This week, Victoria joins me in chatting about professional development and how to find the balance between investing in the training we need and overspending on development unnecessarily.  

We go through the skills you will need in order to find the results and success you are looking for out of that program, course, podcast, or conference.  

In this episode, we also discuss: 

  • What is professional development and how to classify professional development | 2:29
  • How do you know when you’re underspending on professional development | 11:38 
  • How to tell the difference between ‘shiny object syndrome’ and being ready to commit to a professional development program | 14:10  
  • How to determine if a program or course is right for you | 17:49 
  • What are the skills a person should have to commit to a course or program | 24:00 

Things mentioned in the episode: 


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Full Episode Transcript: 

Intro  00:00  

Welcome to Entrepreneur Money Stories, the podcast for women entrepreneurs who want to dig into their money stories so they can break free from limiting beliefs around money once and for all hosted by Daniel Hayden, owner of kickstart accounting, Inc. This podcast is a series of real conversations about money mindset with valuable and action packed takeaways for the entrepreneur who’s building their abundant empire. Danielle is a reformed corporate CFO who’s on a mission to help rule breaking female entrepreneurs understand their numbers and gain the confidence to create sustainable profits. And now here’s your host, Danielle Hayden.   


Danielle Hayden  00:38  

Hello, and welcome back to entrepreneur money stories. Today we’re welcoming Victoria, back to the show. Victoria is our Operations Coordinator here at kickstart accounting. Victoria. Thanks. Thank you, and welcome back. Thank you for having me. I feel like all the time, if I ever get on a video call with a client or referral partner all the time, I’m like, I email you so much, but I never get to see your face or hear voice. So it’s nice for everyone to hear my voice a little bit. Absolutely. I love when you’re on the show, you do a really amazing job because you’re not a money. You’re not part of the accounting team, I think you do a really good job at asking questions that the audience is thinking. So I think that they really appreciate when you’re on the show. But you’ve been around long enough to know your way around the money and accounting sphere. Do you? Do you feel like you’re?  


Victoria Hughes  01:35  

I do. Because I joke with the team all the time that I’m not a bookkeeper. I’m not an accountant. Don’t ask me those questions. But just like we teach business owners about their numbers, I have picked up a thing or two about a thing or two. So yes, I do feel like I’ve I’ve picked up a lot. And I’m a lot more confident now around finances and accounting. So I’m glad to kind of be that intermediate guest on on the show.   


Danielle Hayden  02:04  

Well, today we’re going to be talking about I label it professional development, but I wanted you to find that. So this is an area where we see a lot of overspending or underspending, we see one or two camps with our clients. It’s either you’re overspending and professional development, or you’re under spending and not investing enough time, money and energy. So what is professional development? Like a professional development as masterminds? So if you are joining or being part of a mastermind, and entrepreneurship group, not for advertising and networking, but But truly to learn something in most networking groups have a learning component to it? So I would reflect on that, is it truly networking? Or is there a learning component to it, I remember when I started the business, we were truly just doing networking, right? That’s like, you’re going there you’re eating, drinking, and just getting to know people, there’s not that learning component. So professional development is any place where we might be connecting with other people. But it’s really for the purpose of learning or the purpose of developing as a business owner. This might also include hiring consultants who are mentoring you in this way. This might be considered your mentor, your business coach, courses and programs, anything that you can think of that I’m missing. What about conferences? Do you think that conferences would be in this as well. So if you are a booth holder, right, like if you are going as a vendor speaker, or to be in part of the booth, then that goes to your advertising and marketing line item on your income statement. If you are going to learn and develop as a business owner or leader, or you’re taking anybody in your team, then that that would be the type of conference that is training and development.   


Victoria Hughes  03:52  

Good to know the difference between that. I know, we do this sometimes I don’t know how much you see with clients. But what about cases where you’re doing both?   


Danielle Hayden  04:02  

You know, we don’t have to get to, especially when it comes to the numbers, I think what stumps people a lot when we’re looking at our income statement.  


