009 How to Get the Most Out of Your Business Investments

Last week we talked about how you can make decisions like a seven-figure CEO. This week, we’re going to build on that topic by talking about another essential skill: maximizing the return you get from investments you make in your business.

When I talk about investing in your business, I’m talking about things like paying for a coaching program, joining a mastermind, attending a big industry conference, or hiring a new team member.

I often hear people complain about how an investment in their business didn’t turn out the way they planned. They blame their coach for not making results happen, or they blame a new hire for not performing as well as they might like.

If you’ve said these things before, here’s a truth you need to hear: it’s up to you to get the best results from your investments and maximize your returns. It’s not up to the coach. It’s not up to the conference organizers. And it’s definitely not up to the new hire.

On this episode, I’m talking about how you can take radical personal responsibility for making the most of your investments. I’ll discuss two of the most common investments I see women entrepreneurs making and the all-too-common mistakes that accompany them. I’ll also share my four-step process for maxing out your results from any coaching program, mastermind, event, or new hire – even if the investment doesn’t totally live up to your expectations.

Your homework this week: Look critically at a recent investment you made that didn’t turn out as you’d planned. Do an honest assessment of what went wrong. Did you carve out the necessary time for this investment? Did you show up and do the work? Did you reach out to your community for help and put yourself out there to make mistakes? The goal here is to learn from past mistakes so your future investments better serve your business.

Are you thinking of investing in your business by joining a mastermind or coaching program? Look no further than the Million Dollar Badass Mastermind.  This is an advanced mastermind program for women entrepreneurs who are ready to scale their service business from $100K to $1 million. Enrollment is open right now!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why making the most of your business investments is a critical skill for entrepreneurs who want to scale their business.
  • The concept of radical personal responsibility and why it’s up to you to get the most from your investments.
  • Examples of investments I’ve made in my own business.
  • How I’ve ensured that the hundreds of thousands I’ve invested in my business have their maximum impact.
  • Why you should show up for every investment with the goal of being the star student/attendee/boss.
  • A four-step process for maximizing the return on any business investment.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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We have all seen those posts online where someone is taking to the interwebs to complain because a coach didn’t deliver the results that they thought they were going to get in a coaching program or someone they hired did not perform the way that they expected them to perform. And so we claim that that person is a charlatan, and they did a terrible job when really the charlatan is probably you. Let’s talk about why that is and what you can do to ensure that you maximize the return on every investment you make in your business.

Welcome to The Million Dollar Badass Podcast. I’m your host, Rachel Rodgers, wife, mother to four children, lover of Beyoncé, coffee drinker, and afro wearer, and I just happen to be the CEO of a seven-figure business. I am on a mission to help every woman I meet become a millionaire. If you want to make more money, you are in the right place. Let’s get it going.

Hey y’all, it’s Rachel and I’m excited about today’s episode as per usual always excited. So last week we talked about making better financial decisions as women entrepreneurs and why it’s important to analyze what saving money actually costs us. So if you are interested in that topic, check out last week’s episode, but what I want to do today is build on that topic and take it one step further, which is we’re going to talk about today, how to get the most out of your business investments. I see a lot of women making investments in their businesses and not ensuring that they are able to maximize the return. So we make the investment like hiring a new team member or investing in a course or a training or investing in a business conference, and then we don’t do everything in our power to ensure that we get the best results.

And yes, it is up to us. It’s not up to the event organizer or the course creator, it’s not up to the team member that we hired to ensure that we are able to maximize the return on that investment. It is up to us. We have to prioritize that. And I want to give you just an example from my weekend. So I spent the weekend in New York with my daughter. We had a mother daughter weekend in New York. It was lovely and it was something that I booked pretty last minute. And even though I booked it last minute, I wanted to maximize my return on the investment of time and money. And I had that time, that weekend with my daughter. I wanted to make sure that we enjoyed it to the fullest and made the most of it.

And so what did I do? I planned ahead, and I booked a Broadway show so that she went to see her first Broadway show. We went to see Anastasia, she loved it. She was all bright eyed, we had great seats. I was thrilled to be able take her to her first Broadway show. And then we also … We wanted to go shopping, and she said, “I need more dresses.” She loves dresses. And so I did some research and found out what are the best boutiques for little girls in New York City so that we could go to the best places and map out exactly what neighborhood we were going to shop in so that we could find her some awesome dresses. And that’s exactly what we did. And we mapped out where we were going to have brunch based on where my friend, Susan’s hotel was, and where we were in terms of where we wanted to shop and we just mapped it all out.

