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Do Business Investments Really Contribute to Your Success?

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My friend looked me right in the eyes. She took a deep breath before telling me, “I’m going to do it.”

I tried not to show my unease, but I don’t hide my emotions well.

My stomach tightened. My breathing grew shallow. I tried to speak, but words wouldn’t come out. Besides, I wasn’t sure what to say.

My friend was clear. She knew what she needed to do even though it made no logical sense to me.

She had decided to commit to one of those ridiculously expensive coaching programs. {gulp}

I knew money was tight, but really, was this her best move? Investing in the program would be a ton of money, money she didn’t even have.

Would it really help her business that much? How good can any program really be?

After gathering my thoughts and trying not to freak out, I tried to talk her down. I wanted to convince her to do another, less expensive program. I hated to see her put herself on the line with such a huge financial commitment.

But she was clear that she was going to do it anyway.

And there was no way I could have imagined what would have happened next.


Over the next few months, a miracle was in the making.

My friend took her business more seriously than ever before. And it showed, both in confidence and cash flow.

She was learning things about business and marketing that neither of us knew before.

“Huh,” I thought to myself. “Maybe there was something to this.”

Three Months Later 

As I watched my friend and her business continue to transform, I considered the possibility that investing in one’s business at that level really could make a difference.

But was it the program? Could any program be that good?

With my friend’s continued growth, I was intrigued.

And as life would have it, a similar opportunity came my way. Ridiculously expensive and curiously promising.

Unsure what to do, I did the only thing I knew how to do: I got quiet. Really, really quiet.

I listened deeply to that wise, inner voice that knows the right answer for me.

I heard it clearly.

I was terrified. Ungodly, unbelievably terrified. Could I really spend that much money on coaching?

Yes. It was time to take this big leap.

So I did. And as it turns out, I learned first hand that investing in my business to the tune of 5-figures has nothing and everything to do with success.

Why Investing in Your Business Has Nothing and Everything to Do with Your Success 

With that much cash on the line (cash I didn’t have, mind you), I had to grow my business. There was no other option.

I worked my ass off learning new concepts, implementing big ideas, making and learning from my mistakes, moving past my comfort zone, and creating big wins. I put everything on the line.

As a result, my business took off even faster than the year before. I surpassed my revenue goal working less than I imagined would have to.

But was it because of the program?

Certainly I learned a ton. But could I have learned it without spending so much money?

Possibly so. I believe it would have taken me quite a bit more time to get there, though. Success would have come at a much slower pace. (And I tend to be impatient!)

As Benjamin Franklin reminds us, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Tweet that!

With that program now behind me, I’m finding myself equipped with enough ideas, insights, information, and knowledge that I can keep moving forward for all of 2013 without another big investment. I feel well prepared to tackle all that I have lined up.

My success, and yours, is inevitable. The question is, how long are you willing to wait to get there?

How to Know When to Invest  

Are you thinking about investing in a business program but not sure if it’s the right move for you? Here are some things to help you make the right decision for your business.

Do you have all of the information you need to take the next leap in your business? Or do you feel like getting to the next step in your business would require some new information, support, or ideas that you just don’t have?

If you’re sitting on the knowledge and all that’s stopping you is taking action, maybe you don’t need to pay for more guidance. But if you need the accountability and support to take that action, an investment in the right coach could be perfect for you.

If you’re not sure what next steps you need to take to grow your business, making an investment in your learning is probably the best thing you can do for your business.

If you’re wanting to take a big leap fast, there’s nothing like a solid business investment to catapult you forward.

And, at the end of the day, you know yourself best. Just like my friend did.

What About You?  

Of course, I’d love to hear from you!

Have you made a big investment in your business that catapulted you forward? How did you decide that was the right investment for you?

I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below.

If you’re ready to take your next big leap, I’m now offering some brand new coaching packages designed specifically to help you do just that.

If a commitment of that size isn’t what you’re ready for, you can also check out Marie Forleo’s B-School, the best online business training program out there. Class is in session soon.

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sabine de Cock

Hi Jenny, always love your blog posts, this one as well is spot on, thanks!
This topic is so recognizable for me, as I might be in a similar situation as you were before deciding on the big investment coaching program.
I have been gathering a lot of information and programs over time, all in preparation for the ‘real’ start of my business, and there’s definitely a lot I have learned about online business and entrepreneurship.
Now of course, starting to work with all this info and applying what I’ve learned so far is absolutely doable on my own, but I have no doubt that it will be soooo much faster (and most probably more effective) if I would make the investment and work with a kick-ass mentor. I am someone who thrives on brainstorming, regular check-ins, accountabilty and a little pressure. 😉 Voila the high-end coaching program.
Like you, I have wondered if I would be willing to pay some really big money for a coaching program that could give me all this. And I think paying this sort of money is exactly one of the main reasons it can work so well, because you know you just *have* to make it work in order to not lose the money. And then having someone else’s keen mind to strategize with you, holding a BIG vision for you and some smart mastermind buddies to ping pong with…. ooh, it must be a killer combination.
So, it might be that I’m getting more and more ready for taking the leap as well! Even though it feels like a terrfying thing when you don’t have the cash in the bank. (haha, and that brings me back to why it probably works!)

