How to not buy ALL the things for self-development (Unless you want to)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

The time of inbox overflow and unsubscribing from a ton of mailing lists you signed up for to get a coupon on one order, then forgot about.

The time of end of the year upgrades and deals on business services like Canva, Calendly, Zoom, and more.

The time of thinking you’ll be a totally blank slate, ready for brand new habits on January 1.

The time of making your list, checking it twice, and leaving your own needs and desires at the bottom, if they’re there at all.

Here’s the thing: December is a GREAT time to both buy and sell self-development products and services.

I LOVE to buy new planners, upgrade plans to annual to save money, hire new pros for upcoming strategies and focused work, and more. In the last two weeks, I’ve hired a branding professional, an author coach, and a neurodivergent business membership.

I LOVE self-development.

But all of these services were things I had been considering for weeks or months before saying yes and making the purchase.

Not because of sales or specials, not because of “New Year, New Me” energy, but because I had made the decision to invest in them after a period of thinking it over. That threshold of needing to think about it is different for everyone. Mine happened to hit in November! Maybe yours is March because you love that Spring Cleaning energy, or your birthday month, or August because of that school year vibe.

We all have our own seasons and cycles for investing in ourselves and our growth.

But there can be a lot of pressure to take advantage of all the amazing sales and offers that your favorite brands and small businesses are putting out during the holiday season.

The problem with “urgency”

Remember late night infomercials? They’d tell you to CALL NOW to get a bonus extra thing, or free shipping. As a kid, I always wondered how the people taking the call would know if you called NOW when you were watching the commercial. It took me until adulthood to realize that the bonus offer was ALWAYS there, as part of the sale. It was artificial urgency.

If your product is $50 all the time, and then on Black Friday it’s marked 50% off $100, that feels icky to me. It’s like being in Kohl’s where everything is always 40% off. It looks like a steal but that’s just the price. It’s inflated on purpose to make you feel pressured to make the purchase now.

But the thing is, urgency is not inherently bad. It’s all bro-marketing and feels shitty when it’s fake, but there are very real and ethical reasons to market with urgency.

Sometimes urgency is there because a program or offer really will be ending. With my writing incubator, I closed the doors for enrollment so that I could take the cohort through the program at the same time, with everyone moving at a similar pace. When I reopen doors, the same will happen. If it’s ever a rolling enrollment, this part of the marketing will change!

Sometimes urgency is there to help you decide to invest in yourself when the time is right for YOU. This is a sense of “Buy now, because you deserve it now,” rather than “Buy now or I will take it away.” This kind of pressure can help you find clarity within yourself about whether or not you want something for YOU or just because it’s going away.

Experiment with yourself by removing the urgency. Ask yourself, “If this was not ending soon, would I still want it?” If yes, then you can feel confident that you’re buying because you WANT IT and not just to get a deal.

Real world example: I was raised by a single mom working three jobs, and we were on food stamps. Sometimes mom would buy up a ton of canned goods on sale due to the urgent nature of the sale. She knew she would have bought the veggies later anyway, but buying them in advance meant she got a good deal on something she wanted to buy.

Let’s talk alignment

Very buzzword, I know. But let’s talk about if a purchase is in ALIGNMENT with your long-term goals and vision. Pro tip: Not everything has to be aligned to be a good buy. But this check-in can help you if you’re feeling pressured to buy 74538697435 different services because they all sound AMAZING.

Does the purchase (a product, service, membership, whatever) align with your long term vision? Does it make something easier in your business? Does it teach you something you don’t already know? Does it get you to a future level of mastery faster or more effectively?

It doesn’t have to. If you want to buy something just because it seems fun or interesting, that’s absolutely allowed. But having clear expectations is key to not feeling buyer’s remorse later.

In addition, check in with your body when you’re deciding on a purchase. Something that expands your comfort zone might feel uncomfortable, but discomfort isn’t always bad. In fact, feeling a little queasy when you’re saying yes to something that will lead to big changes and growth is pretty normal. You can feel like HELL YES and also feel like you’ll throw up at the same time.

In consults with my coaching and writing clients, I often let them know ahead of time that after they make the decision to say yes and start working together, they might have a moment of “OH FUCK” happen. It has happened to me when I make big coaching purchases, and it has happened to my clients. This is because your brain wants to stay status quo. It wants to protect you from big changes and expansion of your comfort zone. You’re in control of the decisions, so knowing this in advance can help you trust the desire to invest in yourself without needing to feel 100% perfect when you say yes.

It’s Ok to Use what you have

Moving forward into 2023, I want to use more of what I already have available to me. And I have so much available to me. I have email freebies, replays of amazing classes, workbooks and worksheets, and whole memberships I haven’t even scratched the surface of.

If you end up freaking out and thinking “Oh no, I missed my chance to improve my growth/business/confidence/insert-thing-here in 2023 because I didn’t buy something in December,” worry not. You already have enough. Right now. You have more than enough already to make incredible growth happen in the next year.

Great deals for the end of the year

That said, I do love some end of the year investments!

Here are some of my faves going on right now:

Passion Pacers, my monthly membership for creatives, is getting an end of the year glow up to head into 2023. Beginning in December, we’ll have a quarterly workshop to help you choose one aspect of your creative practice to develop over the next 90 days. This new structure will help you stay focused on your creative goals and growth in sustainable ways that fit the pace of your life. As an end of the year special I’m offering discounted annual memberships – only $400 for 12 months of creative growth and accountability. Monthly membership is $44, so this is nearly 25% off!

Join Passion Pacers with this 2023 Discounted Rate here!

Kristy Black Creative is an amazing brand designer and goals coach – and she’s offering a truly incredible deal for the end of the year. In her Clarity Bundle you’ll get a brand clarity VIP day to truly LIKE TRUE TO GOD TRULY reconnect with your brand ($1450 value) and free access to her Quarterly Planning Party to strategize your next 90 days of business.

Book this package for $950 here. I am not an affiliate but I do freelance work for Kristy and she is the branding expert I hired for my rebrand, in the interest of full disclosure!

Podia is a great platform for building out courses, coaching offers, and memberships. They’re doing a sale for 15% off new and upgraded plans, so if you’re looking for a one-stop shop for all your online offers, Podia may be an amazing fit! I’ll be honest, I have not tried multiple platforms like this, I was super happy with Podia from the start and have kept it for two years now. I run my membership and courses on it, and I’m hoping to make it my main website for sales and coaching in 2023.

If you want to try it out, please use my affiliate link! (As an affiliate, I will make a small commission if you try them out). PS. This 15% off deal ends TODAY, Cyber Monday.

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