How What We Think and Do Affects Our Ability to Learn, and to Grow Our Businesses.
You can think of this as a sort of case study about how you might approach your decision about the September LIVE Event, but the concepts also apply to the WebDesign.com webinars you attend, as well as any other trainings you attend (or consider). The idea for this article actually came as I was trying to make a decision about attending a multi-thousand dollar training event.
1. Not Making a Decision
The biggest bit of sabotage we foist on ourselves is to avoid making a decision. When there is a training you want to attend, but you have a little angst or worry about it, the lure to “think about it for awhile” is a strong one. I’m not saying you should attend any and every training opportunity that comes your way, but if you are like most people, once something is out of sight, it’s out of mind. So if your “strategy” is to “think about it”, what you’re really telling yourself is that making a decision about this isn’t as important as, say, the next thing you start doing – like checking your email.
And typically the angst or worry isn’t about whether the training will be good enough. It’s usually more about ourselves, personally.
90% of success is showing up. I venture to say that 90% of business success is the ability to make good decisions quickly. Only you know the truth about yourself. Do you have a habit of putting off decisions until it’s too late, or until the price has gone up?
If so, what would be a different approach you could take? How would you know that a particular training is right for you? Would you be disappointed if you weren’t there? (That’s usually a pretty big signal that deciding against going has at least a tinge of self-sabotage lurking in it.) There’s a reason you would be disappointed. Be honest with yourself about it and allow yourself to make a decision. And then stick with that decision until or unless circumstances change. If the answer is “no”, and a week later your schedule frees up, it’s fine to re-evaluate your decision.
2. Saying – or Thinking “I can’t afford it”
This is a touchy one, but I’m going to share what I have found to be true after leading literally hundreds of training sessions with tens of thousands of participants.
When someone wants to go strongly enough, they will find a way.
I don’t know your financial situation, and it may be that you genuinely don’t have the ability to pay, borrow, fund raise or charge the fee for the training you want to attend. (And if you haven’t considered borrowing or doing a fundraiser, then you haven’t exhausted all your options. So saying you can’t afford it isn’t being completely honest with yourself.) One time I found a corporate sponsor to send me to an event – didn’t cost them all that much and they reaped the rewards when I came back and made several presentation to spread the knowledge among their key employees.
It’s really just a matter of priorities. I’ve had people tell me they couldn’t afford a $200 training, then go buy an iPad the next week. The cool technology was more important than investing in their future. It’s fine to make that decision, but by not being honest with themselves, they were sabotaging their learning and their success.
Often when we are thinking we can’t afford to do something, it really means we can’t afford not to.
3. Focusing On What it Costs Vs. What You’ll Gain
There’s that old credit card commercial about what things cost, and then the last item (the experience) is priceless. It’s funny, but it’s true, too, isn’t it? When you have the opportunity to receive training from someone you already trust and you know can deliver, the rewards that you’ll gain will pay out time and time again. The experience, itself, becomes part of the learning.
If you learn even just one strategy you can use that will ensure your client stays with you for the long run, haven’t you gained far more than the original cost? If you invested $1000 in web design training that you know is great, how long would it take you to make that money back? One website? Two? Surely no more than four.
The point is to think long term vs. short term if you are trying to stop the sabotage train and grow your business or your skills. Don’t think that you’re too busy…think instead about what it means to have a constant pipeline of work you love to do with clients with whom you enjoy working.
4. Multi-tasking Instead of Focusing
It’s easy to short-change your learning if you’re distracted by other projects on your desk, your email, the webinar chat room…
Think about what you can do to minimize distractions so you’re getting the most out of it. Close your email program. Clear off your desk. Go somewhere else to participate in the class (and take your earphones with you if you’re going to a coffee shop).
Or, do what works best for a lot of people, and put yourself in an environment where you are completely immersed with other like-minded students, free of unrelated distractions, and entirely focused on absorbing as much information as possible. For some people that might be a day at the library. For others, it might be attending a live training.
5. Not Valuing the Training When It’s Free
This can relate to the previous form of sabotage as well. When something is free, we tend to treat it as less valuable or not as important, even when we know that price has nothing to do with how much it can help us. But that’s the way most people are. It’s not bad. It just “is”.
I’m not saying that the only way to value and commit to training is to pay for it, but it can sure make one whale of a difference. How much more committed would you be if you paid for 16+ hours of intense face-to-face training vs. attending some free webinars? Which method gives you a stronger signal about your commitment to your success? Which method do you think you would inherently value more?
These are just 5 of the ways we have a tendency to sabotage our success. Which of these fit for you? Are you willing to commit to taking a different set of actions? If so, what will you do differently now in order to prevent the sabotage that gets in the way of learning and success for the average person?