5 Ways to Invest In Yourself
Why invest in Yourself?
Investment is all about 'putting something in' - it's about giving time, money, effort or energy to something - in this case often your business. But for entrepreneurs or small business owners the business is often reliant on and wrapped up in YOU. So by investing in yourself you will also be investing in the business.
Usually we only invest in things that we value, we may devote time to friends or loved ones, money to a cause we care about, energy to a sport we love or effort into helping someone we value - as a business owner you need to value yourself and your business.
Invest in yourself and see if your business doesn't experience greater success than ever, and even if you are not a business owner but rather work for an employer investing in yourself will almost certainly give greater value to the company or organisation you work for and help you see greater value in yourself.
Invest in the Basics
I often work with business leaders or entrepreneurs who tell me they 'haven't time'. They haven't time for exercise, they haven't time to eat healthy meals, they haven't time to do things they like and even - they haven't time to get enough sleep. Well that kind of output simply isn't sustainable. I understand there may be busy periods, a product launch, a big event, a marketing drive - for a short time we can all pull out all the stops - but that is not a way we can live. If the regular pattern of your life means that you haven't time to get the basics right, eating balanced meals, exercising, having time to relax and of course getting sleep then sooner or later you will find you simply can't keep going. We have all read about the impact of stress - it is damaging and eventually there will be symptoms. So decide now to value yourself by making sure you invest time in getting the basics right.
Invest in your development
Sometimes people tell me about courses or training they want to attend or even books they want to read but they say they just can't spare the time. Obviously there are sometimes clashes and the training event you want to go to may happen at a time when it is difficult to get time away but if this becomes the norm then there needs to be a shift and time needs to be invested into your own development
At other times it is not time but money that it is the obstacle but money spent developing your own skills and expertise will rarely be wasted - there will very often be personal benefits as well as benefits to the business or company. So, see training and development of yourself as an investment not just in you but in the business.
Invest in Support
Training and development through training is important in learning skills and gaining knowledge. But support is also important. Do you invest time, effort, money or energy in ensuring you are supported? Do you have someone who you can share ideas with, talk over problems or go to for some guidance. This could be a business colleague, a group of business leaders, or it maybe someone who fulfils a similar role, it could be a manager or someone more experienced than yourself or it could even be a professional coach.
If people accept that training is important in developing skills and knowledge then they can often also acknowledge that some support, mentoring or coaching can also be essential in learning how to apply the skills and knowledge.
So invest in yourself by making sure YOU are supported and guided to ensure that you keep growing and developing and you will probably find your business grows too.
Invest in some Creativity
There is something about being creative that sort of opens up our minds. Allowing ourselves time and the opportunity to do something creative will often help us to think of things in new ways, come up with new ideas or new approaches to problems or challenges we are facing.
So whether it is something like drawing, painting, creating music or poetry the chances are if we invest in a spot of creativity our brains will be free to operate more from the subconscious and new ways of thinking will very often emerge, which will be good for the business. Sometimes I suggest if people are facing a real challenge or difficulty taking some time away from the problem and doing something creative in order to help find a solution. So if you want to see growth take time to be creative.
Invest in Your Happiness
Last but by no means least - everyone works better and is more productive when they are happy. What makes YOU happy? When did you last spend time doing something that makes you happy? If you are busy building a business or team then it is not a waste of time, or even a luxury to invest time, energy, effort or money to do some things that make you happy. So whether it is cooking, hanging out with friends, watching a movie, riding a bike, visiting a particular place or shopping - if it makes you happy make sure you do it once in a while and you will notice the benefits in your life, work and business.
Why We Don't
So if it is such a good idea, and if it brings such benefits to invest in ourselves why on earth don't we? Well the answer is sometimes because deep down we don't feel we are worthy, somehow we have got the message that we don't deserve investment. Quite simply that isn't true, other times we tell ourselves that we can somehow manage without investing in ourselves, because if we acknowledged that we needed to we'd maybe be afraid it was somehow expressing weakness. Guess what that isn't true either.
So if you want to experience more success in your life, work or business - try investing in yourself.