Stop Putting Yourself Last & Invest Today: Why You are Your Greatest Asset
Investing in yourself is one of the best investments you can ever make: one that acknowledges the importance of nurturing your potential. For many people, the active learning process stops after college or university – a real waste, since we rarely have all the tools we need to succeed by age 21. In the words of Jim Rohn:
“formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”
Here’s why ongoing investment in learning is an investment in your future.
1. Your beliefs shape your business
No matter the industry, your core beliefs shape your business, especially when you’re making decisions under pressure. Running a business is no walk in the park; there will be times when it’s difficult and frustrating. During these challenging moments, it is your belief in yourself and your vision that will keep you going.
Your first foray into business will be full of mistakes and lessons learned. And that’s a good thing! You can apply those lessons in the future as you continue to grow. And grow you will – there’s nothing like a healthy dose of entrepreneurship for building strength of character.
2. The best leaders are learners
As a business leader, you’ll be challenged in a variety of ways. Becoming an effective leader means widening your skill set to include, among other things:
- Time management
- Conflict resolution
- Team motivation
As well as motivating and inspiring yourself, you must be ready to do the same for others. For some, this comes easily; for others, it’s learned. It’s the skill of making things happen. This doesn’t mean being up to your neck in the day-to-day, instead you learn to effectively delegate and create realistic timelines to meet your goals.
The world’s best leaders are proactive in their learning, whether it’s topping up their technical expertise or exercising their people management muscles. With the right courses and materials, it’s possible for anyone to improve.
3. Becoming a one-man band
Running your own business means wearing many hats, especially in the beginning. Most new businesses start out with a limited number of employees, which means you’ll be doing a lot of the work yourself. On top of having expertise in your field, you will also find yourself having to learn about:
- Business planning
- Sales and customer relationships
- People management and HR
- Finance and accounting
And plenty more on top of that, most likely.
Developing these skills is not a waste of time; in doing so, you are building a firm foundation for your business. And it’s ok to ask for help – none of us is born business-savvy. We learn. We make mistakes. We do better next time.
4. Cultivating a growth mindset
People who believe that anyone can develop their talents through hard work have what’s known as a growth mindset. This mindset is essential if you hope to be successful in business. People with a growth mindset tend to achieve more than their fixed mindset peers: those who believe their talents are fundamental gifts that need no further work. This should come as no surprise, since growth-oriented individuals are more open to learning opportunities.
Learning to fail is important. Anyone who has experienced failure in life and come back from it understands that it’s all part of the route to success. Often the most successful people in life are those who have faced multiple trials and tribulations along the way. Nothing forges a smart and resilient individual like a refreshing dip in the disaster pool.
5. Learning changes your brain – physically
Some adults are strangely resistant to learning, which may be down to having a fixed mindset or some negative learning experience they’ve had in the past. In the process, they limit their repertoire of skills and experiences and, as a consequence, are likely to earn less money.
Continual learning leads to higher levels of resilience and self-belief. Not only that, it physically changes the brain. The brain is remarkably malleable, constantly growing and developing throughout our lives – depending on what we do with it. For those used to thinking of themselves as not particularly smart, understanding the theory behind neuroplasticity can be an empowering realisation.
6. Education is empowering
Learning isn’t just about making more money. People who prioritise learning are also more successful at home, with their families, and within their local communities. It’s the key to reaching your full potential.
Education not only expands the mind, it also boosts confidence. And it’s enjoyable!
There’s nothing like getting your intellectual juices flowing and applying your newfound knowledge to some task or discussion. We live in a challenging and competitive world where we are often led to doubt ourselves and our abilities. The more we work on our abilities, the less room there is for doubt.
In the words of politician Brad Henry: “believe in yourself, and the rest will fall into place. Have faith in your own abilities, work hard, and there is nothing you cannot accomplish.”
7. Being accountable
Paid courses can serve as a roadmap for learning, saving you time and providing you with the tools needed to stay on track. Alternatively, you might consider investing in a coach: someone to support your journey and be a partner in your success. Investing money in the learning process is not always necessary, but it can help us to take our goals seriously.
Think of your life as a balance sheet with both assets and liabilities. Your assets are investments that will eventually bring you money and happiness. Knowledge and experience are assets that will serve you forever.
Learning doesn’t always mean investing in higher education. Nowadays, it can take many forms. There’s endless information available to us on nearly any subject imaginable. Learning new things and keeping your mind active is always a productive use of time, and when you’re willing to take that time to invest in yourself, you’ll eventually reap some amazing rewards.