How To Stop Wasting Time and Money on Business Programs

Time to Get Clear

As entrepreneurs, we constantly try to learn more about business and marketing so we can advance our businesses. However, many people get sidetracked by trainings and programs that send them down the rabbit hole of busy work and end up wasting their precious time, money and energy on knowledge and information that are not aligned with their vision and passion.

In the first couple of years in my business, I spent thousands and thousands of dollars on trainings and programs.

A few out of genuine passion for learning and growth, but many out of FEAR … fear of not knowing enough, fear of missing out (triggered by some scarcity tactic or caught in the comparison trap), fear of not doing the “right” things and therefore being criticized or judged… etc.

I was looking for some “$297 magic bullet” outside of me for clarity. I was thinking if I had a “tried-and-true” blueprint I could numb out with the “doing” – make myself feel good about checking things off the list – and thereby spare myself from the “soul-searching” hard work that ultimately creates the foundation for a fulfilling business.

I was rushing ahead without knowing where I was going.

Finally I put myself on a “program diet.” I dug through my hard drive and found $6,591 worth of training materials I had not been able to deploy meaningfully and successfully – in fact they might have done more harm than good

  • Some of them added a bunch of ideas to the “stuff I know” compartment in my brain but got me frozen in information overload.
  • Some sent me down the path of doing a load of busy work that ultimately, detoured me from my big vision.
  • Some left me with folders full of half-done assignments that added to the confusion and analysis paralysis.
  • Some even drove me into the comparison trap, getting me to wonder what was wrong with me because I didn’t get the results “as advertised.”

I felt like a faceless number being spat out from the other end of the “guru” factory line, regurgitating the same stuff just like everyone else.

Until I stopped, and returned to the core of my business – ME! The clarity about how I want to express who I am – my vision, passion, value and superpowers – through my business.

I am not alone – I have worked with many coaches, consultants and service professionals who have taken those $1,997 or $3,497 programs, sitting on a load of other $297 or $497 trainings, and still struggle.

Don’t get me wrong, most trainings and programs deliver a lot of value, and I am all for constantly acquiring new skills and knowledge. However, based on my experience talking to those who have gone through those programs, I found that a couple of things are often overlooked:

  1. Clarity and Solid Foundation
    These folks cannot give me a confident answer to the foundational questions I make sure all my private clients can confidently answer so they have a solid foundation for their businesses.
    They don’t have clarity they need to design a business that reflects their passion, vision and superpowers. They haven’t built a rock solid platform so they know how to articulate “what they do and how they do it” in a way that allows them to sell their products and programs confidently.
    Often, the pace and wide range of topics covered by these programs make it easy for us to gloss over certain things we are not willing to dig in and look at – the very things that would trigger fears and discomfort in us, yet the breakthrough will take us where we truly want to go.
  2. Where’s the Money?
    Many of these folks don’t have a unique offering that reflects the needs of their ideal clients and their passion, expertise and superpowers.
    Why? Because they have not dug deep enough in a way that translates what they know and who they ARE into business strategies and marketing communication.
    Because they were not guided to do the mindset work so they can step up and claim their superpowers and uniqueness.
    Just writing down your passion, vision, or superpowers on paper is not enough. You can journal till you turn blue, but nothing happens if you don’t have something you can sell and have the confidence to sell it!
    Moreover, many people get sucked into chasing after the marketing bright shiny objects,  yet forget to think about where the marketing leads to! If the product or service at the end of the “narrative” does not speak to the potential clients, all the time and money put into marketing is for naught.
    Plus, like it or not, many training programs (intentionally or not) foster a certain level of conformity, instead of helping participants step up and be unapologetically unique.
    Just taking someone’s 1-/3-/6-month program or some webpage templates and plop it into your website may work for a while, but eventually it will flop because it doesn’t reflect your value, passion and superpowers.
    Your superpowers are what make YOU special. Claiming it helps you stand out, make competition a non-issue and command a premium pricing.


It doesn’t mean we don’t invest in any program or training. It just means we need to find the clarity to help us discern what is right for us, so we can build a solid foundation for a profitable, sustainable and fulfilling business.

This level of Ultra-CLARITY is where your big bucks lie.

Getting to this level of clarity takes time, effort, and courage. Not because you have to slave over a task for hours on end, but because you have to face all parts of you – the good, the bad and the ugly.

You can no longer numb out with busy work. You can no longer hide behind templates, checklist or blueprints.

You cannot buy this Clarity for $297, you have to work it.

Entrepreneurial endeavor does not come in a box. We have to put in the work, dig into ourselves so our business is an expression of our personality, value and vision.

About the Author, Ling Wong

Ling Wong

Through her unique blend of Business + Marketing coaching with a Mindset + Psychic Twist, Ling Wong helps Maverick Entrepreneurs nail their message, claim their superpowers and muster up the GUTS to monetize their Truth so they can build a purposeful and profitable Personality-Driven business that is a full expression of their creativity and individuality.

Ling helps her clients claim their entrepreneurial identity and architect their personal brand story, then translate them into offerings and marketing communication that sell through her intuitive yet rigorous iterative process born out of her Harvard Design School training.

Find Ling and download her free "Monetize Your Truth" Mindset + Marketing training bundle at

  • Yes!!! This is an amazing article! I definitely bought a ton of silly programs that ultimately led me nowhere except overwhelm. I’m now focusing on ONE big business program which is showing my how to build an online business, and I’m working towards getting myself out there in a unique way. Thanks for this!

  • Lesley

    Thanks for this Susan, I agree – it is so easy to get derailed, sidetracked etc by bright and shiney things and invest far too much money for nothing in return, I certainly have also in the past! What I love to do now is Personal Development, whether it is an old fashioned book or audio as I go through my busy day – continuing to better myself as a person, leader, mother, friend, daughter etc…..

    • Thanks Lesley – it is indeed very easy to get derailed and that’s why it is so important to know where we are going – claim our vision and conviction so we don’t get sidetracked.

As entrepreneurs, we constantly try to learn more about business and marketing so we can advance our businesses. However, many people get sidetracked by trainings and programs that send them down the rabbit hole of busy work and end up … Continued