Invest in yourself is the most common advice you will get if you ask any successful person on one piece of advice that will change your life. Tony Robbins claims that the most valuable advice he ever received came from Jim Rohn, one of his earliest mentors. “Find a way to add more value than anybody else does, and you’ll never have to worry about anything,” Rohn told him. “Every day, work harder on yourself than anything else, because if you become more intelligent, more valuable, more skilled — you can add more value to other people.” Other successful people would no doubt agree with these sentiments. As quoted by the most famous investor of all time, Warren Buffett, “the best investment you can make is in yourself.”
That’s right, you are the most important place you can put your time and money; and yet you are probably the one thing that tends to get neglected in life. By improving your talents, skills and abilities, you’re investing in something that you will always have; nobody can tax it or take it away from you. Markets can crash, stocks and bonds can be lost, or material possessions can burn–however your knowledge is a tremendous asset that will often provide significant returns. Self-investment is always worth it. You should always take the time to invest in yourself, because your future depends on it. Here are 14 ways to invest in yourself now that will change your life:
Manage Your Time
Time is the most valuable thing you have, so managing it effectively is the most efficient way to invest in yourself. Try writing down everything you do throughout the day, then reviewing it each evening. It may surprise you how much time you spend mindlessly scrolling through Twitter, browsing Reddit, lying in bed or just daydreaming. After you have audited your time, create a schedule centered around doing what you find most important in life.
Traveling expands the soul, so set aside time and money to travel as often as possible. Instead of spending money on things, which will get old and wear out, save it in order to create new memories abroad – those will last for a lifetime. Traveling will also take you outside your everyday life, exposing you to new food, cultures and languages. Meeting new people and hearing their stories will serve to broaden your perspective on life, and you will begin to see travel as an investment, not an expense.
Choose Your Friends Wisely
They say that you are the average of the five people closest to you. While measuring the effect of your friends is not a science, the type of friends you choose to spend time with does have a dramatic impact on how you develop as a person. Whatever your goal in life is, whether it is to be rich, happy, powerful, positive or more productive, find people who share that passion and invest in their lives. On the other side of the equation, if you regularly spend time with people whose personalities and pursuits run counter to your goals, consciously and kindly reduce the amount of time you spend with them.
Take A Course & Learn A New Skill
Courses can teach you a brand-new skill, help you get a promotion in your current career or even help you identify, qualify and pursue another career path. You could enroll in your local community college, online classes, sign up for a course, attend a talk conducted by an expert, watch TED talks, etc. Regardless of your purpose or method, you should follow in the footsteps of successful people and always be learning. If you fail to do so, you will quickly become obsolete in an ever-changing world.
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Successful people read. Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, three of the richest men in the world, each read for several hours every day. Making reading a habit will transform your mind in powerful ways: It stimulates your imagination by causing you to enter into the realm of the story, gives you access to some of the greatest thinkers and writers in the history of the world, sharpens your critical thinking skills and helps you synthesize new ideas. Reading is delightfully inexpensive – or even free at your local library – and wonderfully accessible thanks to the ubiquity of e-readers. All it costs is your time. “But I don’t have time” you said? Well, audiobook is a great way of expanding your knowledge while driving to work, or doing your chores around the house.
Need some ideas on what to read? Here is a list of the best business books that will make you a millionaire
Take Care of Your Body
If time is your most precious commodity, then your body is number two. You should spend time exercising regularly in order to have a healthy body and a healthy mind. Regular exercise helps prevent disease, lift your mood, increase your energy and give you a better night’s sleep. Just as vital as exercising to maintaining a healthy body is your diet. Plan what and when you are going to eat ahead of time to keep yourself from making impromptu, unhealthy choices. Making better choices and paying attention to what you are putting in your body will help ensure you enjoy better health in the long run. Not only will you look and feel better, but you increase the odds of a living a longer, happier, fuller life.
