First Person: I Have Learned to Be Wary of Personal Development Courses

Yahoo Contributor Network

I have spent thousands of dollars on personal development courses. In fact, I have spent thousands on just one course. Were they worth it? Sort-of.

The Sales Pitch

Every personal development course I have been to I have taken because of the sales pitch I heard. This has ranged from a one-man show where he promised me that he could change my life to a group pitch where each person has told me how the course changed their life. But the group pitch was carefully choreographed with a slide show and a professional salesperson doing most of the talking. I have learned now to be wary of the pitch because at the end of day, it is a salesperson telling you what you want to hear. There is also often a special deal that they will give you, but only if you sign up today. It is better to wait, research the program, and give the investment some serious thought.

The Upfront Cost

The cheapest personal development course I have taken cost me almost $400. Most of them have been more than that. Given that the cost of meals were included for some of them, a few hundred dollars is not an unreasonable price. But what about the ones that cost me several thousand? The courses that cost me the most were the "advanced" courses. One of them cost me $4,000. This course was five days long. This meant it cost me $800 per day to attend that course. At the time, the cost of that course was more than my take-home pay for the month. Given the fact that I had to put that course on a credit card and did not have a plan to pay off the credit card, it was not a wise choice for me to make at that time. I got caught up in the sales pitch, in what they said the course would do for me.

The Backend Costs

Two of the courses I took were not in my area so I had to travel for those courses. So now not only have I paid several thousand to take the course, I now also have travel costs. There were meal fees, hotel costs, and airfare. This meant that one of the courses I took cost me over $5,000 total. There was also time spent away from work. Since I was self-employed when I took some of these courses, every day that I spent away from my business cost me money.

Overall, it is important to be careful what course you decide to invest in. Do not get caught up in the sales pitch. Take time to do your research about the company and the course you are taking. Weigh the benefits versus the costs.

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