How To Determine The Difference Between A Shiny Object & A Smart Business Investment

Answer These 3 Simple Questions And Avoid Being The Squirrel


It’s easy to get bombarded with online offers, courses, and programs, and to wonder which ones are right for YOU and YOUR business, right now.

Lately I’ve studied a bunch of webinars and offers from big-time influencers — you know the kind, with huge audiences and followings, promising huge results like they’ve achieved if only you follow their system (and buy their program).

And here’s the question I’ve distilled from them, that you can take and apply to anything you’re considering investing in:

Are they teaching REAL, replicable results, or just what happens with massive amounts of traffic?

When the results are mainly based on the fact that someone has 200,000 email subscribers or a million Instagram followers, it’s critical to remember that this is representative of where THEY are in business today, not, as is so often implied in marketing tactics, of what will happen overnight if you sign up for their course.

Recent Real Life Examples:

  • Someone talking about how they got a multi-6-figure book deal. Having talked to big-time agents and publishers recently, I know that this is MAINLY based not on the book itself, but on the size of your existing audience (and thus, your ability to sell a certain number of books yourself, without the publisher having to go market you).
  • Someone saying Instagram is THE tool to use to blow up your business (and you should buy their training program) when they were already a 7-figure business owner BEFORE they started using Insta, so they already had a huuuuuuge built-in audience and were a celebrity in their niche (plus had a team to help them maximize it).

It’s Not All Bad

Here’s the thing: there is definitely a place and purpose for these teachings — they show us what’s possible. They allow us to work with and learn from (though usually in a very distant or info-product way) with influencers we admire. And don’t get me wrong, I’m always paying attention to the next level in business because I know that one day, I’ll be there too.

BUT, where I see it being a problem is when these become shiny objects become THE thing that you believe will FIX your business, if only you buy it.

Don’t buy the hype. Take a step back and look at what’s REALLY going on.

Ask yourself:

  1. Why/how did this person find success when they were at the same stage of business as me?
  2. Are they enough like me, my niche, and my goals that 
    I know this program, course, etc. will translate well for my business?
  3. Am I already at a place where I’m confident enough in my business that I know exactly how to:

✔️Get visible in my niche (because you’re super clear on who that is)

✔️Make offers consistently (because you know exactly how you serve)

✔️Sell with ease (because you’re confident in your ability to deliver results)

If the answer to any of these 3 questions is “no,” then get 1:1, individualized support on THOSE things BEFORE investing in a program that will help you to replicate exactly the results you’re getting now, only on a larger scale.

Does this make sense? Have you found this to be true in your business and as you look around at similar offers? Or what questions do you have about this?

Reply in the comments and fill me in on YOUR experience or questions you might have about this!

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Christine McAlister is a business + success coach for high-achieving, motivated women. Her company, Life With Passion, helps them rediscover their unique gifts and create freedom-based businesses.