Our fourth podcast episode features our host, Jane Tweedy Founder of FAQ Business Training solo again (guests are coming soon!!). Jane reverts back to our pillars of thought leadership and actionable education.
Watch the episode below, or head to FAQ Business Podcast or your favourite podcast service to subscribe to future episodes.
Disclaimer – All information provided today is general in nature. Please reach out to Jane for personalised advice.
Listen to Episode 4 of the FAQ Business Podcast
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FAQ Business Podcast Ep4 transcription
Welcome to FAQ Business Podcast. In episode 3, I talked about investing in yourself and that I thought it was a great thing to do. It was one of the things I consider a success for me in business. But should you undertake more learning, more study, or get certified in something? For instance, are you considering getting an MBA? Is it worth it?
00:22 Should you get certified? Should you get an MBA?
People often contemplate, should they get certified? Should they get that MBA? But let’s look at it and consider whether or not it’s worth it for you. We will look at things like self-belief, return on investment, satisfaction, and procrastilearning.
00:38 Thought leadership and actionable education
Today is part of our thought leadership pillar and also includes some actionable education, which you can do by either taking notes as we go or by grabbing our checklist later from our blog.
00:54 Welcome to the FAQ Business Podcast
Welcome to the FAQ Business Podcast for growing small to medium business owners who want to make a positive difference. The FAQ Business Podcast covers four key pillars, actionable education, inspiring leaders, businesses like you for relatability and thought leadership where we really challenge your thinking. It’s hosted by myself Jane Tweedy, founder and lead trainer of FAQ Business Training, where we want to avoid you getting ripped off or ripping yourself off because of what you don’t know you don’t know. We’ll feature an amazing diversity of guests with lots to offer to educate and inspire you.
So let’s jump into today’s episode of the FAQ Business Podcast.
01:46 Make sure you know your why
Before undertaking additional study or that certification program or signing up to some membership make sure you know why you’re doing it.
01:55 I’m a lifelong learner, bite-sized training every day!
Firstly, I’d like to point out I am a lifelong learner. I love learning. I learn every single day and I think that that is a given that if you need to learn something that you need to use right now and it’s bite-sized, go for it, learn it, do it. But what we’re talking about today is when you are going to study or enrol in a significant program that requires a greater investment of time and money.
02:21 Invest in yourself
I mentioned in episode 3 about investing in yourself. I stand by that as something which has reaped great rewards for me. However, I’ve also signed up for many courses and not started them or started them and not completed them in some cases multiple times. Why did I do that? Often because I lacked that clarity around my why or the time to commit to it.
02:47 Grab the checklist
I had other things going on and I just didn’t have the capacity. So let’s go through a bit of a checklist to work out if this is right for you. You may want to create some notes as we go through or you can jump on our blog and grab the checklist from there. So let’s get started.
[INSERT BUTTON/ LINK TO SIGN UP FOR CHECKLIST – Jane to set-up in Mailerlite]
03:06 #1 Why are you looking to study or get certified?
Number 1, why are you looking to study or get certified in the first place? Is your why strong enough? And what we always mean by that is if the going gets tough, will you get going? Is there an alternative route to doing this study? So you might think you need it, but do you really need it? So make sure you’ve thought about it.
03:27 You don’t need to be the expert in everything
I was speaking to someone earlier today and she was sort of saying, do I need to go and do an HR course? A human resources course? And I said to her, no, she doesn’t. She doesn’t need to be the expert in everything.
03:37 However, do learn some basics
However, I would strongly suggest doing some short courses. For instance, the ATO does one and they will definitely do a few on the bits that she needs to know because it’s always good to learn some basics before we start outsourcing anything. But do you need to go and do the full diploma level course? No, definitely not.
03:57 #2 Will you utilise these new skills immediately?
Number 2, will you be able to utilise these newfound skills immediately? If you don’t use them immediately what tends to happen is you tend to forget what you learnt. Prime example of this way back when I did a Master of Applied Finance when I was working in investment markets and analytics, and it kind of made sense.
04:20 If you don’t use it, you lose it
But one of the courses I did, we did a particular thing about bootstrapping bonds and calculating bonds. Honestly, even back then, I would have no need to manually be able to calculate bonds using an Excel spreadsheet. I just didn’t have a need for it then, and I certainly don’t have a need for it now. So could I remember how to do that? Hell no, because I don’t use it. If you don’t use it, you lose it. Simple as that.
