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Hello Everyone,

Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I'm currently on baby stop two and I plan to be debt free except our mortgage in one year.

Being an entrepreneur, I believe that I need to attend workshops and training to enhance my selling skills and therefore lead to more money. BUT....paying for these workshops and seminars aren't cheap.

My question to the group is, should I hold off attending business development classes and pay off debt faster or should I pay for the classes and pay off my debt slower?
 

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I built my side business while paying off $100,000 in debt. The debt was paid in full in September and I quit my day job to go full time with my side business in October. I started my business on a shoestring, beginning with free trials and looking for the least expensive way to do everything. I plowed as much money as I possibly could into the debt repayment. Not having debt hanging over your head is a huge asset with running the business and takes a lot of pressure off.

Over time as the business grew, I put some of the profits back into enhancing some of the areas I needed. I didn't add the training component until a bit further in, and that was with specific programs to fill in the gaps where I really didn't know certain areas, like the technology for online ads. I've found many of the training programs I paid for weren't really worth the money. There are just so many other resources out there I could have started with first.

Yes, you will need some training, but you have plenty of free resources to start with, including your local library. There are tons of ways you can get that information online and locally. You need to be out there DOING more than LEARNING. It's way too easy to get sucked into reading and learning and reading some more, etc. and not actually getting out there DOING what you need to do. Believe me, I speak from experience. For sales skills in particular, there are tons of books on the subject already. You just need to IMPLEMENT what you read about in them. That's where most people struggle. LOL

Check out your local SCORE and SBDC center resources, both of which have lots of free and inexpensive resources for entrepreneurs, including offering mentoring and providing many workshops.

Houston SCORE
https://houston.score.org/

U of Houston Small Biz Dev Center
https://www.sbdc.uh.edu/sbdc/default.asp

Join local meetup groups for entrepreneurs (but watch out for the sales pitchy ones).
 

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I agree with MsMarie. First do all of the events and networking you can think of that are FREE. The seminars people are doing a great job of selling their product (because you are considering paying for them.) Network with local groups. See if there are any mentoring programs. AARP posts this article:
https://www.aarp.org/work/on-the-job/info-10-2012/how-to-find-a-mentor.html

Pursue all these free opportunities as seriously as you would if you were paying for them. Use a calendar and your separate business account, email, etc. Keep it organized and evaluate what you accomplish, what is useful, what is not. Once you have explored all those options then consider the ones you need to pay for and you'll have something to compare against. Good luck!!
 
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