Episode 138 – My Education Diet: What I Invested in Learning in 2022

Episode 138 - My Education Diet: What I Invested in Learning in 2022


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

I have a confession to make. I’m a philomath!! (Which is just a fancy way of saying that I am a lover of learning and studying.) 

So it’s not surprising that one of the biggest expenses in my business every year is self-education. Today, I’m going to give you a peek inside my education diet in 2022. 

As a kid, I somewhat liked school. I liked being with my friends and having something to do, but I wasn’t an all-star student. I was the kid whose report card said, “Talks too much!” every year. 

Does that surprise you? Probably not. 

But I have always loved to learn, and I don’t think I realized it until I became an entrepreneur. Because now I’m ALWAYS looking for what I need to know. How can I get better? How can I do this faster and easier? 

I took the StrengthsFinder assessment from the book StrengthsFinder, and my number one strength is learning. I just cannot learn enough. I’m addicted to it.

My personal rule is that if it can help me grow as a person or in my business, I make it a priority in my life to buy it. 

Which is probably why I got my MBA years ago. I’m also pretty sure that’s why I coach photographers now!! 

I know when my students are looking at investing in a program we have, they probably wonder, 

“What the heck does Sarah do, and what is she learning?”

So I’ve broken it down to show you all of the places that I invest! 

Let’s just look at this year because I want you to see all the cool places where I’m getting my education and how important it is to me.

I had 10 or 11 trips of in-person learning in 2022. Each event was typically two days. There were one or two that were maybe three to five days, but most of them were two days. 

This is so important for me because I’m always creating and curating content to bring to my students. If I’m going to bring them fresh new information, I have to be out there consuming 10 times as much!  

Now, it hasn’t always been this way. When my kids were younger, I’d maybe leave once or

twice a year. 

But I’ve found that if I’m trying to learn something new, I learn best when I go and immerse myself for a couple of days at a time, if at all possible. 

All right, so let me share with you my education diet and what I did this year: 

1. Photography

About 10 years ago, I got invited to a very, very cool group called Society of XXV. You can check out the website at societyofxxv.com and see just the massive amounts of talented people that I’m in this group with. 

It’s 25 people. That’s what XXV is, and they’re the top image makers around the country. 

What’s cool about this community is that you have to be voted in. It’s a big deal, and there are rarely openings. We meet all over the country and it’s so cool.

We’ve met in Cabo, we’ve gone to Dublin, we’ve done Wine Country in California. 

This year it was in Williamsburg, Virginia. Our trip hosts have their studio there – Monica Sigmon and Michael Taylor. They went all out for us, having every detail perfect.

2. Coaching

I worked with a coach this year who’s an amazing, amazing teacher! He helped me create a coaching program that students want to come to, want to be a part of, and just can’t live without. 

While I’ve taken ideas from different places, I knew I wanted to hire the best and follow a system. So, that helped me tremendously. 

Then in my coaching program, I’ve actually hired a life coach who has been a student of mine for years. She went through Brooke Castillo’s life coaching program. 

So when our students have head trash or get stuck and want more help, Jill, our life coach, is there to help them.

3. Speaking

This is where I invested the most because I was looking for a few different things. 

One was to sharpen my presentation skills. 

And one was to help my enrollment team work on their communication skills. We also brought along our event team, who runs our event, Go Boutique Live every year. 

4. Marketing

This is where I learn what’s happening in the community, how to run my business better, and have a chance to connect with my community. 

This is the coaching program that I belong to, just like my students belong to my coaching program. I joke with my mentor Russell Brunson that I will wrap myself around his leg if he ever changes.

The Inner Circle is where we’ve made our best friends, where we’re working with people who are ahead of us, and also where we’re helping people who are coming up right behind us. 

Through Russell (at his event Funnel Hacking Live), I even got to study with Dan Kennedy for a day!! 

During events like that, we get to share stories, share our dreams, and share our failures. We do all the things together that you can only do with other entrepreneurs. I just love it.

I’ve spoken on several of these stages this year, sharing the things that we’re doing that are crushing it to help other entrepreneurs. Whenever we need help, people are there for us. 

Russell had another event in Mexico in March, so we were there for five days masterminding also. 

I’m always looking for ways to invest in my own marketing skills. Marketing is my jam. I eat, sleep and breathe it. Literally, there isn’t a day that goes by that we’re not talking about something marketing related because that’s the name of the game.

5. My Children

Actually, my kids are now adults, so I probably shouldn’t call them my children. But I think they’re always going to be my children. My youngest is 19, and my twins are 22.

I’m always looking for opportunities to grow them, help them find a potential career path, develop as humans, and learn new skills. 

I think the kids of entrepreneurs have an advantage in the world. My dad was an entrepreneur and I think it gave me an advantage in the world. It allowed me to get through my head trash a lot faster. 

I want my kids to have a perspective that is just different. I want them to do personal development. I always want them to have a mindset of growth. 

Now, they’re all starting their careers, finishing up college, and finding what they’re passionate about. I really want to foster any type of attitude of growth within them. 

My mentor did an event this summer called Unlock the Secrets. It was only for those of us in his high-ticket programs, and he did it at no extra cost for our kids! 

Some people had little kids with them (it was for those 10 and up). Mine were on the older end, but they took notes and geeked out the whole time. 

That’s when I knew, “Okay, they did send us home from the hospital with the right babies,” because they were geeking out!! 

Then a couple of weeks ago, I went with my girls to Brooke Castillo’s conference. I wanted them to have this life coaching tool in their toolkits. 

They really learned the concept of changing your thoughts, which changes your feelings, which then changes your actions, which then changes the results that you get.

We did three days with her and it was just great getting to learn together, eat together, and go for walks. It was out in beautiful Arizona and we just had such an amazing bonding time together. 

Now, some of you might be thinking, “Holy moly, five categories, and all of the categories had multiple things in them!!” 

You might be feeling overwhelmed, but you know what? I didn’t start that way. 

I started at a two or three-day conference (that I cried all the way through because my kids were just babies then and I had to leave them to go to that event).

William Burroughs said, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” I really believe that to be true. 

As you plan for 2023, be sure to allocate the resources (both time and money) to invest in yourself. Because look, we can always make more money, but I truly think growing who we are is the best way to serve more people. 

And if you’re ready to invest in yourself NOW, join us for Go Boutique Live, the only three-day event in the world for boutique photographers is back this coming February 28th, March 1st, and 2nd of 2023.

It’s three whole days of nothing like you’ve ever experienced. Connection, learning, growing, and renewing your passion for your boutique photography business. The best part is, Go Boutique Live is happening online. 

No plane ticket or hotel costs, and no travel hassles! 

Just you, me, and a killer lineup of incredible speakers pouring into you and your business for three whole days. 

We will be interacting live, chatting, answering your questions, and immersing you in all things boutique.

Not to mention, you get a BIG BOX of really cool boutique photographer swag too. 

Tickets are on sale now, but there are a very limited number of them available for the 2023 event. Grab your ticket now at goboutiquelive.com. I can’t wait to see you there! 
Download the Episode Transcript Here

Episode 138 - My Education Diet: What I Invested in Learning in 2022
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