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To Spend or Not To Spend...

That is the question.

Money is a huge topic that people wrestle with when making a career change. One specific issue that comes up is deciding where to spend the resources you have. (This includes time, but we’ll focus on money for the moment.) What is a sound investment and what is a waste?

There is no rule book, but the policy I follow is to take small bites on things that will provide a large return on investment and avoid expenditures that won’t payoff and could actually set you back a few steps.

For example, let’s say you are starting a new consulting business.

Smart Investment: Business Cards

It would make sense to spend $30-$40 on a small batch of business cards. That way when you run into people you can easily share what you do and make it easy for them to reach out to you when they need your services.

Less Smart Investment: $800 Conference with the A-list of your industry

You are just starting out and you likely don’t have an established list of services or products. In fact, you may not even have a clear mission statement. You might find it hard to relate to and connect with people who are at the very difference place in their career. Any connections you make will not be as valuable as they would be when you have some miles on your own venture.

(If you are planning to/anxious about/eager to network, Click here for some easy ideas on how to get started.)

This a balancing act. You don’t want to be so frugal you are not making the necessary investments to get your business off the group. On the flipside, you don’t want to blow through your resources without making anything back.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when you are deciding where to spend your money (and time.)

What do you absolutely need to get your business started?

Can you afford it?

What is the ROI?

What will you gain?

Is there a more affordable alternative that will produce the same results?

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