How often do you save money for your retirement, house or wedding but forget to invest in yourself?
Up until 2017, I was a big saver.
After college, when I entered the real world I quickly realized that one of the habits of all successful people is saving money. It’s simple — you have to spend less than you make to have money leftover.
I would contribute to my 401K, opened a Roth IRA, put money in a savings account, bought a house, and grew my emergency fund. All the basics of every personal finance book.
But I was forgetting about investing in the most crucial area of my life and you probably are too.
Why You Should Invest in Yourself
To most people, investing only means putting money in the stock market and/or buying real estate.
Don’t get me wrong, these are historically good investments as the stock market has returned around 9% and real estate about 5.5% annually. Plus we can’t create any more land and people need to live somewhere so real estate is a great idea.
But the more I studied, read, attended seminars, and listened to ultra-successful billionaires, CEO’s and entrepreneurs I realized these are simply ok returns. There is another way of investing that can make you way more money and improve your life in every area.
What is it?
The best investment you can make is, without question is yourself!
As Warren Buffett said, “You are your own biggest asset by far.”
The majority of people think about investing all wrong. Sure, the stock market is a great way to use compound interest over time but it’s not the only way to grow your worth.
The stock market can collapse tomorrow but your own knowledge and experience won’t leave until you stop breathing.
A 9, 10 or 15% stock market returns are appealing to the majority of people but what stock can get you 1,000X or 10,000% returns?
None. But investing in yourself has the potential to make more than you knew you could make by changing your psychology of what’s possible. I
Investing in yourself allows you to improve every area of your life.
Unsurprisingly, one of the other top habits of successful people is that they understand the power of investing in themselves. As Tony Robbins said, “I didn’t get this way by reading one book or attending one seminar. I consciously kept investing in myself and my future.”
The Importance of Investing in Your Mind & Body
How do you spend your time outside of work?
Are you actively trying to improve yourself by reading books, listening to motivational podcasts or working on a side hustle? Or are you in the majority of the population that spends nearly 5 hours per day watching TV?
For a while, I was right there myself. I would work out in the morning, sit at my day job, and be watching Netflix or sports by 5 pm every single night.
I always told myself that I was going to the gym, working full time, and saving money each month so I should be allowed my TV time. After a while (too long now that I’m looking back), I realized I wasted a lot of time mindlessly sitting around.
As good as my job and life were, I always felt that I could be doing more. But lacked the motivation to get after it. I always kept hoping something would happen instead of actually going after it.
Then I realized one thing…
You have to make your dreams & aspirations come true, no one will do it for you and they certainly don’t magically appear.
I’ve seen so much positive change in my life by investing in myself instead of sitting around “hoping” my dreams would come true.
Here are 11 easy ways to invest in your own growth and development. Make some of the methods daily practices and I’m confident your life will get better than you thought possible.
How to Invest in Yourself: 11 Proven Ways to Get Better
1. Make Reading a Daily Habit
Seriously, just read books…Netflix will forgive you. The average American watches 1,848 hours of TV each year, equivalent to 77 full days. I understand why — shows and movies are better than ever with an unlimited amount of choices.
But if people reduced their mindless TV watching with reading a book only 25% of the time they’d log 462 hours of reading each year.
The average person reads one book per year with an annual salary of $44,654 for a 40-hour work schedule. Meanwhile, CEO’s average of 60 books per year and earn 13.8 million annually.
Leaders are Readers
Warren Buffett, valued at around 70 billion, reads five hours per day! This isn’t mind-blowing stuff but it will move the needle and help you make a positive change in your life.
Start by setting a goal of reading one book per month. I did this in 2014 and have kept increasing to one per week.
You don’t have to read 50 or 100 books and cancel your Netflix. Try to replace 20% of your TV viewing habits by reading something that interests you.
To get started are some of my favorite money, self-improvement, and entrepreneurial books I’d recommend.
2. Listen to Podcasts Often
According to another recent study, the Average American commutes 25 minutes each way to work. If you commute a half hour each every weekday that is 13,000 minutes each year.
What are you doing during that time? Are you sitting your phone going through social media or playing a pointless app? Not saying you can’t do those as well but with podcasts and audible, it’s never been easier to learn on the go.
Replace some of your commute time listening to something that will be thought-provoking and teach you something new. Here a few of my favorite podcasts on business, earning more and productivity hacks.