I’m wondering if there are examples of people who have participated in high end programs, but who couldn’t make it work?


2 Jenny Shih

You spell it out well, Sabine. The reasons why these programs work for many is because you *have* to make them work so you don’t go broke!

To answer your question totally honestly, yes, there are always people and programs that don’t jive. Not every program gives great results and not every client is going to take a program seriously enough to really make a difference in their business or life. And sometimes there’s just bad chemistry between people and programs. At least this is what I’ve noticed.


3 Rebecca Tracey

Hell yeah Jenny!

I invested a pretty big chunk of change even before I had a business, and it was the best investment ever. Not necessarily because what I got out of it, but because it made me level up, take my biz seriously, and get my ass in gear! Money can totally buy motivation!


4 Jenny Shih

I hear you on “money can buy motivation.” The first biggest personal investment I made was to attend Byron Katie’s 9 day School for The Work. It was $4500 + travel and I had never spent money like that before. Katie kept saying to us “make sure you got what you came for.” All I could think was, “I don’t know what I came for! But I know I haven’t gotten it yet.” I was motivated to not leave the 9 days feeling regretful of my investment. Fear of regret is a huge motivator for me. Et voila! With 3 days to go, *click* I figured out what I needed to do to make it all come together. If it had been $100, I’m not sure I would have worried so much. But for $5k, I was certainly motivated to make it worth every penny (and it was).


5 Rebecca Tracey

$4500 is a lot… but then there’s that $11000 + flights + hotels Leadership course I took a few years ago! AND… I ended up dropping out (with no refund). Yeah… make sure you know what you want to get out of it when you shell out big bucks for something!


6 Linda Ursin

I recently made my first investment in coaching, which was more than my total turnover last year. I’ve learned a lot, but I haven’t seen revenue yet. I guess it doesn’t happen overnight. I don’t only tend to be impatient, I AM impatient 😀 Isn’t patience one of those fancy cars?


7 Rebecca Tracey

Linda – it does take time. A lot of it has to do with mindset too. You’ve gotta really believe that you can make money, and that what you do is valuable. Hang in there girl, it’s comin’!


8 Linda Ursin

Thanks :) I could really use it


9 Jenna Dalton

Jenny, I love this post! I know this year is going to be huge for me for so many reasons but one of those reasons is because I hired a coach – YOU! :) We haven’t even officially begun our sessions together but already I can feel the shift. And it isn’t just because of the financial investment, a large part of it is because I know the accountability will be huge, but even more, I have the kind of personality where I won’t want to let you down. So I’ll work insanely hard to make it work.

I know there’s no magic pill. It doesn’t happen overnight. But I am more than willing to put in the work. It’s like kayaking – it can be tough to be the power-house to propel yourself forward and steer at the same time. It’s nice to have someone else in the kayak to help :)

For anyone who’s thinking they don’t have it in them to be the great success they want to be, you do, you just may need a little help to embrace and show off what you’ve got!


10 Jenny Shih

Love the kayaking analogy – totally true!! I’m happy to be your coxswain!

Yes, we all have the ability to be the big success we want to be, and sometimes we need someone to help us see it in ourselves.


11 Stephanie

I love this post because this is where I am now – I have taken quite a few programs and am sitting on a bunch of knowledge, I know that I need some 1:1 help and accountability.


12 Sara

Jenny! this is so perfect for me — last year I did B-School and late last year and early this year I’ve invested in two major coaching programs – one a mastermind and one a business coach. I can definitely say that one has been fantastic so far and one just okay. However, I KNOW that I’m being pushed and forced to work things out that I may have just been sitting around thinking about had I not invested in both.

Sometimes you just have to leap. And then work your tail off to fly.


13 Jenny Shih

LOVE this, Sara: “Sometimes you just have to leap. And then work your tail off to fly.”

So much that I just reposted on my FB page. Thanks for that – it’s so true!!


14 Marguerite Tennier

Definitely invest in yourself – on a personal and professional level. Coaching is a lot about accountability and it works. However, don’t get strapped financially to pay for coaching. (and I am a coach).


