Investing in yourself.
When done well, it’s perhaps the investment with the biggest returns, especially when done in the early stages of your life.
It’s also one of the safest investments you can make, as its returns are less dependent on the actions of others. You don’t even have to own a ton of money to start. You can do it on a budget.
1. Set yourself a dream goal.
Investing in yourself starts with knowing what you want. Set goals.
Without personal goals, no direction. Without direction, you’ll likely end up running around in circles. Shameless plug: I wrote a book on this, containing the 21 Golden Rules For Personal Goal Setting. You can download it for free, here.
2. Learn a new skill.
If you’re on a tight budget, books are the way to go.
Decide what you want to learn and use Google to see which books are recommended by other readers. Most popular books have free summaries available online, if you don’t have the money to buy your own copy!
The added benefit of reading the books yourself is that your language and writing will improve. It also improves your ability to concentrate. Skills that will come in handy when doing business.
Find it hard to focus when reading a book? Try listening to audiobooks during your commute or while relaxing. Make sure to listen actively (take notes!) and take your time to pause and reflect when needed.
In whatever format, books are a relatively inexpensive way to expand your knowledge.
However, if you have a bit more to spend you’ll find that you’ll get more practical tips by following an (online) course, seminar or workshop. Learn from the people who already have the skills you’re eager to gain!
Bonus tip: Thought leaders often share knowledge online to build their reputation. Find an expert in the field you’d like to learn more and see if they share valuable insights on social media or through a newsletter. This is how I learned how to make a good buck in Digital Marketing!
3. Expand your network.
Surround yourself with people who inspire you.
When trying to do something extraordinary, you’ll often find that people try to talk you out of it. You don’t need that in your life!
Get to know like-minded people by attending networking events or a seminar. Introduce yourself to keynote speakers and thought leaders, they’re often happy to share their knowledge. Don’t be a passive listener, set yourself a goal and become part of the conversation by asking questions. Start with a compliment, it’ll go a long way!
Knowing many specialists within different fields of expertise, is often more valuable than becoming a specialist yourself. This is because there is a limit to the number of areas you can become an expert in.
4. Start a side hustle.
Learning by doing is almost always better than learning by reading or following a course.
Once you have some money to get started, invest in growing your own company. What valuable skills make you unique? Find a way to monetize!
As per lesson number 4 in ‘Five Life Lessons Learned From Playing Poker‘, make sure you’re able to keep the lights on when things don’t work out as you expected. It’s OK to start small. Many people start their own company (high risk) while still working for an employer (low risk).
If you think you don’t have the time to start a side-hustle, please read on.
5. Manage your time.
Don’t have time to read books or start a side-hustle?
Try turning off Netflix and social media for a week. Hit the pause button on gaming. Still don’t have time? Stop following the news and get up an hour earlier every day.
Time can be created as long as you’re willing to make a sacrifice. Align your focus with your long term goals. You’ll get so much more out of life!
“Getting up one hour earlier every day, will get you 365 hours a year you didn’t have before. That’s 45 regular working days or 9 full working weeks.”Excerpt from ‘Further North: 21 Golden Rules For Personal Goal Setting’.
Keep in mind: the decisions you make today will have a massive impact in five years time. Don’t let your future self down.
Also read: ‘First Things First: Spend Time On Things That Matter.‘
6. Prioritise self-care.
It shouldn’t be surprising, but working yourself to dead will not get you far.
Play the long game, take care of your physical and mental health. I’ve seen burn-outs and they’re not pretty. Invest in yourself by prioritizing sleep, exercise and eating healthy. You’ll make less mistakes doing the work that generates your income. Nobody will want to do business with you if you can’t offer them your best self!
Keep yourself in shape physically by going on morning runs. Keep yourself in shape mentally by meditating and practicing gratitude.
Read here how it will help your self-growth: ‘The Pyramid Of Personal Growth‘.
7. Find a mentor.
Learning by reading (see number 2) and doing (see number 4) combined, has the potential to propel you into the stratosphere. Even if it’s by taking small steps at the time.
If you have a bit more money to spend – perhaps further in your journey – it helps to get a life / career coach, a mentor to guide you in your decision making. It’ll give you clarity and keeps you focused on the right things.
When you’re going on a Journey of Personal Growth there will be times you feel lost and tempted to give up. A good life coach will get you back on track. Plan weekly or monthly calls.
If this is an option for you, plan in a consult with Frank, he helped me a lot when I was working in South Africa.
That’s how you invest in yourself, even if you’re on a small budget.
Keep in mind, like all investments, it might take a while before you see the results you’re hoping for. Don’t cop out before hitting the jackpot.
Consistency is key. Stick to the plan.
Not society’s plan. Not your parents’ plan. YOUR plan.
If you don’t have one, you better make one.
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