So what is the value of the courses you have taken?

OK, I'm going to go on a bit of a rant here, but I think it's necessary.
In the last several weeks I have gotten several emails from students feeling it is unfair to have to purchase a newer version of a course or a new course because they had paid for a similar course prior.  I have to tell you, I was a bit offended.  If the author of a course has to go through the trouble of researching the changes, learning the changes, figuring out the changes, rewriting or rerecording the curriculum, etc, don't you feel they deserve to get paid?  I feel this is even more true if it was/is a fairly low cost training and the person has bought it a while ago.

If techniques and technology have changed and it's not as a result of the author/teacher, you have to look at this type of ongoing education as cost of doing business.  Accountants and Lawyers and any professional have go back to school for continuing education–and guess what?  They pay for this.  The schools that offer continuing education (and let's face it, there isn't any profession that doesn't need continuing professional education) don't do it for free.  So why should authors/teachers who put their own time, effort and money to learn and distill the new information give it away for free?  They shouldn't!

So really, what do you think it costs to learn all the things you need to run your business online??  There are several ways to learn what you need to stay current with your profession (I'm talking about marketing on the Internet here, but this truly applies to any business.)

Time Vs. Money

You either pay with your time or you pay with some cash–let me explain.  Almost all the things available to know are on the internet–type a query into Google or Bing and see what comes up.  There are tons of results that will answer almost any question.  If you look closely, you will see that where it becomes tricky is that there are many contradictory answers.  So, what do you do?  First thing would be to look at when the data was written–because of what we've searched is on the internet, the older the post, the higher the chances that that information was true when written, but not necessarily true now. You need look at what you already know and try to surmise if the information is true and relevant. You look at social signals to see if the author

is trusted.  You test the information to see if what is written gets the intended results and you take that information and either use or discard based on your own experience.  That takes time.  It sometimes makes things worse.  Sometimes, there is a gem of information out there BUT you need to sift through it all.  And guess what?  That costs no money whatsoever.  But, the cost is time and time IS money. The cost is also in possibility of not having the most current or correct information.  Or, your other option is to pay someone who has already done that and has a reputation for good information put together the important information in a manner that will allow you to apply it to your business.  What is that worth?  In my humble opinion, it is priceless.

What I Spend On Education Monthly

To give you an example of the money I spend on monthly education, here's a partial list of the courses I've purchased in the last several months:

A course on how to make professional videos with my iPhone–cost $197.00.

A course on how to make better Facebook ads–cost $197.00.

A tool that allows me to find the right groups to promote with on Facebook–cost $197.00.

That doesn't include a local program that I spent $500.00 on (BTW, third update–third time buying), a course on the Panda/Penguin update for $500.00, not to mention $1000.00 in development costs for software that I wanted built.

All in all, I spend several thousand dollars a month on education.  And, it doesn't upset me–it makes me happy.

I know and apply the information.  Plus, it makes me way more money than I spend so for me it's a good investment.  That's how I view education–it's an investment–an investment on me.  An investment that allows me to make more money and be more effective.

Beyond that I am a member of three separate masterminds–each costing in the $2,500-$5,000 a year range plus the travel to those locations.  I do this because it makes me better at what I do and the better I am, the better I'm able to help others and make money for myself.

Not sure if I ever told the story about the course I purchased (and for thousands of dollars) that actually landed me the publishing deal I have now.

I bought this course with the coaching options knowing that if I did that, not only would I learn a ton, but I had an inkling that if I got involved with the coaching, I might land some work.  Well I did and it relaunched my career.  Now, I'll tell you a secret–I did this when we didn't have any money to burn and really got my husband a bit angry at me.  But, I told him that this was going to ROI.  And, it did!  In fact, it was one of the best decisions I've ever made.  But I took the information, implemented it and worked my butt off.

So What is the REAL Problem?

If you are currently having problems financially or business wise this really has nothing to do with the fact that you bought a course or need to buy another course to keep up with technology.

The REAL problem is that you have not focused and applied what you've learned.  

I'm not trying to beat anyone up here, but be honest with yourself.  You are wasting your money if you consistently follow the next big thing; buying practically everything that is presented to you and then either never actually study the course or don't implement what you've learned.  Now, if you're implementing what you've learned, you will be profitable and if you're profitable and implementing you probably already agreed with what I said above and are no longer reading this.

So, to those of you who aren't implementing, you need to sit down and get honest with yourself.  What do you really want to do?  What do you enjoy and that will also help others and make money?  What resources do you have RIGHT NOW that you can implement?

Take that information and make a list.  The best thing to do is write this down on paper.  I know I always suggest digital solutions, but in this case physically writing down these things will help you sort through what you need to do.  Sometimes it can be hard.  You will probably have many sheets of paper with things written down, but at the end, you will be able to see what you know and what you should do to get started NOW! And then START!

Don't get stuck in all the things you want to have.  That's the wrong way to look at it.  Find out what you need be (IE an owner of an agency, an e-commerce expert, etc.) and do those things that will make it so.  Once you are what you need to be–all those things you want to have will come.  Most people do this in the wrong sequence–they “have” to have before they “do,”so really doing what you need to do is of most importance.  Figuring out what to do is what the training is all about.  Make sense?

And that brings me to another thing that was implied more than once “oh–you are just trying to make money from your list.”  I have to tell you, it's not a sin to make money.  Each and every person who is learning or who has learned anything about internet marketing knows your mailing list can and should make money.

That said, I know that some feel that only sales letters can be a bit over the top.  I can tell you this, although I usually just send out newsletters, I personally do occasionally send out sales materials.  Some of you get emails from me that are put together by my publisher.  Do you get that I usually get to check out the products before they are sent and that is a revenue stream?  But, of course you need to be smart about what you purchase and actually gain the benefit that was intended by the teacher/author.

Now don't get me wrong, I get hundreds of thank-you emails and Facebook posts and only a few of the ones that are upset, but I wanted you guys to understand where I'm coming from on all this.

Feel free to comment and let me know what you think!