One question many Internet marketing newbies have is why sign up for a seemingly expensive coaching program when there are inexpensive ebooks or even free information online?
That’s a great question and I just learned a lesson yesterday that will help answer that question.
Yesterday, Lisa and I woke up at 5:30 AM to drive to
Ordinarily, I’d fly to a speaking engagement but with Lisa’s inventory of jewelry, display pieces, etc., we’re driving. I was looking forward to using my new Garmin Nuvi 750 GPS device.
To start our 842-mile journey to
As we drove, voice prompts and the large screen display made navigation a breeze. And any time we needed gas, food or even a caffeine fix, the Garmin provided numerous options.
Around the halfway point, we stopped for lunch in
I was comparing using the Garmin on this trip versus the earlier trip where I’d relied on driving directions printed out from one of those free trip planning websites.
I now realize the free directions not only added an extra 100 miles to my trip while taking me on mostly congested two-lane highways with lower speed limits than the route laid out by the Garmin.
Also, the free services estimated driving time was beyond my comfort zone for driving in a single day. So I reserved a hotel room at what looked like a good half-way point and did the same for the return trip.
When I got under way, the printed directions were frequently confusing. I had to pull over several times to try and decipher them, especially at night.
At one point, I missed a key turn that took me over an hour out of my way. And that doesn’t count the time I had to spend pulling over to find my way back on course.
This would never have happened with the Garmin with its voice prompts. Even if you do miss a turn, the Garmin immediately recalculates and guides you right back on course.
Another issue I had with the ‘free’ directions was never knowing exactly where I was on the trip. If you’ve ever used one of these free services, you know what I mean. Cities and towns aren’t listed. Everything is gauged on turns, exits and highway mergers. So it’s hard to determine an arrival time or plan a pit stop.
Should you stop and fill up with gas now or wait until later? Difficult to tell using the printed directions.
Ultimately, that ‘free’ website cost me a fortune.
Hotel: $220 (2 nights with taxes, fees) Meals/Tips: $60 Gas + Extra wear tear on Car: $100 Total: $380
And what about stress, wear and tear on my body, and lost productivity time? That takes the cost much higher. I lost nearly a full day that I could have spent vacationing or working.
Compare the ‘free’ directions to the Garmin. The Garmin took us on a route where we could leave the cruise control on most of the way. So we got better gas mileage, never got lost and never missed a turn. When we decided to take a quick side-trip to the airplane ‘graveyard’ in
With the Garmin, everything you might need like fuel, food, hotel rooms, car repairs, or shopping is at your fingertips. Push a button and the Garmin will add the stop to your trip and provide directions and even the phone number if you need to call ahead.
Ultimately, the Garmin, made our trip smooth and even more fun. Granted, we still had to do the driving and 842 miles is a long way but this was SO much easier than the 2006 trip.
So what did that convenience cost us? At just under $400, the Garmin’s price tag would seem, at first glance, to be pretty steep when free directions are available.
Of course, we now know that ‘free’ doesn’t always mean free.
Those ‘free’ directions cost me $380. And that doesn’t count the headaches and lost productivity time. And what if trying to follow those printed directions had caused me go get into an accident? What if someone were seriously injured?
The Garmin cost $389.99. For a net cost of $9.99, the Garmin nearly paid for itself with one trip. Yet now we have a reliable resource we can use again and again and we’ve got peace of mind. And, by keeping our focus on the road, the Garmin could actually save lives.
Had we used that free resource again, We’d have blown another $380 bringing the cost of ‘free’ to $760 in just two trips.
By being willing to spend a bit more up front, we not only a faster, safer, much more pleasant journey but we felt confident the entire trip. We always knew where we were going, when we’d arrive and where we needed to go next. And we had instant access to help or any other resources whenever we needed it.
So, which option looks better now?
Free doesn’t look so hot, does it?
Let’s apply this to our original question of mentoring programs versus the D.I.Y. approach using cheap or free ebooks. Now don’t get me wrong, I love ebooks or I wouldn’t be teaching people how to write ebooks. Ebooks are great for learning a particular skill or strategy but not necessarily for your overall gameplan.
While there are some great free tools available, when it comes to charting a course for your future or current online business, do you want to do it the hard way or the easy way?
If you don’t mind a lot of painful scrapes, bumps and bruises, headaches and wasting a lot of time, you can take the ‘free’ D.I.Y. path.
Signing up for online mentoring doesn’t mean you don’t have to do the work any more than getting a Garmin doesn’t mean you still don’t have to drive the car.
But it makes it SO much easier. You follow a proven course of action, you’ve got help at your fingertips when you need it, and you work smarter instead of harder.
In the long-run, it pays for itself in more ways than one and you’ll enjoy the journey rather than stumble around lost in the dark. Plus, you’ll have a system you can you can use again and again on future excursions.
Choosing a mentoring program may not potentially save lives like an on-board navigation system. Then again, if you’re seriously struggling to make ends meet or stuck in a job you can’t stand, the right class could certainly be life- changing.
When it comes to fulfilling your dreams of escaping the rat race and having the freedom to work how, where and when you want, you have a choice.
