Interesting - looking back and reliving this conversation was sort of like an interesting food for thought, that I've such a take on personal development, learning.
I have paid literally tens of thousands of dollars in offline and online courses, seminars and books in my life, on topics that I'm interested in pursuing that includes:
I also conduct mini-experiments to test hypotheses in my physiotherapy business ie will X increase sales? If it costs less than $100/$200, let's go for it (prioritization + budget does matter of course, not just anything can be tested - it goes into our "to test" list).
I've done the same for income investing, by going for an income investing course and reading books and blogs of income investors, I started an income investment portfolio in dividend stocks.
I have online businesses that I started and am regularly adding content to, answering questions and participating in speaking to individuals offline, in comments and in online forums.
And at month end, I have a monthly passive income reports that chronicles the revenues and costs of my passive income experiments, and the net profits or loss. I will try to include more granularity and details over time as I refine the structure and process too.
Back to the beginning: I spend money on courses/seminars/books etc and I spend money on experiments on a small scale, and these are budgeted under my "Research And Development (R&D) Fund" which to me is a necessity for accelerated growth.
Yes, there are daily and the occasional random event that with introspection and thinking, we can learn if we don't want/can't spend money to learn and test.
I do this because I am willing to invest in myself AND to cut short the learning curve by learning from people who have done what I want to achieve. They have learnt over 10 - 20 years, and I can learn what they had learnt over 1-2 decades, in a couple of hours to days/weeks.
It's very accelerated and it's laser-targeted learning, meaning it tends to be very technical learning of a certain skill/outcome that I want.
I notice in every company that is successful, there is always a "think tank" or research and development (R&D) team that serves to think, test, experiment, and bring out the best innovations for growth. And I take this habit and approach to my own personal life as well as for my physiotherapy businesses, online businesses - and always try to budget time and money for R&D - I cannot afford not doing R&D.
Invest in yourself. Read books (borrow from library/friends, buy second hand or buy 1st hand), go for offline and online courses, seminars - nowadays you have to be careful with seminars, and that's why I prefer online courses - seminars nowadays tend to be pitch-fest of the creators trying to upsell me on more expensive courses rather than focusing on content of the seminar.
Morons. What they need to do is to focus - when it's time to deliver on the meat/contents, they need to focus on the meat and content. If/when I am convinced that what they have done in the content have helped me to change my life with more growth in an area I want, I am convinced that they add value to my life, and I will follow them and their future courses.
If all they do is just try to sell me on their next and higher end product without convincing me with MY RESULTS if I follow their contents, then they are just salesman and saleswomen with no growth outcomes for me, just money for them - and these kind of people should just go tout someplace else.
Right now my focus other than my physical businesses are income investing (which is a slow process, my timeline is 10 - 20 years) and other than that, learning, refining and building online businesses. I've had some outcomes that are meh/smallish, but I will not look down on the outcomes for now - if I can earn $10 online, I am super sure I can earn $100, then $1000, then $10000. Right now, my best months I can earn $100. I am on track.
If you're a student, stay at home mum (SAHM), working full time or part time, or retired: you must build an online business on the side. Please don't quit your job yet, build it on the side until it's profitable enough to replace your salary, then you have more options.
I've built multiple businesses (and lost multiple too) and I can tell you frankly that building a business on the internet is the cheapest/most cost-effective way to business. There are thousands of people who do so sharing on topics that they're passionate about (like how NigelChua.com shares on passive income and online business, which is my passion…for years now).
I know I am making some money online (see my income reports), and I know my financial future is getting better and better. But it is not easy, and takes a lot of time to learn and apply but I am building my passive income internet businesses that will work for me day in, day out; serving readers and customers profitably and delivering value 24/7.
To learn how I to make money online, join my mailing list and visit my resources page to see all the tools I use actively to build money making online businesses.