So really think about what you’re doing and whether you’re actually going to be able to use it, because if you can’t use it, you will forget it. Now some concepts and things will stick around for years.
04:58 Learn and use over it will stick
Some things I learned many years ago still stick. For instance, back at Maccas, prepare, present, try out, follow-up. I still remember that vividly because it stuck in my brain. It was something I used over and over and it did stick, but it won’t stick if you don’t actually get to do any practice. So consider that when you’re studying.
05:19 #3 Will study help you change or evolve in a new direction?
Number 3, will it help you change or evolve into a new direction? Sometimes this can be required, particularly when your industry has been quite heavily disrupted, either by something like Covid, by global pandemic, or by something like digital technology disruption. So sometimes we do need to evolve and change. And sometimes by studying, we can get ahead of the game. So that can be a good thing.
05:46 #4 Do you lack self-belief or suffer from imposter syndrome?
But number 4, do you actually have a lack of self-belief or do you have impostor syndrome? Is that why you’re looking at studying? I see a lot of people doing this. They think if I just do this one extra course, if I just do this certification, then suddenly I’m going to be so much better at what I do and I’m going to be out there because I know what I’m doing. But really, will you? Or will you get to the end of that course and go, mmm OK, I’m certified in this now, but now I think I need this as well.
06:18 Are you becoming a full-time student?
Because I’ve definitely seen some people who are just constantly course after course after course and then not doing anything in their business. They are effectively just permanent full-time students. Now, that’s fine if that’s your intention and that’s what you want to do. But it’s not fine if that’s not your intention, make sure you’ve thought about this. Am I really covering up for something else?
06:43 #5 Is this the only program to meet your needs?
Number 5, is this the only option to meet your needs? Often I see people enter into unnecessarily expensive programs. Like I’m talking huge bucks when they just shouldn’t be there.
06:58 A higher cost doesn’t mean higher return
A prime example was one of my clients who said to me after a two hour meeting with me, she goes, I got more out of this two hour meeting than I did in this $18,000 one year course I did. She signed up for a program, which, to be honest, they really shouldn’t have accepted her for, she was way too junior for that program and it just went completely over her head. It was a complete waste of time [and money].
07:23 Look at other programs on offer and choose what’s right for you
So please make sure you consider whether the program, even if you decide right, I need to learn digital marketing. Decide whether the offering in front of you is the right choice for you. There are plenty of other people offering the same thing or offering variations of it. Try out other programs as well and make sure you’re picking the right one to suit where you’re at and where you need to go to.
07:46 #6 The money – how much will this cost?
Number 6 is about the money. How much money will this course cost? How are you going to recoup that cost through what you’re offering in your business? And what is the breakeven amount? So let’s look at a scenario here, if you do a $10,000 course with, say, $4,000 worth of travel expenses, because let’s face it, we’re going to do some travelling going forward. So that’s $14,000 worth of actual cost to do that actual course.
08:15 Include your time in the recoup or breakeven calculation
But then there’s also your time. And I’m going to be a little bit controversial here. But I’m going to say, for instance, if you had 150 hours that you’re spending on that course, I’m just going to value that at a mere $40 an hour. Now, there are some people I know that would value that much higher. But remember, a $40 kind of hourly rate employee type rate is kind of equivalent to about $150 hours contracting (client hourly) rate. So just got to bear that in mind.
08:43 Do this calculation at an hourly rate you’re happy with
So you can also redo this calculation should you wish at $150 an hour by all means. But I’m just going to do a rough $40 an hour at the moment. So to repay what’s now $20,000, $6,000 worth of our labour and $14,000 worth of actual cost, to repay that $20K over 3 years, you’re looking at nearly $7,000 per annum, assuming no funding cost or a low funding cost that’s covered by my rounding it up.
09:12 Why we use 46 working weeks in our calculations
If you have 46 working weeks and I always knock off 6 weeks, the reason I do is for 4 weeks annual leave, 2 weeks worth of sick leave or public holidays or whatever. So basically knock 6 weeks off the year.
