Learn how to value yourself more

If you’re a coach, counsellor, trainer, teacher, facilitator, etc you may not be appreciating yourself as much as you could do.

For example, do you know how much money you have spent on your own training in your specialist subject? It may be more than you think!

Why would you want to work this out? Well, it may surprise you how much you have spent, and cause you to appreciate just how much financially and emotionally you have invested, which may encourage you to…

• value yourself and your knowledge more

• charge higher rates, or ask for a pay rise

• feel more confident and self assured

• turn your knowledge into seminars, books, ebooks, mp3 sessions etc (and if you want support with this, let me know).

Or if you haven’t spent that much money and time, this exercise might encourage you to invest in further training, which will boost your confidence, knowledge, experience and more, and may lead to a promotion, more work etc.

I sat down recently to work out how much I have spent on my own training. Before I began I guessed it would be US$100,000 to $150,000.

What is your best guess regarding your training? Stop and write that down now.

Several months ago I used a spreadsheet and entered the name of each event, specific trainer, city etc I could bring to mind, then referred back to my diaries (I have 300,000 typed words of diary entries on my laptop going back 12 years), my Paypal account, etc.

As I started entering data I remembered other trainings I had forgotten about, and over the following few days I remembered even more times I had invested in furthering my knowledge.

I created columns for the event itself, flight costs where relevant, and expenses: food and hotel. In most cases I didn’t know the actual price I paid for the training, but I gave my best guess.

I included all the personal coaching, business coaching and counselling sessions I have had.

I counted all my professional books (1,300 of them), and multiplied this by an average price.

Some events, CD sets, and a number of one-on-one sessions I got for free either because I was offering something else in return or, as in most cases of freebies, because I was a featured speaker at an event, or because of my position as a potential seller of a product in the UK. Where this happened I added a further column listing the price I would have paid if I was a member of the public.

My wife attended a number of seminars with me both in the UK and in the States. I didn’t include the price of these, or her flight costs.

The total I came to was $262,000 — which is 2.5 times my lowest estimate, and approaching double my highest estimate. I was surprised! You may equally be surprised if you do this exercise yourself.

($262,000 was the money I spent (though actually a small proportion of that was paid by my first employers when I was salaried).)

I received $46,000 of additional events and products which I got for free or a very reduced rate. (I got these through the people I knew: people like Paul McKenna and Bob Proctor invited me to their trainings as a guest; I spoke at certain events so I got a free ticket; etc.)

So this means I can say I’ve had $308,000 of training to get to where I am today, which positions me relative to other people who offer similar services to me. This helps with certain clients.

This is a fair amount of money. I learned a terrific amount from my investment. It has paid off handsomely both financially and mentally. I would like to add that some of this investment was not put to best use: I have spent days at an event and then not implemented much, if anything, in the weeks after the event – sometimes because the event wasn’t that helpful, but mostly due to my own lack of determination and focus to implement. But in other situations I applied a lot of what I learned.

Finally I would like to add that my $262,000 investment does not cover everything I have learned and bring to my writings and coaching sessions. There is also…

  • just getting through life, with its perceived ups and downs
  • success and failures in dating, bringing up children, buying houses, making friends, negotiating with my wife
  • long conversations about life and business with friends, family, staff members, and business associates
  • insights I got from climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, doing a bunjee jump, and other events in my life

If you’d like to get to know yourself better, I highly recommend that you do an audit of all the time and money you have invested in yourself. I am certain you’ll come out of the exercise with greater respect, admiration and appreciation of yourself.