E174: Assessing the Value of Learning Opportunities

How do you assess the value of learning opportunities? Perhaps you may look at it as a cost per hour type of expenditure.


Well in today’s episode I’m here to discuss how that is a flawed mindset and in what ways one should be looking at the various opportunities that are out there.

Listen in at: https://www.jasonmefford.com/jammingwithjason/

Transcript

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Jason Mefford: Welcome to another episode of jamming with Jason hey in today’s episode, we are going to be talking about how to assess the value of learning opportunities.

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Jason Mefford: And this came up this week, I was having some interaction with some people on linkedin about different learning opportunities.

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Jason Mefford: And the reason we’re talking about it so many people are still under the mindset of looking at a cost per hour as they’re looking for different learning opportunities.

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Jason Mefford: And i’m here to tell you folks that’s really an outdated and broken model and we’re going to talk about why in this episode and i’m going to give you some ways that you can start assessing in a different way that will actually provide you with much more value so let’s roll that episode.

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Jason Mefford: All right, well today we’re going to talk about something that i’m actually very passionate about So hopefully you’ll be able to see that as we go through this.

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Jason Mefford: But the reason why I want to talk about this today is that there are a lot of people that i’ve been talking to i’ve been having some interaction with people.

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Jason Mefford: On linkedin so as a reminder, if you haven’t connected with me on linkedin go ahead and do that because I am active on that platform and in can communicate a little bit can communicate with you well on that platform, but as I said, I was having some interactions with people.

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Jason Mefford: For for a couple of reasons, one my friend, how garen who have had on the podcast several times.

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Jason Mefford: did a poll, and was asking people hey you know for for si P, training, how much do you are you willing to pay.

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Jason Mefford: And I was actually very interested in the results of that i’m going to share that with you here in just a minute, but it got into a discussion with some people about about training or what i’m calling learning opportunities in general.

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Jason Mefford: And i’m using the word learning opportunities for a reason Okay, because we need to think about.

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Jason Mefford: You know, most of the time when people think of training they think of a formalized training.

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Jason Mefford: But there are different learning opportunities that may or may not be a course or a training that you’re going through so i’m going to use a little bit more of a generic term on learning opportunities as we go through and talk about this.

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Jason Mefford: But as I said a lot of people have been in the mindset, especially if you have a certification or some sort of license that requires you.

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Jason Mefford: To get a certain number of training hours in the year, a lot of people are under the mistaken assumption that you should look at right how much it costs per hour.

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Jason Mefford: To be able to determine whether or not you’re going to take that training and because a lot of people treat this just as a compliance check the box sort of a mentality.

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Jason Mefford: there’s a lot of people who don’t want to pay at all for training and we’re going to go through and talk about that here, in just a minute as well.

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Jason Mefford: But as I said, from from house initial survey it’s hasn’t closed yet, but about 44% of people said hey i’m not willing to pay anything for CP I only want free now that’s a little disturbing in how okay it’s not a little disturbing it’s a lot disturbing.

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Jason Mefford: And here’s the reason why you know as professionals really the capital and in an investment in our self is what helps us to earn money over the life of our career.

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Jason Mefford: So the more educated, you are, the more trained, you are, the more knowledge, skills and competencies that you develop over your career.

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Jason Mefford: The more money, you can actually make right and so again some training, for example, when you get a certification.

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Jason Mefford: Actually, literally helps you earn a lot more money over the course of your career and so training or learning opportunities should be viewed as an investment.

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Jason Mefford: Now, if you were to invest let’s say in the stock market, but you only invested in stocks that were free.

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Jason Mefford: or stocks that people gave you for free, is that really how you would want to plan for your retirement i’m guessing probably not right.

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Jason Mefford: And so we don’t want to use, you know, like I said, have a broken model in thinking about your professional development okay.

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Jason Mefford: And and i’ll tell you, you know I I quit doing free trainings and and and joining in on webinars and other things like that a while ago.

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Jason Mefford: It is very, very rare that I will attend any of these, and the reason, because most of the time, the free stuff people don’t know what they’re talking about okay.

