Do you invest in yourself? Typically, we talk about savings and investing in stocks, bonds, 401K, real estate and businesses. In dollars and cents, we can determine if it was a good investment or not. Pssst, the very best investment is you! If you don’t believe me, think about the lifetime of earnings you generate. We call that return on investment!
We all start out the same. The first opportunity to improve the investment is an education. Getting a good education is not hard, but you must make it a priority. There are two parts to getting an education, one is getting good grades and the other is knowledge and skills. Good grades will get you into a good university. The better the college, the more choices you have. Good grades will also provide opportunities for scholarships, more financial aid and less debt.
A good education and good grades will get you a better job and career. Can you be successful without going to a top tier university? Of course, it may be more difficult or take longer. Not all investments have superior returns, but you have more control over you as an investment and can maximize the returns. You can work on you! I recently wrote an article called Am I Training for a Race, where I worked on my investment to maximize my return. I tested myself to see if I could increase my physical and mental limits.
Although a good education or training is important, you physical well being is just as important. Good health, stamina or being fit gives you confidence and gives others a good impression. You are judged based on how you look, act and speak. If you look healthy, you make a better impression than if you are not. Eating healthy is another way that you treat your investment as important. You receive better results from your investment if the fuel is helping you achieve results. Have you ever thought of food that way?
Good choices in physical activity will enhance your investment. When you are in good physical heath, you have energy, think clearer, and have stamina. In addition, your confidence goes up because you feel good and achieve success. There is a lot of research regarding students having difficulties with learning if they are hungry. Good nutrition translates into a better investment. Physical well being is strongly linked to mental well being.
You made your investment in a good education and in your physical well being, it is not over! Just like your muscles, when you stop exercising, they will atrophy. Do you want your investment to deteriorate? You need a lifetime of learning to keep your mental abilities and skills at peak levels. Keeping up your skills means taking classes or training, reading professional books and periodicals, and keeping up with your career. This means reading a lot of material for work and fun! Yes, I said fun too! Reading for fun is part of it too. There are many professions that require continuing education, but everyone should keep up with their profession.
If you want a good return on your investment, you have to do something. Joining associations, interest groups and other kinds of organizations is important too. Meeting with people who have the same interests and professions is important too. Let’s not forget about networking. Learning from your colleagues is important and it enhances your career too. What are you doing to enhance your investment?
Most people are hired because the employer likes you! The employer thinks you will fit in well on the team in the company. How do you improve your likability quotient? It may mean improving your personality. How do you improve your personality? How do you get along with other people? Can you work well with others? These are questions that relate to your personality. The best way to work on this is practice. Learning how to interact with different kinds of people is a practiced skill. It is very much like conflict resolution, goals, goal setting and soft skills.
Henry Ford allegedly would invite candidates out to lunch before he would hire you. If you seasoned your food before you tasted it, you would not be hired. This was a test, Mr. Ford felt was important. Your personal skills set can be just important as your education/training. In fact, soft skills such as work ethic, positive attitude, problem solving skills, teamwork, self confidence, flexibility/adaptability, working under pressure and values may prevent you from being hired or promoted.
What is your return on investment? What can you do to improve your return? Are you happy with your results? If you are happy with your result continue your efforts. If you are not, you need to improve physically, mentally and personally to achieve the kind of results to get a good return on your investment. Your attitude is as important as everything else so stay positive and take action to make changes to improve your outcome. Do you invest in yourself?
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