The resources for business and career development are endless.
You have so many choices to grow as a professional artist.
But how do you decide? How do you know when to invest, and when to save your money?
Indigene T. Gaskin wrote with a common dilemma: How do you choose what online seminars and webinars to pay for? Do they work? Or do they just make money for the presenters?
Full disclosure: I am, as you probably know, one of these online teachers/presenters.
But I am also a consumer. I pay for several learning opportunities every month, so I have similar questions. When do I register, and when do I sit it out?
Ask yourself these five questions whenever you are tempted to pay for a learning experience.
1. Might I learn one thing that will be of value?
You can learn a tidbit from almost anything you pay for and make it worth the cost.
I find this to be true in the products and services I pay for. One sentence can change my whole mindset, spark a brilliant idea, or confirm my direction. That one sentence is priceless.
2. Am I ready to receive the guidance?
If you’re not ready to apply what you learn, pass it by. You can gather information until the sun turns lavender, but nothing will serve you until you’re ready to receive it.
This means that you have a responsibility in the learning process. The instructor teaches and shares. You must make it work.
3. Do I respect the presenters?
The onus is on you to research the “experts” and make sure they’re a good fit for your learning style. Some people are more touchy-feely while others are more business-like. The vibe you seek will depend on where you are in your journey.
The important thing is that you respect the people delivering the message. Read their writings and understand where they’re coming from before signing up.
4. Do I already know or apply this?
Many of the opportunities out there are rehashing what you already know. Even then, you have to ask yourself: “Sure, I know this, but am I doing it?” (Go back to #2 above.)
On the other hand, you might be knowing and applying the topic already. For instance, if you’re great at staying in touch with your contact list, updating your mailing list, and making your collectors feel special, you do not need to take my Cultivate Collectors class that starts February 9. Save your money. Program no longer available.
5. How is this program different?
Every time you look at a topic in a new format, you digest it differently. You learn it from a new angle.
Is it a webinar instead of a teleseminar?
Is it a retreat instead of a lecture?
Is there a new spin on the topic?
Is it in person rather than online? (Come to Durham, NC May 20-21!)
Is it a guest you haven’t heard before?
Is there interaction with other participants?
Is a transcript provided after the call?
Is it ongoing rather than a one-shot event? (Look for the launch of my new membership program in February!)
You can’t sign up for all learning opportunities, but you can make informed decisions by using this five-question process.
What do you look for in a learning experience?