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Jason Mefford: And, and as I said, we’re going to get in and we’re going to talk a little bit more here about some of the ways that you can actually.

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Jason Mefford: Think about and determine whether or not a learning opportunity is right for you Okay, and so i’m going i’m going to give you a few different i’ve got a few bullet points here that i’m going to go through and talk about.

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Jason Mefford: To help you in determining so, as I said, the first, the first thing is si P or training per hour cost is a bad way.

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Jason Mefford: of trying to look at things Okay, because, again, that that shows you nothing, as far as the real value in what you’re getting.

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Jason Mefford: And so again, let me give you an example, I told you that, again I I personally do not do much free stuff anymore, because honestly it’s pretty bad a lot of times.

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Jason Mefford: Now i’ll give you a concrete example about this okay so again I I love the AIA but I stopped going to my local chapter meetings and quite a while ago.

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Jason Mefford: In the in the reason for that is again I was still paying to go right, I was still paying 30 or 50 bucks.

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Jason Mefford: To go, but the people who were providing the learning opportunities were not paid Okay, they were not paid by the local chapter.

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Jason Mefford: And so what you end up finding is when people don’t get paid they usually look for people who are willing to not get paid okay.

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Jason Mefford: Now i’m here to tell you folks and it shouldn’t be a surprise, but the people with the most expertise, the people who know the most about different topics.

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Jason Mefford: They usually like to get paid for what they do, I know that might be a shocker to a lot of you that are out there.

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Jason Mefford: But, just like you enjoy getting paid for doing your job, people who are experts and that share their knowledge as an instructor or a teacher.

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Jason Mefford: They appreciate getting paid as well, and so you know that’s why most of the time I don’t provide training for people that want to do it for free.

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Jason Mefford: Because I like to get paid okay so honestly you won’t see me show up at most I chat after meetings unless they’re willing to pay okay.

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Jason Mefford: Now why, why is this a problem you know because, again, you might be saying well now just a minute right.

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Jason Mefford: You know just because somebody is willing to do it out of the goodness of their heart.

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Jason Mefford: It doesn’t mean that it’s not good quality content, and I agree right again just because somebody is doing it for free doesn’t mean it’s not good, but most of the time it’s not and again here’s the concrete example I was at one of my local.

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Jason Mefford: I am meetings, probably two or three years ago and the topic was around risk management Okay, something that I know a little bit about right.

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Jason Mefford: And I remember, there were there was a Co presented discussion where there were two managers from a very large professional service firm.

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Jason Mefford: Now, this was not one of the big four, but it was one of the very large professional service firms and i’m not going to tell you, who because I don’t want to embarrass anybody.

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Jason Mefford: But again, two managers, I think one of them was a senior manager and the other one was a manager, who was talking about risk management.

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Jason Mefford: And they were using.

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Jason Mefford: Excuse me, they were using some slides.

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Jason Mefford: That the firm had prepared, you know kind of like a can slide deck that they were using to talk about risk management.

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Jason Mefford: And I remember, as we were going through and they were talking about it, the topic came up, obviously with risk management was around.

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Jason Mefford: ISO 31,000, which is an ISO standard about risk management, and I remember you know they were kind of just reading the slides that were given to them.

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Jason Mefford: And they got to one where it was talking about risk treatments or ways that you can respond to risk.

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Jason Mefford: And they both kind of read this and then they stopped and they looked at each other and they’re like I don’t know if that’s supposed to be on there.

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Jason Mefford: Because it was a bullet point talking about increasing the risk choosing to increase the risk, instead of trying to reduce the risk and both of them, as I said, they looked very confused.

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Jason Mefford: To which you know I kind of had to raise my hand i’m like guys, did you not read the standard because yes.

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Jason Mefford: I so does have that as one of its risk response or risk treatment things is hey you may look at something, and you say you know what we’re okay to take a little bit more risk we’re okay to increase the risk.

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Jason Mefford: So the ISO standard actually talks about that so again for for for me someone who actually knew it it wasn’t a big deal because I I already knew it.

