The Thursday Thesis - 18/10/2018
The seminar was about to close and the delegates began to fidget, eager to gather up their folders and bags before heading out on the long drive home.
The speaker had been an absolute barnstormer – boundless energy and charisma from beginning to end: he had everyone fired-up and ready to bench-press the World.
“Remember to drop all your notes and folders in the bin on your way out!” he called, grinning, as we filed out.
I approached the stage and shook hands with him, thanked him for an inspiring experience and asked him what he’d meant by that comment about notebooks and bins.
"It’s kind of a joke, except it isn’t”, he said. “You see, most of the audience will never open their folders or notebooks ever again – they leave, and it’s over. Nothing happens for them because they don’t take action. As good as my stuff is, and as passionate as I am about helping people, most of them will do precisely nothing with what I’ve shared with them today: it’s really sad.”
The two-day finance seminar had been the easy part: the hard part lay ahead of us all.
What I’ve learned over the last two years is this: to really get maximum value from a course you must pay for it twice.
First there’s the easy part – the cash and time investment in the course. Whether you spend a few pounds on a book or tens of thousands to hire the best mentor you can find, there’s an investment of money involved. Then there’s the time – in the course or seminar and travelling to and from it..
Once you’ve paid your “Entry Fee” you have to get busy paying all over again.
And this is the hard part, because this time you are going to have to pay for it with a lot more of your time – the most precious of all your resources.
Within the Personal Development industry there’s a saying that goes “The people who take the courses take ALL the courses”, and there’s a lot of truth in that.
“Course junkies”, as they are known in the trade, stride purposefully from venue to venue rather than take meaningful action in the direction of their dreams.
All too often, Course Junkies delay action until they’ve finished the next course.
Inevitably, once that course is completed, there will be another course that is essential before they unleash themselves...
So, when I next bump into that guy from the ABC course at the XYZ conference, the chances are he’ll grimly tell me he’s no further down the road than he was at ABC, six months previously.
I’ll try not to look surprised.
He’ll doubtless marvel at the work I’ve put in and the small amount of progress I’ve managed in that same six months – possibly he’ll tell me I’m “lucky” that my hard work has paid off.
This “Lucky” business makes my teeth itch with rage, because luck has very little to do with success, as far as I’ve been able to discover from researching successful people, their live stories and business book.
“The harder I work, the luckier I get”, as the old saying goes. In other words, they work hard and prepare for when opportunity shows up. Luck is an opportunity wearing working clothes.
What I’ve noticed about the many courses and seminars I’ve attended, the webinars I’ve sat through, the Expos and Fairs I’ve spent precious time walking around is this: the vast majority of attendees do absolutely nothing as a consequence of taking the course or attending the event.
This is very good news for me, and it’s all a matter of simple math.
Only around 3% of the population voluntarily take part in personal development of any kind. Yep, less than 1 in 20 of the people around you and I will ever set foot in any kind of Personal Development or educational seminar.
And here’s the really amazing part of what I’ve been able to discover: of that tiny minority who actively do any kind of Personal Development training, only around 8% will take meaningful action based upon the course or seminar.
So, 3% show up, and 8% of them execute, which gives me a ball-park figure of 0.0024% of the population investing in themselves and then taking action on what they’ve learned.
That’s also why you and I shouldn’t worry too much about competition – because there’s not much of it around, when you stop to think about it.
© Neil Cowmeadow 2018
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