09:27 Calculate the amount to recoup – as a one off extra
That means you would need to earn $145 extra per working week to repay that $20K over 3 years or to get that money back. And so you can look at that and go well, actually, that seems pretty manageable. That might be one extra coaching hour you do a week. But remember, technically, when you do that, you’re incurring more cost.
09:50 Alternatively raise prices and spread out the cost
Alternatively, you could add $10 an hour on 15 coaching sessions a week to give you your $150 extra. And that way it’s genuinely extra on top. So you put your prices up by that amount to cover it. And again, you’ve got to assess, can I afford to raise my prices $10 an hour? Will I lose my client base?
10:12 Is it viable for the return period you desire?
So work out how viable this is. Now sometimes like that one, it seems pretty reasonable. Other times you’ll do it and go, mmm that doesn’t add up at all. And also obviously I have done that over a 3 year period. You might want to cut that down to get a return over a 1 year period. Totally up to you.
10:31 #7 How much time will this take?
Number 7. How much time will this take? So we just looked at money, but time costs us, right? Do you have the time to do this? So, for instance, if the course indicates it’s going to be 9 hours a week to do it as a remote course. If your cup is already full, if you’re already at the top, if you add more to that cup, what’s going to happen, it’s going to overflow. It’s going to make a mess.
10:59 If your cup is already full, you need to let something go
So if your cup is already full, if your day is already full, you’re going to have to take something out first. You’re going to have to sacrifice something. Please make sure you consider what that sacrifice will be to make sure that this is going to work for you.
Please check out our blog here in managing overwhelm when you’re already at capacity.
11:13 Allow enough time to complete the study or certification
Also, remember that we do tend to underestimate how long things take to complete, and we need to make sure that we have allowed enough time to actually complete this new study or certification. In addition to all the other things we are already doing and all those little joys of the world that get thrown our way.
11:35 Do not schedule more than 75% of your day
So if you have kids who knows what’s going to happen to them, your health could suffer. Anything could happen. So make sure you’re allowing for some free time in your day, not more than 75% of your day allocated. Allow some freedom in your day for a bit of spontaneity, but also a bit of emergency handling.
11:57 #8 What’s your track record for completing courses?
Number 8, look at your track record. Have you got a track record of starting and not finishing things? Why was this? You really need to look into it. For instance, I had a particular course that I went to do. It was a diploma, and I had decided that a diploma would just give some extra credibility to a particular business option I was doing at the time, and I just thought it would look better if I had it.
12:22 I didn’t complete it and didn’t really need it (learn from this!)
I didn’t need it. And I think that was part of why I never really completed it because I didn’t really need it. But also, as it turns out, a later course of study which I did want and need actually turned out to provide an alternative path. So it kind of worked out. Well, maybe it was to be because I actually didn’t really need it in the end anyway.
12:43 Okay not to complete incidental courses
But look at why you’re starting things and not finishing things. I do enrol in a lot of courses, but sometimes it’s just simply because you get a bundle deal. In one case, I bought 99 courses for $99, and it’s like, of course, I’m not going to do all those courses. That’s fine. If I do 2 of them, I’ve made my money. It’s fine. So just sometimes look at what you’re taking up and what it really means.
13:09 #9 Are you procrastilearning? Learning can be a form of procrastination!
Number 9, are you procrastilearning? Do you know what procrastilearning is? You all have heard of procrastination of course. So procrastination is when we’re avoiding doing what we really need to do and we do anything else. So suddenly the pantry needs cleaning. Suddenly the floors need mopping. Suddenly we need to take up a new craft hobby. We do anything to avoid it, and often we just play games or sit and just Netflix binge on the TV.
13:39 What are you avoiding by studying?
What is also procrastinating is when we go and do a course, we go do a workshop, we sign up for something, and all we’re doing is avoiding the inevitable. That we are avoiding what we need to do in our business to get ahead.
So please make sure you consider are you actually doing this course because you need to because you want to or because you’re actually avoiding doing something else. That’s not a good way to be. So procrastilearning, watch out for that one.
14:08 #10 Do you already have access to a course or program you could access?