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Jason Mefford: But imagine the people who are sitting in that audience, you know and without me kind of raising my hand and explaining it.

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Jason Mefford: They would have walked away not having the right information and again nothing against those two gentlemen that were presenting.

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Jason Mefford: But again, usually you’re going to get more value right by listening to somebody who’s an expert then somebody who is just.

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Jason Mefford: kind of doing it right or doing it out of the goodness of their heart just because they like to do it.

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Jason Mefford: or somebody who’s training, you know from a business development perspective they’re giving you a free training, because they want something else out of you okay and that’s that’s another side of it, too, so.

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Jason Mefford: So, as I told you, you know, looking at training and trying to decide, you know, is this a good training for me and just looking at it and saying Oh, you know that’s $20 an hour that’s $100 an hour oh that’s too expensive.

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Jason Mefford: Get that out of your mind quit thinking of it in that way okay it’s an old model it’s broken and again, you get what you pay for you get what you pay for okay.

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Jason Mefford: So let me go through now and just give you some examples of ways for you to start assessing the value of training to figure out if it’s right for you, because I said don’t look at it just because of the the investment cost here’s some other ways for you to think about.

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Jason Mefford: The first thing is treat learning opportunities, just like you would any other investment okay now what that means is again look at what you’re going to be investing.

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Jason Mefford: and consider what you are getting out of that investment Okay, so if you spend $50 and it was a mindless boring waste of your time.

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Jason Mefford: $50 was not a very good use of your time from an investment perspective okay now on the flip side you could take a $2,000 course.

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Jason Mefford: And again, some people would say $2,000 that’s a lot of money, I don’t know that I can afford that I don’t know that it’s worth it.

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Jason Mefford: But here’s where I want you to stop and think about it from an investment perspective if you take that $2,000 course, what do you get back in return for that investment.

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Jason Mefford: Now a $2,000 course often will be something like a certification course from see risk Academy, so if you’re investing $2,000 what are you getting.

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Jason Mefford: you’re getting learning but you’re also getting a certification, that you can add to your resume to linked in as a result of that.

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Jason Mefford: Now, if that $2,000 course is going to help you get a promotion or get a new job to where you’re maybe earning 5000 10,000 $20,000 a year more in salary.

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Jason Mefford: Now all of a sudden, when you look at it from an investment lands 2000 you know investing $2,000 to get back $10,000 or more per year over the course of your career.

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Jason Mefford: that’s a pretty good return on your investment Okay, so the first way to think about it is treat it like an investment look at the value that you’re going to be getting out of it, and is it worth you investing into that.

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Jason Mefford: Now the second one that I want to talk about is what I call a rent vs buy and so again, you know you can think about this from a real estate perspective or other things.

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Jason Mefford: It is usually cheaper to rent than it is to buy in the short run Okay, and so what I mean is.

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Jason Mefford: You can probably rent a place to live for cheaper than you could buy a house or a condo or whatever and pay the mortgage the mortgage is probably going to be a little bit higher.

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Jason Mefford: than your rent would be, but in the long term, which of those benefits you the most renting or buying.

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Jason Mefford: And so again from an investment decision, most people look at it and realize hey if I buy it then i’m going to get the future appreciation as well.

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Jason Mefford: Eventually, when I pay off the mortgage i’m not going to have that cash outflow each month, and so a lot of people choose to buy instead of renting.

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Jason Mefford: Now you might be saying how does this relate to training well i’m going to let you in on a little secret about this to.

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Jason Mefford: attending live trainings or live learning opportunities like webinars like in person training that is like renting that information.

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Jason Mefford: Because you show up at a particular time you hear it, and then that’s it you don’t get access to it anymore, you have effectively rented.

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Jason Mefford: That time with the instructor with whatever it is that you’re doing you’ve rented that time and you don’t have that as an asset to be able to go back to okay.

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Jason Mefford: Now, if you if you Contrast that with something like on demand, training, where you actually have access to that resource for the rest of your career.