Danielle Hayden  04:11  

You can get so in the weeds. And you might even say, well, 50% of the time is networking and advertising 50% of the time is learning and development and want to split the cost. I say get caught for what it is right? What is the true purpose of you being there. And the true purpose is for you to walk away like you want to bring a nugget back to your personal life. You want to bring a nugget back to your business. And that’s the number one intention of that conference, then put their whole expense to training and development. If the nugget that you’re coming home with is referrals and leads and clients then let’s call it advertising so we don’t have to get too far in the weeds. Does that make sense? Yes, absolutely. I’m glad that you’ve clarified because I know sometimes we  


Danielle Hayden  05:00  

Get a little too hung up on what something actually is and wanting to, especially with expenses, split them up.   


Victoria Hughes  05:07  

But that is really good clarification. So Danielle, why is this topic so important?   


Danielle Hayden  05:14  

I think that we need to find a balance between investing in ourselves, our team and our business. And then actually using what we’ve learned to create habits, routines, systems, and really just implement all of the strategies that we learn. So too often we find that we can be I heard the term  


Danielle Hayden  05:39  

success zombie, Andy for Sela at the time, this airs, my husband and I are doing the 75 hard program with a friend of his. So we’ve we’ve been sharing his podcast, and he’s a pretty aggressive guy. So I’m not saying go listen to his podcast, it’s a  


Danielle Hayden  05:54  

little little off off brand for us. However, he talks about success zombies. And what he means by that is that we are constantly consuming, we’re purchasing the book, we’re purchasing the course, we’re hiring the business coach, and because you get a dopamine hit, right, there’s chemicals in your brain that are actually firing when you make that purchase. And then we’re not actually following through because the hard part is actually hearing what that host, that teacher that mentor has to say, and implementing it. So we become success zombies, where we’re constantly in the mode of purchasing and bringing that into our world. So this is so important. So that we are finding a balance between, we need to spend the money right or under spenders, we need to be able to spend the money and being willing to invest in ourselves in our team and our business verse, constantly getting a dopamine hit, and emotionally spending, because we are trying to obtain something that we don’t have or that we think that we need. And in order to really find this balance, right, this can be really, really difficult. So in order to find the balance, we really need to take a step back and identify what our identity is. So when we think about ourselves, do we identify as someone who needs training? Or do we identify ourselves as someone who isn’t worth investing in? Right? So sometimes this is a self confidence issue? Do you do you identify as somebody who is worthy of spending money on and investing in? Or are you I do identify as somebody who constantly needs to be learning and growing. And you hear a lot about this identity in the self improvement space, right, like health and wellness, I hear it a lot when I’m listening to health and wellness podcast. So if I don’t identify as a fit person, or as a, as a lean fit person, that I’ll never be able to lose the weight, because I don’t identify as that person. And I think that we can use that here in our money mindset as well. If I identify as somebody who is not good with money, then I’m always going to be somebody who’s not good with money, because that’s how I identify myself. And if I identify myself as somebody who is strong, empowered, confident, worthy of investment, then I’m going to bring a different vibe, right? I’m gonna bring a different energy in into my business and into my space.   


Victoria Hughes  08:31  

So it’s almost like a self fulfilling prophecy. Almost when you’re you’re thinking about yourself or talking about yourself, you kind of become what you say you are.   


Danielle Hayden  08:42  

Exactly. Yes, absolutely. That’s exactly it. And I think we’ve we’ve hardwired these stories in our brains, especially the money mindset, right, you could have had somebody tell you, growing up, we as a family aren’t good with money. And that becomes your story. And just because it was your family’s identity. And that now becomes your story. And that becomes how you identify, or we talk a lot about money mindset and what our stories are on this podcast. But think we leave out the fact that right that what did that causes, right? Because that money mindset in that story, we’re telling ourselves, it becomes our identity. And that’s why that’s so important. Because we have to really shift and change our identity of who we are. So that’s why this is so important. And understand how to find this balance.   


Victoria Hughes  09:32  

Those are some really interesting points. I didn’t necessarily realize how much money mindset went into professional development.   


