Top 7 Ways to Invest in Yourself and Why You Should Do It
When you think about investing, chances are good you immediately jump to stocks and bonds, options, futures, or something similar. You might think about putting money into a business to foster growth, even. However, there are many other forms of investment, and one of the most crucial to master if you want to achieve success in life is to invest in yourself. What does that mean? Why does it matter? How should you do it? We’ll dig into those topics in this post.
What Does It Mean to Invest in Yourself?
First, let’s tackle the biggest question of them all – how do you invest in yourself? The answer is surprisingly simple, yet immense. Investing in yourself is to spend the time and energy necessary to improve yourself in some way.
For instance, a child with a passion for creating art will send countless hours painting, drawing, and sketching. Someone with a love for building might invest in DIY birdhouses, start on smaller DIY projects around the house, and build their collection of tools and equipment. Someone who loves the art of storytelling might begin by writing short stories and then spend countless hours working on novellas, novels, and even entire book series.
You get the picture. Investing in yourself is nothing more nor less than finding ways to make yourself better. It doesn’t have to be related to a talent, hobby or passion, either. For instance, if you want to find more joy in life and experience less stress, you might start by learning more about meditation and then practicing it yourself. Self-improvement can be anything that helps you become a better-rounded person in any way.
Why Does Improving Yourself Matter?
Now, we’ll address another question – why does it matter? Why should you even want to improve yourself? As I explained in my post on developing a mindset of success, those who find success realize that it begins with themselves, and they work on changing what they can about themselves to ensure that they are in a position to achieve whatever success means to them.
Self-improvement is important because without it, you’ll never move beyond where you are right now. For example, suppose you want to earn a million dollars, but you are living paycheck to paycheck right now. One step toward self-improvement would be to learn how to create a budget and then stick to it. Another step would be to learn how to invest correctly and use the various tools available to you, such as 401(k) accounts, the stock market, and even apps like Acorns or Stash.
By investing in yourself and improving your knowledge, skills, and abilities, you immediately become better able to earn and save money.
Ultimately, without investing in yourself and changing over time, you stagnate. You remain the same person as you have always been without any growth or change. And, when you remain the same, your situation remains the same. You cannot change your life without first changing yourself.
What Are the Best Ways to Invest in Yourself?
Now that we have explored what investing in yourself is, and why it matters, we need to take a look at the best ways to do that. This is important because we’re all short on time, energy, and money. We need to make the best use of those resources, so we need to identify self-improvement methods that offer the most “bang for our buck.” Below, I’ve listed some of the best choices when it comes to how you invest in yourself.
Cut Out Time Wasters
I dedicated an entire post to cutting out time-wasters, so I’ll keep this tip brief. Take a long, hard look at the things you do every day and what they bring to your life. Cut out anything that wastes your time or that does not bring you joy while satisfying an actual need. Some examples of time wasters include:
Mindlessly flipping through cable channels or Netflix categories to find something to watch
Checking your email constantly
Waiting for things to change (get out and change them yourself)
Trying to multitask
Saying yes to frivolous, meaningless activities and tasks
One amazing way to invest in yourself is to set goals. What sorts of goals? They can be anything! Set a goal to start getting up earlier in the morning so you have more usable time each day. Set a goal to lose 10 pounds. Set a goal to read one new book each month. Set a goal to save $100 per month. Set a goal to get out and meet someone new each week.
Your goals can be anything, but they should have value to you and your life, and they should help you achieve your overall goals for your life (earning money, building a business, becoming an entrepreneur, etc.). Your goals do need to fit some particular criteria, though. Follow the SMART method. Your goals should be specific (s), measurable (m), attainable (a), relevant (r), and time-bound (t).
Explore Your Creativity
The most successful and satisfied people in the world are also the most creative. Look at what Steve Jobs was able to achieve. Look at Stephen King. Look at Einstein. Look at any number of others. They all invested in their own creativity first, and then built their success on that. You’ll notice that success comes in all different shapes and forms, as well. There’s also the fact that unleashing your creativity also helps you enjoy other areas and aspects of life, and that the most creative among us often have the best quality of life.
Read, Read, and Read Some More
If there is one single best way to invest in and improve yourself, it’s by reading. What should you read? Really, anything and everything.
Read the news to stay current on what’s happening in the world (avoid biased sources, and stick with those that actually give you real news, like Reuters).
Read fiction to explore the worlds of imagination. Read self-help books for actionable steps to help you change and evolve.
Read business books to learn from others who have founded successful business empires and are now living the good life.
Read religious or philosophical books to explore meaning within life and human activity.
The point is to read. Open a book. Follow along as words become sentences, then paragraphs, then pages, then chapters. Check out eBooks if you want to get away from physical books, or go with audiobooks if you’re pressed for time to actually read the written word. Whatever the situation, read. Now, if you do want my list of recommended books you should read, just click here.
Choose the Right Inner Circle
A lot of your success rests on your actions and decisions. However, your choices can be influenced by a wide range of factors, including those with whom you surround yourself. Be very careful about who you spend time with, and who becomes a member of your inner circle. Toxic people should be let go immediately.
This can be difficult, particularly if that person is also a family member. However, toxicity has a profound effect on your life, and will short circuit your drive to success. Make sure you choose your friends wisely, and cull relationships that ultimately tear you down.
Commit to Lifelong Learning
There are few better ways to improve yourself than to be constantly focused on learning something new. Lifelong learners report higher qualities of life, but they also succeed more in other areas, including incomes, satisfaction with their jobs, and their ability to build their own businesses. What should you learn? Anything and everything.
Expose yourself to new ideas. Question old assumptions and teachings. Get down with new technology, and explore areas that are of interest to you personally or professionally. For instance, someone interested in becoming a successful novelist might study not only fiction writing, but writing plays and screenplays, formatting and design, and even psychology to get into the heads of their characters and their readers.
Someone interested in starting a restaurant might study food trends, how ingredients work together, as well as how different elements of branding resonate with particular audiences. There is no limit on what you learn. Just get out there and do it.
Choose to Be Happy
Ever wonder why some people are almost always more upbeat than others? Is it their personality? Is it just that their lives are so good? Actually, it’s neither of those. Happiness is a choice. Happiness comes from inside you, not outside. If you are constantly waiting for some sort of external reason to be happy, you will never really achieve it. You’ll be passingly satisfied at best.
Truly happy people choose to be that way. They focus on what’s good in their lives and avoid being held hostage by negative occurrences. This choice affects all areas of their lives, from how they see the world to how they interact with people, and it can do the same for you.
At the end of the day, investing in yourself is essential to being a happy, successful person. And, with that being said, I invite you to do just that by signing up for my 'Six Figure Sunday' course (click here to sign up), where I’ll show you how to earn six figures with just one day of work per week.