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Jason Mefford: it’s convenient because you can do it at the time, you want to you can watch it, you can stop you can rewind.

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Jason Mefford: You can think about it, you know, six months from now, and go hold it, I remember that training, I took I want to go back and look at that again.

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Jason Mefford: Well, on demand training again see risk academy offers that those kind of opportunities are like buying because it becomes a resource that you can use throughout your career.

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Jason Mefford: it’s not rented you can go back to it whenever you want to, and the more times you go back to it, the more value you’re going to have in your career.

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Jason Mefford: Now, as I said, buying might be a little bit more expensive so again taking an on demand course might be a little bit more than going to just a webinar.

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Jason Mefford: But which one is going to benefit you in the long term, of your career it’s probably better right to end up you know if if this is something that you think you’re going to use again to pay a little bit more upfront to know that you can go back to it whenever you want to.

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Jason Mefford: Now I do this same thing.

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Jason Mefford: Every time my wife and I watch a movie we usually watch through our apple TV, so we have to decide, do I want to rent the movie or do I want to buy the movie.

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Jason Mefford: And again, you know pricing it varies for each one of them, but we look at it and say you know what, if this is a movie that we think we’re going to want to go back and watch again.

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Jason Mefford: I just buy the movie I don’t worry about renting it because usually renting it twice, you might as well, have bought it anyway okay.

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Jason Mefford: The same thing applies for training as well, so think about Is this something you only want to hear once and you never want to go back to okay choose an option, a learning option that’s like renting.

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Jason Mefford: But if it’s something that you want to be able to go back to use as a resource for the rest of your career it’s probably better to pay a little bit more.

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Jason Mefford: To actually have that resource throughout your career okay so that’s the second one that’s a second way of looking at value, now the third one that i’m going to throw out there is just in general about value and so again, I see this, a lot of times, in fact.

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Jason Mefford: I have, I have three nephews, I have three nephews who are actually CPA and I remember talking to one of them, and he was he was talking about getting a CP at the end of the year.

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Jason Mefford: And he signed up for some free thing, and after 15 minutes he had to shut it off because he just couldn’t stand listening to it anymore, and then had to go find something else so it’s it’s you know again.

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Jason Mefford: Are you getting value out of it so again don’t sign up for training, just to tick a box on your CP form, make sure that it’s something that’s actually valuable for you and for your career.

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Jason Mefford: don’t go listen to mind numbing bs that isn’t going to help you if you’re going to invest your precious time, make sure it’s on something that you think will actually help you in the long run.

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Jason Mefford: Now, when we’re considering and thinking about that again it’s the value to you so for every person that’s going to be a little bit different.

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Jason Mefford: But let me give you an example as well let’s say that i’m going to the grocery store to buy ground beef okay ground beef is what we call it here in America chopped up you know beef.

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Jason Mefford: Australia, they call it mince meat that’s what my wife calls it, but let’s pretend that we’re going to the grocery store to buy some ground beef.

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Jason Mefford: Now, when I get there, and I look in the store i’m going to have a couple of different options.

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Jason Mefford: And again, this might vary depending on where you’re at, but this is just kind of my experience here in the US.

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Jason Mefford: So we go there and we could find maybe that there is ground beef regular regular old ground beef sells for $3 a pound.

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Jason Mefford: But right next to it is organic grass fed beef ground beef for maybe $5 a pound so at this point, I have a decision to make right, I have ground beef for $3 a pound.

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Jason Mefford: That was probably you know hormone raised feed lot fed beef for $3 a pound or I could do the organic grass fed beef for $5 a pound.

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Jason Mefford: Now for each person who’s making that decision there’s going to be plenty of people who say, I just want the $3 beef I want whatever’s cheapest.

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Jason Mefford: I don’t really care so if you’re one of those kind of people, then by the $3 ground beef Okay, but if you’re other people.

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Jason Mefford: That look at it and say you know what this is something i’m putting in my body and i’d rather not have the hormones from the the animal in my body.

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Jason Mefford: I would rather maybe have you know pay a little bit more for organic or farm raised or grass fed.

