All training is not equal….

Author // Lucy Atkinson
Posted in // Blog

I like training; developing my skills and learning new ones. I love new knowledge. I love meeting other people who share my passions. Recently though, I have been through an experience that has made me re-evaluate how I choose the training that I go on.

Imagine, if you will, that you love baking. You love baking so much that you own your own business baking and selling cakes. Life is good.

You notice an opportunity to go to a beautiful place to learn all about baking; it’s like a wonderful holiday retreat, complete with not one, but two experts in baking. One of them trains people in how to bake a particular type of cake that you have really, really wanted to learn how to bake for quite a long time.

You decide to sign up. You’re so excited. First though, you check with the organiser that after attending this retreat you will be able to bake and sell these beautiful cakes to your customers.  Of course, you are assured; yes, you will absolutely be able to bake and sell these particular cakes. You go for it; you sign up and spend ages looking forward to this fantastic experience.

The time comes; you arrive at the retreat but find that actually, neither of the two baking experts will be there. You are reassured that the experience will be different, but just as good.  You will still gain all that knowledge about baking, of course.

You have a great time; there are some wonderful bakers from all over the world also attending, and you really enjoying connecting with them and chatting about all things baking. You do learn a lot from them, and find time to really immerse yourself in thinking about baking and your business.

Instead of the expert who trains people to bake the particular cake you are interested in, local bakers come and tell you all about the way they bake their cakes. It is fascinating, and you respect their knowledge and culture. You even have a go at baking the cake, under their watchful eye. You are told there is no need for you to take any notes; all of this information will be available to you after the retreat.

You leave on a high, refreshed and happy.

You realise that you still don’t have the necessary knowledge to bake and sell the cake for yourself though.

You wait for the promised further training; even the recipe. You start to question when you might have access to the information that you paid for. Eventually, after waiting for over 3 months, you are told that you can access an online course that will be starting in another two months time. If enough people sign up for it, that is; otherwise you will just get some videos and information. You also need to pay a yearly fee of a reasonably substantial amount if you want to bake and sell this cake.

Feeling rather upset that you don’t feel you have received what you paid for, you raise your concerns with the organiser. The organiser labels you a ‘complainer’, and begins a lengthy process of negotiating what you can and can’t have, and which bits you might need to pay for.

This experience – obviously, not a baking one in real life – has left me feeling rather deflated and sad that as a trusting person I maybe didn’t check things out that I should have before I embarked on it.

After reflection, the positives mean so much to me – the meeting, sharing, and discussion, feeling part of a wonderfully connected network. I didn’t get what I paid for by any means, but perhaps there is learning in this too.

My biggest lesson? Carry on being me, and continue to carry out my business with integrity, honesty and grace. Continue to network with others who share my values. I can’t control how others behave and sometimes my trusting nature may lead me into problems. I don’t want to change how I am though; I would rather trust everyone I meet and take the chance I got it wrong, than allow experiences like this to turn me into someone I’m not.

Wishing love, kindness and prosperity to you all.

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