At the end of 2017, I had a very strong feeling that 2018 was going to be my year. I followed my intuition and at the beginning of 2018, I made a commitment to prioritize learning first which made the hard choice of investing in myself and personal development much easier. I have nearly spent $2670. Why?
Why did I choose to invest in myself?
I was longing for confidence in my skills and abilities, technical knowledge of what it takes to set up a meaningful and creative online business, and a bit more self-awareness. By the end of 2017, I was sure that setting up a business on my own terms is what I am going to work towards rather than following the crowd or any blueprints or step by step formulas but the problem was I had no idea what my terms were.
All I had in my head was a vision and a very vague picture of what I wanted to look like. I knew deep down in my heart I wanted to help people, play my teeny tiny part in bringing a positive change in the world. I sounded weird. It still does when I put it this way but this is my version of daring greatly. I do believe, we all have a role to play in the greater scheme of things beyond us. Magic happens when we find meaning beyond our own selves. I was so full of doubt – I am an idealist and I was questioning whether this could be done or this is just my idealist side projecting visions.
Is it possible to build such a thing? I believed that was only possible if I could first help myself and become crystal clear on what systems I need to set in place for making this dream a reality.
I had a vision of setting up a business built from the inside out on my strengths and not the other way around, something that would allow me the freedom to nurture and explore my creativity on an on-going basis, sustainable and profitable enough so I won’t have to worry about taking up jobs that I was no longer interested in, that would allow me to prioritize the security and time for my family, something that would bring me the inner creative fulfillment I long for. I would be the happiest when I will be pursuing my passions which will also make my family the happiest as a result. A business that will allow me to create and experience joy and abundance around me and the community that I wish to serve.
It led me to the realization that I had work to do on my knowledge of my own self first. A business like that would need me to be knowledgeable enough of what I want and more importantly what I don’t want. At times when I find it hard to say what I want I focus my attention on what I don’t want and that makes it easier in laying the foundations of what I really want – by subtracting what I don’t want.
To build a business that’s well-rooted in your core values, beliefs and your strengths need you to be its source of inspiration. What’s going to make it unique is me, my very own raw and imperfect self that’s willing to grow. Starting a business is like embarking on a journey of self-development. Understanding and accepting that I am the biggest asset of my business made it an easy choice that didn’t take me on guilt trips and didn’t bring sleepless nights.
Where did I invest all that money?
Here’s a quick review of what I invested in myself and my personal growth as a creative business owner in 2018.
I came across Marie TV while I was randomly watching Youtube videos and I am oh so happy that I came across Marie Forleo’s work and B-school was coming up. At that time I was jobless, all I was doing was Graphic Design projects, that too on Fiverr. 2000$ felt like a huge investment but I was convinced this is going to save me countless hours of going in circles searching for answers on the internet and bring me valuable information that I needed to start a meaningful business that I would eventually be proud of. Another reason was to get myself familiarized with the business terminologies and basic marketing know-how. What I didn’t expect to learn was little nuggets of wisdom about human psychology and how it all binds together.
In my close inner circle, no one I knew at that time was into blogging, online business or even thought that it was something possible. I was feeling alone until I joined Bschool, the community made me feel safe, seen, heard and understood in the most compassionate way. Before Bschool, I was lacking clarity and direction. After Bschool, I was able to launch my business, this website, understand the importance of community, systems in place to bring you the freedom you dream of in your business and life. I am happy to share it was worth every penny. The course is designed as an experience of 8 weeks but you have lifetime access to the course and it is revised every year with the updated information.
For my birthday this year, when Sameer asked what I wanted for a gift, all I could think of was this creative class by Jen Carrington. The next step after launching the business was learning ways to better express myself and to connect with the community that I am trying to serve. I never thought I had a thing or two in me when it came to writing. I used to write in my journal for as long as I remember but writing here on the internet in a hope to connect and that too, in a way it will resonate with the community was something I learned while working my way through this class. The biggest take away for me was Jen helping me understand that I don’t have to discover my voice but uncover my authentic voice by becoming more self-aware and clear on my core beliefs, stories & ideas. All the exercises were designed to make you think, dig deep inside you and the way writing for dream clients community connected, shared and celebrated inspired me to learn a ton more than I would have learned on my own by trial and error.
Sara Tasker‘s visual style, the career she has built around it inspired me to find my own visual voice, style, and to learn from her. In this course, I learned ways to better connect with the right people. It not only equipped me with the practical information about building a visual brand but also the basics of photography I had long forgotten after taking a few minor courses in Photography during my Graduation Studies. I am still working my way through this course and I am happy that I invested in it.
All of the above-mentioned courses offer lifelong access and community support as a private Facebook group which makes you feel less alone in your journey.
Apart from taking online courses, I spent most of the money on getting my hands on these books which helped me exceptionally with the mindset.
My message to you:
Give yourself permission to be a beginner
It’s okay to prioritize yourself and your learning. If you feel you are in need of a little bit of hand-holding to move past your limiting beliefs, to gain confidence in yourself and your abilities, and you need to work on yourself to gain clarity of your message, your mission, and your direction – Choose to invest in yourself. Give yourself permission to be a beginner.
Redefine ‘learning’ for yourself
It’s okay to invest in non-traditional learning, other than school/ college or university. We are taught to grow up earning degrees as a token of our success in this world and a prepared formula to get a well-paid job but what if learning wasn’t all about earning a degree at all?
What if learning was about indulging into something that teaches you what you are ‘really’ interested in? What if learning had nothing to do with sitting in 4-walled classrooms and memorizing your way through the pre-planned curriculum? What if learning was for the sake of learning itself? What if learning is about choosing to learn something on your own terms by figuring out what works the best for you where you are at in your life?
You really do have something amazing to share with the world
You have to believe in yourself that you really do have something amazing to share with the world. Do whatever it takes to come closer to your heart’s calling. For you, it might be about setting up a business, it might be just about following your curiosity or giving life to amazing creations – whatever that might be, it is worth sharing with the world.
I don’t have all the answers, I am still learning, and by no means, I am suggesting that taking online courses is the only way to gain clarity, confidence, and knowledge. All I am saying is, you are the best judge of what you are in need of.
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