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Jason Mefford: Because I believe that it’s going to do my body better it’s going to be better for my body it’s going to provide me with more value right in the long run.

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Jason Mefford: So, to me it might be worth paying the $5 per pound instead of the $3 per pound you see the difference there so again that’s the third way to think about it is what’s excuse me what’s the value to you.

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Jason Mefford: And so again don’t just pick the cheapest option look at again the other value that you’re going to get from it okay so that’s three that we’ve gone through already.

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Jason Mefford: i’ve got a couple more and then we’re going to wrap out for today, so the first ones we talked about treating it like an investment.

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Jason Mefford: Second, one considering it like a rent versus by Decision, the third one, we talked about was value okay so let’s get into the fourth one now, which is the differences between a course and a program okay now again, this may be another little nuance that you might not be aware of.

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Jason Mefford: But let me just explain the difference between a course and a program Okay, a course is usually something that is discrete.

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Jason Mefford: you’re buying a course that’s five hours 10 hours 20 hours long okay it’s about a particular topic, and it is to provide you with knowledge or teach you certain skills okay.

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Jason Mefford: That is what a learning opportunity that is a course does right so maybe it’s how to write auto reports or you know how to raise orchids Okay, that those would be a course where you’re going in you’re actually getting some knowledge they’re going to probably teach you some skills.

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Jason Mefford: And that’s it right so it’s discrete beginning and now again those could be live, they could be on demand, those are courses okay.

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Jason Mefford: There are courses, there are also what are called programs, so a program is different than a course, and this is how it is different.

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Jason Mefford: You know the course teaches you usually knowledge and skills, but to really learn something we need to develop competencies from those knowledge and skills.

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Jason Mefford: Which means we have to exercise, we have to practice we actually have to implement and do those things until we actually learn it.

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Jason Mefford: And we learn it by doing so, what program usually in encourages people and provides opportunities for them to practice.

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Jason Mefford: and learn along the way, so you’re not just getting the knowledge and skills, but you’re actually incorporating it into practice you’re exercising it you’re transforming and changing your life okay.

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Jason Mefford: So an example of that might be the briefing leadership program that I do for leaders and the reason for that again, you can go read a leadership book, if you want to.

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Jason Mefford: there’s lots of them that are out there, you can go take a leadership course and you’ll learn things during it, but then it’s up to you to actually implement it.

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Jason Mefford: And what we find is most people take the course and they do nothing else with it and so again courses are great I love courses, I have lots of courses myself, I take courses myself, as well as giving them.

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Jason Mefford: But if you really want transformation and you want to start applying those things and exercising and gaining the competencies something like a program is a better alternative.

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Jason Mefford: Now, usually programs again are going to be a little bit more expensive than just a course why because there’s continuity to it, you continue to learn, there continues to be new content.

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Jason Mefford: You have ways of practicing sometimes there’s coaching or mentoring that goes along with programs as well.

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Jason Mefford: So again, depending on what it is that you are looking for, do you want some discrete knowledge that you can get from a course.

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Jason Mefford: Or do you want to actually go down a transformation path and actually practice and exercise those things, if you want the ladder then look for programs, instead of just courses okay that’s the fourth one.

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Jason Mefford: Now the last one is you know, again as you’re looking at the learning opportunities one thing to look at is the expertise of the person who is actually.

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Jason Mefford: doing the course or doing the program, and again I will tell you it’s just like everything you get what you pay for right.

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Jason Mefford: And so, people who are more experienced people who know more people who, who are trained and and have proven results and being able to help people.

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Jason Mefford: they’re going to earn more than people who are just starting out or people who don’t know what they’re talking about because they’re still learning to OK.

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Jason Mefford: So again, if you have a choice let’s say there’s you know the xyz course pick whatever topic you want.

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Jason Mefford: And you have, and you look at the information and you see that the one person seems like they’re kind of new in what they’re doing.

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Jason Mefford: They don’t have a lot of experience they haven’t helped a lot of people and and that’s one price, which is probably going to be lower.

