5 Things to Know Before Investing in Self-Development

“Dev, I have invested Rs. 4-5 lakhs in self-development but now I am unable to pay my bills. Bank recovery folks are chasing me every day” – This is what I heard from one of my friends some time back.

Over the last 2 years, I have invested over Rs.16 Lakhs in self-development.

Most of those investments have paid off really well and the proof is – I have successfully built a business that is helping so many people and also proving great lifestyle for myself


There are few investments that did not pay off really well, in other words, I burnt my hands and felt bad about that decision!

While India and other developing nation’s people are so open in self-development, there are few things that you need to consider before putting your hard earned money into something!

I know so many people who have been emotional and invested lakhs of rupees in self-development hoping they will make crores in few months (As per the shiny object syndrome shown by the coaches) but struggling to pay their bills today!

If that is you, then read this article very carefully, it could save you/ make you a fortune!

#1 – What kind of learner are you?

Understand what kind of learner are you. Are you someone like me who is good at learning in a group or from videos and implementing at a fast pace or are you the person who needs the constant push?

If you are the former person then training is good enough but if you need someone to handhold you and help you implement things then look beyond training, in other words, look for mentoring!

#2 – “Why” do you want to learn?

One of the overused techniques in selling training is “arousing the emotions”

All the great coaches who sell their programs know that you buy based on emotions and not logic. You can also call it “Shiny Object Syndrome”. They show you the shiny part so that you take the decision fast!

Here is how they sound like –

“If you join this program, you will be able to make….. money within 3 months. Imagine what you can do with that kind of money”

“If you join this program, you will get the templates and by just filling your relevant info you will be able to achieve….this and this. Imagine how easy it will be. This template has made us over 2 million dollars. E.g. Email follow up templates”

Let us understand what happens when we get presented the formula to get rich fast or get the easy way out, greed kicks in and your logical mind shuts down!

Like what happened to me when I spent Rs.3.5 lakh in affiliate marketing.

Here is how my logical brain was shut by the closer of that program –

Closer – “Dev, how much money do you need to quit the job?”

Me – “Rs. 1 lakh a month”

Closer – “What if you can make this within 3 months?”

Me – “It would be great” (Me in my mind, WOW, that will be awesome. Logical brains shutting slowly)

Closer – “Typically our clients were able to get these results in 3 months as we have all the proven templates that made millions for us and you have to just execute them”

Me – “That is great” (Emotions are kicking in as I see myself getting rich and free)

Closer – “In the best case you can make 10 times the money that you are making and you can work from anywhere. How would your life look like in such a case?”

Me – “That would be wonderful” (Now I am on the cloud nine imagining my new life”

Next thing you know is my brains have been shut down completely and my emotions made me pay Rs. 3.5lakh

While he may have done the right thing to help me take the decision but I entered into it for the wrong reason. I wasn’t passionate about affiliate marketing and got into it only for money. The result – I quit within 2 months!

To avoid falling for shiny object syndrome, you need to understand what is your “Why” to learn that thing. If it is only to make money then you will fail miserably!

Find your passion and learn things that will help you to make a difference to others using your passion. Think about them!

#3 – Will you have direct access to them when you are stuck?

I have seen many coaches doing a great job in the training but the real problem comes when the trainee is stuck with something and their coach is not accessible.

This is when the real learning begins. Classroom training was just a net practice.

Be careful if you are someone who needs handholding; do not invest in training programs where you do not have access to people who will help you to execute it.

#4 Trainers, Consultants, Coaches, and Mentors:

Most of the new learners do not even know the difference between all four. For them, everyone is a coach.

Here is the difference:

Trainers –

A trainer comes on the stage, delivers the training and goes away. He may or may not even review if the trainees have implemented the learning

I have seen a majority of coaches operating in this space charging Lakhs and no wonder why their trainees struggle. They give annual plans but when you look very closely they just sold training – 3 days in Bangalore, 3 days in Chennai, 3 days in Delhi and 3 days in Mumbai. One year is over and not handholding or implementation.

This type of learning is not fit for the newbie who needs lots of execution support

Trainers mostly trade time for money, not transformation or execution.

This is as good as watching recorded videos!

Most of the trainers train people in masses so there is lack of customization. Consultants address this and do a better job at it!

Consultants –

Consultants are basically the advisors for a specific problem or area you need help with.

Example – IT Consultants, marketing consultants, health consultant etc.

They do give great advice which is specific to your problem.

Coaches –

These are people who focus on helping their coaches to implement things. Mostly they are hired for a specific area. E.g. Sports coach, Health Coach, Business Coach etc.

I feel their effectiveness is much higher than the previous two.

Mentors –

Mentors are a rare breed. They are someone who has been there, done that. They help the mentees with mostly all aspects of their lives – Business, Family, Health etc. Of course, implementation is in the mentees hands but they help them execute it as well.

They do not trade time for money. They focus on the transformation or in other words “Results”

I hope this article helps you chose the right self-development course or program!

#5 – Social proof

Have you googled the coach’s name and see if he has been adding value in social media without any expectation.

How many followers does he have on social media platforms?

How many people love his work?

What sort of feedback people has given him?

How much value has he been providing for free on social media?

Who has benefitted from his programs?

Has he written bestselling books? What are the reviews on Amazon?

Combination of all that will give you a fair idea whether or not if the coach is right for you!

I hope these tips help you in choosing the right self-development programs for you!

What else do you think someone must consider before investing?

Thank you,

Dev Gadhvi


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