As an online entrepreneur or a business owner, you get bombarded every day by messages and ads from experts about the next course you need to get clients, make a million dollars, fast-track your way to success in some way, shape or form.
It’s easy to get distracted by all the noise out there. And it’s alluring to fall into the trap that you need #allthecourses at once.
Some of these experts are especially good at marketing and playing on your hopes and fears. Some trick you into thinking “I MUST HAVE THIS THING (RIGHT NOW) OR I WILL NEVER SUCCEED.”
You want to be a savvy, smart shopper so you make the best decisions for you in your business.
FOMO or buyer’s remorse?
I’m all for learning in order to make yourself a better business owner — especially if it helps you become better at what you do.
But this doesn’t mean signing up for everything is going to help you.
On the contrary, it can hurt your progress. When you’re so distracted by all the courses that you don’t spend time taking strategic, focused action, your growth suffers. Even worse, you may neglect your own expertise or intuition in favor of advice from those who might not quite understand you or what you do.
That being said, there are courses and experts that will help you get from where you’re at today to where you want to be. But how do you know where to invest your valuable resources?
The bigger question is: How can you make a powerful decision without getting stuck with buyers’ remorse or FOMO right after the cart closes?
I’m not immune to shiny object syndrome
It happens to me, too.
One of my highest values is learning and I’m naturally drawn to anything that will help me learn more about myself and how I can run a successful business.
That being said, I’ve realized that making strategic, discerning, and intuitive decisions is one of the best skills you can have as a business owner for these reasons:
- So you don’t get distracted. Did I mention the noise? The survival of your business requires staying focused on what you do best.
- So you don’t fall prey to “I’m not good enough” thoughts. You are good enough and are likely an expert in something even though you haven’t taken every single course on the subject.
- So you don’t waste your resources. Your time is valuable during these stages of building a business! Make sure your training doesn’t cannibalize the time you could spend on activities that generate clients or income.
I’ve signed up for several programs and been happy with the results (with a few exceptions — ask me later!)
But, I, too, am prey to seeing something shiny and new and thinking, “I need to sign up!” without even questioning whether it’s right for me or if now is the right time.
That’s why I wanted to share the process I use to make my decisions, and I hope it can help you, too.
Your answer to the question, “Should I sign up for this right now?”
Remember that your goal isn’t to take every single program or course ever offered. Your goal is to spend your time wisely on programs or courses that will benefit you right where you are now.
So you want empower yourself to make the best possible decision as to whether or not you sign up (even if it’s free — because TIME is MONEY!)
Here are my steps to consider before you hit the “Buy Now” button:
1. Know yourself. First of all you need to be self-aware enough to know what you truly need vs. what you want vs. what is shiny object syndrome. This requires knowing your strengths and weaknesses. For example, if you’re starting a business and you don’t know a thing about sales, sales training could be something that benefits you immediately. But if you’re starting a business but you’re not exactly sure what you provide to whom, you don’t want to start with logo design. (Here’s why.) Know your strengths and know your blind spots.
2. Know what you need to focus on now (vs. in the future). Rome wasn’t built in a day and likely your business won’t be, either. This means you don’t need to sign up for every training in the first 1-2 years of your business! Especially in the early stages, you’ll want to be discerning about your immediate needs versus longer term needs. For example, I’m not signing up for a course on running a group program now, but it could be something I consider at a later date. If you detect a long term need, put a reminder on your calendar to reassess 6-12 months from now. (The best programs will still be around, or will have been modified to even better suit your needs!)
3. Know your own capacity (in terms of time, money, and energy). Setting your own limits is key. What does your budget allow for and what is too much? How much free time do you have to devote to this training and how much time will it take? Will signing up for this program result in you having to cut back on anything else? If so, what will get cut? Does this decision impact anyone else, and do you need to talk to anyone before you make the decision? How much energy will this program or training require, and how committed are you? Consider the opportunity cost of signing up, and what else may be left by the wayside as a result.
4. Run it through your own “inner filter”, i.e., your gut. The great thing is, you have an expert resource right inside of you: your own intuition or gut instinct. (Disclaimer: your gut instinct isn’t the thing screaming at you to “buy it now,” but the thing gently guiding you toward one direction or another.) To really listen to what your intuition is telling you, you have to create the space to tune in (meditation is a great way!) and ask for assistance. [Read more about making intuitive decisions.]
5. Make a decision from a place of “enoughness.” Never make a decision out of fear or feeling as if you’re “not good enough.” Many times, impulse buys come from feeling like we “need” something because it fills a void. We might expect this one thing to solve all our problems when that’s not realistic. We need to be real with ourselves and check our mindset before we make a decision. What thoughts are driving you to sign up or purchase? Are they fearful thoughts? Thoughts that you aren’t good enough? If so, address those underlying thoughts or beliefs before you make a decision.
6. Once you decide, trust yourself. Decision-making requires standing your ground and not looking back. So make a decision and stand behind it. If you have a tendency to question yourself, write down your thought process and why you made this decision. Review it when necessary. Self-trust is a skill you can learn, and it comes from believing in your ability to take the best action for yourself. Trust that you are learning what you need to learn, when you need to learn it, and that opportunities will present themselves when you need them.
Above all, remember that you are the ultimate decision maker and in the driver’s seat of your business. You get to decide what actions you take and which you don’t take. You get to decide where to invest your time and money. Trust your ability to make the right decisions for you.
I believe that knowing yourself is critical to knowing what actions to take in your business. My approach to coaching is centered around you and customized to your specific goals. While I guide you through a proven strategic process, you are the center around which it revolves. If you want to learn more about me and how I work with clients, click here.