I bought a lot of books in my 20s, and I wish I spent more money on learning. For example, I wish I gained more information through courses, paid for greater access to private groups (and gaining proximity), and went to more conferences.
Asking to grab coffee with people is nice, but you really start making progress when you’re willing to pay for information. The information can infuse you with insights, inspiration, and give you permission to do something you’ve always wanted to do.
Obviously, this happens at the highest levels of business. “Your time is never wasted when you’re gathering information. This is why I’ll always prioritize information over a check,” Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson writes in Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter. “I want to have my mind expanded and my perspectives shifted by as many intelligent people as possible. Every single place I go, I’m studying people. The way they say things, their attitude, information they share.”
Don’t let your ideology (“I believe information should flow freely,” “I can learn everything on my own,” “Courses are a pyramid scheme,” etc.) get in the way of reality. Information is way more efficient when it’s pushed to you, not when you have to spend tons of time pulling it.
This is just the flip side of saying, “Invest in yourself.” If a $200 course enables you to make $300 the next month (and every month after that!), it’s a no brainer. If you’re still on the fence about this, start by buying affordable courses, and inquire about 30-day refund policies. Worst case, you’ll get your money back.
Best case, you learn something that unlocks something in your brain and changes the way you do business for the better.
P.S., If you’re tight on cash, make offers to the people that organize these groups and conferences. If you write for a trade publication or newsletter, maybe they can provide you with a media pass. Perhaps you could volunteer, or share your expertise in a discussion group with them.