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5 Good Reasons to Not Go to a Seminar

There's a plethora of great seminars out there. How do you decide if you should sign-up? Here's 5 ways to help you make the best decision.
Written Sep 29, 2009, read 5556 times since then.


Maybe you're like me and you get tons of offers for amazing seminars, workshops and other cool learning opportunities. Wouldn’t it be nice to spend the day just leaning great new stuff; if you had the time and money.

If you’re running a business there are two kinds of workshops to consider. One type is aimed at work-life balance, like a yoga or art class. It’s fun, healthy and gives you a break from work.

The second type is focused on offering you help for your business. This kind of seminar is essential if it will help you to overcome obstacles or learn something new that will help your business to be more successful. These kinds of seminars are investments in your business.

You may feel like you don’t have the time or money but you know you need it and the benefits make it worth doing. It should pay for itself with results.

Solo-business owners are usually overly busy and it’s important to make good choices in regards to what you commit to. When is a seminar not the right thing to do? When is it a waste of time or money?

1.  When you sense it isn’t the right time. Maybe later. For example, I want to take a workshop on book promotion but right now I need to focus on completing the writing. Once that’s done, I’ll have the ability to focus on promotional tools.

2. When your  self-doubt says you need more credentials. In fact you have plenty of experience in this area and you could teach the class yourself. Self-doubt can  sabotage you and pull your energy away from where it needs to be. For example, I’ve been tempted to take a seminar on office organizing but in fact I am doing ok with it now. Being organizationally disabled is my old story.

3. When you are intrigued with the seminar topic and want to learn about it, but in fact, it would take a lot of energy and it would be a better investment to hire a professional. For example, I have resisted taking a seminar in website optimization for just this reason. I could learn it, but I’d rather hire someone to optimize my website for me.

4. When you just can’t be bothered to learn one more thing. You know you need it, it would be good for you but you just don’t feel like it.  Sometimes your attitude is more important than the benefits. It’s fun being a teenager again.:)

5.  You hear about a good seminar but you really don’t need it. For example, You hear about a really stellar seminar on marketing, and how to get more clients. You might already have heaps of clients coming your way so you don’t need these tools, even if they are amazing.

Only sign-up for a seminar if:

•  You know it’s the right time.

•  You know you need the help.

•  You want to learn these skills.

•  You have an attitude that says, “I’ll do whatever it takes.”

•  You know you would benefit.


If all these things are true, the seminar would be an investment in yourself, your business and it would pay for itself over and over.


Learn more about the author, Kaya Singer.

Comment on this article

  • Reiki Master, Natural Healing, Cancer Support, Cancer Coach, Pet Cancer 
Portland, Oregon 
Rosemary Levesque
    Posted by Rosemary Levesque, Portland, Oregon | Sep 29, 2009

    Kaya, All true! So often we can find the reasons NOT to do what it takes to get to where we want to go. Part of the hold back for some people is that they might not really know where they want to be in their business. It's hard moving forward if you don't know where you're going.

  • Business coaching services 
Portland, Oregon 
Kaya Singer
    Posted by Kaya Singer, Portland, Oregon | Sep 30, 2009

    Rosemary Yes- It is easy to be confused. When people are confused they usually do nothing. So I guess the first thing is to focus in on what you need and in what order. Thanks for your comment.

  • Life, Prosperity, and Small Business Coach. Author. Speaker. Trainer. Singer/Songwriter. 
Seattle, Washington 
Kate Phillips
    Posted by Kate Phillips, Seattle, Washington | Oct 01, 2009

    Very good article, Kaya, and a catchy title besides! I have taken many wonderful seminars, but occasionally I wonder if the time would be better spent working IN my business than ON it.

    Regarding your comment on book marketing, one of my mentors Patrick Snow taught me plenty of information that changed HOW I am writing my book so that it will be more marketable later. It's all about beginning with the end in mind. If you want an easily marketable book, your strategies for your title, cover, back cover, introduction and (lesser so) your content must be informed by principles of book marketing!

  • Business coaching services 
Portland, Oregon 
Kaya Singer
    Posted by Kaya Singer, Portland, Oregon | Oct 01, 2009

    Thanks Kate

    I agree that when it's the wrong seminar it can feel like this- but when it is truly something you need it will help you to work in your business more effectively.

    I appreciate your book comments. I don't know Patrick Snow but I certainly focused in on all the ways you mentioned in the process of doing my title etc. It took me months to get the title and I'm still working on the cover. These things are ultimately more important than what's inside because if they don't work no one will ever read what you have written! Of course what's inside needs to give people what you promised.:)

  • Business Development 
Oakland, California 
George Sawyer
    Posted by George Sawyer, Oakland, California | Oct 01, 2009

    Kaya, excellent writeup. I agree with your comments, particularly about the "I'd love to learn this, but it'd be smarter to pay someone else to do this."

    I'd like to add that for myself, there is a third reason to go to seminars - to meet more prospects. I have to be very choosy about which seminars to attend and how much they cost, but I've met many people at professional development seminars who have become clients. So I look for seminars that are likely to be filled by the kind of people that I sell to, and it becomes a very informal and relaxed kind of selling.

  • Intuitive Healer 
Seattle, Washington 
Karen Floyd
    Posted by Karen Floyd, Seattle, Washington | Oct 02, 2009

    Thank you Kaya,

    Your article caught my eye because of the title. Not to go... interesting and a nice twist.

