Now I’m no stranger to the expense of education. My little sister attended one of the best private high schools in the State of Michigan, while I went out of state and to a private university! Even since then, I have spent tens of thousands of dollars and countless hours on continued education of all types! What I didn’t realize during my time at school was all of that expensive formal education wasn’t going to give me what I needed.
A diploma and a degree in international business have, in fact, opened many many doors for me. But then again so has my commanding height and decent looks. However, once the door is open there are whole realms of new tools, skills, and talents one needs to possess to be successful in the business world. Most of which I struggled to learn and apply. Now let me be clear about one thing. I am a performer at work. I am a driven learner and I have always been up to a good challenge. However, I’m not willing to compete with the very people who are supposed to be on my team.
Competition is one of the fundamental rules of the game in over 90% of corporate America. My number one challenge became, how I learn the lessons I needed to learn on the job, without competing against my peers and colleagues. Competition breeds an environment where the most ruthless often can have the most success. Since one of my core values is “honor”, this kill or be killed mentality didn’t work for me. So I went about trying to contribute instead…
Lesson #1 of my VERY EXPENSIVE education. – If you can’t beat them, and joining them doesn’t work for me. GET OUT!
Now I’m not saying I’m perfect at the application of honoring all beings, but I can certainly see where working with people who were functioning like sharks (even if it’s “just” AT work) was beyond my tolerance level. I went through at least 6 jobs in my life, from the hospitality industry to the financial industry looking for an environment that wasn’t internally competitive. This search had a very high cost to me. A lot of time, stress, lost wages, lost opportunity, moving, etc. In fact, much of the costs weren’t just one time expenses, but setbacks that will continue to have an effect for many years into the future; unless I look for how to turn those expensive lessons into my greatest assets!!
I would have been able to cause alignment in my life much sooner and that would have given me the fulfillment we are all looking for long before I started my own business had I known three things. 1. what I was looking for. 2. the cultural structure of most businesses and 3. the alternatives to corporate/competitive business. I would have not only saved myself time and money, stress, and countless other costs, but I would have found power, freedom, love and abundance in my work and life much sooner then I did! In short, I would have saved 10 years, hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions in lost wages (remember I’m a business owner now) and had time, money and energy for so many of the things I love, but have sacrificed. A few examples of my sacrifices are friendships, dance, music, travel, reading etc. What have you given up?
Lesson #2. If you have not paid to learn it from school, a course, a retreat or coaching; the lesson you may not even know you need to learn, is most likely going to be 10 times the amount of time, money, and, effort had you had invested in yourself in the first place.
I have personally spent thousands dollars on my education over the last few years. Courses, Workshops, Seminars, Study a Home courses, Audio courses, Video Courses, Books, CD’s and Coaching… The cost may sound unnecessarily steep, but the truth is, that the development and information I got has far outweighed the cost.
Sometimes the payoff can be slow almost methodical. However I was ready when an opportunity presented itself. Other times payoff for my investments was a BANG! I would be off and running to grab an opportunity that had been sitting in front of me all along, but I couldn’t see before. Altogether, I can easily say that the cost of the education has been 1/10th of the benefits I’ve reaped in all areas of my life, including financial, mental, emotional, and spiritual; my relationships, fun, love, and so much more. I am sharing my personal experience with you as an example, but this is a pattern of success I’ve seen repeated with every coaching client I’ve had.
You don’t have to trust me, you can read about “great” people in history. From Tiger Woods to Oprah and John Wooden to Helen Keller we all learn at a cost. Life experience can give us a profound and deep learning, usually congruent with the depth to which we experience the pain we feel, or hiring a coach, mentor or teacher to show us the depth of our everyday experiences in a way that leaves us capable of developing ourselves to the fullest degree of our own willingness. The results can be as deep as self-love or as wide as increased income, but there is certainly a way that is faster, less expensive and less stressful then learning through life experience, ie. “the hard way”.
Lesson #3: Even when you pay for it directly, You gotta play FULL OUT.
Life is a lot like learning to ride a bike. It’s not something someone can just tell you about, it’s something you have to experience to do successfully. Before you can find balance on a bike, you have to get on the bike. You must get up on, and get it moving forward BEFORE you are likely to find balance! Even if you engage in coaching, or some other such structured learning, if you don’t play full out you won’t likely see results.