Let me preface this blog post with a quick statement – I am NOT a hater of DIY courses and I am not slamming the creators of these courses. If they work for you, that is wonderful. I am so happy that this option exists in the online space for so many. I am simply giving a different perspective on them.
DIY Courses seem to be all the rage right now. Everywhere you turn, you can buy a course that will teach you just about anything.
I have a confession to make, I was OBSESSED with buying them and downloading the freebies. As a Business Strategist and Consultant, I have even created a few to sell myself. But ya know what? I can probably count on one hand how many I have actually ever gone through and completed. I also know for a fact that I have courses that I purchased that I have never looked at AT ALL!! Sound familiar? Turns out, it’s pretty common.
So, if we know we will likely never look at or finish the program, why do we buy it? Well, there are several reasons…
- They are usually less expensive or at a much more affordable rate than traditional learning. We think we are saving ourselves money.
- We like the option to go back and take the course “on our own time”. It is so easy to buy now “before the chance is gone!” and figure we’ll make time later. There is no commitment (besides the money).
- We are compulsive learners at heart. We want to know everything and anything. The more courses we buy, the more information we will have, and the more knowledge we have, the more we will be able to apply all of this wisdom to our businesses and never stop learning and growing. Smart in theory, right?
After working on my expenses for the past year, I got major sticker shock when seeing just how much all this learning added up to. And, after tirelessly digging through old emails, downloads, and saved folders to find all of these courses, I realized, for me, the value was not there. This is not an expense I want to accrue next year.
But, I am still a compulsive learner. So how do I fulfill this need?
Well, in the past, before the wave of online courses flooded my inbox, I worked both in 1:1 coaching and had been part of a group coaching program. Was the investment more? Absolutely. But, the results far EXCEEDED the results I got on my “own time” learning. The return on investment when working alongside someone is not even comparable to the DIY version (especially if you NEVER even look at the DIY course right?). So, when I take a look at the money I “saved” by investing in DIY and trying to teach myself new things, it really ended up COSTING me more.
At the end of the day, buying a DIY course is a business expense, whereas working with a coach or in a Do It With Me program environment is an INVESTMENT in my business. The investment into a coach or group program is no different than the investment into a piece of equipment or a program I need to run my business—and these investments are what my company needs for growth. I value them so highly that I will always be invested and participating in a 1:1 coaching or a group program.
So, throughout this shift in perspective, I also evaluated my own offers and programs. The DIY course I worked hard to create was sitting unused in many of my own client’s hard drives. What is the point? While a DIY course can be a great source of passive income, for me and my business model, I want to be right there with you; helping you, answering questions, making sure you are getting the most out of my program as possible. I want you to see results; to have success. Your success means so much more to me than collecting a paycheck. I need to be able to customize the program to your exact needs and where your business is at in the moment. I can’t do that with a DIY course. I love the power of connection and being able to celebrate together the success and results of your hard work and actions.
One last thought – Being an entrepreneur can make you feel very alone some days. Most of us work from home, so simply getting out to participate in a group or one on one meeting immediately gives you a boost. Now you have someone (or multiple people) to bounce ideas off of, ask questions, learn from, and share notes and experiences. You can’t do it all on your own!
All that being said, I will not be purchasing any DIY programs this year, nor will I be creating any DIY programs to offer. I love the concept, but the execution just isn’t there–and I am all about action and execution. We need to spend our money wisely as entrepreneurs, and, to do this, we need to evaluate where we are spending our money, what the return on investment is, and what we truly gain as a result.