more than that, just for the record…)

You can use this same calculation for any course, coach, or program.

  1. It’s for you if… you can commit to the time required.

It’s really easy to purchase a course and figure out when you’ll actually do it later. Read the sales page carefully. Does it have a clear estimate of how much time you’ll need to actually make use of the resources? If not, red flag! And if so, is that manageable for you?

For example, if you sign up for The Better Business Collective, I recommend having about an hour to 90 minutes a week available to work on the program materials and make the most of the community. That includes these monthly activities:

  • The monthly Game-Changing Success Ritual preparation (1 hour) and live call (1 hour)
  • Time to create your email and other marketing content (either on your own, or in an hour-long live workshop)
  • Getting support from me and the community each week in the focus and flow community posts

You might decide to take extra time to plan a photoshoot to support your marketing content, for example, or dive deeper into your Game-Changing Success Ritual preparation and analysis. But to really get the benefits of the resources, 60-90 minutes a week is ideal. (And yes, you can spend less time on it in December!)

  1. It’s for you if… it supports your learning style.

How many of us have signed up for a self-paced course and then never completed it? HAND UP. Me, too. It’s so easy to do, right?

And have you ever bought a course that’s 100% PDF reading, when you’re an audio or kinaesthetic learner? Chances are, you didn’t get as much out of that one.

If you get the most out of things that are live, look for resources with live workshops – great if you struggle with accountability or prioritising the work.

If you like to hear things said aloud rather than reading, look for courses and programs where there’s a video or audio version.

If you’re really visual, you’re going to work best with videos, well-designed PDFs and clear overviews.

If, like me, you’re a kinaesthetic learning (you learn by doing), look for resources that have checklists, step-by-step structures, and clear instructions.

I am OBSESSED with figuring out as much about ourselves as possible, so that we can make smart decisions. Whatever you know works for you, check in: does the course you’re considering have that?

(And yes, The Better Business Collective has self-paced options, live workshops, great PDFs, and clear step-by-steps. I’ve got you covered.)

  1. It’s for you if… you’re ready.

I know it sounds silly, because of course we all want more success and a better life and to feel happier, but making real progress and committing to sustainable growth (whether material, mental, emotional or spiritual) takes energy. It takes commitment. You have to be really ready.

You have to be ready to commit to yourself through the course or program. No matter how well it’s written or delivered or coached, if you don’t yet believe that you deserve more success (and the course doesn’t support you in that), there’s a chance you’ll self-sabotage and drop off the course.

So yes, be ready to do the course, but be ready to do the inner work, too. (Even better, find a course or coach or program who helps you do BOTH at the same time…)

And even if all the previous questions were a yes, even if all your logic says it’s the right thing, step back for a moment and ask your gut, ask your heart – and even your soul – are you really ready for this exact route into your future?

Listen closely. Then decide.

PS I hope this helps you figure out if The Better Business Collective is right for you. I hope you’ll, at least, check it out before the doors close on Monday 14 September.

The whole damn cake

A few years ago, I was in a relationship that – it turned out – didn’t really work for me. In many ways it was fun and exciting and adventurous, but something was amiss. The guy I was with was kind of aloof, and it felt like, no matter what I did, I didn’t get the love or time or affection I really wanted.

My coach at the time, Rachel Cole (whom I adore), is all about living a well-fed life, and she had the perfect food-based metaphor.

She said, “You feel like you’re gathering up the crumbs from under the table, when what you really want is the whole damn cake.”

Well. Rachel put words to something I had been feeling intensely, but hadn’t been able to articulate. I hadn’t even known I was allowed to want anything other than what I had. (This, for the record, is one of the moments that made me fall in love with coaching…)

In fact, it felt like I’d been wanting the whole damn cake my whole damn life: relationships, work, friendships, family, food – everything.

It wasn’t just this one relationship in which I was gathering the crumbs from someone else’s table. The metaphor applied to almost everything.

This was probably the moment I woke up from my frustration in my job, and started wanting to ask for the whole cake in my career (which brought me to starting my own business…).

I share this story because I’ve heard variations from my clients, too. They want the whole damn cake: the support they really need, the success they really deserve.

We can be guilty of making do with just the crumbs in our businesses as well as our love lives, thinking we don’t deserve even a slice.

