It’s Slava Pankratov and today I want to discuss with you my personal history of fighting the stinginess, and also some interesting and not very pleasant discoveries that I made while investing in myself.
As you may know, I am responsible for business development in our team. This includes money, advertising, hiring people, new products, and for some time also investments, shareholders, lawyers.
It would seem that if I invest in people, in a team, in product development, and in experiments, then I should feel good about the money that we invest in training. That’s true, dear colleagues, I feel good when we buy expensive courses, coaching or consultations for our employees. I’m comfortable with the idea that not all courses are equally useful. I even say to colleagues whom we send for training that if the first, second, or third module of the selected course turned out to be useless, it is better not to waste time and return to work, and then look for another course. If the price does not exceed $1000 – this is a common practice. When it is something expensive or long-lasting, worth several thousand dollars – it’s OK as well. When it concerns me personally, plus I need to fly somewhere (usually, it’s the USA) and the budget is more than $10,000-12,000, I get thrifty. I begin to think that it would be possible to send 5-6 people from the team somewhere or that it’s better to invest this money in advertising.
Two conferences that I’m primarily interested in are Inbound (Boston) and T&C (San Diego). Full access at full cost in both conferences is quite expensive. Add to this flight, car rental, accommodation + aircraft carrier that must be checked for the fifth time. But digital access to the materials is inexpensive.
During the time I was participating in conferences, I often understood that we were doing everything wrong. You know, it’s when you drove half a world with a certain skepticism being not sure about whether there will be something new there. On the second day, you sit in a large hall for 2-3 thousand people and the ceiling collapses on you – we are doing EVERYTHING wrong!:) Then you fly back home, think everything over for a couple of days and realize what exactly from your notebook can be thrown away, what you just need to try it, and where to start all of this. Six months later, you put that piece of paper from your notebook aside and plan the next event. And most importantly, in six months the feeling of the “collapsing ceiling” is forgotten and you just see or do not see the results.
Every year, from year to year, I went over my stinginess and we went to one of these conferences, despite the significant sum of money from my pocket was spent and not very pleasant discoveries (to put it mildly) were made by me. Reports on which the speaker honestly shares mistakes and half of the hall nods sadly because they also made the same, are especially enjoyable. At such moments, I am grateful to the people who are sitting around, because otherwise, I would think that it was only me who was so stupid and was doing something wrong. Understanding that you are not the only one who is mistaken is important and helps to move on and not to give up.
At one of such events in San Diego, Alexander Orlov and I argued so seriously about the strategy for the development of our business that on the way home we were thinking about how we would diverge and what to do next. As you probably understand, I have a story that connects me, our business, and these events. This training affects both our business and my life.
This year, due to coronavirus, the T&C conference became available online. Synergy was a partner and made an online broadcast with materials in the record at a very reasonable price, about $300-500. I add links here not for advertising (events have already passed and these are not partner links, as you can see), but to make it clear what events I’m talking about at all.
It was interesting to watch myself in the moment of registration for this online event.
1) I did not study the program, as I did every time we flew to a conference. The price is rather low, but there will be something useful, which is good.
2) I did not make myself a schedule for attending performances, and when I realized that due to the difference in time zones, the event would happen at night, I had a lot of things to do on the calendar and decided that I would better choose the record.
3) I have not watched any records until today.
4) I have an iron excuse: plenty of work to do.
5) Yes, it infuriates me and I will not do this anymore.
This is the first year in the last 7-8 years that I missed T&C. Because it became cheaper + because it became online and in the record.
This is what I’m trying to tell you. We appreciate more and are more responsible about what is expensive and where we take part. And this is not snobbish like “I can afford the phone of the last model,” now you will surprise few people with this. We can persuade ourselves million times that “in the record, this is almost the same…” but it’s not. When there is a live speaker (even on the other side of a screen), you go to study, but do not simply turn on the record. When you, students of your group, and your colleagues are there, real communication and discussion take place. So, you have a completely different attitude to what is going on. It’s training, not watching videos.
Yes, such training, with live teachers, with a live group, with real discussions and finding the right solutions is expensive, because it is an expensive training format. And it works.
There is such an old saying: Eat your own dog food, which means that the organization uses its own product, that is, makes it, using it for itself. Our managers and team leaders study at our School. We use what we teach and teach what works. This is how the School is arranged and therefore it works and graduates practitioners. If you want to undergo training, get results, and do it together with the people who are interested not only in landing conversion and LTV from one client – perhaps you need it.