Tune In: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher
Have you ever gotten in your own way? You sign up for a program to learn a new skill, gain new insight, harness new strategies or maybe you commit to a more active and healthy lifestyle, and you’re SO jazzed and excited to dive into this promising endeavor, you’re envisioning your “after” photos and then… Life happens.
I was shocked when I was doing some research on follow-through and found that most organizations have a 70% failure rate on new projects. Whew, at the very least that means we’re NOT alone in our lack of follow through. But if organizations with teams of experts and project managers and sophisticated communications fail at such a high rate, are we just pretty much doomed and set up to fail 70% of our own personal goals and projects?
The answer for me is: NO! Not if I have anything to say about it! As an educator, a big piece of my job isn’t just to get students to sign up for my programs — that’s only step #1, really — the next and more important piece is that I want my students to take action, digest & implement the materials, and experience big wins and results.
I want to help you not just dive into a program with hopeful intentions, but to complete the materials and implement the information with purpose and a plan so that you can begin refining and implementing and reaping the reward that comes with investing in your education. I love the Bryant McGill quote that says: “Quit saying you don’t have time. You have time for what you make time for in life.”
You have control, even if you may not always feel as though you have a ton of wiggle room or bandwidth. I want to show you the 3 simplest ways to tap into that control and take responsibility for your education, because I’m on a one-woman mission to keep us from never saying, quote “I don’t have time” ever again, especially when it comes to our goals. Let’s do this!
Okay, so the first step in taking responsibility for your education journey actually starts BEFORE you even invest into anything. You first want to research the programs and, more importantly, the educators out there who are doing the things you WANT to do.
These days, there are so many fancy catch phrases and buzzwords and great marketing and beautiful eye-catching graphics, but that can be a lot of smoke and mirrors. Just because you see someone promising wow-worthy results in a Facebook ad does *not* mean their course or program backs up all that jazz they’re hooting and hollering about. Hit pause before you hit purchase to do a little digging.
It’s up to you to look for people who are further in the journey, and who you trust to lead you through the education or learning process. How can you vet and sincerely understand whether they really get it? And by ‘it,’ I mean: where you’re at in your business path and where you want to go.
What content have they already put out there that you can consume to make sure your learning style aligns with their teaching style? Doing the research up front to make sure you like their style will make an enormous impact on your follow-through. If you don’t like the way they lead or teach or deliver the content, you’ll likely never finish the materials inside their actual paid program. Find someone who motivates you to show up and follow through and someone who helps guide the implementation process.
The next thing to be aware of is getting honest with what kind of educational program you actually need to invest in in order to make legitimate progress in your business. Choose wisely what will move the needle forward the most — like what do you actually need to learn to get results and move your business forward?
Don’t just look for the shiny wins that don’t translate to real, tangible results. A lot of people tend to invest big money in the visuals: graphics and pretty things like a professional logo and custom website design, especially at the beginning of starting a business, but will those things actually help you to progress as a business owner in the ways that matter? I sure hope so, but you can’t always be totally sure. It’s one thing to simply look like a business and it’s another to actually be IN business meaning you’re selling something and people are buying it.
The pretty things like branding and a flawless social feed are more nice-to-haves than they are forward-moving tools to advance your business. The difference between LOOKING like a business vs. being an actual business is vital to understand, so your education purchases need to be guided not by what you think you need, but by what your business actually needs to either save you more time, make more profits, or streamline certain areas like lead generation or client communications.
And spoiler: if you make wise education investments from the very beginning, you should be reaping the financial rewards that will fund further learning, see how that works?
Rather than looking for the shiny stuff, I want for you to ask yourself: What is the skill that can compound my learning to get more results, and therefore make more sales or help me earn back that investment? When we look for programs that achieve THIS, it’s so much more powerful because these kinds of skills can benefit your business for years to come.
And when you think about the cost of the program, it’s less overwhelming to look at the price point because you understand that it can tangibly be tied to profits that will multiply over time if you continue to refine, hone, and use that skill. You can view it as an investment that will come back to you rather than a purchase that’s just dollars out the door.
In a perfect world, you could sign up for a course with your business BFF and work through it together, keeping one another on track as you learn and implement the components, like a book club but with more learning and results. And hey, if you have someone in mind who’s game, by all means, this is a FAB idea to actually follow through and get the results you want and need. It’s sort of like exercise, right? It’s so much more motivating to get yourself to the gym when you know you have an accountability buddy there waiting for you to show up and get sweaty together.
But for so many of us, we’re in different stages of our business journeys and end up investing in the program that’s right for us right now in the current season, and we’re left to tackle the goods solo.
It’s honestly a component of online education which is very independent in its nature and that can be a GREAT thing because it means you can go at your own pace, tune in when you’re able, implement as you go. But it can also be a detrimental thing because… again, you can go at your own pace. And oftentimes, our pace becomes a standstill as life and autopilot take over.
So how can you actually hold yourself accountable, take action, and get it done? Good question! I LOVE to talk about this because it’s something I’ve also had to hone through the years and become better at.
Here are some questions I want you to consider: How can you truly integrate learning into your life? What might you have to give up? What is it going to look like? How much time can you devote? How much bandwidth do you have? What does the implementation of this look like, and how can it integrate into your life? How much CAPACITY do you have?
Let me be clear: time and capacity are NOT the same things. If you have an insanely full schedule, I’m not telling you to wake up an hour earlier every day to make time for learning. Nope, that’ll likely leave ya drained and burnt out after a week or two. Creating capacity looks like: outsourcing, asking for help, letting other things fall and realizing what you don’t NEED to do today or this week. What can wait? What CAN’T?
Another thing you can explore is a time management technique of “net time,” which stands for: NO EXTRA TIME, where you don’t have to add more to your plate but merely integrate learning into the windows of time where you can.
If you’re an achiever like me, you’ll probably LOVE this concept. It doesn’t mean packing your days to the gills with action and activity. You can totally fit in a long, rejuvenating walk or a bubble bath, but maybe DURING your walk or bath, you’re listening to a module from a course. Or maybe while you’re sitting in traffic, exercising, or making dinner, you’re learning at the same time. It’s this amazing idea of integrating productivity and learning with your regular life tasks and making sure each minute of the day is being used thoughtfully without adding in extra time.
What can you realistically commit to in terms of learning, follow through, and implementation and what standards are you going to set to make the most of your time? Can you set timelines for yourself? Can you make yourself a calendar to work through the materials? Can you break down what’s inside the program and put the different lessons into your planner? And then — beyond creating the space and time to learn the materials — how will you measure the result and how will it compound down the road?
Most programs share an overt promise that you can experience if you apply the knowledge and commit to the materials. I suggest writing down your OWN goal for a result based on the promise of the program before even digging into the materials — like “I’m going to 5X my lead generation in 3 months” or “I’m going to grow my YouTube subscribers by 1K in 30 days.” When you create your own goal associated with the program’s promise, it lights a little fire underneath you to actually get to work and start acting on what you’re learning.
That’s actually how you can make good, sound financial decisions when it comes to education, too, by attaching the paid program with a tangible result you’re committed to actively working toward.
The Big Picture
It can be a LOT to realize the weight of responsibility of taking your education into your own hands, but oh, how it can also be wildly freeing and empowering to begin curating your own personalized plan to take action and reap major results. That’s power. That’s the magic, truly. And I know you have what it takes to not just take responsibility for your education journey, but to genuinely thrive and flourish from following through on your promises to yourself. You are capable, and more than that, you are WORTHY of taking those steps and making your goals a reality.