As you seek to grow whether personally or professionally, there will be continuous “opportunities” presented that are supposed to help you. The issue there will be identifying which ones are right for you. When I first started my practice I joined a local Chamber of Commerce and attended a number of networking events only to discover it was certainly nothing like what I expected. Eventually I assessed that I was investing resources as was conventionally expected as opposed to what was appropriate for my needs. There were a few things that I did not consider, including:
What are my expectations of this investment? When I joined the chamber I expected to meet other business owners, but I didn’t consider whom and how I wanted that would to impact my practice. Had I done a thorough assessment, I would have noticed that the benefits that the chamber had to offer would not yield the results that I needed at the time, which was increasing clientele.
What do the benefits being offered mean to you? When these opportunities are being presented, the seller’s main goal is to get you to buy. Whether or not you will get results is not necessarily. They need to convince you that their product is THE resource that you have been lacking and that when you get it everything will change.
Be wary of the name dropping. One of the most amusing parts of the sales pitch to me is the naming of who have used the service or are members of the organization being pitched. The question you should be asking yourself at that point is “How will that impact you?” Even if Oprah is a member of a group, that’s not enough reason to invest in that organization unless you had a prior need to meet her. And even if so, you’ll have to also assess the likelihood that becoming a member too means you are likely to meet.
Investments of every kind should be made with a purpose. Whether you are looking at your time, money or other resource, you have to make sure that you are going to get the results that you seek. Once you’ve invested there is usually no undo button so know what you are getting ahead of time. If the seller is not able to tell you what they are offering specific to you then you should also be thinking that through. You and your ventures are not going to be the same as everyone else- for example, someone who sells tangible will not get same results that one who is providing a service. That is why service providers need to be especially careful with the investments they are making.
If you can’t get your investment to make sense for your needs then you are simply playing funder to the seller’s goals. If that is your goal then that is fine. Sometimes you do chose to help another person out and expect nothing in return. You just need to be able to clearly understand the difference and make the choice of which one you are looking to accomplish. A deployment of resources is only an investment if after you put in your resources you can get results you seek. Yes there are bad investments where something goes wrong and things don’t go as planned. But that should be the anomaly. If you are putting in your valuable resources the expectation should that things will work the way you want. When the likelihood is that they might work out if you get luck that’s not an investment that is playing investor to someone else’s goal. Because they will get their results and you are left with the hoping and wishing.
After writing this I was posting it and got an invitation to apply for a free network. Cool right? So I applied and got an email that that and a Membership Coordinator would be contacting me- That sounded less free. When I spoke with the Membership Coordinator it was indeed… anything but free- Pretty close to $1000 not free. Still there were names of people who have been members but no way to know how this would help me. Just that it would be very helpful.
I’m just saying though…
Dream Big… Live Bigger…