Friday, August 7

To read or to listen.

Recessions create millionaires.

How Singaporeans can make MASSIVE profits in Forex... 30 mins a day.

Recently, there has been many advertisement on local papers (notably on the Business section) with such eye-catching headlines. Some of you may just disregard them, but there are also alot of people who are curious enough to attend such talks.

Every problem provides a perfect opportunity. Recession means people losing their jobs, or people feeling risky about their rice bowl. So naturally they are more likely to have a second look at these advertisements. Recession is also a time when a lot of entrepenuers are created, so there will be people hungry for more knowledge. And naturally a lot of opportunists proclaiming to be experts (as well as genuine experts) will come out to “share their expertise”.

The practical side of our thought process go around wondering “If the method really makes a lot of money, why will they even so graciously share with us?”

Well, there’s obviously no such thing as a free lunch. FREE sneak previews of talks has a cost to the organizers, they have to pay for advertisements, book a meeting venue, pay for the refreshments you drink, and to pay for related logistics. So at the end of every “free” talk, the speaker starts to introduce a “ridiculous cheap” 3-days course package worth a few thousand dollars, to make you “equipped with incredible skills”.

Being the open minded guy that I am, I have been to quite a few of such talks. And seriously, I hear alot of nice stories and learn some new terms in these preview talks, so its still a good free talk for me. But I am never able to justify parting thousands of dollars for the follow-up courses.

Be it course from sales gurus, stock experts, leadership courses etc..., there’s no guarantee that I will be anywhere as good as the speaker after listening to his course. But one thing is for certain - the speaker is laughing all the way to the bank after the course is finished.

I am doing a comparison between the benefits of reading from books versus attending courses in acquiring soft skills, techniques and knowledge.

For instance, a “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” book sets me back by less than $30, but a few days course by Robert Kiyosaki (the author of the book) will easily cost you at least $1500 if you are an early bird.

Side note: Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a great read. A friend of mine was actually asked by his future father-in-law to read the book before he is allowed to marry the man's daughter.

Coming back, is listening to the speaker in person more worth it than reading the book?

Speakers will always argue that “The course is worth every cent of it” and that "You will learn better by listening to the master", or "He will teach you stuffs not covered in the book".
But the truth is, talk is cheap (no pun intended). If the talk was REALLY that useful, then everyone who attended would have been rich by now.

But by buying and reading the book-equivalent, at least even if you do not really benefit as much, the most you lose is a small amount - the price of the book. But then again, because the book is yours to hold, without any discipline, you might take forever to finish reading the book. Or worse still, the book might just end up on the shelf, unread for years.

I’ll continue reading more books in the meanwhile. In fact, I’m eyeing on a certain book to purchase over the Internet. US$17, the price is very reasonable to me.

So what’s your take?
Read from books, or attend talks by the author?

Share with me your thoughts.


khengsiong said...

Whether it is reading from books or attending talks, there is still a lot of hard work to be done before you can make big money.

spy@fic said...

hmm. both do not work if not applied. A friend told me that Dale Carnegie is worth reading. If you are more of an audio person, there are the audio materials available in National Library.
The best things in Life may not be free, but they can be borrowed. =)

Cherish Tulips said...

I think no matter what the knowledge gained must be practised, tried and tested.Only then you can truly attest you have actually learnt something!

Shingo T said...

khengsiong & Cherish Tulips:
Agreed. Theories can only bring us so far if we don't apply them. And it will be an endless journey.

Haha, ya. The library is a good place for us cheapos. I personally prefer buying books over borrowing stuffs. I like to hold them and reference as and when needed.

Roxy. said...

I prefer reading the books. Firstly i doubt i will be able to really absorb everything within that few hours, but am probably forced to because of the price tag that is hanging. The only way i will really listen to one's course is only if i am REALLY REALLY interested.
I realized most courses are also motivational. Hmm, is parting your money a way to motivate? haha

Shingo T said...

Like all courses, motivational courses only enrich us with the knowledge to correct mindsets. But it takes real discipline and desire to forsake old habits to be motivated consistently.

Haha, I'm sure parting with my cash doesn't motivate me. =p

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