Support and Education

It’s Baby Audrey’s first birth this month and as I reflect on this last year, the common theme for me is support. Which means I’m officially dubbing the month of April for The Branded Chat: This is What Support Looks Like. In case you missed it, check out last week’s newsletter, Support and Team.

There’s a great quote that I heard a while ago and I have absolutely no idea who said it, but it goes something like this: If you’re not willing to invest in yourself, how can you expect someone else to? 

That’s bold, right?! 

Sidenote: Invest doesn’t just mean money. It’s also your time and energy. 

When I first started my business, investing in myself looked like purchasing books and listening to podcasts. 

I was never really drawn to the self-paced course thing (still to this day, it’s not really for me) or the $27 offers, so it made it easy for me to narrow down my investments of choice. 

While there is a lot to be said for investing your time and energy into something, today’s newsletter is going to focus more on the financial side of investing. Partly because I know that can be the most unnerving and scary. But also because I believe they’re the most transformative. Every single time I’ve invested money in my business, I’ve gotten some kind of return. Whether it’s new business, new perspective or new relationships, I’ve always gotten something out of it. 

 Another reason I want to talk about this is that I don’t think it’s shared often enough. I often see (or hear) someone say something like, “invest in your business and your personal development” but then it’s usually not followed up with more details. So, I thought it would be helpful to walk through the big financial investments I’ve made that are directly tied to education and personal development – because I believe those are the biggest contributors to seeing a strong ROI. 

 There are four main categories that I think about when I plan out the budget for making an investment: 

  • Retreats and conferences
  • Group courses and programs
  • Masterminds
  • Books

 Retreats and conferences

The first big financial investment I made was purchasing a ticket to The Imperfect Boss Camp in February 2019. It was a business retreat outside of Toronto, Canada so not only did I have to buy the ticket for the retreat but also the airfare and hotel stay. I can say with 100% certainty that it was worth the money. Unfortunately, since then, we had a global pandemic so this category has been a little sparse. That being said, it’s on my radar for this year and something that I will budget in so that I am able to attend at least one retreat and/or conference per year.

 Group courses/programs

I’ve purchased three group programs and thankfully, each one has been absolutely worth the investment. The first happened in fall 2019 and it was a course specifically for operating a website design service. The next fall (2020) I purchased a group course for brand designers. The instructor walked us through her processes and workflows for how she ran her brand design projects. The last program is the one that I am currently in – I purchased it November 2021 and it’s a hybrid group program and mastermind. 

 In terms of smaller, self-paced courses, while yes they aren’t really my thing, I still have made a few investments. Some, not so smart (Instagram course, I’m lookin’ at you) some were less than $100 and took an hour to go through and others are still sitting on the ‘shelf’ unopened (font making…I’ll get there some day).

 Masterminds

In December 2019, I invested in my first year-long mastermind. I loved having accountability and camaraderie, especially given the clusterfuck that was the year 2020. 

Because of that going so well, I decided to start a peer-led group for 2021. With maternity leave in April, I knew I didn’t want to financially invest in anything, at least in the beginning of the year. I’m happy to report we’re still getting together on a monthly basis 🙂 

 Books

Yup, it has its own category. I am book-obsessed. I absolutely love to read. So, naturally, purchasing books (new and/or used) is a line item that I budget for and am mindful of. I generally only purchase one or two new books a month and then check out the others from the library.