Number 10. Do you already have a bunch of courses or access to assistance or a program that you’re not using? Currently, for instance, I am enrolled in, I think about three different programs and have I used them at all in the last month or so? Nope, I just haven’t got round to it. Now two of them run for a period of time. And so as long as I use them before the end of the time, I’m OK with that.
But the other one I’m actually paying for on a monthly basis, and it’s not cheap. It’s a very expensive one. So I actually need to make that call. Do I just call it quits, or do I continue it till I can actually use it? Because it’s one of those ones if I cut it, I don’t really get access back to it. So I need to consider what I’m doing here.
14:53 Go back to old course notes and workbooks and action them!
The other one, a lot of people do, though, is you actually do the course, and then you just stick it in the drawer, you put it up on the shelf, but you don’t actually put it into action. So why don’t you look back at the notes you took, the workbooks, and that you have for old courses and actually go back to those and do those before undertaking any new study, particularly if there’s something that very much overlaps the new thing you’re looking at doing.
15:21 #11 How will you utilise the new training?
Number 11, how will you actually utilise this new training? How will you put it into action? What new products or services will you create for your business to actually get these out to the world?
15:34 Will you offer a new product or service and how will you promote it?
For instance, recently I did my HBDI® Certification, my Herrmann Brain Dominance [Instrument], Herrmann’s Certified Practitioner, which allows me to do HBDI® profiles and do debriefs for people and do training correlated to Whole Brain Thinking®.
But what I need to make sure, to make sure I’m making the most of that certification is that I’m creating a clear sales page for that, that I’m promoting those services, that I’m mentioning what I’m doing, that I have clear training programs set up.
If I don’t have all that, then there was no point doing that certification. It doesn’t add a lot of value. So make sure you’ve thought about how you’re actually going to implement it into your existing business.
16:18 #12 Will your new learning fit with your current market or niche?
Number 12 correlated to that. Is it going to be marketed to the same audience, to the same niche, or is this something that you actually need to find a whole new market for? Is it going to be part of your existing business or is it going to be an actual standalone, separate brand?
16:35 Will you need to rebrand the new offer?
A lot of people struggle with that and whether their new thing fits with their existing thing. So make sure you’ve considered that because obviously that adds to additional cost. If you’re setting up a whole new business and new logos and branding and all that sort of stuff?
16:51 #13 Do you have support from a study and pressure perspective?
Number 13, do you have support to help you get through the learning and through the pressure of learning? Will somebody in your family and that be able to take the slack? If you have to look after kids and look after a business and look after a job and do all these things? Can someone look after the kids for a few hours so you can do some study?
17:11 Will your immediate people support you?
So make sure you’ve thought about how you’re going to get through this and who is going to support you. Are they going to support you? Are they going to be favourable of you doing the study or are they going to go, oh, gosh, why are you wasting your time on that?
17:24 Do you need a study buddy?
So think about who is in your court. Maybe you need to get some friends or colleagues that can help you with what you’re doing. I know when I did my Cert IV Training and Assessment update, I had to do a lot of work with regard to assessments, which was just crazy. But anyway, long story.
But with that particular one, I had to have somebody that was actually doing assessment checking, so they had to go and check my assessments and make comments on it and all that stuff, which was a lot of work for them and for me. So I had to make sure I had that person lined up. Now sometimes that will be a person in your course, and that can be fine. But sometimes you actually need to arrange it outside of the course. And that’s what I actually had to do for this one.
18:08 #14 How will accomplishing the study make you feel?
Number 14. How will you feel when you accomplish the study or the certification? How will it make you feel? Because let’s face it, some people will put having an MBA on their bucket list, and that’s really, honestly, the only reason why they’re doing it because it’s a bucket list thing. It’s something they’ve always just wanted to do. There isn’t anything more necessarily than that gut instinct of I just want to do this.
18:34 Sometimes gut feeling is all we need
So really think about for you what it means to you if you accomplish it. If you get this done, what does it mean? What does it look like? Because sometimes that gut feeling can be all we need.
18:47 Make a genuine assessment is the study really worth it for you?
If you go through and address all these points I’ve just raised, what you can do is make a genuine assessment of whether the study or the certification is right for you. Because let’s face it, nobody else can make the decision but you. Nobody else but you will know what is right for you.