Start A Side Business
Are you tired of your 9 to 5 job? Then you might want to consider starting a side hustle. Besides earning extra income, it is also a great way to build new skills. Yes, a side hustle is a second job, but if you do what you love and make money from it, then it won’t feel like work. In this digital age, you can make money with anything as long as you’re good enough and passionate about it. Who knows one day you might be able to replace your boring 9 to 5 with something you are truly passionate about.
Want to start an online business but not sure what to do? Check out my free guide on the 7 proven steps to launch a business online.
Expand Your Network
“Your network is your net worth” might evoke unpleasant images of cliché motivational posters and standing around making small talk while sipping a pink lemonade. But networking is not about discussing the intricacies of weather patterns with people whose name you have already forgotten. Networking requires caring about other people, investing in their lives and helping them become the best possible version of themselves; in return, they will do the same. It does not have to be hard or time-consuming. Just call or email one new person each week and ask them if you can buy them lunch. Over time, you will begin to collect a cadre of people who you enjoy spending time with and who will help you grow.
- Top 9 Benefits Of Networking In Business
- Top 7 Books To Improve Your Networking Skills & Build Friendships
Get Out Of Debt
If you are in debt, then the best immediate investment you can make is to put as much money as possible towards getting out of debt. Take time to sit down and create a timeline and budget for getting out of debt, or use budget-creation software to easily keep yourself on track towards becoming debt-free.
Save Your Money
Even if you are in debt, it is prudent to set aside a portion of your money for savings. Your savings should not be touched except for a large, pre-planned purchase or in an emergency. Decide how much of your income you want to save as a percentage, then regularly deposit it into a separate account. Creating a modest amount of savings will provide you with a life jacket in case you lose your job, become severely injured, or have another major immediate financial need.
Invest Your Money
Alongside your savings, set aside another small portion to invest in appreciable assets. Those could be as easy as a CD, a savings bond or even just an interest-bearing savings account at your bank. For higher return but also with higher risk, consider stocks, options, real estate, commodities, or cryptocurrencies. Diversify your investments, both across sectors and instruments, in order to lower your risk profile. Just remember one thing, never invest in anything you don’t understand. So make sure to educate yourself on whatever you’re planning to invest into.
The earlier you begin investing, the more time your investments will have to build up. For example, if you invest $1,000 each month starting when you are 20 years old at 7 percent interest (the average interest rate for the Dow Jones over the past 100 years) and continue for 40 years, you will be able to withdraw $2.5 million when you are 60 years old.
Using an app like Acorns can help you start investing today even with just a few bucks
One of the most important things you can do to secure a better future for yourself is to decide where you want to be in the far future. Then, work backwards from there and determine the little goals that will work together to get you there. At the start of each week, write down the individuals goals for that week to keep you from getting distracted and to keep you on the right track. This will have a far more profound effect than any New Year’s resolutions ever could; regularly taking the time to sit down and set goals will help you clarify your decision-making, clear up your focus and prioritize how you spend your time.
Find a Mentor
Finding someone who is willing to mentor you may seem like a daunting and ultimately fruitless task. But if you want to take your future seriously, finding a mentor is a requirement. Find someone who has been in the field you are interested in for decades, and ask them if you can sit down for lunch with them; it would surprise you how many experts in their field would love to talk with someone who is intelligent and genuinely curious about what they do and how they got to where they are. Being mentored is like finding a cheat code for life; it can allow you to learn from and avoid the mistakes they have already made.
Part of managing your time well is not putting off until tomorrow what you can do today. Many people have tried to eliminate procrastination altogether, with varied results. But following a few steps can put you on the path towards progress before you even realize it. First, identify the steps that lead up to one of your goals; pick a single one of the steps to start with. Second, remind yourself of the benefits of reaching your goal, and why you picked it in the first place. Third, count to five; that will give the portion of your brain that uses willpower the chance to actually engage. Then, do just that single step. Once you have done the first step, the second and the third and so on become much easier. Conquering procrastination will help you compress your own personal growth cycle, helping you become a stronger, better person faster.