Source: Articulate.com

One of the most common traits among the wealthiest business owners in the world is their insatiable thirst for knowledge. Self education is a top priority and every book, video, seminar, training course, or consultation is considered an investment that will pay dividends well into the future.

Now it’s easy to fall into the trap and think a wealthy person has the luxury to invest a lot into their own education because they have a lot of money to burn. And if you’re struggling to get your business where it needs to be, then you can’t afford to spend money right?  Sorry, but that’s flawed thinking.

The reason most successful business owners “make it” is because they invested heavily in their own education especially when they were struggling.  It’s the willingness and dedication to invest in self education that typically separates the winners from the losers.  And unfortunately, all too often, I see business owners confusing investment with expense.

In a recent Main Street Marketing Letter article, I wrote that cost alone is a worthless metric.  No business decision should be made purely by looking at cost.  For example, do you think $10,000 is too expensive for a copywriter?  Sounds expensive on the surface, but what if you’re confident the sales letter could generate $100,000 in new sales? Ah ha! Then it’s a no brainer because now it’s an investment.

Now consider paying $10,000 to LEARN copywriting from an expert.  Again, that sounds expensive when you focus in on the cost alone.  However, armed with the knowledge to write compelling sales copy for the rest of your career, I bet you could create multiple sales letters worth $100,000 or more.  Plus, you would save money by not hiring copywriters and paying royalties. So I don’t know about you, but my choice would be to pay $10,000 now, and reap the benefits later.

In both examples, the key difference is in your mind.  Depending on your financial situation, certain numbers are scary and your instinctive reaction may be to say, “that’s too expensive,” without truly considering the opportunity.  Plus, ROI from self education is almost impossible to calculate, because you can rarely pinpoint just one thing as the reason for your successes.

Between my business partner, Pete and myself, we’ve invested about $20,000 this year in books, seminars, training courses, and mastermind groups.  That’s a nice chunk of change that could be sitting in our bank accounts. Instead, we chose to invest that money to gain new business ideas and strategies to help us and our clients grow bigger and faster.  And there’s no question we’ll earn a fantastic return on that investment based on just a handful of ideas we now have.

The funny thing about learning is there is an inverse relationship between how much you learn and how much you think you know.  The more knowledge you gain, the more clear it is you’re only scratching the surface.  And on the flip side, if you stop learning, then you’ll tend to believe you have already mastered the subject.

The key is to never stop learning and never think of education as an expense.  Benjamin Franklin once said, “an investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”  So make sure you’re budgeting enough money for education in your monthly and yearly plans.