Entrepreneurs are so lucky these days.
We have access to a huge universe of badass business growth resources pretty much at our fingertips.
Podcasts, tutorials, eBooks, memberships, courses, coaches, masterminds.
The trick is knowing which particular resource is right for your biz. Slick marketing does a damn good job at making you think you need all of them, all at the same time.
But these resources ain’t cheap. They’re an investment of your money and your precious time.
And the reality is that some business resources offer a way better return than others.
This post delves into three of the most popular kinds of business growth resources, what they can offer, and what kind of business owner they’re best for.
Here’s how to decide between a course, a coach, and a mastermind.
Business Resource: Online Course
Choose an online course when you want to learn specific content on your own and you have a smaller budget to work with.
Courses are particularly great choices for entrepreneurs who are just starting out because they provide foundational information.
The advice and knowledge they share are usually pretty general. Because they’re developed for a wide audience, the content may not always apply to every entrepreneur.
They’re pretty widely accessible, too. Subject matter experts create courses and sell them online, or offer them through databases like Skillshare and Udemy.
Then there are more traditional options, like colleges and universities.
The drawback of courses: the onus of learning and implementing the content is entirely up to you.
Most business owners have a graveyard of online courses that we bought and never finished. Whoops.
Not because the course content wasn’t helpful (well, often it’s not). But because to get a great return from a course, you need to be a highly disciplined and self-driven person.
With that being said, learning specific topics and tactics with a course can be incredibly useful.
If there are distinct areas of your business that you need to learn about (like paid traffic or copywriting or Instagram marketing) and you are highly disciplined, courses are a fantastic tool.
An online course is good for:
- New entrepreneurs
- Entrepreneurs with plenty of self-discipline
- Learning a very specific topic
- Smaller budgets
Business Resource: A Coach
Hire a coach when you want an expert who can customize the learning material for your unique business and who can offer their oversight as you implement what you’re learning.
Coaches can be incredibly useful at all stages of entrepreneurship because their advice is personalized and they hold their students accountable.
You can find coaches who specialize in certain subjects or in certain industries. A good coach takes their entire body of knowledge on a topic and applies it to your specific business.
You’ll get a more tailored learning experience versus the more general information that you’d find in a course, plus advice on how to put your learnings into action.
But be prepared to pay for that level of focused attention; while coaching fees vary, the price tag will be significantly higher than a course.
Working with a coach gives you a way better shot at actually getting the work done than you would have solo, since you have someone checking in on your progress.
You set yourself up for a higher level of success when you know someone’s there to give you a kick in the pants when you need it.
BEWARE, however, because there are business coaches out there who were sandwich artists at Subway a month ago and pivoted to coaching after reading a book and going to a motivational seminar. Always, always ask the coach about their background, experience, and success they have helped their clients achieve.
A coach is good for:
- Entrepreneurs at any stage of business
- Those looking for 1:1 accountability
- Customized content and teachings
- Larger budgets
Business Resource: A Mastermind
Join a mastermind when you’re focused on implementing what you know and breaking through daily challenges to grow your business, rather than learning about a specific topic.
Mastermind groups are best for established entrepreneurs.
The fellow members — all experienced business owners — will help you analyze and problem-solve the millions of challenges, big and small, that seem to pop up every day for business owners.
You learn plenty of helpful stuff in a mastermind, but the biggest value comes from all the support and feedback you have available to you whenever you need it.
Having a group of people with experience in all aspects of growing a business to give you guidance, feedback, and relevant input is powerful.
A mastermind will also provide accountability and support to keep you on track with your business goals.
In the wild ups and downs of owning a business, just hearing that you aren’t crazy and knowing people have your back, no matter what, gives you the energy to keep on keeping on.
Great mastermind groups are carefully curated and well-organized; there’s a range of costs, but masterminds are typically a larger investment than a course and about the same as a good coach.
A mastermind is good for:
- Established entrepreneurs
- Those focused on implementation and acceleration
- On-call advice, support, and accountability from experienced business owners
- A variety of budgets
Looking for the best mastermind for your biz? Check out our Mastermind Directory, with everything you need to know about more than 50 different mastermind groups!
So, Is a Mastermind, Coach, or Course Right for You?
There’s not one right answer for every entrepreneur.
But, there is a best choice depending on where you’re at in your business and what kind of learning methods and support you need at this point in time.
Or, run your biggest, baddest questions by me, Sara, CEO of Kickass Masterminds.
I’d LOVE to talk masterminds with you (it’s kiiiiindaaaa my thing). You’ll get honest answers and zero pressure. Promise.