I’ve travelled to Los Angeles, San Diego, and Austin to attend conferences and seminars with world-class experts in the last five years.
But, of course, for a couple of years, a lot of the learning had to move online because we couldn’t travel or attend in-person events.
During that time I bought online courses on:
- Course creation
- How to create quizzes
- And a few more
There are always a couple of books that I have on the go at my bedside.
And listening to podcasts is something I do every week.
Knowledge is a massive value for me. It’s helped me so much as I’ve grown my businesses.
And what I’ve found is there are four key ways to get Return on Learning.
These are four ways to know when to spend money on conferences, retreats, courses and other business education.
#1 – Find A Mentor
Mentors who have already succeeded in an area you are looking for success in can help you and take you under their wing. I’ve always had mentors, right from the beginning of being in business. It’s served me so well to learn from their experiences and fast track my journey, helping me avoid some setbacks and pitfalls.
#2 – Get Access to Experts
Pay experts to either teach you or to do the work for you. For example, one expert I employed in my first business helped us set up our first operations manual. Paying those experts was an essential step for us in bringing on and onboarding the right team members.
In working with an expert, you get the inside track to see how they’re doing things, and you get to learn their process or frameworks — so you can continue doing it yourself.
# 3 – Join the Right Community
Surrounding myself with the right community continues to be my most profitable ‘return on learning’.
Being part of communities where learning is valued, and people are working on achieving similar goals to me.
I LOVE learning in a community environment.
That old saying from Jim Rohn that “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with”.
Not all communities are created equal. So, choose your communities carefully.
That’s why I so love and respect the HerBusiness Network. Members do so much to help each other and lift each other up — buying each other’s products and services, referring each other clients and working together to grow their businesses.
#4 – Take Action To Get Experience
Learning by doing is a powerful way to get a return on learning when it comes down to it. Getting the theory is one thing. Watching experts is another thing. But, doing something yourself and realising where you get stuck and how to apply the concepts and ideas to your specific situation is one of the most potent ways to get a return on all the things you learn.
Experience is also about having a background in an immersive way.
While I get value from short bursts of learning – for example – a webinar, a podcast, or a 3-hour workshop, some of my most significant breakthroughs have come from multi-day experiences.
For example, travelling to Austin for the South By South-West Conference. Or going to San Diego for a three-day course on crafting your signature presentation or a business retreat…
We structured our REACH Retreat program, a five-day program where we deliberately take women business owners to Hawaii each year.
The event is not in Australia, and that is by design.
The event is in a remote area on the Big Island of Hawaii.
There are no distractions.
Your phone won’t ring, your emails won’t ping, and your social media alerts will not find you.
Nor with clients, family and others.
The retreat is just that – it is a retreat to give you the space and support to dig deep and work on the future of your business to create a vision that pulls you forward and maps out the steps to get there.
It helps you fill the gap between where you are now (where you might be feeling frustrated at the speed of your progress) to having the knowledge and the stepping stones to get to where you want to go.
It’s an experience.
We are immersed in the experience for five full days, from morning until we’re sharing a cocktail (or mocktail) by the ocean at night.
Retreats are an excellent way to invest in your education because you do not have to squeeze the learning between appointments.
And I’m so proud that at HerBusiness, we are wholly invested in giving our members a return on their learning experience every day.
Because it’s one thing to fill your mind and notebook with good ideas.
It’s another to take what you learn and implement it.
Because it only makes sense to spend money on learning when you are making progress. And making progress takes action.
It can also take another thing that I love: accountability.
It’s game-changing to have people around you who are invested in your success, and who can say… “so, you did that training on lead magnets. How is that lead magnet coming along?”
Do you have someone that can be that person for you?
My Most Profitable “Return On Learning”
Early I mentioned that community had been one of the best investments.
One of the things I spend money on is a Mastermind. I’ve invested a lot of money in being part of a mastermind out of North America for the last five years. Additional expenses include travel and accommodation and time away from my business.
So, why does this make sense?
A Mastermind is often more expensive than a course, but it gives you the continuity of being with the same group of peers and mentors for a year or many years… and so your learning builds. You know it’s a great place to invest because you see progress.
When you strike on the right Mastermind, you get your return on investment every year – because you have access to the experts, the mentors, the community and the experience that allows you to get a fantastic return on your learning.
In our HerBusiness Marketing Success Mastermind, we help women every single day to grow their businesses through marketing. But it’s not a one and done. Each month, each quarter, and each year, they are building their skills and implementing what they are learning.
And that is such a crucial part of knowing when to spend money on education.
Getting a profitable “Return on Learning” is not about overlearning.
It’s not about doing ALL the courses, reading all the books, travelling to all the conferences.
It’s about clearly focusing on the skills you want to develop and the gaps you want to fill and then learning, implementing, and getting the feedback or results.
Then learning a bit more, implementing a bit more and taking constant steps forward.
So, seek out the most optimal way for you to get a great Return On Learning:
- Community OR
And remember: YOU ARE YOUR BEST INVESTMENT
Learn more about our ‘Return on Learning’ opportunities for women business owners.