In these days of economic down turn and credit crunch it can be very tempting to padlock the wallet and just feast on all the freebies around. There is, however, a big cost associated with this behaviour. Not a direct cost that can be easily measured. Its an opportunity cost and even though it may be hidden it is still real none the less.
There is no shortage of free information on sales and marketing about. TheAccidentalSalesman.com if full of it. I am proud of the quality of information and its all free – no strings attached. Yet the thing that really counts is not the knowledge itself but how the knowledge is applied. Knowing about sales and marketing is one thing. Its only when it is applied that it really makes a difference. If you are good at putting knowledge into practice then you are laughing. Lots of people, however, do not take action. If they paid for it then perhaps they would take it more seriously. What difference would it make to the bottom line if action was taken?
Another opportunity cost is especially important if you are in the business of providing consulting or coaching. It seems that the more one is prepared to invest in others’ skills and input, the more people are prepared to invest in your skills and input.
I am not suggesting that one throws caution to the wind and goes on a spending spree. Times are hard and all that. I am suggesting that we should remember that investing in ourselves is probably the best investment we can make. Make sure you get a clear return on investment but remember that it is an investment, not a cost!