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The most common advice to entrepreneurs and business owners is, “Invest in yourself!

So we invest in ourselves and buy go personal growth development rampage buying many online courses we don’t need right now thinking you’ll eventually need it. 

Very quickly self help becomes shelf help.

I know I have.

Ever since stepping into the online entrepreneurial space, there’s a feeling of excitement or even overwhelm that you need to learn everything under the sun.

I call this the ‘buffet syndrome.’

I will get to how it got it’s name later.

In the online space, one online ‘goddesses’ glorifies Facebook Ads and the other ‘gurus’ glorifies funnels.

So naturally, you jump on the ‘I’ve got to learn that’ bandwagon.

Back in school, teachers use curriculum as guidance and course prerequisites requirements to keep our learning in order.

So we don’t accidentally take Math 12, unless we have passed Math 11.

Now in adult learning, the safe mode is off.

You can access any and every information through internet, putting you in control over what you learn.

That’s fantastic and all.

But this also means we are flooded and bombarded with everything.

What is a Buffet Syndrome?

Think of self development like eating at an Indian buffet (Ok, I’ve been craving for Indian food).

Upon entry, you get excited and take some samosas, lamb curry, butter chicken and then you go crazy at the dessert bar.

In the end, you over-estimate your appetite and end up with more food than you can finish.

Then when the bill comes, the restaurant owner charges food waste.

Not so ideal right?

This is how I look at online courses in the online space.

We get excited and buy a bunch of courses we can’t digest.

Our penality is mis-allocating our money on courses we didn’t need at that time.

 This is especially a problem as a startup with limited resource, when your primary focus should be sales and cash injection.

The reason why we’re distracted, waiver and lose focus is because we are not sure what we want and our desired outcome. 

The solution?

Be clear on your intentions and create an intentional learning plan so that you don’t get distracted by other’s agenda.

I have two rules when it comes to buffet and online learning.

  1. Identify your intended outcome 
  2. Take what you can finish

Rule 1: identify your intended outcome

So if you look where you want to be one year from now, what skills will you need to get you there?

Who do you need to be to get you where you want to go?

Let’s say for example you want to take your business to a 6 figure business. What skills should you focus on?

Could it possibly be?

  • Self discipline, time management and productivity
  • Content marketing 
  • Operation and client management

And the reason why you identify one year is because these skills are going to be vastly different from growing 6-figure to a 7-figure business.

The priority of a growing business would be:

  • Recruiting and hiring
  • Simplifying and streamlining your systems
  • Public speaking skills

These skills are build on top of each other, so if you haven’t mastered your own system of productivity from building a 6-figure business, then your inefficient system will be duplicated and passed onto your new hire.

That’s like eating dessert first and then going back to the entree?

Kinda weird, right?

There’s a reason why we eat in this order appetizer, entree and dessert. Our online learning is no different.

Rule 2: Take What You Can Finish

Now we have identified the skills you need to take you to your goals.

Next question to ask yourself:

“What is the one skill that will have the most impact on your business right now?”

Going back to my previous example:

  • Self discipline, time management and productivity
  • Copy writing and incorporating with SEO
  • Adding value and client management

This is going to be a tough question to answer, but which one of these skills will have the most impact on your business right now?

It comes down to prioritizing.

If all else fails, just pick one.

You’ll need to learn them all eventually, so there’s no right or wrong one to start.

But the key is to focus on one skill at a time and eliminate the rest.

As for my buffet analogy, if you mix lamb curry and tandoori chicken, your taste bud gets confused and your food starts to taste the same. That’s why you eat one item at a time.

Now It’s Your Turn to Take Action

The next time you get emails to buy the next marketing fad, ask yourself:

“Will this get me where I want to be one year from now?”
“Will learning this have the most impact on my business right now?”

When you say yes, you lose out on other opportunities, so start saying no to the wrong opportunities and be intentional with your development.

Otherwise, it’s like your mother stuffing you food you don’t want or need and nobody needs that.