Danielle Hayden  09:41  

Oh, absolutely. I think it’s, it’s right up there. It’s money mindset, emotional spending, right? You think of just professional development as part of learning or might even be on your radar, right? You might want to skip over this podcast because then they might not even be on your radar which means you need to listen to this just as much as if you are somebody who  


Danielle Hayden  10:00  

A big percentage of your revenue is going into this area we see for a lot of our clients who are overspending in this area. So let’s just say you’re, you’re you’re bringing in, like $100,000 in revenue, I mean, we’ll see some of our clients spending up to 20 25% of their revenue into professional development. And obviously, as your business grows, and you’re bringing in more revenue, the percent of revenue that actually is going to professional development decreases, the dollar amount doesn’t necessarily decrease. And so looking at that trend over time, how much my how much dollars am I spending on professional development? And then how much percent of my revenue is going to professional development are two really, really key metrics to start to identify? Are you an over spender, under spender? Because I can hear somebody saying, well, which camp do I?  


Danielle Hayden  10:59  

Where do I, where do I land? Right? How do I know which one I’m in? And the best way to look at that is to go to your income statement. If you are doing your own bookkeeping, you show all your professional development to one category. And if you heard the beginning of the show, and that’s not how you have it, categorized, take a moment, reclassify those transactions, and then go back to your income statement. And look, how much each year am I spending and professional development for my team and I? And then how much as a percentage of revenue am I spending each year on professional development? And that will help you start to understand if you are overspending or underspending in this area? So you mentioned that, you know, sometimes the overspenders are upwards of 25%. What about the under spenders? Is there a benchmark for that, or a benchmark of where you should try to be around as a business owner? Good questions. So an under spender could be, you know, as low as zero, right? Because you’re just not spending any money on professional development. You’re telling yourself a story of I’m not enough to invest in, I’m scared, I won’t be able to keep up with other members. I’m not big enough. I have a scarcity mindset. I’m afraid to spend money, what if it doesn’t come back? And so you’re holding on to all those dollars. And so it could be zero. And I would even say like zero to one to 2% is really too low, right? Because that means we’re stagnant, right? Unless you have another area in which you are using free resources. But I question how much we’re able to implement free resources, because we can do the same thing. With that content, right, we can listen to the podcast and get the dopamine hit, right, like I did something, check, and never actually implement anything from the podcast. And I could be guilty of this too. I was joking with Victoria just yesterday, that by the time I sit down at my desk, I’ve probably ingested an hour of an audible and an hour of a podcast set while I’m just working out and getting ready in the morning. And so if I’m not implementing anything that I’m listening to, or sharing those ideas with anybody, that I’m just getting the dopamine hit of consuming. So if you’re underspending you might be consuming in a different way. But I question because you’re not paying for it. Are you? Are you holding that information at the same standard? And are you implementing it, the sweet spot where we’d like to see clients that is somewhere between five to 10% of revenue, so somewhere between that five to 10%. And again, if you are doing half million dollars, or million dollars in revenue, that might sound like a lot of money to you. But it’s not because at that point, you probably have a team, right? And so this training, professional development isn’t just about you, as a business owner, this is about you and your team. We have a lot of resources, and we spend a lot of money and a lot of time and money into into our team. And so, I question you know, I challenge us as business owners, that we should still be spending between five and 10% Because now that’s encompassing all the other people that we lead. Hello entrepreneur money started listeners, we would like to kindly interrupt your show to invite you to our first esuite program the finance framework, the finance Framework Program will give you direct access to weekly video training our exclusive resource library live q&a is with the kickstart accounting eight account managers and access to meet your CFO expert to learn more and gain exclusive access visit Kickstarter counting This program will sell out we’re only offering a limited amount of seats. So do not let this opportunity pass you by again. Kickstart accounting  


Victoria Hughes  14:51  

So how do we determine if we’re experiencing shiny object syndrome or if if you’re  


Victoria Hughes  15:00  

really ready to commit to professional development?   