Lewis Howes is an inspirational host and has amazing guests like Tony Robbins, Grant Cardone, Tim Sykes, and Mel Robbins every week.
Tom Bilyeu, is the founder of Quest Nutrition. He has created an amazing podcast and features guests who have found incredible success and love to share it with the world.
If you want to learn how to create multiple streams of income this podcast is for you. Pat will show you about blogging, creating online courses and how to start a podcast. He also shows his income openly on his site, Smart Passive Income, where he makes over six figures per month.
John Lee Dumas has created an awesome podcast where he interviews entrepreneurs every single day of the week! If you want to start your journey as an entrepreneur, start listening to this podcast!
Tim is the author of The 4 Hour Work Week, The 4 Hour Body, Tool of Titans and other best sellers. His podcast features interviews with some of the most interesting people in the world.
As the name states, this podcast will you earn more money on the side and learn from people already doing it!
3. Attend Live Seminars
Of all the ways to invest in yourself attending live seminars will give you the best and longest results. Reading books and listening to podcasts are great but they aren’t a fully immersive experience.
Think about it this way — would you learn French faster if you took three semesters over a year and a half in college or lived in France for 3 months? Of course the latter.
Seminars = Immersion
Once you immerse yourself in something fully you learn it faster than any other method. When you are at a live seminar you will meet like-minded people, listen to something you are passionate about and take notes. All this combined with the energy of the room will put you in a peak state and retain more information.
Last year I attended several events and learned a lot more from those than I could with any book or podcast.
Top Seminars To Attend
Check out my reviews for more information on each:
There are tons of other opportunities to attend seminars on real estate, investing, entrepreneurship or sales. Check your local city or venues to find more info and find something that fits your passion and attend one or two a year.
I promise these experiences will stay with you for a long time!
4. Take Online Courses or Invest in a Coach
Unlike college, now you can take courses that actually matter on topics you care about. We now live in a world of unlimited resources with additional courses on any passion.
As I’ve become a full-time blogger and freelance writer I’ve spent thousands of dollars buying online courses.
To speed up the process. Success leaves clues, there is no need to recreate the wheel for success. If someone is doing what you want to do already learn from them. By paying attention and learn from others you will save a ton of time and energy!
For cheaper and more general skills I’ve used Udemy. It has helped me learn investing strategies, book publishing and how to sell on Amazon.
Here are some great sites to start learning a new skill and help you follow your passions. Some of these are free and others have paid courses:
Online Course Platforms
If you want hands-on help find someone you respect and see if they have coaching services. Many people have coaches in sports, business, and fitness that can help speed up success!
5. Watch Motivational Videos
Instead of watching another cat video, use Youtube as a free way to invest in your own development. There is so much free content from some of the best motivational speakers in the world on Youtube. It’s literally never been easier or cheaper!
I have learned so much from watching TedX speeches, keynotes, and podcast shows on Youtube. Make it a goal to listen to something positive or inspirational as part of your morning routine.
The reason? Your brain is more likely to retain the information first thing in the morning. As soon as you wake up play one of these motivational videos or something similar to jump-start your day.
6. Mix Up Your Routines
Another great way to mix it up and change up your routines. You could attend performances, listen to new music or travel to mix it up.
Keep an open mind toward new experiences. The older you get the easier it is to be set in your ways.
But your mind always wants to never stop learning. Make it a daily challenge to mix it up and add some zest to your life.
7. Master Your Craft
Improving your skills doesn’t always mean more years sitting in classrooms. Instead, invest in your skills by expanding your knowledge in your chosen career.
Investing in your knowledge and skills can take many forms.
Enroll in Classes
Whether it’s an advanced degree or relevant certifications, you can never learn too much. While online classes are more convenient, attending in person is a great way to network.
Enroll in workshops, join local meetups, and participate in free webinar training when available.
Stay Ahead of Trends
In today’s world, it’s scary how much information is available in books, blogs, courses, videos, etc. Read books, articles, white papers, anything related to the talent or skill you want to work on.
Make sure to keep current and stay ahead of the latest trends in your industry. Subscribe to publications, read expert blogs, and stay ahead of your competitors.
8. Treat Your Body Well
While reading and learning more is important, you can’t neglect your body either.
Eat Healthy Foods
While it’s not always easy (or cheap) try to eat healthy food choices as often as possible. You truly are what you eat. As much as I love Taco Bell I know it’s not fueling my mind and body. What you eat plays a huge role in your energy and ability to perform.
