I recently finished my taxes (ok so full disclosure, I was late submitting my taxes this year because of the emotional/transformative vortex I found myself in and am only just emerging from).

As I added up my expenses, I was struck yet again by the amount of money that I had invested in coaching, professional development, courses, conferences, and retreats.

Want to take a guess at how much?

I spent 14,510$.

It’s a big number for me (for a lot of people, I’m sure).

However, as I sat contemplating that number – I felt nothing but gratitude.

Gratitude for the work I do.
Gratitude for the fact that personal development makes me a better professional.
Gratitude that my professional development is directly connected to my spiritual and emotional growth.

Gratitude that my work affords me the ability to invest so heavily in myself.
Gratitude for a line of credit with my bank that has helped me basically take out small loans for myself to cover these investments in myself.

Here’s the thing – in the past few years, I’ve invested a significant percentage of my earnings back into my business and MYSELF.

My first year in business, I spent close to 20,000$ on my coaching certification, working 1-1 with my own coach (at 900$/month) and other courses.

My second year in business, I scaled back significantly, but still spent almost 8,000$.

This year, 14,510$.

That’s over 40,000$ in three years!!

Why am I sharing this with you?

I think it’s important to be real about these numbers AND what it’s taken to myself to where I am today, both in life and business.

From the outside, people sometimes wonder how everything came together for me so quickly, or seemingly easily.

How I went from zero to successful online business in under a year.
How I’ve managed significant challenges in my personal life without derailing my emotional, physical and spiritual well-being – in fact, I’ve thrived through these transitions.

Yes, it’s taken a lot of work, grit, tears, grace, and forgiveness.
It’s taking a renewed commitment to myself, over and over again.
It’s taken a lot of SUPPORT, from the incredible community of friends and family that I have, and paid support.

I also want to be clear about something else.

About 5 years ago I took out a line of credit to pay for my life transition and continued education.

I had left my fairly well-paying consulting gig in Cambodia, but burned through my saving pretty quickly, going through a divorce, setting up a life in another country.

During my first year in Mexico I was earning PESOS and my combined earnings working in my dad’s restaurant and bartending were about 500$/USD per month!

I needed extra money to start funding my online education, which start first with an online business program for women entrepreneurs called B-School, and continued with several other biz and branding courses, then my health coaching certification with The Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

I’ve used this line of credit many times since, to help with these self-development investments or to pay off my credit card during the months I haven’t had as much income.

Yes, I’ve still carrying some “debt” but I see it as an investment in MYSELF – which is the most important thing I could be investing in.

As someone wrote on my recent Facebook post about this – I am my greatest investment.

I also know the ripple effect and believe the ROI (return on investment) is much greater than I can even quantify. I will see the ROI in my relationships, my daughter’s upbringing, my client’s successes, my ability to give back to community and so much more.

EVERY SINGLE PENNY has been worth it.

It’s interesting to me because I posted recently on FB asking people to guess how much $$ I”d spent on self-development this past year and I had a few people message me privately around the shame they’ve felt on the amount of money the spent on “themselves” ie healing and self-development and personal professional growth.

I’ve also had my own introspective process around spending. I realized that some of my original purchases were about worthiness and feeling not quite good enough on my own. I’ve developed a process of really checking in with myself and WHY I feel compelled to purchase a certain program before I had over my credit card.

I’m in no way writing this to suggest that you need to spend the same amount as I have, or even close.

I just think it’s important to be transparent about numbers – and it’s not often we hear the behind the scenes of what successful coaches and leaders invest on themselves.

I know that the investments I’ve made in myself make me a better a coach. If I’m asking my clients to trust in me and take the financial leap of investing in my services, I want them to know that I take investing in myself seriously as well.

In fact, I have what I now consider to be the equivalent of a professional Masters degree AND Ph.D. in exactly the kind of personal and professional education and healing required to effectively and conscientiously do my job well.