After listening to hundreds of free webinars, and free video courses, I realized that I was past the “free” stage. Indie publishing is great because one can do so much on your own and I had but it wasn’t enough. I published two anthologies that were huge feats of collaboration among 50 women living around the world and I got pretty far considering I had more or less stumbled my way through the process. I was looking to elevate my game and take it to the next professional level.
The free webinars weren’t cutting it anymore but I still wasn’t ready to spend money on myself. I needed professional advice but I wasn’t willing to pay for it. All of the experts were saying that investing in yourself would pay off in spades but I saw that as self-serving.
“Of course, they are going to tell me to invest in their courses and consultations. They want the sale.”
And naturally, free content is used mostly to demonstrate that a particular person has expertise in a topic. I should know, I offer free webinars myself and try to make them as valuable as possible so my future clients understand that yes, I can help them reach their goals.
But despite all of that, I had to admit that there was value in getting advice from someone who had done it before me.
I needed someone to tell me what to do next. Someone who had either walked in my shoes or knew people who had.
What was holding me back?
After a few conversations and soul searching, I admitted that a few things were holding me back from hiring an expert:
– I wasn’t treating my business like a business
– My money mindset was focused on scarcity, not abundance (I was focused on everything I had to lose instead of what I had to gain)
– I was scared of spending money on something that might not work
– I was partially afraid of success. Hiring an expert meant that I was really taking the next step in my business
With those points mapped out, I could tackle them one by one. If I wasn’t treating my business like a business, why was I doing this?
Did I want to monetize my knowledge? Absolutely.
My money mindset was focused on scarcity and I was scared of spending what little money I did have on something that wasn’t guaranteed to increase my income. However, I kept hitting the same wall in front of me and I needed help to get over it and move onto the next level.
Like when I played video games when I was a kid, it was a different experience when I was playing by myself than when I was playing with my brother next to me who would warn me about what obstacles to avoid in the next scene. He’d tell me what was going to happen so I could be prepared and make the best moves.
Could I continue on my own? Sure.
But would I get there faster and easier with help? Absolutely.
Hiring an expert
After months of hemming and hawing and talking with other people who had done the same, I finally took the plunge and hired a marketing coach. I invested in myself.
It was scary and I said so during our first call but within seconds, all of my anxiety was addressed. I felt confident that I had made the right decision. Her excitement about what I had done so far gave me the boost of reassurance that I was looking for.
Taking the next steps outlined by my marketing coach would be my responsibility but she’d be there to amplify my actions and cheer me on.
I figured that if I was going to give my hard-earned money to someone, it might as well be someone who I knew and trusted. She was the perfect fit for me and her approaches to marketing resonated with my core values. Nothing salesy, only authentic.
After a few sessions with my marketing coach, I realized that other people started to take me more seriously.
They saw me investing in my business and were, therefore, more likely to invest in me. I sold more courses and I started receiving more queries for more private consultations.
When you pay for a course or service with real money, you take yourself more seriously, too.
I carved out time for marketing and created more content. I followed up with potential leads and started emailing more people who I hadn’t reached out to before.
I had someone holding me accountable and routinely checking in with my progress. I kept putting one foot in front of the other.
And then it starts to work.
All of the things your coach told you to do starts to get traction and you see results.
You make progress which increases your confidence, which leads to more progress and you find yourself in a place you’ve never been before doing things you weren’t doing before.
Success follows on success and the setbacks you encounter don’t seem so stressful anymore because deep down, you know this will work because you’re making it work.
So, does investing in yourself pay off or is that just something people say?
I think it does, or at least, it has for me, but I had to exhaust all of the free content options before I was ready to put my money on the table.
Not all experts are worthwhile, which is why it’s always good to do your research and ask their former clients about their experiences.
So, make your own list of what you think is holding you back from investing in yourself and see if any of it rings true.
What’s holding you back? Fear of failure? Fear of success? Fear of spending money? Fear of admitting you need help? All of the above?
More on being an indie author or illustrator—”Being great isn’t good enough. You have to be at the top of your game to break into the traditional publishing market.” – Natalie Merheb
Stand out from the crowd—”There’s no room in today’s market for more run-of-the-mill books.” —Bobbie Hinman