Find a Work-Life Balance
If you’re hungry and ambitious to succeed it might feel impossible to slow down. But I can say from experience, you will burn out.
As much as I love Gary Vee’s 24/7 hustle mentality, you need to find time to recharge yourself. If you need help with this make sure to check out my “Win the Morning” course which will give you the exact strategies to avoid burnout.
Look After Your Health
It’s important to get regular and necessary maintenance. This will be different for everyone. Whether it’s quitting smoking, regular checkups or eating better. Take the appropriate steps to look after your health.
Treat Yourself Well
I’m sure you’ve heard the “look good, feel good” motto some people swear by. Well, guess what, it’s true. Sometimes a new outfit, fancy haircut or other indulgence is a great investment in yourself.
Reward yourself and your hard work so you are motivated to keep achieving more.
9. Get Creative
Have you noticed that the older you get the less creative work you seem to do?
But don’t think you have lost your creative juices. Often times it’s dormant and you need to just bring it out by mixing up your routine.
Creativity, in any form, helps us to grow personally and professionally. Try some of these activities to get out of your comfort zone and awaken your mind.
When’s the last time you actually created something with your hands? This is a great way to bring back any childhood passions like painting, pottery, sculpting, drawing or something else you love.
Learn a new language
It’s never been easier to learn a new language. Not to mention, this is a great investment in yourself and your business.
Write in a journal
As a writer, I’ve found that a journal is a great way to clear your head and gain clarity in life. You could take it a step further and publish a book as well but even five minutes of journaling will do wonders.
Get outside in nature
When’s the last time you went outside and explored? Go on a hike, run or bike ride to enjoy the peacefulness and tranquility of nature.
Choose some form of activity that you have never tried or haven’t done in years. It’s never too late to learn something new and spend your time creating instead of consuming.
10. Hire a Coach
Everyone great, in sports or business, had help along the way. One of the best ways to invest in yourself is to hire a coach.
Paul Tudor Jones, an investor and one of the wealthiest humans alive, works with Tony Robbins almost every day.
Tiger Woods, even in his prime, had a swing coach, mental coach, and trainer.
Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan both trained with the legendary Tim Grover. Not to mention they both had Phil Jackson as a head coach.
All the greats have all had help along the way, why shouldn’t you?
Here are the top reasons a coach can get you results faster and save you a ton of stress along the way:
A coach will hold you accountable — they will make you follow through. Having an accountability partner for anything in life is huge. Whether you are working out, starting a new side hustle, or setting a new goal.
Accountability is vital to be successful.
Since I’ve been working alone I think I have a ton of personal accountability but all the coaching calls I’ve had motivated me to get more tasks done!
When you are only accountable for yourself it is very easy to say “I’m too busy” or do something else instead.
Coaches will hold you accountable to follow through on your tasks.
Learn From Their Experience
As Tony Robbins said, “Success leaves clues.”
Whether you want to be a better manager at work, better investor, better entrepreneur or athlete you need to follow the clues of success.
Coaches and mentors will use their experience to guide you in the right direction and speed up success.
Speed Up Results
We all have the same 24 hours — the more efficient you are in those 24 hours, the more you can accomplish. Coaches can you show you where you are wasting time and how you can improve much more quickly.
Coaches have already made it through the struggles you have and can show you the roadmap. No more wandering around feeling lost!
Saves You Frustration
Coaches have been there and done it (well hopefully). They can help you avoid common mistakes and the frustration that comes with it. Coaches can also help you by breaking down big goals into small, manageable tasks.
If you’re setting your goals right they will be big.
Start Changing Your Life Today
I promise you there is no greater investment than when you choose to invest in yourself.
The stock market and real estate will provide good returns but if you want to achieve more and have unlimited returns, start investing in you! By investing in your own development you will change your psychology by showing your mind you are committed to creating lasting change.
As 2008 showed us, the stock market can collapse overnight but no one can take away your knowledge and experience. The more you learn the more you earn. Who doesn’t want to earn extra money!?
Remember, each time you spend money on a new book, course, or seminar you get one step closer to achieving every goal and dream. You are only one idea away and one decision away from changing your life forever.
It could be small stuff like learning to cook, taking a weekend getaway to relax or improve your financial life.
Any other courses or books you’d recommend to fellow readers? Let me know in the comments!
How to Start a Morning Routine and Change Your Life
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