I recall our baptism into the very intimidating, entertainment industry like it was yesterday. We started local then expanded our reach at, what seemed like, warp speed. That rapid transition was partly due to interest and demand, but we were also fueled by pure excitement, passion and our desire to support our daughter who was beaming with talent. Please bear in mind, this experience is personal and exclusively represents our point of view. That said, one of the most important decisions we made prior to and during our transition into the industry was the commitment to invest in the professional development and honing of our daughter's talent and skills. According to Merriam-Webster, invest is defined as the following: a). to commit (money) in order to earn a financial return, b). to make use of for future benefits or advantages and c). to involve or engage especially emotionally. (www.merriam-webster.com/dictiontary/invest). We immediately began to observe the benefits of investing in our daughter's career. She quickly evolved in each of her talent domains thereby increasing her marketability. The value of self-investment is hardly ever over-stated. Your sacrifices, financially or otherwise, will directly align with your outcomes. Ever heard the saying, " no deposit, no return?" I know, its a rather simple saying, but it absolutely holds true for anyone who is in search of success in the entertainment industry. Neelraman.com defines self investment as learning new things, taking intelligent risks, stepping out of your comfort zone, exploring opportunities to improve your quality of life and setting bigger and challenging goals. Needless to say, we subscribed to the aforementioned points early on and we have absolutely no regrets as a result of having done so.
Now, with that having been said, please always proceed with caution and exercise sensibility when making the decision to invest money toward the development of your career. The pitfalls and scams that were created with the "newbie" in mind are seemingly endless, so lead with this thought, if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Avoid pay to play workshops, promises of certain outcomes and never-ending network referrals that quickly turn out to be a dead-end for you, but lucrative to the network of people who continuously refer you to their associates for endless classes. To be sure, though, the price of enhancing your skillset will be costly if its your desire to be successful, so lead with understanding that point at the outset. The final thought I'd like to leave you with is this, everything cost something, so how much are you willing to pay for what you want.
Mahalia Jackson-Butler, MSN,MBA