Training or learning something new is probably not something you either have the time or money to do. I completely understand. As a woman bootstrapping a business, while working full-time, while raising children, while paying for kids in college, I completely understand the sentiment.
I also understand the need to invest in yourself and to expand your ability to run a successful business.
At a conference I attended one of the speakers stated we needed to invest 10% of our business revenue on training (or maybe it was income). Whichever one of these applies, use it.
Think about it, 10% of our income should be reinvested into ourselves!
I realize this may be hard to reconcile. I had a hard time with it. How do you spend 10% of your earnings on training when you need to pay housing, car payments, health insurance, childcare? The list of bills seems endless.
What if you with an investment 1%. Working full-time earning $10 an hour (just over minimum wage) would mean you would invest $4 a week, $16 a month, or $208 a year.
You have to believe you are worth investing 1% of what you earn on yourself!
The internet is filled with places for you to learn. Below are a few places to start looking into training today.
My favorite training resources:
This company, founded by Chase Jarvis, a photographer, is all about creatives. There are classes in photography, business, writing, etc. They have a blog with interesting topics to read as well. Catch the classes free while they are filming them live or randomly during the year. Or you can also purchase the courses so you can come back to them at any time. I have both purchased and used live-streaming. The live-streaming is free! So, there is no excuse to not learn something new.
Local Art Centers, Museums, and Community Colleges –
Most have a weekend or a class in the evening. In my local area, multiple art centers offer courses in pottery, painting, and photography, Beyond just the course, it gives you a community of like-minded people.
Do a search on YouTube for your subject. I guarantee you will find something new to learn. People post all sorts of tutorials. Find inspiration and learn something from some of the talented people out there. It is free to watch unless the commercials bother you, and you upgrade your YouTube account.
I’m a bit old school and love books. I also have a Kindle I use almost daily, but if I want to really learn something, I buy a real book. I like to highlight and write in the margins. Books are an inexpensive way to learn something. Usually, for under $20, I can get someone else’s view or learn about someone inspiring. Pretty cheap way to learn. Want to do it more affordable, borrow the books from your local library for free.
I tend to listen to business/creative oriented podcasts. But there are a ton of them out there to listen to for free. Listen to them while you commute to work, taking back time, which would usually bother you when you are stuck in traffic.
There are a ton of meetings year-round you can attend. Conferences cover a little bit of everything and typically have speakers who have worked in the industry for years. You can do a search to find one which fits your niche. Here is a blog post I found with a great list.
You could spend your whole yearly budget on a single conference. So, make sure you find out everything you can about the conference. Find reviews from prior attendees. What did they like or dislike about the conference. Have a plan for what you want to take away from it. And remember, the conference fee is just a small portion of what you will be spending, you may have a flight, hotel, and meals you need to pay for.
If the conference fee is too high, see if you can volunteer for some portion of it and get a discounted or free price. Just know if you do this, you will lose out on seeing some of the events. Make sure it makes sense after spending your travel money to lose out on something you wanted to learn.
This post started with the statement, “you should spend 10% of your income” on self-improvement. Then it provided lots of free ways to learn and a few more expensive ways to receive training. You need to decide how you learn best and what you have the time to do.
Whatever you do, make sure you know you deserve to be invested in. You were not created to play small in this world. Learn and then go back out and teach others what you learned.