Yesterday I talked about starting a 10 day/200 minute free trial on Pluralsight to learn more about PRINCE2 for project management. I predicted then that I would come use up the 200 minutes in much less than 10 days, but what I didn’t expect was that I would use it up so soon! At the time that I am writing this post, I have watched over 3 hours and 20 minutes of content on the course PRINCE2: Value and Fundamentals, with approximately 45 minutes to go, and that’s just the beginning, there is a lot left to go!
I briefly entertained the idea of creating another account with a free trial and using that one up too, but considering how quickly I’ve gone through the allotted free time, how much value I feel I have already gotten, and how little the monthly cost really is ($35), I took the plunge and upgraded to a paid subscription early.
Now, some people love free stuff a lot more than that and would be willing to make multiple accounts to get as much content as they can before paying. While a little dishonest, there’s nothing really wrong with this approach, but personally I would rather keep track of all my progress in one place and keep it as convenient as possible.
Convenience in learning is one of the things I have found to be very important, as when you start allowing obstacles to come up, it hurts your motivation to just learn. Since life long learning is one of my passions, I want to ensure that I am doing what I can to carry it forward at all times, so sacrificing a little money now and then isn’t really a difficult thing for me.
There are many reasons that people give for not paying for a course, and while they’re not wrong, I think that they don’t focus enough on the outcomes.
One reason is that people don’t feel like they have time to take an online course right now. This is such an easy response to make, that everyone seems to bring it up any time you ask them why they aren’t doing something. Basically, if you need to take time to accomplish something and you really want to, you’ll make time for it. Setting boundaries is usually one of the best ways to claim some time for yourself to learn.
Another reason people give is that they may not finish the course and therefore have wasted the money. It seems obvious that you shouldn’t start something that you aren’t sure you can finish, but I think we are doing a disservice to ourselves this way. I’ve started many things that I wasn’t clear if or when I would finish, and what I learned and experienced along the way definitely made a difference to me, even if I never finished. In fact, sometimes you discover that you don’t want to do the thing you started over all, so that’s one more curiosity crossed off your list of things to try, so it’s not a good excuse at all!
The final reason I’m going to go into is when people compare the price of the course or subscription against other things. In these cases, they are essentially valuing those things as equal or higher in importance as the learning opportunity they would be overlooking. Now, while I see that if finances are tight you might not be able to invest in a course, I most often hear this excuse coming from people who spend money on holidays, clothes, nights out and other entertainment experiences. While it is important to reward yourself sometimes, it is equally important to invest in your development for your future. In these cases, skip a few nights out, take a cheaper holiday and dig out some old clothes to make use of again, because investing in a course when you do have that extra money is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
I think that’s enough said for investing in yourself right now and I’m going to get started on my paid Pluralsight subscription as soon as I’ve published this post. I hope that anyone reading this who has been hesitant to invest in themselves can see how important it really is and will take that step forwards if it will really bring them closer to where they want to be.