Danielle Hayden  15:03  

Yeah, so some of the similar strategies, and I want to repeat them, because I think we have an opportunity, I think I read, we have to hear something five to seven times before it actually sinks in. So I’m going to repeat a few of these, because I think it’s important for us to remember that it’s okay. So wait 48 hours, and those marketing, same marketing strategies that you might use in your business, it’s okay to challenge whoever you are thinking about working with, to give you some grace, that it’s actually part of your money mindset. It’s the standard that you have with your money team to wait 48 hours. And so that person that you’re thinking about joining their course, or hiring as a mentor, or as a business coach, if they say, I’ll only give you a discount, if you sign up in the next 24 hours, is that somebody you really want to work with? Right, I really challenge that, do we want that person? Do we want to be associated with them? And asking them for grace that actually have a 48 hour rule? I’m not able to sign up for anything unless I’ve waited 48 hours, I’ve spoken to my money team, and I’ve had an opportunity to reflect on this. So first strategy is is Wait 48 hours. In that waiting 48 hours, you might ask yourself, well, what the heck am I supposed to reflect on Danielle? I want to be in this program.  


Danielle Hayden  16:27  

So in that 48 hours, you can you can reflect on a few things.  


Danielle Hayden  16:32  

Do you have the time to commit? You know, are you willing to implement the strategies that that you learn? And you can reflect back on? What were your intentions for the year. So go back to Episode 79, where we talked about setting intentions for your year rather than goals. And signing up for this course, mentor, business coach? does it align? Will it help you be be aligned with what your annual intention was. And then once you have that, you know that what you’re going to be learning and receiving through this program that you have the time and the willingness to then create the habits and routines to stay consistent with what you’re learning.  


Danielle Hayden  17:19  

These hosts and business coaches and mentors, they put together a course they put together a plan very purposely. And if you don’t find success, they take that to heart, right like that impacts them because they want you to find success. And when you don’t find success, they don’t find success. But if you don’t have the time and the energy to actually follow through, is that fair to the host? Is that fair to them? That is a really good point. And that kind of goes into our next point of how do you know if a program is right for you? Because really, if the program isn’t right for you, same thing, will you find success? Right? Exactly. There’s several things that you could do to make sure that the program is right for you. Waiting that 48 hours to reflect really talk to the host, whoever is either the host of the course, the conference, the business, coach, the mentor, really talk to them, and then determine if what your desired outcome is, is what the host brand promises, what that host is offering you are offering, make sure that you’re not hearing what you want to hear what is that host? Or that that leader? What are they actually promising to deliver. And make sure that that aligns up with what your intention is? Not what you want to hear. Maybe that not what you want to hear. But what you actually need is your intention. Does that actually line up with what the host brand promises, and then do your values line up with your host and that brand, I think we have a tendency, when we want to do something, we see an opportunity, we get really excited, oh, no, we’ve all been there, right? You get really excited, you really want to do this thing. And you forget that you have personal values, your business has values, you have values. And you need to make sure that whoever you’re going into business with whoever you’re partnering with, and whoever you’re willing to learn from, that you both have the same values and that you align in those values. If you get into a program and you realize, gosh, this person’s kind of sleazy, they’re, they’re teaching me these tactics and strategies, they really just don’t align with my values. And I feel like they’re coming off in an authentic way, you’re not going to absorb that content, you’re not going to want to take that back and you’re not going to use that with your team. You’re gonna want to use that in your self development, you’re not gonna want to create habits around that. So make sure that your values really line up with the host in that brand. And then is the program promising to create the habits and rituals for lasting change? Right so we don’t want to change for one month or 30 days, not get rich quick scheme. We want to make sure that whatever  


