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A self-help business is a business that is centered on helping individuals learn various self-improvement concepts, often through one or more avenues of information. These can include seminars, publishing, websites, and counseling with an emphasis on self-help. The common goal of each method or type is to help others improve their overall quality of life.
One type of self-help business uses motivational speaking and seminars. These individuals arrange and speak at seminars to motivate and inspire others to make changes in their lives. Seminars generally cost a fee to attend, and may take place at a resort or retreat, allowing the speaking engagements to last several days. Participants learn self-improvement techniques and are generally invited to purchase books and workbooks to further their exploration.
Many self-help theories and businesses teach valid principles that others can use, but it is important for consumers to be wary when purchasing expensive seminar packages and retreats. Oftentimes, checking out a book written by that person at the library or ordering a used copy of the method online is just as effective as hearing it in person. For interaction with others who are also struggling, there are plenty of inexpensive and free support groups hosted in most areas.
Books can also be part of a self-help business, with publishers taking advantage of the number of people who want to improve their situations. Professional psychologists and other doctors and counselors write books with methods for helping everything from depression to weight gain. This is perhaps the largest type of self-help business, with millions of books in this category being sold every year.
There are many specialized websites designed to be a resource for self-help-related topics. These sites may or may not require a membership, and are often used in conjunction with books and other methods. In fact, many times books and seminar appointments can be purchased through websites.
Another type of self-help business involves traditional counseling and support groups that teach self-help systems. Although this involves more conventional treatments as well, these counselors teach individuals how to continue therapy at home. This can help when counseling has ceased or lessened in frequency.
In order for any self-help program to be effective, the principles and rules put forth by the program must be followed diligently. One of the main reasons these programs do not work is because users give up too early. Additionally, anyone who has a serious mental illness or has thoughts of suicide, self-harm, or harming others should seek professional help.