And the point is that I planned ahead and not that far ahead. Literally these are plans that I’m making the day before or the morning of. I was making arrangements for some of these things. But I wanted to make sure that I maximize the return on that investment and made sure my daughter, and I had an amazing time that we got to spend time with friends, and we got to do all the things that we wanted to do. Instead of leaving it up to chance I was intentional about how we were going to invest our time and money over the weekend. And I want you to bring that same intentionality into the investments that you are making in your business.

So let’s talk about two really common investments that women entrepreneurs are often making. So I think the two most common are two that I mentioned already, which is hiring a team member and investing in a course or a mastermind.

Now let’s talk about these two. These are very common, and they’re good investments. If you are a woman entrepreneur who wants to scale her business, then you have to hire. You cannot do everything yourself. There is a limit to how much time you have in a day, how much energy you have in a day, so you need to multiply yourself, and the way that you do that is you hire team members. And so that is a common investment that women entrepreneurs are making and that women entrepreneurs are failing at. Where we hire people and then we don’t see a return on the investment in that person’s time, and what it costs to hire that person and have them work for our business.

The other investment that I see, and people complain about this all the time on the interwebs, you guys have all seen complaints about this, and it’s investing in a course or a mastermind.

How many of you guys have seen your friends complaining on Facebook or on Instagram about a course or a mastermind they invested in, and they didn’t see a return? And they blame the coach, or the person who created that course or they blame the team member. And it’s not up to them. We have to practice radical personal responsibility and make it our responsibility to get results.

So first of all, let me just say that investing in yourself, and your business is a must. Building a business isn’t free. It costs money, so you are going to have to make investments. When I started my business, I started it with $300 but that was $300 that was an investment, and over the years I have literally invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in hiring team members in taking training and courses and hiring coaches and going to conferences and events. I have invested in so many ways in my business. So, that is a requirement. So, let’s just get that out of the way and be clear that we must make investments in ourselves and in our businesses if we want to grow.

But when you make that investment, your work isn’t done. You have not taken all of the steps you need to take. You’ve only taken the first step. So the moment that you plunk down a bunch of cash to invest in joining a mastermind, or the moment that you pay a contractor to get some work done for you, your work isn’t done. I think sometimes people think, “I’ve made this big investment. It was scary and there was a lot of fear involved, and I went through emotional turmoil, but I finally made the decision to invest in myself, and I plunked down the cash and now my work is done.” No, honey, your work is actually just beginning. That is just the first step.

After making that investment, it’s on you to ensure that you get a return on that investment. So radical personal responsibility means that it’s on you. No matter what. There’s no knight in shining armor who’s going to come save you. There’s no one who’s going to show up and train your person and make them the perfect assistant for you. There’s no one who is going to make you watch the videos in your training course that you’ve done. It is up to you to put the effort in to see a return on that investment. So you’re going to have to prioritize making money if you want to reach your maximum earning potential, and these investments that you’re making, they’re awesome, but you got to go to the next step.

So let’s talk about how you do that but first I want to talk about what not to do. So don’t invest a bunch of money in a learning opportunity and then not do the work. I’ve seen this so many times. I have seen entrepreneurs spend as much as $30,000 even $50,000 in a really high-end training experience or mastermind and then not show up and do the work, not watch the videos, not engage in the community, not show up to the coaching calls. I don’t get it. Why? Why make that investment and then not show up? That’s crazy. Also don’t invest in hiring an assistant and then not bother to train them. Expect them to just figure it out all on their own and then think like, “I’m mad because they don’t know what they’re doing.” Of course, they don’t know what they’re doing. You didn’t train them.

We have to put that level of effort in and then also don’t invest in attending a conference and then hide in your hotel room the whole time and not meet anyone. That’s the whole point of going to a business conference is to make those connections. So why spend the money on hotel and travel if you’re not going to put yourself out there and make those connections. That’s just dumb. And we are all smart women.

And here’s what I want you guys to think about. You have all done hard things before. So I want you to think back to a time where you accomplished a big thing in life, where you did something that was really hard, and you made it happen. So some of you may have been to grad school, maybe you’ve gotten yourself through med school or law school or a really stringent licensing process or certification process. You did that. Or maybe you took on a challenging project at a job that you had in the past, and it was really tough, but you made it happen. Or maybe you did a TEDtalk, or some other speaking gig where you had to prepare a ton, not only your presentation but also your stage presence and you pulled it off. Or taking the bar exam or anything like that. We have all done challenging things in our life.

