Episode 21 | Questions to Ask Before You Buy that Program or Course

In the Clinic with Camille

a podcast for integrative practitioners

Listen to the Episode:

Do you have your eye on a course, program, or package that's starting soon? 

There are endless tempting opportunities out there.

If you're anything like me, you probably receive messages daily about trainings or courses that seem like something you really, really should know about.

There are times when a course, training, or coaching package is just what you need.

Most of the time, these are not just what you need.

Before you purchase, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I actually need this program/course right now? 
  • Do I have time to do this program/course right now? 
  • Can I afford this program or course?
  • Have I completed any other programs or courses that I purchased previously?
  • Am I using this course to procrastinate?

Ideally, you want to answer "yes" to the first three and "no" to the last two questions.

Otherwise, don't buy the course!

Not sure? Feeling that urge to click "buy now"?

Here's what to do:

Wait at least 24 hours.

Ask a mentor.

Ask your accountability group/partner.

Ask a colleague or classmate.

There are very few things - almost none, really - that are truly urgent when you're deciding whether to buy or not. 

If you're feeling pressured, that's a good sign to take a step back and get a second (and third!) opinion.

Listen to my full suggestion list in this week's episode.

I hope this helps the next time a tempting offer comes through!

Let me know if you have any additional advice in the comment section below.

Take care,


Transcript of How to Not Panic When you Have a Complicated Case episode

Episode 21 | Questions to Ask Before You Buy that Program or Course - powered by Happy Scribe

Hi there, welcome to In the Clinic with Camille. My name is Camille Freeman. I am a registered herbalist and a licensed nutritionist, and I serve as a mentor for other practitioners who are looking for help with complicated cases or building, growing or managing their practices.

Today, I have a topic that may be a little bit of a tender point for some of you.

I know this is something that comes up a lot for me, which is should you buy this new training course program that you've been eyeing for a while?

When you go into practice, you often get on a lot of different email lists or you start following people on social media and you'll get a lot of offers coming your way for very interesting things that seem compelling. Webinars, training programs, how to sell things, how to manage your practice, learn more about how to help people with Sebo, et cetera, et cetera.

You probably have a whole list of things that might you might be interested in.

And I want to talk to you today about how to know if you should actually sign up for this thing or not.

And I hope that you'll ask yourself some of these questions every single time you think about doing a course, whether it's an absolutely free course, a ten dollar course, one hundred dollar course or a thousand dollar course or program or whatever it is, or more sometimes no matter what it is.

I want you to ask yourself some questions before you click.

I'm in and sign up for that thing.

So here's your screening questions I want you to consider.

Number one, do you actually need this? Many people sign up for these things because they think it might be helpful later down the line or it sounds like a good idea. Seems like something I probably need.

But before you decide that that's true, really step back and ask yourself where I am right now in my practice.

Is this going to help me in, I like to say within the next three to six months, if this is something that you can engage in this course, do this program and have a noticeable result in the next three to six months, then it is worth considering. And you can go on to the next checklist if it's something like, oh, you know, optimize your SEO function.

And that's not a focus for you right now.

Don't buy it right now. You might need it later. You might not need it later. Even if it sounds like an excellent idea. Don't buy it if you're not going to do it now-ish.

OK, number two, do you have time to do it now-ish, even if you'd like to do it.

You think it sounds like a good idea and it is something that you might need in the near future. Do you actually have time to do this particular course? I want you to ask yourself that and be realistic. Most of the time, if it's something that you're going to pay money for, the person who's selling it will give you an explicit idea of how much time might be involved if it's an ongoing thing. Usually, they'll tell you how many hours you could anticipate spending per week.

If it's a one time thing, then of course, you'll know how long it is, how long it might take you to watch the recording and so forth.

But really ask yourself, is the time that you're going to spend on this time that you have? Because anything you spend time on, you're by definition not doing other things.

So do you have the time to do this and is it something that would be beneficial, understanding that you're going to be not doing other things?

