In a perfect world, investing in your business should:
1. Solve a problem that is holding you back from the business you desire
2. Yield a return on your investment (you put x into it and get 2x,3x, or more back)
But humans are emotional animals who sometimes think.
We get caught up in wanting the shiny things, purchase things to help increase our sense of deserving, or self worth, or out of a fear of missing out.
How can you stop yourself from doing this?
Is it possible to invest with more clarity an intention?
If you catch yourself in that deliberation space, I believe you can. There’s a space where you are considering a purchase but have not clicked the “buy” button. Take a beat. Take a breath. And reflect.
Get out your journal or have an honest conversation with yourself around the following 12 questions:
These Questions Will Prevent You From Wasting Thousands
- What problem will this solve in my business?
- What results do I hope to get and have I seen data/evidence that this thing will reasonably get me the same results?
- Very honestly, do I have the interest in putting in the effort it takes to get the potential results?
- Could I achieve the same results without having to buy anything?
- How much have I spent on similar solutions in my business and how many of them were actually useful to me?
- What is the difference between a need and a want? Which one is this?
- Deep down, am I being distracted by this? Is there something else in my business more important but this seems more exciting?
- Would hard work and consistent action work the same or better than the new thing?
- Do I struggle with low self-esteem? E.g., I don’t like myself, I don’t believe I’m worthy, I don’t accept myself. And if so, might I be purchasing this thing to boost my ego or self image? When I imagine purchasing it, does it make me feel more worthy as a human?
- Am I fearful that something bad will happen if I don’t purchase it? Like I will be missing out on something?
- Do I carry the belief that I have to suffer/pay a lot to get results? That free, easy, and painless solutions won’t work?
- Do I fear that I won’t look legitimate if I don’t get this thing? Like an impostor?
Clarity Leads To Purchasing With Intention
Once you’re clear on what purchasing this thing is about, you’ll be able to move forward with intention.
Economists and financial professionals know that consumers do not act rationally with their money or even in a way that is in their best financial interest. But I believe it’s possible to build the awareness one needs to make sound financial decisions purchasing what is actually needed instead of out of fear or wounds.
That said, if you want to leverage your business purchases to help you heal, that’s ok too. If it will boost your confidence to have a fancy 10k logo, and you are in the financial position to comfortably afford it, then go for it. Business is also supposed to be fun. As a big part of our lives, our business is often an opportunity for personal growth too.
But stay honest: do you need a logo to boost your self-esteem or would something else actually be more appropriate? Research shows that the self-esteem boost from purchasing luxury goods is temporary. Would it be better then to research what is actually needed for sustained healing? And invest into that?
Action without clarity. Purchasing without insight. Investing without information. These can cause a lot of pain (but they are also avoidable).
Things We Can Easily Waste Money On
Software We Won’t Use
You probably don’t need to get the most expensive email marketing software that exists before you’ve even started an email list and validated that it’s something that brings you joy, energy, and that you can do consistently.
Remember: software can do a lot but we’re the ones that have to set it up and use it to get that value.
Visual Brand Identity When We Don’t Need It
Visual things like cards, brochures, websites, logos – they can all look shiny and pretty and stuff. But the truth is, good looking things don’t get you very far on their own.
If you aren’t succeeding at marketing without them, just the act of creating and having them doesn’t lead to sudden success.
Think of it like this: professional level visual brand identity is an enhancement to already successful marketing, not the reason your marketing will be a success. It’s a “next level” step, not a first or second or third one.
Courses We Won’t Complete
It can be challenging to be self aware around our willingness to complete a course. Before buying the course, we’re thinking about the results we could get, not the work that it will still take us to learn and take action.
The proof is in the data though: most courses sold on the internet have a disappointing 15% completion rate. That means that most people purchase courses and never finish them.
Could that 85% of people that don’t complete the course know in advance that they’d never complete it? Probably.
Courses We Don’t Need
It’s so easy to purchase a course for the wrong reason.
Firstly, things like launches and sales can pressure people to buy things they don’t really need because it’s available for, “only a limited time! BUY NOWWW”
But worse is that sales people don’t really represent their product in the most honest way. Not everyone needs to learn how to run google ads but you would think otherwise if you talk to some people selling google ads courses where they will swear on the life of their firstborn that this is the key strategy you must know if you want a six figure practice.
The truth though is there is no key strategy. Many things can work. And it’s more about finding what works for you as an individual. If you move forward with a course teaching a strategy that isn’t aligned with who you are and how you operate: your energy, how you think, what excites you – then it can be a total waste of money.
The antidote is education, self-awareness, and leveraging free and dirt cheap resources to give things a try before investing.
Investing Into Your Business Is A Learned Skill – And About Self-Awareness
For any investment into your business, the key is getting informed enough and self-aware enough to know what the impact will be. With that information, you can make an informed decision on if an investment makes sense for you on a business or emotional level.
Some investments will get you a very direct return of money. Others might be for the long-term: building a brand. Some might be for boosting the way you feel, your motivation and connection with your business.
But taking the time to explore what it is you really need will yield the best results both in mind and heart. Stop the impulse to buy and add some reflection into the mix. You’ll save yourself not only a lot of money but also heartache.