So I want you to think back to a time where you accomplish something that was really challenging. Now I want you to think about what kind of effort did you put in to make that happen? What kind of effort did you bring to that experience to accomplish your goal? So I would imagine, let’s take the example of being in school, and maybe getting through a really challenging course in school, and I bet you probably carved out time in your schedule. You carved out time in your schedule to ensure that you had time to invest into studying and learning. You probably worked late and gave up television, and your favorite shows, and instead use that time to study and learn, and edit and review. You did your homework.

You also probably sought support from your community. Maybe you ask questions of your teacher, maybe you talk to other people on the same journey, your fellow students, maybe you talk to people who had accomplished what you were trying to accomplish in the past and learned from how they did it. So you ask questions, and you talk to people and then you probably made mistakes. You probably made mistakes. Maybe you got a bad grade at some point, but you learn from those mistakes, you didn’t give up, you course corrected, and you kept going.

So this is all stuff that we have all done. I need you to bring that same energy to the investments you’re making in your business. I need you to show up the same way you showed up for school the same way you showed up for your employer, for somebody business, I need you to show up in that same way and with that same verve and drive and energy and effort when you are making investments in yourself and in your own business.

Now this can apply even if you’ve just hired a personal trainer. It’s the same thing. You got to show up, and you got to do the work. You could be lazy, you could do every exercise without really trying and without really working those muscles. Or you can do those exercises with a high energy. You can do those exercises in the way that they are meant to be done, in the proper form, as hard as they are supposed to be. It’s all up to you.

I bought a Peloton recently, or actually I got a Peloton for Christmas recently, and I could have let it sit right there and did nothing about it and just let it sit, but instead I chose to get on that thing damn near every day and that’s how I got better at it. And that’s how I learned to really enjoy it. And I’ve already seen growth, and I already feel stronger.

So it’s all about the effort that we put in. It’s not just making the investment, it’s putting the effort in. So when you join a mastermind or when you hire a person, I want you to follow that same process, use that same effort. And let me give you an example from my life. So a few years ago I decided to join a mastermind, and it was not an inexpensive mastermind, it was a five-figure investment. So over $10,000 to join this program, well over $10,000 to be clear. Almost $30,000 I paid to be a part of this program because I wanted to scale my business. I wanted to learn how to do certain things that this particular coach was good at. And so I decided I was going to make this investment.

Now, when I made that investment, I knew that the work wasn’t done and so I treated it like law school. I literally brought my law school energy. So I’ve been to law school, I’ve passed the bar exam, I know how to study. If you didn’t learn how to study in college or in Grad school, or you didn’t go to college or Grad school, I need you to learn how to study. This is a requirement. This is how we better ourselves. This is how we maximize the return on our investments. We have to bring that study energy. We got to take it back to school.

So I joined this mastermind and let me tell you what I did during the first 30 days. The first thing I did was I looked at my calendar, and I said, “Alright, where do I have time to work on this?” And so I decided, you know what, I have busy days. I have several children. So in order to make time to do this, I’m going to have to get up earlier. And so I decided I was going to get up earlier. I got up at 5:00 AM and studied before my children were awake. From five to six 30 in the morning. And I would do that every day. And I would watch one of the trainings, and I would do the homework every single day.

I had pages and pages of notes. I took notes while I was watching the training. All of the things that I wanted to remember, that I wanted to highlight, the processes that I was learning. I would write them down in my notes as I was watching the training. And then I would review those notes and then I would go and do the homework. Put myself out there, whether it’s a marketing activity, create this landing page, and then share it in these places. I would do that. If it’s create this new opt-in or whatever it was, I would do the work. I remember I learned a process for having sales conversations, and I wrote down every step, and I created my own script in order to have sales conversations. And you use that script and get on calls, get clients to book calls with me, and then I would go through that sales script.

So whatever it was, I showed up. So I carved out the time, and then I actually did my homework. I studied, I took notes, I did the homework. And here’s the other thing. I failed a lot. I made a ton of mistakes. I didn’t do it right the first time, but I failed fast. I put it out there immediately. I immediately took the action that I was being taught to take and then I saw what wasn’t working and then I course corrected. I paved in and tried it again and trying it again and again and again sometimes until it starts to work for me.

And then the other thing that I did is that I asked for help. I asked for help when I was stuck. I would go into the community and say, “Hey, I’m stuck on this thing. I’m not exactly sure how to do it, or it’s not working for me the way that it was suggested in the videos, what should I do?” And get feedback and get ideas from the other members. I showed up to the live events that were included, and the coaching calls that were included so that I could learn. And even if I was just listening, even if I didn’t have a question, I would show up and just listen and take notes, and learn from the other stories that the other members were sharing.