Is this a top priority for you right now?

Is it going to be that helpful to where you want to spend some of your limited time doing it, given your priorities at the current moment? If the answer is no, if you do not have time or you don't know where the time would come from or if it seems like a lot of time, given the benefits that you might expect to get from it, this isn't a good time to do it. Put it on the back burner. I'll tell you more about that in just a minute.

Number three question: Can you afford it? I want you to look at your budget. How much money do you have coming in? Is this something that's a realistic way for you to spend money? Are there times where you need to spend a little bit of money to make money?

Yes, but if you're making 500 bucks a month and this program is 5000 dollars a month or five thousand dollars total, it may not be a good investment for you right now, especially if you don't actually have five thousand dollars from some other location that you can use for this.

If you're going to go into debt, if you're going to put this on a credit card or some other type of situation where you don't actually have the money to do it right now, you really, really need to step back and think very carefully about whether this is going to be worth it for you.

I'm not saying no, never, but I am saying think so carefully about it and don't do it right now. Take some time, sleep on it and get some other opinions.

Ask a mentor, ask your accountability partners. Ask other people in your class or your training. Don't sign up for something you can't afford easily or that isn't in your budget before you check in with at least one or two outside sources and sleep on it for at least a night or two. Please, I'm begging you.

OK, really. Check in with yourself about can you afford it? Number three, have you actually finished any other outstanding courses or programs that you have already bought or enrolled in?

You probably recognize yourself if you're one of these folks who which means you are a chronic program purchaser and you don't actually usually get to them or you don't usually actually finish them.

If that's the case for you, if you've got a whole bunch of things that you've purchased and you haven't actually engaged in them or finish them or done them. That tells you that what you're doing is aspirational buying, you're buying things because you think that it's going to help you because it feels like you're doing something.

But actually, either you don't have time or you don't have that much of a need for it because you're not finishing it.

So if you notice that pattern in yourself, I would strongly encourage you to say, you know what, I'm not going to buy anything new until I finish the ones that I have or until I decide I'm not doing this one.

And totally just put it off your radar. If you have a whole list of things you've bought and haven't done.

Do those first get the benefit from the things that you've already purchased, especially if they're in the same realm as this new thing you're considering? Get the benefit from those first and then you can consider adding something else on top of it. Don't go adding to your list if you've already got a whole bunch of incomplete, incomplete things. OK, that's a pattern. Again, get some help with this. If you're not totally sure, outside eyes can always be helpful, like a mentor or an accountability partner or accountability group.

Something along those lines can help rein you in if you're doing this.

And then lastly, are you procrastinating? Ask yourself, am I buying this course or am I thinking about buying this course because it feels new and shiny.

It feels like making progress. And I don't want to do the actual hard parts of this that I think there's going to be an easy solution. A lot of times the things we need to do to make our practices run, to make them successful are the straightforward things that are easy to understand and hard to do. This is very tempting to sign up for a program and think like, oh, this will be great.

I'll just start like starting a new diet or something like that where everything seems great in the beginning. And then if it's not something that's actually suited to you, it's not something that fits in your life, you're not going to do it. You're going to get in a week or two in and it's going to go by the wayside. Same thing with programs, right? So are you trying to procrastinate by having a fresh, shiny new start and putting off doing the things you already know you should be doing?

If that's the case again, don't sign up for the program.

Do the things that you know you need doing and ask yourself, where do I actually need help to take action to do the next thing?

If you're actually stuck somewhere and you don't know how to do something and you don't already have a resource that can help you with the answer, that is a good time to sign up for a course or program or something like that if you need it right now.

Same thing. If you know what to do and you're having problems actually doing it and you need accountability, that's another good reason to sign up for a course.

If you put down some good money and you say, OK, I know if I put down several hundred dollars, I'm going to show up every week. And if I show up every week, I don't have to tell people what I did or didn't do. And that's going to motivate you. Great. That's a good reason to consider it. So think about that now, what should you do if you're like, oh, but this is a great deal, you know, this is only happening right now, but so maybe I should buy it now because it's on sale.