19:07 Each person has different reasons for studying
So I mentioned this in episode 3, that there was a lady that happened to say that it was a waste of time doing these certifications and things. And at the end of the day, that’s her thing. She felt it for her situation, but she was kind of putting it out to people that they were wasting their time doing those sort of certifications. That’s not true. Each person has different motivations, different needs, different wants.
19:32 Do YOU really need it?
So always look at these sort of situations for you and what you need to do. But go through that checklist and make sure you’ve really considered it before you invest significant time or significant money into your next training or certification. Do you really need it?
19:50 Productivity hack or tech tool
As part of the FAQ Business Podcast, I’m going to be asking guests a productivity hack and a bit of a tech tool as well. What I’m suggesting today is using voice to text.
20:01 Google Voice typing – free on phones
So Google Voice Typing is free on your phone, and you may also find in Word on your computer you may have a dictate option. Now, I had that on my last computer, but it just didn’t work. On this computer, it works fine. So check it out.
20:17 More conversational via voice to text
I do find the one on Google Voice Typing on the phone tends to be a little bit more accurate. Give it a go and see what works for you. But the concept of this is when you voice to text, a) you’re more conversational, less robotic. But most importantly, b) if you’re a slow typer, it gets rid of that problem.
20:36 Voice to text means you don’t edit as you go
But the biggest thing it improves c) is the fact that you don’t edit as you go. So literally you just blurt out everything you want to say, and then you can edit what you say because otherwise when we type, what we tend to do is type, type, type, edit, edit, edit, type, type, type, edit, edit, edit. So we’re doing the whole three steps forward, two steps back kind of thing. It’s just not a very efficient way of creating anything.
21:03 Great for writing blogs, long-form content and studying
So if you’re having to write blogs, if you’re having to write long form content, if you’re having to write articles, if you’re having to do essays for studying or answer assignments, then give this a go. The voice to text is a brilliant option, and this might save you a lot of time when you are doing your assignments. If you do decide to study or do some form of certification.
21:25 Voice to text – an efficient way of getting things out of your head
So what I suggest doing is you sort of put your heading and your three key points or whatever you want to get out and then blurt away. You’ll find that it’s a really efficient way of getting things out of your head and down onto paper or onto your computer, whichever you prefer.
21:43 How will that course or program benefit you – now and in the future?
Thanks for listening in today. And remember, before signing up for that next course or program, consider how it will benefit you both now and into the future.
Will you be able to apply the skills learned right now? Will it future proof you in your business or your career and make sure that you can translate anything you’re learning into action? Because if you don’t use it, you definitely tend to lose it.
22:11 FAQ Business Training will be offering implementable training from 2022
Look out in 2022, where FAQ Business Training will be introducing implementable training options, filling that gap between the learning and actually doing. We’re going to do things like online courses.
You do your little course about how to do an online course, and then we’ll actually step through it week by week over a month and actually get you having that course up online. Look out for that in 2022. Thank you for listening and we look forward to catching you again on the FAQ Business Podcast.
22:48 Subscribe to the FAQ Business Podcast
Thank you for listening to today’s episode of the FAQ Business Podcast, available on all good podcast services. You can subscribe today via FAQbusinesspodcast.com.au or directly on Apple iTunes, iHeartRadio or Spotify. Subscribe. Follow. Share and where able to review our podcast or leave us a comment on either YouTube or our blog page.
Thanks for helping us to help you the small to medium businesses who are growing and want to make a difference. Look forward to connecting with you again on the next episode of the FAQ Business Podcast.
Today’s episode featured our host Jane Tweedy. Her details are as follows:
Jane is a Professional Certified Coach with International Coaching Federation (PCC with ICF), business advisor and trainer. She loves working with growing small to medium business owners who are doing the right thing, to help them do it right! Currently, Jane offers at least 50 live sessions a year to train small business owners.
Jane offers a variety of services to clients and her online school and membership site will be available before the end of 2021. Jane’s focus for 2022 is building the membership and offering implementable small group training – something she finds is often the missing link.
If you are interested in training, speaking, or anything else Jane has to offer, please connect via firstname.lastname@example.org or via the contact forms on our websites.
faqbusinesstraining.com.au – our main site with a great blog
faqbusinesstraining.com – our new online school
faqbusinesspodcast.com.au – our podcast site
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