If you want to exponentially grow your business, you need to invest in yourself. There are so many ways to do this. From taking an online course to continuing your education to expanding your knowledge on business – here’s how!
Many financial experts will give you advice on building the right investment portfolio and what percentage you need across stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc. There is also a lot of advice on how much your mortgage, groceries, and charitable contributions there should be in comparison to your monthly income.
However, how many of you have ever been told how much you should budget for investing in yourself and your business?
I’m about to! If you have ever wondered, “how much should I spend on taking courses and continuing education?”, then keep reading.
How To Grow Your Business – Invest In Yourself
When you take the right online course or hire a small business coach, you are learning skills that will help you grow your business and earn even more money.
It really is money well spent.
In 2010, I was learning how much of my income I should spend this way.
I read the book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth and I have to say, it was a life-changing experience for me. It shares the mental beliefs that hold people back in being successful in managing or attracting money. It is also specific in recommendations on the different broad categories and accounts that you should create in your budget and the percent to allocate to each from a personal finance perspective.
Here’s what a personal budget should look like, according to T. Have Eker’s book.
- ‘Financial Freedom’ bank account – 10% of all your income (after taxes). This money is used for investments that will produce passive income for your retirement.
- Play – 10%
- Long-term Savings for Spending – 10%
- Education – 10%
- Necessities – 50%
- Give – 10%
‘Financial Freedom’ jar – Deposit any loose change, even a single penny each day. This will put your attention towards achieving financial freedom.
Most of us see “Education” on the typical budget spreadsheet and probably think that this refers only to college tuition, private school, or even preschool costs for children.
However, T. Harv Eker’s book is probably the only place where I’ve read the recommendation to have a monthly budget item where you use this money specifically for courses, books, training, one-on-one coaching, or any other method you choose to educate yourself.
Successful people tend to read and learn from other successful people, decreasing their learning curve, and saving time and money.
How Much Should You Invest in Continuing Education?
Financial expert and best-selling author Brian Tracy recommends entrepreneurs should invest 3 percent of their income back into themselves. He explains this in detail in his book No Excuses! The Power of Self-Discipline.
Whether you follow Brian Tracy’s ‘3 percent rule’ or T. Herv Eker’s ’10 percent rule’, you should set aside a portion of your income and invest it back in yourself and your personal growth. You’ll see the pay off as you grow your business and you’ll learn how to make more money without working harder.
How Much Should You Pay Yourself and Save For Your Business?
When you are an entrepreneur or small business owner, you should always set up a business budget. Use an expense calculator to establish how much you are spending on everything else and then save some money to use in personal growth.
I took the numbers from T. Harv Eker’s book and modified the categories to fit a business model. Here’s how the numbers come out.
- Financial Freedom: same
- Play: Owner’s Draw
- Long-term Savings: same
- Education: same
- Necessities: Operating Expenses + Taxes
- Give: same
If you haven’t started your business yet, an education fund is important to give yourself the financial resources to gain knowledge and skills to successfully start and run your own business. While there is a lot of free information on the Internet, there is almost too much and it takes time to read through to find and curate the best content.
If you’re already in business, then set-up an automatic saving to a new checking or saving account for your education fund, keeping the money separate from your main business checking account. Budgeting a percentage of your sales and income to invest in yourself and gain new marketable skills will help you grow and expand your business.
Example: If your profit is $5,000 a month, here is a recommended percent allocation from a business finance perspective:
How To Grow Your Business With Continuing Education
What falls into this education bucket? How could you possibly spend almost $500 a month on education material? Here are examples that the money could be used for:
- Business Books, magazines, trade journals
- Training – online courses, certification courses
- Coaching – small business coach or financial coaching, brand management
- Conferences and Seminars – registration fees, travel costs, meals, and childcare (*Read How Much Does It Cost to Attend Small Business Conferences? for a detailed breakdown of how to budget and plan for these expenses.)
- LinkedIn and Social Profile – professional help to write LinkedIn profile and other social media profiles
- Membership fees – Toastmasters, Meetup membership fees or meals/entertainment while attending lunch-and-learn sessions
Grow Your Business With Continuing Education: Final Thoughts
When I was just starting out in my business, a colleague told me to attend a financial media conference to meet other financial experts and bloggers. It was going to cost me over $350 in registration fees, plus food, travel, and childcare costs.
Think of it this way. It would be easy to justify spending hundreds of dollars on networking and eating meals with others, but it can seem challenging to spend that same amount of money on online courses or coaching that could actually help me grow my business. This money ended up returning itself tenfold!
Having money in my education fund allowed me to make a last-minute decision to attend. It was one of the best conferences that I have ever been to, with access to published authors, successful bloggers, and social media experts. The knowledge and networking that I gained from this four-day conference helped jumpstart my success as a business owner, with a far greater return than my initial investment.
I encourage you to take a look at your profit and loss statement and begin calculating expenses by looking at the percentage of your total expenses. This is an easy way for you to see that you may be spending too much in other areas, and not enough on yourself and your future.
- Be intentional and save 10% of your monthly net income to invest in yourself.
- Commit to reading at least one new book a month about money, business, or personal development.
- Research and write down 3 conferences, seminars, training, or coaching that you could do that would further your kick-start or transform your business. If you’re not sure where to begin, here is my list of the best conferences to attend.
What skills and knowledge do you need to feel more confident in starting and running your business? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment with your thoughts, and I’ll share my favorite resources!