Danielle Hayden  20:00  

We’re we’re learning, we’re learning it for the long haul. So in our finance Framework Program, yes, it’s only 12 weeks in which we’re together during that framework. But what we’re actually teaching, our group is to have lasting change, we’re teaching them the habits, the routines, the strategy is in order to be able to use them in the future, and be able to really create lasting money mindset shifts and changes that they are going to be able to use into their business. And then the last point I’ll make is, do you want to associate with this group. So what’s the power of associations? I know we’ve all heard, you’re the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. Now, although this probably isn’t going to be somebody that you’re spending the most time with, this is going to be somebody that you are choosing to associate with and the other people in the group you are choosing to associate with. So ensuring that that host that their values align with yours, that they’re going to allow other people into the program that you want to associate with. And you can ask the host that, right? How are you choosing to allow everybody in for our finance framework, we’re not allowing everybody to come into that program. So if we have somebody who’s not willing to take on the work, if we have somebody who is not fitting our brand values, we actually don’t accept them into the program. And so you want to ensure that whoever you’re choosing to partner with has that same selection process, and that who you’re going to become associated with, through that coaching, mentorship, conference mastermind is somebody who you want in your sphere. This is maybe a more random question than I just thought of. But we’ve been talking through this emotional spending, and through this episode, a little bit about confidence and self confidence, self esteem. So how would you suggest someone who’s maybe not as competent to approach the host? Or the business running the program? Oh, good question. Because that can be hard, right? If you are already an under spender, right? If you’ve never done professional development before, you might be thinking, I’m not enough, right? My business isn’t big enough. I’m not enough. And I remember being part of this group, there was five of us in this mastermind. And when I got selected into this group, I thought that two of the three people in the group, oh my god, their businesses are so big, they’re so cool. I’m like, I don’t, I don’t deserve to be in this group. And I really struggled with that. And then once I came into the group, I realized, there people are people, and they have what you know, all the same struggles that I’m having, and they are conquering all the same fears that that I have. So knowing that whoever this host is, whoever this the people in the mastermind group are there people just like you, they’ve had the same struggles that you’ve had. So when you are deciding whether or not you want to contact the host, remember that they’re a person, they’ve had all the same struggles that you’ve that you’ve had, and so you can approach them in that way. And if you don’t feel comfortable contacting the host, or maybe it’s not possible, maybe there’s there’s no way for you to speak directly to them, do your due diligence, and you can peruse their social media, the website, maybe they have a podcast, so make sure that you’re really taking the extra time to do your due diligence. And don’t just look at the sales page, right? You don’t want to just look at the one sales page and say, This is the program for me, really make sure that you are going deep and understand what that host is all about. And they probably have at least a team member who you can talk to, and ask the questions that you need to ask. That is a really great point that especially about social media, like I know, I kick start, like you can DM us. So even if you can’t reach out directly to the host, you can probably reach someone on their team. Absolutely. So what are the skills that you need to have in place before you can commit to a course, the number one skill that I like to think about is you’re not going to be motivated, you know, especially if you’re doing something like a course, it’s going to take, you know, maybe it’s a year long course, maybe it’s six month course, maybe it’s a 12 week course like ours, you’re not going to have motivation to show up every day. So do you have the discipline, that once you’ve paid for something that you’re going to follow it through? So I think the number one skill to think about is, do I have the discipline that when I don’t feel motivated to do this anymore? When the newness has worn off? Am I willing to exercise my discipline muscle and keep showing up and keep learning and keep growing? I think discipline is the number one and then the other ones would just be dedicating your time and your energy willingness to learn. I think as entrepreneurs, a lot of us are we are the expert in our  


