B-School and Investing In Your Business

A lot of people decide to start an online business because it seems easy, and it can take very little money to get started. But once they get started they realize that it isn’t as simple as just setting up a website. There’s a lot more involved in starting a successful business than they first thought. And they start to ask some very important questions. (Things like “How do I find clients?” “Am I clearly expressing the value people get from working with me?” “What is truly important to focus on to create a successful business?”)

I’ve been asking some important questions lately myself, and one of my questions was recently answered in a post by Shanna Mann: How Do I Make Good Decisions about When and How To Invest In My Business? She’s got some very good advice and I highly recommend you take a few minutes to check it out.

The Problem With Most Business Training Programs And Products

I’d like to take a moment to focus on one specific thing Shanna said:

“there’s a lot of assumptions and reasoning for why people do what they do, and why they’re successful or not successful, that only makes sense in the context of that specific business, its owner/culture, and its industry, and therefore to copy that stuff without understanding why it worked is not going to have to outcome you hoped for. In my opinion, this is the primary weakness of most business books and courses.

I remember Naomi Dunford saying something similar in one of her newsletters. Something about how all her students/clients say that all the business training they come across is either too general or too specific, and they have incredible difficulty trying to figure out how it applies (or if it applies) to their specific situation.

(This is why working with a coach can be really helpful – it’s one-on-one and focused specifically on you.)

B-School and Investing In Your Business

So What Does All This Have To Do With B-School?

What does all this have to do with B-School? Well, in one of the Facebook groups I’m in someone posted this: Why I Don’t Promote B-School (+ How To Make Money As A Coach) and we (the group) had a lovely and thought provoking discussion about affiliate marketing, B-School, investing in what feels right, and marketing your business. And I remembered my first experience with the yearly B-School launch. How it seemed like B-School could catapult me to unimaginable levels of success. If only I had $2000, all my problems would be solved! This is dangerous thinking. All a training course or product can do is provide you with information and encourage you to take action. In some courses you also receive one-on-one or group support where you are able to ask questions and get feedback.

You definitely need to invest both time and money into your business and learning the things you need to know to make your business successful, fulfilling, and fun. But invest wisely. Ask yourself what is going to give you the best ROI. (Return On Investment) Ask yourself whether this particular program/course/product/service is really a good fit for you, and if so, is this the right time for it?

If You Came Here Looking For Info Specifically About B-School

Here are my thoughts and some things I’ve heard.

  • B-School seems to be marketed as being a comprehensive course for business beginners, as well as those wanting to “level up” in their businesses, and it may very well be worth $2000+ to get all that info in one place, but I think the people who actually get the most out of it are established business owners (or those who are planning to invest MANY thousands of dollars to get started and are already doing well enough financially that it’s not that big of a deal) for whom Marie’s audience is full of potential customers.
  • It’s pretty clear that the writer of Why I Don’t Promote B-School (+ How To Make Money As A Coach) is using it as a way to promote her own program (and really, considering the competition among affiliates, it’s totally brilliant – she may make less money this way, but she may make more, and either way she’s building her own brand, not Marie’s, and positioning herself as an expert), but I have to agree with all 5 of her points. You CAN get started without a website. Information overload WILL slow you down. Clarity DOES come from action. You DON’T need to get super specific about your “ideal client” before you start – it’s something you learn over time. And success IS messy.
  • I’ve heard that B-School can be very “clique-ish” and doesn’t have the level or type of support some people were expecting.
  • I’ve also heard that the onslaught of promotion continues after you join. Apparently B-School grads are encouraged to promote their services/products/courses to incoming B-Schoolers.

I know how easy it is to get caught up in the hype. Many of the people promoting big things like B-School are expert marketers – they know exactly what to say and how to say it to make you want to buy. But please, whether it’s B-School or any other program/course/product/service, always ask yourself “Is this right for me and my business, and if so, is this the right time for it?

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2 comments on “B-School and Investing In Your Business
  1. Shanna Mann says:

    Great post, Sharise. And I, too, share your concern about B-school. I’ve talked to a few people who’ve taken it, and without exception they told me “It wasn’t as useful as I thought it would be.” Whether that’s a weakness of the training or whether they weren’t in a position to take full advantage of the content, I don’t know. But on the other hand, if you have a B2B business you could do worse than joining that community — targeted, pre-qualified buyers would abound.

    Thanks for sharing that other post– I agree, the key takeaway is that “With action comes clarity.” You can compare possible plans of attack all you like, the only way you’ll know for sure is to do something.

    • Sharise says:

      Thanks Shanna! 🙂 Yes, it seems that not everyone is fully satisfied with their experience of B-School but it’s definitely not a publicly known thing. I think a lot of people get swept up in the launch (it’s hard not to when they’re being bombarded by promotion and crazy affiliate offers – I’ve seen at least one “buy through my link and get _____ free!” offer giving away a program that costs more than B-School does!) and they don’t stop to think if this is really a good fit for them personally and if it’s what they truly need for their business at this time (and I don’t think I realized B-School was a yearly thing until the 2nd year I saw it launched), and remember that a large price tag does NOT automatically equal $0-to-six-figures success. It still takes thinking and work and experimenting and overcoming obstacles and support and guts and the willingness to change and well, you already know all this. And I think that with all the positive reviews and praise and shiny marketing, people are afraid that they are the only person in the entire world who was disappointed with B-School (you are never the only one) and this makes them think there’s something wrong with them, so of course they’re not going to say anything.

      I absolutely agree that with action comes clarity. And the great thing is that clarity (hopefully) leads to action and then you’re in this awesome cycle of improvement. This has been the last 6 months for me and it’s been wonderful and challenging and exhausting and I feel like each step is taking me closer to what I truly want.

What do you think about this?