15 Suzy

Good morning, first time I’ve visited this group and loved your post. We run programs to release women from the limitations and pains of self-employment and guaranteed every time, it’s the woman with the right mindset and attitude who comes out top. We had a woman join one of our programs at the last minute and in order to be there she had to cancel an overseas trip. Lost money, lost vacation time, squeezed everything out of the program and is producing great results.


16 Susan Osborne

Hi Jenny!
I love this article. Last year I took the plunge and invested in a year-long group coaching program. I had buyers remorse for awhile, but once I put my head in the game, I really saw a difference in ME and my attitude towards my business. Not to mention I received a wealth of knowledge to share with my own audience. It ended up being well worth the investment!


17 Jenny Shih

Love that you see how “getting your head in the game” can make a difference to your own success, Susan! What a great lesson!


18 Lisa Cash Hanson

I am a a coach. But I also have coaches. I think all the comments are so valid. Some pay for courses and don’t reap the benefits while others do. A coach really is only that a coach. We just bring out what’s been in you all along :) With a few extras of course.

When I was working out a while back with a trainer I was in the best shape of my life. Now without the trainer, not as much. I think it’s the same concept. It’s easier to press on and move forward and get results when someone else is cheering you on, making you press through the hard times, and believing in you.

Yes I’ve taken high end courses. Yes they have helped. And together we all rise. What a ride!


19 Jenny Shih

Working with coaches and mentors definitely keep us moving along – in life and in business. Not all pan out like we expect, but nonetheless, if we stick with it and with them, we’re likely to keep moving forward. Like was said above, there’s great motivation in paying someone else our hard-earned money!


20 Tracy Dacko

As someone who has been (and is) on both sides of these relationships, I loved this article because it is so relatable. “Do I take the plunge or is this totally crazy?”

When you make a significant investment in a coach, consultant or mastermind group, you are investing in – and saying to yourself that you believe in – the success of your company. If you don’t believe you’re worth the investment, how do you expect to convince others of the worth of your company/products/services? Because our mindset is almost always at the root of what’s standing in our way, it is also good at talking us out of stretching out of our comfort zone. And of course, that’s exactly where we need to be to experience significant change and growth.

Is the investment scary? Hell, yes! Worthwhile? My experience is if it feels like it’s a good fit, but you’re really nervous about the money, it’s probably going to do you a world of good. As a business consultant, I can look at a business objectively to see what needs changing…but my most important role is to believe in the business owner more than they believe in themselves at the moment.

I recommend people do as you did, and get quiet when making these decisions. You are the only one who can look past the scariness and feel in your gut whether it’s right or not. Unfortunately talking to others can bring in their agenda and their need to keep you where you are currently so it’s not always the best route. It’s a personal decision, but remember that the little voice that is scared of the investment may just be your mind trying to keep you stuck right where you are.

Great article, Jenny, and great comments too!


21 Jenny Shih

Great insight, Tracy, that talking through these decisions with friends isn’t always the best move. As I fully admitted, I was afraid for my friend who was confident in her investment. Likewise, I know that not all of my friends would have been excited about my five-figure investment either! Trusting ourselves is definitely job #1 here!


22 Sue Rice

As someone who has invested in myself (high five figures) on an ongoing basis AND someone who offers high-level entrepreneurial guidance, I am absolutely positive that high level investments are worth it. I’ve offered (and bought at) lower levels and it just is not the same thing. You invest much much more when a high-ticket invesetment is on the line. You meet other people who are equally committed. It is an extraordinary experience and one I would recommend to anyone. If you are feeling stuck, that is precisely when you should invest. The most important takeaway? It is the most important Yes you will ever say to yourself! And the best news? If you pick wisely and work with a great fellow entrepreneur, you can make that investment back in a matter of months! Great post and thanks.


23 Jenny Shih

Nicely said, Sue!!!


24 Rosemary Cunningham

Great reading here, thanks to you Jenny and everyone else.
I’ve invested in a big programme this year.. frighteningly high price tag and it’s making me take my business very seriously and stragegically.

I have realised that I have to tell my coach exactly what I need as otherwise I can resent what I’m spending every month and although she’s great, she’s not psychicl

I’m 2 and a half months in to a year long one on one programme and the learning has been incredible in all sorts of ways. I needed this experience to be able to authentically offer my clients a similar experience. I now know what works, what doesn’t, what I need to offer my new clients and the programmes I want to run.

Choose wisely though.. my coach went from $25 an hour to 6 figures in a year and we trained with the same mentor so I know she’s walking the path I will soon be walking too, in my own way of course!


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