After spending four years in University to earn a three year degree here's what I did next...
1. Spent $13,500 on a 9-month post-grad Information Technology Course at a school called ITI on Bay Street in Toronto.
Then, together with Nick...
2. Spent $40,000 for a box of marketing materials and CDs. Literally, a box with some binders and a CD case of CDs.
3. Spent $10,000 a year attending two conferences in the U.S. for five years straight.
4. Spent $50,000 for six days worth of "mastermind meetings" with other business owners spread out over two year. That's $50,000 for six days.
5. Spent $8,000 to sit down with a gentleman in Baltimore, Maryland for 4 hours worth of advice.
We've flown to Alberta for conferences, attended events, had mini-mastermind meetings in Washington D.C., Arizona, California, Chicago, Nashville, Orlando, Charlotte, Las Vegas, Miami, Dallas, St. Louis, Ohio and others.
Spent $5,000 to sit with a painter and a hard-core charity/religious fund raiser lady to discuss Google Adwords ... can't exactly remember how that one came together.
This list goes on...
I have hundreds of books around my house and built a custom book shelf to hold them along with some pretty white IKEA bookshelves that were much more inexpensive than the custom job!!
We have monthly newsletter subscriptions to all sorts of stuff.
My audible account is full of books.
Lately we can't get enough of Podcasts ... amazingly they are free and are proving very valuable.
Add it all up, including flights and hotels and we've easily spent over $250,000 on our education after school ended.
We believe it's closer to $300,000.
This is just the actual events we've attended and doesn't include various products we've purchased at some of these events.
We are definitely not sharing this to impress anyone in any sort of way.
Looking back it's actually funny how much we've spent.
But we don't regret any of it and are spending more right now. We've off to New Orleans in a few weeks and then in somewhere else in the U.S. a couple months after that.
If you told us after University we'd have to find a few hundred thousand to further our education we'd have laughed ... then cried.
I remember when we submitted the form for our very first marketing conference. It was for $2,500 and there was a deadline of New Year's Eve to get that "special" rate.
I faxed it around 7:00pm before going out for New Year's, called Nick, and proudly said, "Nick, I did it behind your back ... just spend a lot of money without telling you about it but this is the year we go big."
I remember how serious I was during that call and how nervous I was for spending that money ... at that point our business had cost us about $60,000 and had made us about $3,500.
But I could feel that we were on the right path.
We used to go these conferences taking all sorts of notes, looking for all sorts of ideas.
Now we go with a very specific problem we have --- and are looking for a very specific solution to it.
We keep our radar up because we've learned you never know where the answer will come from. It may not come from one of the speakers, it may come from someone sitting next to us in the audience.
Or from someone we chat with in the hallway.
Over the years we've made some incredible friendships with people all over Canada, the U.S. and Europe at these various conferences.
They've become our own informal business support network and we often call each other or even fly into each other's home towns to chat and brainstorm.
Those relationships are have become very important to us and the people have become good friends.
And we've noticed something in common with a lot of the people we kept bumping into at these various events.
They're all searching. They're all looking for that one little thing that will push them along.
Many of them have HUGE multi-million dollar businesses. They've bought and sold businesses and have made big impacts on their family's future.
But there they are still looking for that one little idea that will help them with a current problem.
Truth be told, although all of this stuff has cost us some big money it's also been responsible for making us big money.
We would have never been able to achieve some of the things we have without these experiences.
It's given us confidence, knowledge and often inspired us into action that we would have never felt comfortable taking.
We genuinely had no idea that some of our most valuable education would come after school was out.
Until next time ... Your Life! Your Terms!
You have spend approximately $300,000 for your post-university education. I am sure you have learned a lot and you have earned lot more than what you spend for education.
Do you have any recommendations for us who is starting our post-university learning now?. Do you think everybody needs to spend this much for their post-university education to be successful?. Do you think there was any way to save some or any money?. what are the lessons you learned?. Any mistakes made and any advise to avoid such mistakes. I would appreciate if you could provide some guidelines for the next generation.
Thank you for sharing even some tidbits of info that you have learned from these events with the members.
Good questions Don! And tough ones!
Here's what we can tell you. You definitely don't need to spend this much. The best lessons always came from people who were already doing what we wanted to be doing. Find who is doing what you'd like to do and ask them to mentor you. They may only have time for a 15min phone call once a month but the information on that call is worth countless books. This would be the least expensive and best way to move yourself forward fastest and perhaps even learn the most.
And while you're looking for that person start browsing around for books and newsletter written by people you resonate with. Michael Masterson's book Ready Fire Aim! is a great. You can stop reading that book after chapter 4 and have more information than some MBA's. Seriously.
Also you should know we progressed into spending this much. First we bought books, then paid for $40/month newsletter, then attended a $2,000 conference, then went back a few times, then spent big $$ to get into a mastermind with some cool people. All of those experiences built up a pretty good network of friends that know their stuff.
So don't feel like you have to do all of this in 12 months.
I'm not sure this is helping, hope it is a tad!
I'm putting you down for 2 tickets to Tweetstock X! 😉
Thanks a lot Tom for answering my questions. I know you are very busy with the member conference today and a million other things!. Much appreciate that you spend time to answer my questions in the middle of all these.