The most interesting word in the sentence is “pay”.
Or rather payback.
Why would you put in time, money and effort without a clear payback?
And yet most people have not a clue what this payback could be
For me it was about confidence. When I first started out in business I saw myself as an impostor. I knew stuff about marketing but I didn't feel confident about my knowledge.
For me each workshop I went to, built more confidence in myself. So guess what? I went to many workshops and did spend a lot of my money, time and energy.
Did I get a direct return on the first $12-$15k I spent?
Not if you count dollars and cents. When I look back in time, those three workshops (and one was priced at $10,000) didn't bring in any dollars and cents. But what they brought me was confidence.
So the question does arise: Can't you get that level of confidence from a book? Or an online course?
I was reading two books a week at the time
And yes it was giving me a lot of knowledge, but for confidence I needed something else. I needed to be with real people in a real life situation. To understand not just my strengths and weaknesses, but to see the strengths and weaknesses of others as well. In live workshops I learned things that I could not have learned at home.
So the biggest paycheck I got was confidence. The second paycheck I got was time away.
I didn't realise the value of being away
Getting disconnected from your work enables you to connect. I'm always amazed at how people stay in touch with the office the whole time that they're away on a conference. To me that's a complete waste of a workshop experience. The time you spend travelling: on the train, plane etc is the time to disconnect.
That helps you think. The time you sit in the workshop and then the time after the day's proceedings—again “thinking time”. If you speak to others and talk about your situation, and discuss things: Again think, think, think.
When you're connected all the time to your email and phone, you can't disconnect. And hence you don't make us of the downtime because you're always chained to your office; to your life; to your troubles.
This is one point where you are away on a “work vacation” and it's giving you time to think. And you're squandering it by being connected to some crappy email and phone.
But you're a sole proprietor? How can you let the business run without you?
Good point. And in today's world, expectations are quite high. People expect you to respond to email and answer your phone. No they don't. They just want “someone” to answer the phone. “Someone” to answer the email. In our case, that “someone” happens to be a family member.
In your case that person could be a trusted friend or a paid assistant. Or someone who you swap places with e.g. “You look after this stuff when I'm away and I'll do the same for you later”. And that enables you to disconnect and get time to think about your business. It’s three-four days away, not six months, so keep that in perspective.
The third factor is simply one of connections
This is a big paycheck. Probably the biggest of them all. I can't speak for any workshop out there, but I can tell you that at a PsychoTactics workshop, we make it imperative to form connections. When you connect with others, you lay the foundation for implementation.
Because frankly speaking, most workshops are information dumps. You have ten speakers, and twenty different topics and all you can ever hope to do is clutch at a few good ideas. But even with one speaker and just a few ideas, it's still hard to implement anything especially when you get back to your office.
There are several reasons for this
1) You have to catch up with all the work.
2) You have to have some time to just get over the “jetlag” (even if you live in the same state).
3) Implementing anything new is so darned hard, you just go back to whatever you were doing.
So connections help. When you spend three days (or more) at a workshop, you get to connect at a real level with the rest of the participants. And when you get back, you can continue that connection via an open forum, a private mastermind or a taking action forum.
Of course all of this can be done without having a workshop, but a workshop makes the experience richer, and the connections deeper.
So there you have it:
It doesn't sound a lot like payback. And yet it is. It's the payback that is invisible and not considered, that counts the most. Eventually you'll learn to cherish workshops instead of treating them as an expensive activity. Of course there's still the matter of money. But no workshop in the world can guarantee you money, because the money comes from implementation. And implementation counts on connection, and disconnection and confidence.
There's payback all right. It's just invisible. And now you can see it.
“The Brain Audit provided me with a great structure into which to think and operate with my customers and prospects.”
There is a lot in there to assimilate, despite the “simple” model. Moving the gears in my brain to another position takes time but provide a very powerful change in doing business with others.
The good thing is that The Brain Audit is available in MP3 and in a book format, making it easier to upload into my skull.
I have come to appreciate the notion of the target profile, which looks like a basic thing, but in reality, is not at all that easy to come up with and is in itself worth the full price!
Philippe Back, Belgium
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“And implementation counts on connection, and disconnection and confidence. There’s payback all right. It’s just invisible.” – So true Sean. You make some great observations in this article. Disconnecting for a few days really does help.