Investing in Yourself

MoneyLast year, I eclipsed (what I consider to be) a major milestone…

I spent more than $10,000 on continuing education.

Crazy? Maybe.

Extreme? Sure.

But worth it? Absolutely.

Now before I completely turn some of you off, let me back track a bit.

That was nearly 13 years into the game – when I first started investing in myself, things were a lot different.

In 2002 when I took my first job, it was a struggle to cobble together my rent, car payment and school loans, let alone spend money on myself.

Or so I thought.

The Beginning

I’m not totally sure who turned me onto this concept, but I remember reading in either 2002 or 2003 that you should spend at least 10% of your income on continuing education.

I remember clearly thinking to myself:

“These people have never been broke!”

But it was also at that point in time that I set a very powerful goal for myself:

I wanted to be the best strength coach in the world.

Not in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

Not in the state of Indiana.

Not in the United States.

Nope, I wanted to be the best strength coach in the world.

And I knew that if I wanted to get there, I couldn’t skimp on my continuing education.

Had I learned a ton in my 6 years at Ball State*? Absolutely.

(*And yes, that’s for a Bachelor’s AND a Master’s Degree, in case you were wondering. I’m not Tommy Boy, after all!)

But I also knew that there were major gaps in my knowledge base.

It was around this time that I started ranking myself on all the major skills that I thought I needed to become a great strength coach:

  • Rehab/Prehab,
  • Power Training,
  • Strength Training,
  • Speed & Agility Training,
  • Conditioning, etc.

So I took my meager income and started re-investing 10% in myself. I was working in a chiropractic facility doing rehab on knees, backs and shoulders, so that was where I started.

Side Note: One month prior I had rated my knowledge base as a 2/10 in the rehab realm, so this was a critical need on my part.

Every night for the next month, it was just me and some Ian King tapes putting in work.

But then this weird thing happened…

As I was going through the videos, I started using more and more of the materials in them.

It was like all of a sudden, these people started coming out of the woodwork and they needed the skills that I had just learned.

Has that ever happened to you?

You learn something, and then you immediately find a case or situation where you can apply it?

From that day forward, I knew that no matter how great (or how small) my income became, I was always going to spend 5-10% of my income on my continuing education.

My Continuing Education Today

So last year, I spent a small fortune on continuing education.

I started adding it up while doing some 2012 tax prep, and I quickly realized I spent at least $4,000 on Postural Restoration Institute courses and travel alone!

But the real question is, was it worth it?

And I can say with 100% conviction, wholeheartedly, yes.

For example, I’ve been working with a Major League Soccer player for the last 2 years now. He’s an extremely complex case, and without some of the tools I picked up at those courses, I don’t think we’d have gotten nearly the result with him we did.

And this is just one example – I could easily illustrate 100’s of cases where I’ve used a tip, tool or trick from a specific course, DVD or book and used it to achieve greater levels of success with my clients.

Last week, we had a distance client come back to IFAST for an evaluation, so I took a peek at a program I’d written for him in 2009.

That was just 4 short years ago…

….and I wanted to cringe it was so bad.

Maybe not by real-world standards, but my standards, it was horrible.

The difference between then and now lies within my continuing education, and the experiences (and successes) I’ve had in between.

In December, I went through the same process of reviewing my knowledge gaps, and I’ve laid out a plan of attack to aggressively eliminate them.

I don’t know about you – but I’m excited about how much better I can get in 2013!


I’m not going to sit here and tell you how to spend your money. I’ve found this is an incredibly sensitive topic, and up there near the two biggies of politics and religion.

But what I can tell you is this…

If you aren’t consistently investing money in your education, you’ll never achieve the levels of success you dream of.

It’s a harsh reality, but it’s the truth.

If you’re a bootcamp owner, a product like Bootcamp in a Box could be a game changer for you.

At $197, this roughly two months of income from one of your bootcamp clients – and that’s assuming that person only stays with you two months!

And for the next two days, we’re offering up a 2-pay plan to ease the burden.

Trust me, I remember what it was like to live paycheck to paycheck, but still wanting to further my continuing education and make myself better.

If you’re serious about your education and improving your craft, pick up a copy of BCIB today!

Bootcamp in a Box

All the best



Leave Comment

  1. Great article Mike. I think if we even had most of the health/fitness profession in the 1%-3% range, the entire industry would look completely different. Keep setting that great example and leading from the front.

    More people need to see the kind of success you’re having isn’t just from good marketing skills, but actually being the best at what you do and helping people.

  2. Hey Mike, I love the article. You brought up a great point in how important it is to keep growing not only as a professional, but also as an individual. Thanks again.

  3. MR how much of your continuing ed time is spent reading books as opposed to attending courses/seminars??? What do you think are the pro’s & con’s of reading books as opposed to attending seminars/courses? Cam

    • Well I read books everyday, but I only attend seminars a handful of times per year. However, the courses are a lot more expensive when you factor in flight, hotel, food (I eat a lot!), etc.

      I know I talked about this in a blog, but the best part about attending a course is the ability to network, ask questions, etc. Can’t do that with a book. Plus, if you have kids and other commitments, a seminar can be good because it forces you to learn for that 1-2 day period vs maybe doing it on your own.

  4. Awesome article Mike. I’ve recently started dropping a decent amount of my income on education and I feel great about it. More people need to know how beneficial the investment is!

  5. Hey Mike , just a thought but why don’t you offer payment plans on all your products. If you did, people like me would start with assess and correct and work threw all your series.Maybe do a two part payment on the cheaper series and a 3 or 4 part payment on the more expensive stuff?Hell in a year I’d be up to snuff and you would have sold all your products instead the one I scrimped and saved for, after all you do seem to preach about continuing ed. The reason I ask is , if Dave Schmit had not offered a payment plan on his band training I would have never bought any of it and most likely never have heard of you in the first place. Just throwing it out there,

    • Jeff –

      The reason I haven’t done it yet is because it requires me to overall my entire shopping cart system. Not saying it can’t happen, but it’s not highest on my priority list right now.

      I’ll work on it, though – may be a few months before I’m ready to go.


Leave a Reply

Back to All Posts