Here's what you do, first of all, there are sales tactics, hardly anything in your business, in your practice, is actually truly urgent.

All right. If you don't have the money, even if it's on sale or if you don't have the time, even if it's on sale, if you don't have the actual need for this thing right now, even if it's on sale, don't buy it.

Don't buy it right now. I want you to make a later list in your practice notebook or somewhere that you're going to access it normally, if you all have taken a course with me, like the Roots course or anything along those lines, you'll know I'm a big fan of the later lists, but I have a whole later list for things that I want to buy.

Like any time I see a course or a program or consultant or a coaching, anything along those lines where I'm like, Oh, that sounds amazing.

I put it on my list with a link to it in the price and I don't buy it right then. And I wait and I see. Do I actually need it y'all?

If you wait a month or even a month or two, at least half the things on that list, you're going to be like, oh no, I'm very glad I did not buy that. I don't need that.

You're going to go out and find something even better or you're going to realize that wasn't a good fit for you or that's not the way your practice is going right now, so on and so forth.

So just have a list of things that you might buy if you need them later or if you decide to go in that direction or if you have some extra money, you make some have a particularly good month. You got a little bit of extra spending money. You consider one of these programs. Everything is going to come back around, almost everything comes back around, there are other opportunities to buy it if you need it, and the conditions are right.

Remember that a lot of people are using sales tax tactics such as scarcity. You know, it's closing. It's starting now. Last chance, fear of missing out. There's all these things that are in sales pages and sometimes legitimately a class is starting. So it is going to close, but it'll be happening again almost always.

It's never going to be just one time that this one class is running, really I should not say never, but most of the time that class will be offered again another time and it's not urgent.

So if you start to feel the sense of urgency, like I've got to do it now, what should I do?

That is a good sign to say, you know what, actually, no, I'm going to do I actually need this. No.

Have I even had this on my list before? If you haven't, don't buy it. Get some get some second opinions at the very least. All right, do you hear what I'm saying? There's no rush. Ask yourself before you purchase any program, even if it's free for you, sign up for anything free all the way to five thousand dollars or more. Do you actually need this right now in the near future? Is this going to be helpful for you or is it just going to distract you from what you're already trying to do?

Number two, do I have time to do it now or in the next few months? Can I afford it? Does this fit in my budget and is the cost worth it? Whether the cost is in time or in cash, is it worth it to me?

Do I have any outstanding programs that I haven't already finished, especially if they relate to the same topic? And am I procrastinating?

Is this a shiny new object that I'm going to use to distract myself from doing harder work? Ask all of those questions, put it on your list of things you might like to do, don't buy it right now and just see sit with it for a while, see if you really need it.

All right. That's my advice to you. Hope it's not preachy because I have to do the same thing myself or else y'all, I would just spend every penny of money that comes into my practice taking new classes.

They're super fun. I'm not denying that at all. They're super fun.

But in order to have the time and the money you need for other things, such as feeding yourself and keeping your practice afloat, you got to you've got to edit what you're doing to edit those courses, to edit those programs and really focus on the ones that you actually need right now that are going to be beneficial.

OK, so hope this was a helpful reminder. Any questions, suggestions or tips that you have on this topic? I would love to hear them. Please post them in the comments on my website camillefreeman.com, and I'd love to hear from you there. All right. Take care, everyone. Have a great week.

Thoughts? Add your comments here. 

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

You may also enjoy: 

Camille Freeman (she/her)

Hi there! I'm a clinical herbalist and licensed nutritionist specializing in fertility and reproductive health. I faciliate the Monday Mentoring community of practice and offer continuing eduation programs for highly trained herbalists & nutritionists. I'm also a professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Maryland University of Integrative Health, where I teach physiology, pathophysiology, and mindful eating.