    Having criteria to make decisions always streamlines the process!

    Karen Floyd

  • marketing writer 
Costa Mesa, California 
Phil Dunn
    Posted by Phil Dunn, Costa Mesa, California | Oct 02, 2009

    Nice run-down, Kaya. And what a great name "Kaya Singer"! Reminds me of Bob Marley.

    I get so many webinar and seminar invites, it's crazy. I can count on one hand the number I've attended - virtually or in person - over the past 15 years. Some were ones I presented at. For me, I think it would be good to go to some for networking purposes.

    As a writer, I use the invites and emails to keep up with trends, examine title effectiveness, and see what's popular. They're definitely useful in this sense!

  • Business coaching services 
Portland, Oregon 
Kaya Singer
    Posted by Kaya Singer, Portland, Oregon | Oct 02, 2009

    Thanks for all the great comments everyone.

    George- somehow it never even occurred to me to go to a seminar just to to to sell to people. For me it would feel intrusive to do that- however I can understand attending to get to know people who may want to meet with you later to see how you could help eachother. Maybe this is what you meant.

    Karen- thanks for mentioning the title. I did that in an attempt to try to something different so I'm glad it worked at least for you.

    Phil- yes Bob Marley has been mentioned to me a few times :) My seminars are all small business owners and I try to allow for opportunities for people to really learn about each other and how they can work together. I've been told that this is one of the benefits- meeting new people and working as a team. In fact I market it as one of the benefits of my marketing seminar.

  • Author, speaker, coach, consultant, radio host 
Anaheim Hills, California 
Flora Brown
    Posted by Flora Brown, Anaheim Hills, California | Oct 02, 2009


    You hit a home run with this article. Every point resonated with me, especially 2 and 3.

    The biggest problem with taking one more seminar is it delays me from implementing all that I've learned from all those previous seminars. I love to learn new techniques and business strategies, but before signing up for another seminar these days I have to ask myself, "Is this the best use of my time?"

    With the explosion of teleseminars I have to ask myself this question frequently. When I believe the info is valuable, I register for the online event regardless of whether or not I will attend. I download the MP3 for later listening since it's usually available shortly after the event.

    Like Kate, I learned a lot from our mutual mentor, Patrick Snow, about marketing my book as I was writing it from. I was most appreciative for learning strategies and resources for being proactive with marketing and promotion.

    Being a seminar junkie is a business hazard. Thanks again for this article.

  • Business coaching services 
Portland, Oregon 
Kaya Singer
    Posted by Kaya Singer, Portland, Oregon | Oct 02, 2009

    Flora Thanks for your chiming in. I'll have to check out Patrick Snow for sure now that two of you have mentioned him.

    I like your question, "Is this the best use of my time?" Too many people ask , "Can I afford this?" In fact a good seminar will be one you can't afford to miss and will pay for itself.

    So your time will be well used if it is in that category.

  • Realtor 
Dallas, Texas 
Gwendolyn Sadler
    Posted by Gwendolyn Sadler, Dallas, Texas | Oct 04, 2009

    I agree. Plus everytime I attend a free seminar; in the end their is a huge cost associated with it. I'm one of those that everything sounds like it will help me in getting ahead in the business. I've spent enough money on self help (how to help your business) seminars. To make matter worse I haven't taken advantage of the information I already paid for. Definitely no more seminars for me.

  • Business coaching services 
Portland, Oregon 
Kaya Singer
    Posted by Kaya Singer, Portland, Oregon | Oct 04, 2009


    I have had the similar challenge as you - not taking advantage of everything.At some point you have to put to use everything you have learned :)

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Licenced Massage Therapist 
Seattle, Washington 
Katy Canete
    Posted by Katy Canete, Seattle, Washington | Oct 06, 2009

    Thanks for the great article, Kaya.

    I see so many workshops coming up and it's hard for me not to feel some stress about what I'm missing out on discovering.

    It's great to think of it in terms of what feels good AND what you really need . I find myself excited about workshops that speak to what I've already learned, still relating to my "old stories". I don't need those ones, I can save my time! Thanks again.

  • Business coaching services 
Portland, Oregon 
Kaya Singer
    Posted by Kaya Singer, Portland, Oregon | Oct 06, 2009


    You are welcome and thanks for taking the time to comment. Let me know if you are ever in Portland and maybe we can meet up. And that goes for all of you wherever you are!

  • Business Coach For Therapists 
Amstelveen, Noord Holland Netherlands 
Monika Denes
    Posted by Monika Denes, Amstelveen, Noord Holland Netherlands | Feb 26, 2010

    You haved saved me lots of time, money and more, Kaya! THANK YOU! It reads like you know me really well, yes, nr 2!!!! I have spent more than 15 years studying and more going to workshops... Just to find out lots just obscured my target. Now I hope the prospects for my workshop will choose well - and come!

    Keep on writing, Kaya.

  • Business coaching services 
Portland, Oregon 
Kaya Singer
    Posted by Kaya Singer, Portland, Oregon | Feb 26, 2010


    Thanks so much for sharing and I am so glad I could help you. Your prospects will choose well and come if your marketing message is strong and aimed squarely at them. That is the most essential piece. I am glad I could help you. Good luck!