I would reach out to other members, send them a direct message and say, “Hey, I noticed that you accomplished X, Y, Z. I want to do the same thing. What worked for you? How did this work?” And I asked smart questions, so I didn’t ask them super huge, vague questions that would take them an hour to answer. I asked them really smart, specific questions, that I knew would be quick and easy for them to answer. And sought out my community, sought out the teachers.

That is how I approach every mastermind and that is why every single time I have invested in a coaching opportunity, a live event or any kind of a learning experience, I’m always the star student because I do the work and then I get amazing results. And then the person who created the program wants to make me like the poster child of their program because I’m a star student, and I do the work, and I get the results. And you can bring that same energy. You can be that same star student. It’s really about how you show up, and the level of effort that you put in after you make those investments.

Now let’s apply this to hiring. And I’ve done this in the past where I’ve hired someone and just said, “Alright, here’s the things that I want you to do.” And they didn’t do it right and then I was mad about it when in reality I didn’t spend the time to train them. How can I expect to maximize the ROI on bringing on a team member if I don’t take the time to train them?

And that means sitting with them and saying, “Let me introduce you to the kinds of clients that we have. Here’s all the details about our clients. Let me have a conversation with you about the various software that we use. Here’s the step by step processes that we use to do these various things. Here’s a checklist of the things that I want you to get done every day, every week and every month. And let’s meet on a regular basis. Let’s get together every single week, twice a week, and have discussions about how things are going, where you’re stuck. Let me answer questions for you. I want to invest in you and make sure that you are able to do your job.”

People don’t show up to work thinking, am just want to be lazy and not do my job today. People show up thinking, let me do the best that I can for the job that I was hired to do. But you have to make it possible for them to do that, by showing up and training them. It’s effort, capital E, Efforts.

So first you make the investment and then you put in the effort and that is what’s going to ensure a return on your investment. It is all up to you. That is the good news. I have made bad investments. And I guess you could call them bad. I say bad in quotations, but I’ve invested in programs where maybe it wasn’t the best program. I wasn’t super impressed, and what they were teaching, maybe it was stuff that was super obvious and not that helpful. But even in that course, this particular course that I’m thinking of, one of the things that was included in the course was interviews with a bunch of people that had done the very thing that I wanted to do. And so I listened to all of those interviews, and I learned a ton from the interviews. Even though the course was super basic, and I was far beyond that at that point, the interviews were valuable, and I took what I could from the interviews, and I applied that.

So I don’t care what the learning experiences, you can almost always get a return on your investment, and it’s up to you. And I think radical personal responsibility is one of my favorite things because it means that if we make mistakes or if things that are not working, it’s our fault, but it also means that we have the power to turn it around. We have the power to get the maximum result. We have the power to make sure that each person we hire is trained to the best of our ability. We have the power to make sure that every event that we attend, we meet someone amazing. That becomes a referral for our business. We can bring that intention to anything that we choose to invest in, and it’s on us. I mean, I think that’s a beautiful thing, and I think should feel really empowered when you think about, “Wow, I have the power to make things happen.” And it’s all about the effort, and the energy that I bring to these specific things.

So I want to break that down into a quick four-part list for you to do. So the next time you decide that you’re going to make an investment in a mastermind, a learning experience, in a live event, in training a new person to be a part of your team, here’s the steps that I want you to take.

Number one, I want you to make time. Make time, look at your calendar and carve out time on your calendar. And that may mean waking up early, or if you’re a night owl, maybe it means staying up late. Maybe it means giving up part of your weekends or giving up your favorite show in order to make the time for that thing that you’ve decided to take on. So number one, you gotta make the time.

Number two, do your homework. So that means that, if you invest in a program, obviously do the work that you’re being assigned in the program. If you’re hiring an assistant, first of all, do the homework to hire them properly and hire the right person and know what you want them to do and then do your homework, like maybe having them take assessments, so you know, what is their special skillset? And assigning them that kind of work. Preparing. Preparing checklists and training materials. That’s the whole work when you’re hiring someone new there. If you’re going to a live event, do your homework by researching. Who else is going to this event? Who else should you be meeting? What learning opportunities are there? What are the different breakout sessions and choosing them strategically based on the kinds of people that you want to make sure that you meet, maybe making arrangements ahead of time to host a lunch or a dinner during the event? That’s the homework for a live event. So number two is do the homework.