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Jason Mefford: versus somebody else who maybe has decades of experience doing this, maybe that person has written books, maybe they’ve.

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Jason Mefford: toured all over the world you’ve seen them on YouTube right other things like that, where you know that that person is actually an expert.

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Jason Mefford: So the more expertise, someone has usually, the more they can help you right and because of that you can usually get transformation quicker you’ll learn more you’ll learn things that that normal people don’t know.

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Jason Mefford: as well, and so again looking at the expertise of the person will also help you to determine the value of that learning opportunity as well okay.

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Jason Mefford: So, as I said, you know at the beginning of this, the old looking at at a learning opportunity and dividing the number of hours by the cost and saying well that’s too expensive, or you know that sounds good, to me, or only relying on free.

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Jason Mefford: is not really the way to go, in fact, I will tell you i’ve invested in courses myself where, if you were to just do that math you would be shocked.

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Jason Mefford: Because it’s hundreds or thousands of dollars per hour and again, you might say, hold it that’s not worth it well go back to number one that we talked about to begin with.

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Jason Mefford: Looking at and treating it as an investment, and I will tell you when I have invested in very expensive programs I have gotten.

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Jason Mefford: You know very, very helpful results to the point to where Sometimes I get a 10 X return on my money.

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Jason Mefford: So you know again don’t look at it just because of the price consider things like you know take it determine if you know, like like you would any other investment.

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Jason Mefford: consider whether this is a good rent or buy option for you, you know, look at the value that you’re actually going to receive.

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Jason Mefford: Not just from from the course of the training itself, but the value again the underlying value that you have in things right, and again we talked about the the organic versus you know hormone raised beef if if you value the organic then pay for the organic, if you will okay.

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Jason Mefford: We talked about the course versus a program what the differences are there as well.

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Jason Mefford: And again because, ultimately, even if it’s a course you’re not going to develop the competencies until you start practicing and put it into place.

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Jason Mefford: programs actually help walk you through that courses you’re left on your own to do it by yourself.

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Jason Mefford: And then the last one again just to consider the expertise of the person who’s providing the learning opportunity.

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Jason Mefford: to know whether it’s somebody who’s been around the block a few times that actually knows what they’re talking about, or if you’re jumping into something with somebody who doesn’t know much more than you do about it.

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Jason Mefford: As you’re going through so with that hope that’s helpful because again it’s i’m very passionate about this it’s why I do what I do.

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Jason Mefford: Because I will tell you, you know we’re we’re a lot of us are very conscious about what we choose to eat or not eat what we put into our physical bodies, they give us energy and fuel ourselves.

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Jason Mefford: And it’s good, we should we should be doing that and a lot of people do think about that what a lot of people don’t think about is what they’re actually putting into their brain.

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Jason Mefford: And so again garbage in garbage out, and so, if you’re feeding your brain with garbage then you’re going to get garbage results.

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Jason Mefford: If you feed it better better food, if you will, through through better learning opportunities you’re going to get better results as well Okay, and so again.

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Jason Mefford: Just to kind of close out the whole thing you know i’m guessing that you’re not one of those people if you’re listening to this podcast, but if you are one of those people.

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Jason Mefford: That only feels like you should get free training and training should be free for everybody is that how you would get your food as well.

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Jason Mefford: Because again, most of the places where you can you can get free food right, but most of the time it’s like going to the grocery store picking out the samples.

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Jason Mefford: or it’s digging through the trash can for things that people have leftover I don’t think that’s how you would want to feed your body.

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Jason Mefford: So you might not want to feed your mind that way either so without my friends lots of love and you know because, again, as I said, my i’m passionate about this because I want you.

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Jason Mefford: To invest in yourself, I want you to to be able to have the best life and career that you can have and honestly, the one of the best ways to do that is for you to invest in yourself.

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Jason Mefford: Because it opens up opportunities for you to earn more money to provide better for your family and to honestly have a lot less stress as well.

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Jason Mefford: As you go through that so with that my friends i’m going to sign off for this week, but i’ll catch you on a future episode of jamel with Jason have a great week.

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