Why I’m Investing in People Over Products

As I scroll through the folder on my computer with thousands of dollars that I’ve invested in courses over the past three years, three things are apparent to me:

  1. I’ve finished less than 10% of them
  2. The information I have gone through is great! These courses are chockful of useful tips and data and the course creators put together interesting, relevant content.
  3. Relevant content isn’t helpful if I don’t have the time and capacity to implement all these strategies in my business.

I’m a lifelong learner. After getting three degrees, I’ve seriously contemplated going back to school for a PhD, not because it would help advance my career in any way, but because I genuinely like school.

So it’s not surprising that I’ve been investing in courses to get my PhD in Entrepreneur – after all, when I am faced with a task, I want to know everything I can about it.

But knowledge does not equal action.

It doesn’t matter how much I know if I’m not actively implementing and optimizing for the ideal outcome of that knowledge.

2018 is the year that I’m letting go of what I know how to do (and some things I don’t!). I am not the Chief Everything Officer of my business and trying to be has been limiting my ability to grow and serve others.

In 2017, I spent over $5,000 on courses.  This year, I’m committing to spend at least three times that and investing it in people, not products. Here is where some of that investment is going:

Hiring a VA

In December, my done-for-you packages got fully booked through the better part of 2018 and suddenly, the time I had to work in my business got slashed. I knew if I wanted to stay on track with all the projects I’m launching this year, I needed help! Enter Heather Heinrichs. Heather has been crucial to keeping me on part of my marketing game, one of the first things I ignore when client work keeps me busy.

A New Website

I like pretty things, but sometimes, I struggle with executing my vision. I’ve been tinkering with my website for well over a year now and decided it was time to stop losing hours trying to figure out the right CSS to get a button to look a certain way and bring on an expert who can help me overhaul my website so has the strategic functionality I require and the polish I can’t quite seem to give it myself. Thankfully, the amazing Katie Williamsen had an availability and was able to take me on. We’re working together on my new site now and I can’t wait to unveil it! (Bonus, I met Katie through Reina Pomeroy and again in my mastermind, The Social Glue Sessions – she is super smart and you should totally work with her!)

Elevated Design

It’s the website problem all over again! I had an idea of what I wanted for my brand visuals, but the execution fell flat. When I connected with Christi Cooper for a coffee chat (another awesome member of my mastermind) and learned more about her business (she does brand assets and sales pages for Entrepreneurs), I knew I needed her in my life. On her first try, she nailed exactly the aesthetic I was going for and I’m already planning to bring her on for a second project.

A Coach

Hey, coaches need coaches too. I tell my clients that a trusted, knowledgeable outside perspective helps one get out of their own head and when it comes to my own business, I need that too.

My go to lady for this is Reina Pomeroy. I instantly jived with Reina’s philosophies because they so closely match my own when it comes to conducting business. I believe in relentless utility – the act of providing genuine value to your community without the icky sales tactics that often follow. Reina helps entrepreneurs who are fueled by heart and supports them to profit and serve from their expertise.

I’m planning to work with Reina in multiple ways this year: I’ve already returned for a second round of Social Glue Sessions, I’ve just scheduled a clarity call with her to help me align on a direction for some recent (but exciting) shifts in my business and as a birthday gift to myself in March, I’m going to invest in a half day intensive.

One thing I will point out is that every single one of these ladies that I’m working with connected with me in a genuine way before I ever even thought of hiring them.

Grow your lists, increase your followings and build your funnels. But don’t forget the value and impact of connection with other people.


It’s okay to ask for help: 4 times I didn’t DIY my business

Running a business is like owning a house. Being a homeowner for the first time can be tough. There is so much you need to do just to maintain the place. Keep up with it on a regular basis and things can go pretty smoothly. Put it off (and off and off) and it takes what feels like forever just to catch up.

Just like owning a house, when you run a business and maintenance comes up, there are a lot of things you’re going to try to DIY. You’re going to start out by writing all your copy and content or designing your own logo. You’ll draft your own business plan and try your hand at Facebook ads. Thanks to the internet, whether you want to fix a leaky pipe or determine your ideal client avatar, there’s likely an article or video telling you how to do it.

I’m a big fan of DIYing (I do it a lot in both of my businesses), but there are times when you need bring in a “professional contractor” to help you fix your business. Putting duct-tape on the issue is a temporary fix, and never addresses the root cause, meaning your problem will continue or even worse, compound and get bigger!

Good news is that you don’t have to do it all on your own. It’s totally okay to ask for help.

Four times I invested in my business

Here are a few examples of when I decided to move my business forward by attending an event or working with an expert.

1. When I needed direction, I invested in Inspired: The RetreatHosted by the wonderful Amber Housley, I met so many incredible female entrepreneurs  and was inspired (quite literally) to take my skills and use them where I can provide tangible value. This set me on a path I am super excited about!

2. When I needed a brand, I went to Megan Martin. I met Megan at my second Inspired experience and instantly clicked with her. When I went back home to Toronto, I looked at the brand identity I had been working on for myself that just wasn’t right. I knew who I needed to call. While Megan doesn’t take on design clients anymore, she offers a wealth of education for creative entrepreneurs and some gorgeously designed templates. One of the loveliest people I’ve had the good fortune of working with, Megan was able to pinpoint exactly what I needed in our first half hour call and saved me a lot of time and energy by nailing what I wanted in a brand.

3. When I needed community and a sounding board, Reina Pomeroy saved the day. It’s one thing to sell my clients – that comes easy enough. Selling myself? That was another ball game all together. Reina is an amazing advocate for the heart-centred entrepreneur.  Another incredible woman I met at Inspired, Reina created The Social Glue Sessions, an intimate mastermind for entrepreneurs just when I needed it. This community has been the perfect platform to not only connect with other entrepreneurs (shout out to my Power Pod, Mariah, Katie and Jen), it’s given me the support I needed to fine tune my business and make big strides in getting over the fear of putting myself out there. P.S. You can join me in round two of the Social Glue Sessions in 2018! Sign up now!

4. When I struggled with my voice, Lauren Carnes gave me back my confidence. As a former corporate consultant, I struggled with talking to my ideal client. I know who she is – she’s a creative entrepreneur who has been at this for awhile and is feeling frustrated and overwhelmed with the current state of her business. But how do I maintain my credibility as a strategist who can grow her business without coming off as a corporate robot? Lauren, who is an incredible photographer is also a formidable communications coach and was able to answer that question easily. With a background in PR, she was able to get me out of my own head and give my content and communications the second set of eyes it needed. She also gave me actionable recommendations on how to proceed. I can now write without staring at a blank text document for 20 minutes thanks to her!

The Takeaway

When I approach a new task, I ask myself: What is the opportunity cost of doing this myself? DIYing takes a lot of time, trial and error so I carefully evaluate whether my time drives more value in my business by doing it myself or putting my time toward revenue generating projects. Every single one of these investments has helped me tremendously on my path. More so, in addition to helping me grow my business faster, I get to support an incredible community of female biz bosses.

If you’re not sure if you should DIY or not, download my mini workbook for a look at how I decide when to invest.

DIY or Not? When to invest in your business.

Download your free mini workbook now!

Where you do and don’t DIY in your business might not be the same, but if you’re in need of an inspiring community, beautifully designed resources to grow your business, an amazing mastermind and an incredible communications coach, I can’t recommend these ladies enough.