If you prefer a faster, efficient and much more pleasant journey where you’ll feel confident, aware of where you’re going while being able to instantly get help when you need with a host of resources at your disposal, I urge you to sign up for my Ebook Mastermind course now while spots are still available. If you choose to join us, the journey begins March 18th.
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Bill’s Ebook Mastermind course far surpasses everything out there. My husband and I took Bill’s class last spring and are well on our way.
Any teachings we have come across since just don’t quite measure up. Bill IS the EXPERT and always gives the most on point advice that you will want to implement right away. Anytime we have allowed ourselves to get distracted and try something off the path of Bill’s guidance we always end up saying “Bill told us so” as we get back on point. We finished his class with a complete plan we intend to duplicate over and over.
Bill becomes your partner giving you many insider secrets to the life of an Ebook Entreprenuer, easy how to’s and accessability to the infinitely successful. Not to mention the course itself is very well organized, easy to understand and use.
We had the pleasure of meeting Bill in person and he is one of those guys who you wish was your neighbor so you could have him and Lisa over for dinner often. Soooo, how about a fajita cookout!! 🙂 See ya in about five hours!
Meeting you, Bill and taking your course has changed our lives! Thank you!!
Success to all, Donna
No offense, Bill, but the easiest thing to do is learn how to read a map.
I’ve driven on the road for 20 years, and I’ve only gotten lost because of road construction.
And I buy a new map every year. Cost? About 12 bucks.
None taken, Tamara. I tour managed rock bands all over the world going back 30 years. I know how to read a map. In broad daylight on an interstate with someone that knows how to read a map riding shotgun, it’s not a big deal. But try 900 miles on a series of unfamiliar dark rural highways at night when you’re driving alone and tell me know many times you have to stop to check the map. You’ll get there, just like I did on the trip to Colorado. But it’s a heck of a lot easier with the GPS.
Sometimes routing is simple. Many trips require no more than a cursory glance at a map. Other trips, like the one I described were fairly complicated and not as simple to plot as you might imagine.
One more thing. If you’ve ever pulled into an unfamiliar major city alone when traffic is zipping along at 70 and you’ve got multiple freeway changes before jumping to the exit for your hotel, you’ll appreciate the GPS. You don’t have to pull over or try following the map while driving.
You can travel all you want for twelve bucks a year and pocket the savings, Tamara. Nobody has to buy a GPS.
But, everything else being equal and if we’re both driving alone, I’ll bet I arrive at my destination earlier and more relaxed than you will and I’ll have less risk of getting in an accident. That peace of mind, along with the convenience of being able to quickly locate and drive to say, a Kinko’s or Office Depot when I’m in a hurry prior to a presentation justifies the price for me. –BH
I’ve made many a trip before GPS was available. Guess it was just dumb luck I made it to where I was going as planned?! To follow your “analogy” actually my resources were not “free”. I paid for the road map…..and God supplied the reasoning and deductive abilities 🙂
Later in life I admit to utilizing cellular phone technology when that was available. (Of course that expense was took on for other reasons)
I get your point, however it cuts both ways. I have paid WAY too much for courses and boxes in the past where it was arguable if they warranted 10% of the price of admission when it was all said and done.
Seems to me price is not the only salient parameter. The teaching ability combined with actual experience of the vendor is as important. As much so as the character and integrity of the “guru (or lack thereof)imho 🙂
That all being said, I can attest that Bill’s course is worth it and he is a scholar and gentleman to boot!!
Enjoy your trip.
Hi Bobby, see my comments below regarding the GPS. And I’ll admit the trip in question was unusual and I’d had two other people suggest the same routing.
I completely agree with the credibility of the ‘guru’ and some ‘big box’ sets not being worth what they’re cracked up to be. That’s one of the reasons I started Ecommerce Confidential. And you make a good point, just like I checked online reviews and spoke with other Garmin users before making a purchase, you need to check up on the people putting any class you sign up for, including mine.
And I appreciate your kind words about my class. —BH
What a great analogy. And the voice prompt vs just reading directions, free or not, adds points on the side of a successful journey.
Whether on a road trip or the road to successful product creation and marketing, given the choice of having the voice of experience and expertise in my ear once per week live, and as many times per week as I choose to review the videos and audios or simply a book or workbook,
I’d pick the voice every time.
Besides when you are on the road with a map who do you ask for clarification?
When maps were the only thing available they were considered the best “technology” to get from point A to point B or C. Times are a changin’ and until I buy a Garmin I’ll continue to pay for the best maps rather than use the awful free mapping software.
Remember y’all, we do get what we pay for.
As I worked through another inbox full of email this morning, I was lead to this blog post. I was standing as I began to read from my office desktop, not wanting to take the time to settle in and read. I figured I could just skim your blog post and then move on to my next task.
But, as I read, I found myself drawn in and was soon sitting in my chair, engrossed in your reasoning, enjoying the story.
I think your analogy is brilliant. It is so easy to wander aimlessly through this info-marketing jungle. The key is to find honest, up-front folks like you and Pat and others, who have developed ways that really work.
Thanks for your sincerity and honesty. And thanks very much for this enlightening post. It was a great way to start my Saturday.