Number three is ask for help. You are a smart women and smart women ask for help. Smart women don’t know everything. Smart women ask for help. None of us know everything, so ask your community for help. Ask people who have done it before for help. You might get rejected. They might say, “No, I’m not going to help you,” And that’s fine. You’re not going to die from somebody saying no. So put yourself out there and ask for help. If you don’t know how to train this new person that you have chosen to hire, then ask, “Hey, how do you guys train?” Ask Your instructor if you’re taking a course on how to do something that you’re confused about. Don’t think you’re supposed to know it all. Just ’cause you’re an ambitious woman, and you’re a super smart woman, does not mean you should know everything.

So number three is ask for help and number four is probably my favorite one, which is fail fast. That means try things, discover they don’t work and then try something else. Be open to making mistakes, and accept that mistakes are part of this process. And if you’re not making mistakes, you’re probably not putting yourself out there enough. So make sure that you are taking quick action, that you are failing fast so that you can improve and try again.

So again, those steps are number one, make time. Number two, do your homework. Number three, ask for help, and number four, fail fast. And that is the process that you need to use when you were making investments in your business to maximize your return on each investment that you make in your business and in your life.

Now I want to take a moment to give you some homework ’cause you know there’s always some action steps because I don’t want you to just learn things and not apply them. I want you to actually apply the effort as we’ve been talking about during this episode. So here’s your homework for today. I want you to look at a recent investment that you have made in your business, or even in your life. I want you to look at a recent investment that you have made that didn’t pan out the way that you wanted it to. Maybe you felt like it was a waste of money. Maybe you felt like, I screwed that up, or it didn’t work out, or it sucked, and you’re not sure why you didn’t get the return on investment, but you’re kind of pissed off that you spent the money.

So I want you to look at a recent investment you made that didn’t quite work out the way that you wanted it to. And I want you to post mortem what went wrong. And that means after you make an investment and after you discover that maybe it wasn’t the best investment or maybe it didn’t work out the way that you wanted to, I want you to look back and really think about what happened. And maybe it’s even digging up emails or reviewing calls that you had or whatever. I want you to really think through what happened during the process and spend some time figuring out what exactly went wrong. And then I want you to really honestly assess, did you carve out the time to invest in that thing? Did you do the work? Did you ask for help? Did you try things and make mistakes and fail and then get up and try again.

I want you to honestly assess what kind of effort you brought to that last investment and what went wrong. And this is something where you could spend 30 minutes just thinking through what exactly happened here. How much time did I really put in? Use whatever data sources you have to really analyze what exactly happened, and then learn from those past mistakes so that you can make better investments in the future and so that you know exactly what kind of effort and energy to bring to those kinds of investments in the future.

So, if you hired somebody on your team, and they didn’t quite work out the way that you wanted to, I want you to go back and review some of the communications between you and that person. Go back and look at their resume again, go back and look at their first day on the job. How did you structure their first day? What training materials you provide? How often did you talk to them to provide them with guidance? Let’s be honest about the energy that we’re putting in.

The last mastermind or coaching program that you joined, how often were you showing up for the calls? What homework did you actually get done? When did you post in the Facebook group? When did you ask for help? What stuff did you actually apply and then what failures or mistakes did you have and what did you do to improve after a failure or mistake?

I think we need to be really, really honest about the effort and the energy that we are bringing to the things that we are doing so that when we’re not seeing a return on those investments, we know how to improve and how to make better investments in the future. And we also know that it’s our fault. It is your fault if things don’t work out the way that you want them to, which is wonderful news because that means that you have all the power and the control to improve things in the future and to make sure your future investments give you the kinds of return that you really want to see.

That’s our episode today, guys. I hope this helps you to make better investments in your business. Learning how to make great investments and how to maximize the return on your investments is essential to being the CEO of a seven-figure business. So you want to be a Million Dollar Badass, this is something that you need to get really, really good at. I hope that this episode has helped you and inspired you and that you bring some new energy to the investments that you’ve already made in your business.

If you have been thinking about making an investment in your business in a coaching program or a mastermind, then look no further than the Million Dollar Badass mastermind. Enrollment is open right now. This mastermind is advanced business training for women entrepreneurs who are ready to scale their businesses to $1 million. Yes, I have helped several clients scale their businesses to $1 million, and many more scale their businesses to doubling or tripling or quadrupling their revenue in a very short period of time. So if you want to make more money in your business, then check out the Million Dollar Badass mastermind. Go to helloseven.co/apply to apply right now.

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