Or maybe we kind of forget that there even IS a big old cake available, we’re so used to crumbs.

Like me in that relationship, we have to figure out how to ask for more. (And sometimes we have to go someplace else where they sell cakes, because it turns out that this place doesn’t have whole cakes available, or perhaps not the flavour that we really want…)

If you feel like you’ve been gathering crumbs, I invite you to grab a notebook or have a conversation with a friend, and perhaps consider the following questions and ideas, designed to help you ask for, discover, or even bake your own whole damn cake:

What does the cake you want right now look like? If you take the metaphor as far as you can, what do you want from the sponge, the icing, the decorations? What flavour is it? What ingredients does it use? What could these things mean to you?

When you see the cake, take the first bite, enjoy it over a few days – what does that feel like? What would be different if you went from gathering crumbs to having the whole damn cake?

How could you ask for the whole damn cake? Would it be asking for the help you really want, carving out the time to be creative, pricing your products appropriately? Or perhaps something else?

How could you learn to make your own cake? Maybe you’d learn about cultivating your audience and making your marketing really effective so that you get the results you want. Maybe you’d learn about scalable income or wholesaling your products. Maybe you’d learn about adding in strong foundations to your business so that it becomes really enjoyable and satisfying to run (aka eat!).

I share this story and these prompts because we all deserve to have the whole damn cake. We don’t need to scrabble around on the floor for crumbs, left over from someone else’s perfect cake.

My job is to take clients from feeling frustrated, feeling stuck, and feeling overwhelmed to feeling confident, clear, and courageous. Normally this requires heavy doses of defining success on your own terms – making up your OWN recipe, rather than following someone else’s. (You like the darker chocolate for the icing, right? Or the frosted rose petals? Or maybe a perfectly ripe, perfectly organic lemon drizzle…)

The cake, to me, symbolises more joy, more fulfilment, and having business and life in flow.

How about you?

It’s not easy to plan right now…

Am I right? Things are up in the air a lot, there’s not much certainty, and who knows what to do about childcare.

And yet it’s incredibly easy to feel overwhelmed and unfocused in your business.

My opinion? Getting even a mini plan together is a good idea. Which is why I’ve spent the last few weeks working on my new Create Your Mini Business Plan course.

It started with me.

Having had a couple of good months of nursery and getting back into the swing of things, most of my careful business plans went out of the window. I didn’t know what I should be doing.

One of the saddest consequences for me in this #lockdownlife is that I had to postpone my retreat, which was due at the end of March. It was heartbreaking!

But it did remind me of one of the activities we do on the first day of my retreats.

We make a list.

Okay, it’s really simple. And it’s not.

We make a list of things we want more of and things we want less of. It’s deceptively simple, and a great starting point for figuring out what’s most important to our businesses right now.

So I made my own list. It included things like “more profit” and “less stress about money”; “more focus” and “less overwhelm”; “more ways to help my audience” and “less distraction”.

This list also became the starting point for this new course. Because lists have a fabulous way of bringing clarity and focus.

I created a couple of other lists, added some gorgeous goal-setting templates, and then creating a few ways to commit to goals over the coming months. I wrote the workbook and went through it myself, adding details and amending as I went.

Focusing on writing this course meant I had to stop blogging, which I’d somehow managed to do weekly. It meant I could only write down the other ideas coming to me. And I had to accept that I’d only post occasionally on my Instagram feed while I was finishing it up.

Because deciding what we don’t do is just as important as committing to the things we want to achieve.

And now, my friends, it’s ready.

The Create Your Mini Business Plan course is here, and has an optional coaching session you can add at a very special price. It’s an inspiring and actionable guide to prioritising your to-do list and taking your business to the next level.

Check it out here.

There are some exciting bonuses, and tons of email support. Because I know it’s easy to sign up for something and then kind of let it slide.

A freebie

One of the bonuses is a COVID-19 Special Edition Workbook. I shared this over on my Instagram stories while I was writing it, and a quick poll suggested that it would be handy even if you didn’t sign up for the course. So if you’d like the free workbook without signing up for the course, it’s right here:

Whether you sign up for the course or not, you can always make your More / Less list and take it from there. You’d be surprised by how this simple list can show you what you really need.

And of course, I’d love to hear from you if you do!

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