Thinking About ROI Differently

I have a friend who runs a pretty successful letterpress company. When she started her business, she ran her own press because she liked the handmade aspect of her cards. She liked that it didn’t seem manufactured or outsourced and it was something she could use as a selling point. As her business grew, she found herself running her business during the day, and staying up until 3am running the press.

That got old really quick.

What she realized was she needed to purchase a press that didn’t require such a manual process, so she invested in a press that was more automated and hired someone to oversee the process.

She invested in something that gave her a good Return On Investment (ROI).

How did you get a good ROI by spending money and possibly being in debt for a little while as she paid off the new press?

So many times, we think of ROI in as a monetary thing. But ROI is not always an increase in your revenue.

In the case of my friend, ROI was an increase in the amount of time she could spend working on her business, instead of at the press, even if it meant not seeing money flow in because of it.

As I leave this next week for The Inspired Retreat, it makes me think about seeing ROI in conferences and courses. I’ve had plenty of people tell me that they can’t see or didn’t understand why attending a conference like Stationery Academy or a course like Creative’s Academy would bring them increased revenue.


When it comes to conferences or courses, we have to think of ROI as time - it isn’t always numbers or revenue.

It’s an investment in your time, community, relationships, and knowledge. And I don’t think you can put a price on these things. They truly are priceless.

When you’ve learned something that may have taken you years to figure out, hours of Google searching, or by frustrating trail and error, you’ll know the way to do things. You will reach your goals faster than you would before because you learned something new and you implemented it.

So, there are only 3 things you can do with any business when it comes to learning:

  1. you can become more efficient at what you are currently doing
  2. you can stop doing things or
  3. you can start doing new things

So, when it comes to learning, you don’t know what you don’t know. Being able to learn things through courses and conferences can really help you understand what you need to do so you can be more efficient, learn what to stop doing, and learn what you should start doing.

Bottom line is, none of us know it all, so you need to be a continual learner to figure out the things you need to  know to run your business.

Don’t think about ROI in your business as purely revenue.


With any course you take, you have to be willing to execute on it. You can learn all the answers but you aren’t to be willing to go back and implement. Not can you - are you willing to?

Business is hard and you have to be willing to do things that other people won't do which is what will make you more successful.

Information is just knowledge, you have to take action to make it happen.

xoxo, Jennifer


Keep up with what’s going on at Inspired by following #inspiredretreat2015 on Instagram. I am sure there will be a few Periscopes going on too.


Did you see our new series, Alum Spotlight? We’re featuring one of our graduates each month on the blog. These #creativefounders have attended Stationery Academy in person conference or the Creative’s Academy online course and we’re sharing their journey. This month’s spotlight is with Kristin Wilson of Grace and Serendipity who attended our most recent conference in Phoenix. You can see what she’s been up to since then here.

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