Danielle Hayden  25:00  

Our craft, right so we are the expert in an area of our life. And being willing to say, this is an area, that’s not a strength for me, this is a weakness, right? I’m honoring that this is a weakness. And I can put on a learning Katz, I can be a student again, and really be mentored by this this person. And except that that help with grace. And from a student mindset. So when you mentioned discipline, I think it’s really important to note what you said about like, can you still have the discipline to complete this and see it through even when it’s not shiny and new anymore, and recognizing that it’s okay to not want to show up every day. And it’s okay to not, I mean, 12 weeks, six months, there’s a long time. So, you know, you’re not going to be excited, every single time that you have to log in, but having the discipline to still show up. And it’s like, going to the gym, like, you know, it’s just like going to the gym, when you drag yourself to the gym, and you really don’t want to work out. But by the end of it, you’re so glad that you went, it’s the same thing with a course a coach, a mentor, I’m in a local group called EO and I’m not gonna lie, every time it pops on my calendar, I’m like, dammit, I don’t have time for this today, I don’t want to go sit and listen to somebody, I’d rather sit in front of my desk, in my house, my yoga pants, and do what I’m focused on doing right now. I make myself go, I make myself get dressed. And every time I come back with my cup full, and I’ve learned so much. And I’m always so excited to share what I’ve learned with the team and share the ideas. And I feel filled up. So it’s just that same discipline muscle that you need to exercise like the gym like these, these spaces that you don’t want to go but you know, aren’t good for you, you really have to prioritize it because work never stops, there’s always going to be something else that you could do for work. And you have to realize that this is something that you can do for work to like, it’s not in the same aspect of like checking your email, and you know, your day to day tasks. But you know, it’s still important, and it’s, it’s still contributing to your business. I worked for a guy a long time ago, and shout out to Andy, he would sit in his office every morning, and have a cup of coffee when he got to the office. And he was reading the newspaper. And I remember the started to kind of irritate me, I’m like, I am working my butt off. And this dude’s office, really the newspaper. And him and I finally had a conversation about it. And he said, This is my job. This is part of my job. I need to know what’s going on in the industry, I need to know what’s going on in the world. This, what I’m doing right here is r&d, research and development. It’s my professional development. It’s building my brain, it’s staying strong. As entrepreneurs, it’s your job to strengthen your mind. It’s your job to learn what’s going on in the world, what’s going on within the industry, what’s going on with your competitors, and to stay sharp. And if you’re not an an entrepreneur, and maybe you’re working for somebody, and entrepreneurship is just on your mind, it’s still your job, right. So I think of everybody who works at kickstart, I think of it as all of our jobs to stay sharp and to continue to learn and grow. Because we as a company are learning and growing every day. And so it’s part of our jobs as individuals to keep learning and growing so that we could all move the company forward together. Yeah, I think that’s a good point about learning and growing. Because, you know, in most industries, especially in today’s world, where social media has a large effect on, you know, across almost every industry, everything is changing so fast. So you have to be able to stay on top of, you know, trends and stay on top of you know, happenings. Yeah, absolutely. So, this is a must, right? If you’re an under spender and you’re scared and you’re thinking I’m not enough.  


Danielle Hayden  29:17  

And you’re you’re not ready to invest in yourself or your team. This is your action step right now, right? Like you listen to this episode for a reason. I do believe things happen for a reason, no matter what your faith is. And so you showed up on this podcast, and you listen today for a reason. And this is your shout out to invest, go invest in something, whatever your intention was for the year. Find what you need in order to meet that intention and find professional development that’s going to help you grow in that area. And if you are somebody who is listening to this, you realize I am a junkie I’m a success Junkie.  


Danielle Hayden  30:00  

And I buy all the things and I do not implement. You listen to this podcast for a reason right now. And I want you to think about what is your intention for the year, find one course, one mentor, one, one business coach, one thing that you can do this year, and then stay really consistent, and the muscle that you’re building is not the willingness to invest in yourself, the muscle you’re building is discipline, you’re building the habits, you’re building the rituals, you’re building all the other things that you need, in order to be able to actually put into play everything that you are paying for, right, everything that you’re paying for, to to invest, or anything else that you can think of.   


Victoria Hughes  30:38  

I think that pretty well covers it. I just think, you know, my, my biggest takeaways are just for the underspender. Having, you know, the willingness to invest in yourself and realizing that you’re, you’re worth it. And for the overspender, or to kind of reel it in realize, where all you’re spending money. Do you need all of those courses? And what are you taking away from them?   


Danielle Hayden  31:07  

Yeah, and you’re still worth it. But you’re worth it to follow through.  


Victoria Hughes  31:12  

You’re worth it. You’re you’re definitely worth it. But it’s also like your business’s worth it to be able to implement those takeaways.   


Danielle Hayden  31:21  

Well, Victoria, thank you for being here. I want to thank the audience for being here and tuning into this episode. This was something that we’ve been talking about for a long time, and we weren’t sure exactly how to approach it. And through all my podcasts and audible listening, it hit me the other day on how we can approach this topic in a really meaningful way for the audience. So if you enjoy today’s episode, we ask for one thing in return. One thing is payment. share this episode with one other business owner, like and subscribe. We have so much fun stuff coming up this year, quarterly webinars, our finance framework, we’ll be doing additional courses like the finance framework in the future. So I don’t want you to miss out on any of the happenings around here. So make sure that you like and subscribe, get on our email list and if you have anything that you wish we would have covered, you can send us a DM on Instagram at cosart accounting or email us at support at kickstart accounting And we’ll see you again next week.