You’ve heard that it is important to learn how to invest in yourself. But what does that actually mean? The purpose of any investment is to yield an acceptable return. Building wealth, a business, or a healthy relationship all require an investment of some kind.
So how can you invest in yourself so that you can improve your overall lifestyle? In this article we’ll show nine ways to invest in yourself this year.
1) Finally Start That Business
In a recent article, we reported that nearly 24 million people in America are thinking about starting a business but only a small percentage of them actually do. This is surprising since starting a business in the 2020s has never been easier.
Starting a business is one of the biggest decisions that a person can make. In fact, many business owners compare starting a business to having a baby. It takes patience, it can be stressful, and it’s also an emotional rollercoaster. But also like having a baby, it can be one of the most rewarding decisions you can make for yourself.
Finally starting that business that you’ve been thinking about could be a great investment into your personal development as well as your future finances. Running a business is not easy and requires the entrepreneur to learn more, stay focused, and increase their ability to be persistent. But the returns for your hard work could be life changing.
2) Invest In Your Communication Skills
Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Richard Branson, and many other thought leaders agree that communication is the most important skill a leader can have.
In fact, Buffett was once quoted as saying, “Without good communication skills you won’t be able to convince people to follow you even though you see over the mountain and they don’t.” Research by the Carnegie Institute of Technology in A Study of Engineering Education reported that 85 percent of financial success comes from the ability to effectively communicate, negotiate, and lead, both when speaking and listening.
The tragedy is that, although it seems everyone understands the importance of communication, many people do not take the time to improve their communication skills. If you want to improve your relationships, business, and even your financial situation, this year spend time improving your communication skills.
Communication is not just being able to write and speak clearly. Great communicators are also great listeners. Joining an organization like Toastmasters International will help introduce you to the basics of good speaking and listening skills. Continue to practice what you learn in the real world with friends, co-workers, and employees.
3) Put Your Money to Work
Investing in yourself may also be in the form of investing your money. If you want to invest in yourself, it is important to make sure that your money is working as hard as you are. This means finding ways to spend less and use your money to help better your financial situation.
Instead of thinking about the things that you can buy, begin to think about where you can put your money that will bring you a return. That may be investing in the business your started or maybe putting it into stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or even high-yield savings accounts.
4) Read, Listen, and Watch Educational Material
The average person spends 136 minutes per day on social media and another 238 minutes watching TV. With all of this time spent on entertainment, many do not have time left over to consume content that helps them grow personally or professionally. This may be one of the reasons why some research suggests that too much time spent on social media can lead to negative effects on mood, well-being and sleep.
You are what you consume including media. Listen to or read what successful pioneers have to say and use the lessons from their mistakes to your advantage. Begin reading articles that will enhance your life and business. Check YouTube, Google, and other popular sites to find out everything you need to know about starting your business. You may even discover something that you initially did not consider.
5) Build Stronger Relationships
A great way to invest in the well-being of yourself and your business is to invest time in building stronger relationships. Relationships are an important part of life and business. We not only need strong connections as business owners, but we need them as humans.
Go out and meet new people while building deeper connections with those people who are already in your life. You may even want to reconnect with people that you have lost touch with over the years. You never know what benefits your relationships will produce in the future.
The networks and connections you make could decide whether or not you can sell your product or service at a competitive price. And the connections you make in your personal life can offer support and interpersonal relationships that are vital for mental well-being.
6) Take Online Courses
Online classes are easy enough to sign up for and allow a degree of freedom lacking in traditional schooling. Top-quality universities share entire business courses online.Other sources, like Udemy.com, offer paid courses taught by professionals in the field with topics from financial analysis to stock investment.
Taking courses is a step beyond watching a Youtube video or reading an article. Good online courses can go deeper into a subject and offer more in-depth information that cannot be easily accessed on other platforms. This was one of the reasons why we developed Stop Thinking Like an Employee, our course on eliminating the employee mindset that holds entrepreneurs back. The course allowed us to go much deeper into the subject of employee mindsets that limit entrepreneurial success. This was a serious problem that we couldn’t fit into an article or one video. Taking courses on this type of topic is much more beneficial than just reading or listening to a book.
Also, most online courses are structured in a way that makes it easier for the student to comprehend and apply the information learned.
7) Find a Mentor
Contacting the busiest and wealthiest owners is not the wisest choice. Find someone you can confide in and whose actions back up their words. Remember that they are business owners, so overly demanding requests and pitying messages ain’t gonna cut it. Respect yourself foremost when emailing a potential mentor and they will sense your passion.
You want someone who will offer advice, not lead your company from behind the scenes. The whole point is to help guide you to your own accomplishments. Take full advantage of the situation and ask any questions about any aspect of your business.
8) Move More
Researchers at the University of British Columbia have found that frequent aerobic exercise, not muscle building and toning, enlarges the brain region associated with memory and learning. Aerobic exercise will keep you fit while enhancing your ability to absorb knowledge.
But trying to find time to exercise can be challenging. Especially if you are busy building your business. That is why it is important to take the time to invest in physical activity. The effects of a sedentary lifestyle can be serious.
Here are some of the effects of a sedentary lifestyle:
• Weight gain due to low calorie burn
• Your may lose bone density
• Your metabolism may be affected and your body may have more trouble breaking down fats and sugars
• Possible low blood circulation
• Your body may have more inflammation
• Muscle loss
It was recently reported that inactivity is responsible for more annual deaths than smoking. Worldwide, it is estimated that a sedentary lifestyle is responsible for six percent of coronary heart disease cases, seven percent of type II diabetes, ten percent of breast cancer cases, and ten percent of colon cancer cases.
If you don’t have the time to exercise daily, you can still avoid a sedentary lifestyle by making a few small changes. Here are some tips for getting moving without going to the gym:
Take the stairs- Instead of the elevator, take the stairs up to your apartment or your office.
Take a walk.-Have to make a phone call? Why not walk and talk? A walk around the neighborhood or down the street is a good way to get up and out of the office.
Jog in place-If you can’t get out of the office for a quick run, jog in place for three to five minutes several times a day.
Dance for five to ten minutes.-During your break, take a five to ten minute dance break. Doing this a few times a day will help get your blood pumping.
Park farther away-One way to get more activity is to force yourself to walk farther. You can easily do this by parking your car farther away when you go to the store. Instead of driving around looking for a close parking spot, park far away every time and get some extra steps in without much more effort.
9) Take Time Off
We know that hard work breeds results in our businesses, but hustling without stopping does more harm than good. A study by Stanford University found that working too many hours actually decreases a person’s productivity. The study found that employees become less efficient due to stress, fatigue, and other factors after working more than forty hours a week.
Trying to be creative in a personal project is difficult if your energy is pulled in two different directions. If you are currently working, take time off for yourself. Get far away from major causes of stress and clarify your plans. You’ll find that when you return to work fully rested, you’ll be more focused, productive, and efficient.
10) Master One New Marketable Skill
Your brain is always learning something. Manfred Spitzer, Medical Director, Professor and Chairman of the Psychiatric Hospital at the University of Ulm Germany, concluded that our minds have been designed to learn at all times and actually prefers the activity of learning over everything else. Humans were born to learn. However, many people spend too much time learning things that do not help them move forward in life.
This year, instead of learning information that cannot be used to move your life forward, begin to take time to learn things that will help you and your business. We can learn how many points per game our favorite NBA player averages and the completion percentage of our favorite quarterback, but still know how to reach Key Performance Indicators we should be accomplishing as the leaders of our businesses.
This year, take time to learn and master one new marketable skill. Choose a skill that you can use in your own business, start a new career, or launch a new business.