March 17, 2011, 6:00 am

Do You Invest In Yourself? Practical Tips For You

by: MD    Category: Alternative Income
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Investing Money In Your BusinessLast week Mike wrote about how he believes that you must spend to earn. This means that if you want your business to grow, you’re going to have to invest money into it. I believe that this is totally true. If you want to grow as a person or if you want to grow a business you’re going to have to invest some time and money into it. There will be situations where you just need to invest more time. Then there will be circumstances where you need to invest some money to see more growth. Today I wanted to go over how you can invest money in yourself and your business.

I wouldn’t share this with you if I didn’t try it myself first. These are a few of the ways that I’ve invested my money into myself and for business purposes:

Online courses.

I never imagined that I would take an online course, especially after the extremely boring distance learning experiences I had with school. Last year I finally gave in and forked over the cash for the Earn1K program offered by Ramit Sethi. I was very skeptical at first because I never knew what to expect from a distance learning product. I mean we all know the deal when it comes to school. You wait until the last minute to cram the material in and then forget about everything.

Then eventually I realized something: if the free material offered by a person helps you out exponentially, then the paid content must be worth checking out. This means that if you find the free tips to be extremely helpful then the content you pay for must be better. Too many sites offer you the world and deliver nothing. I figure if the author isn’t willing to share free material then they must not be confident with their paid product offering. I ended up enjoying an e-course for the first time ever. Whenever I have any questions, doubts or fears, I go back and listen to the podcasts that I received from the course.

The reason that I mentioned e-courses first is because they’re usually the most expensive option for investing in yourself. There are many distance learning opportunities out there and they usually start off at a couple of hundred bucks. This is an option worth considering when you’re really eager to take things to the next level.

Consulting.

I view consulting as a paying for someone’s unique experience and expertise. You pay for time spent with someone that is successful in their respective field. You can use this time to pick their brain to see how they managed to reach the level of success that they did. You can learn from their success and their failures. It’s always much better to learn from the mistakes of others than it is to make common rookie mistakes yourself.

Consulting can also be pretty pricey because you’re asking the person to take time out of their busy schedule to work with you one-on-one. This is why I recommend that you get as much free advice as possible. This includes sending emails, leaving comments, joining forums, and asking as many questions as you can. People will help you out along the way. Eventually you will reach the point where you’ve maxed out on free advice and you might have to pay for some higher value help. The money you spent can really help you solve a problem or figure out how to deal with a nagging issue.

Books.

I find books to be another great investment because the author spends a long time performing research on the topic and then you pay about $20 for their conclusions and findings. There are books out there on literally every subject possible.

The only caveat with books is that it’s really easy to read a great book, feel motivated for a few days after and then take no action. This is why I changed the way I read books now. I will spend much more time reading a book. As I read the book I will keep a stack of sticky notes and a pencil close so that I can take extensive notes. I will also attempt to take as much action as possible. I find it pointless to read a book if you’re not going to apply the tips within the pages to your own life.

Time.

By time I mean that you might have to outsource certain tasks that take up way too much time and add too little value. Time can also mean at times turning down other work or cutting out certain activities from your schedule so that you can get more work done. Whether you pay for time directly or indirectly, you’ll always find yourself wanting more time.

Making mistakes.

I don’t want to start throwing around random feel good quotes about making mistakes and growing any more. I just want to mention that sometimes you need to make mistakes that cost you some money if you want to learn something new. I’ve made mistakes by purchasing blog themes or paying for products that I will never use. It happens and you can learn from it or you can complain about it. Either way, mistakes will happen and you might lose some money along the way.

Those are the main ways that I believe you can invest in yourself and in your business ventures. What did I miss?

(photo credit: ovelhasnegrasmc)

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Comments

I subscribed to your blog in Google Reader, and I just *love* it when a new post pops up from TFB!

As a grad student, I know a lot of students and a lot of soon-to-be grad students that think their degree is enough to build a strong resume. They think I’m kind of weird for spending the bulk of my free time reading things about online business, marketing, blogging, investing, motivation…etc. and so driven in learning Photoshop, WordPress, etc.

I am investing a lot of time and money into myself because I realize that one line on my resume isn’t enough to get me anywhere on its own, nor is the epicenter of my learning centered on my graduate field something that gets me excited or motivated…it’s not *enough.*

I’m throwing around a few ideas of enrolling in some online courses for various things I want to learn/experience but I’m not sure if it’s in the budget or worth it….(like an Ebook for $40? I’m on the fence.) For now though I listen to free podcasts, read books from the library and absorb all the blogs I can.

As always, another great post. The only thing I’d suggest is to find some good podcasts in addition to reading books on a subject. Some “motivational” podcasts come out each week and informational podcasts about your genre of interest can be updated daily- that’s a great way to get motivated as you run to work or have downtime on a commute or walk.

Many of the experts talk about this being the information age! If we don’t take advantage of all this information, that would be foolish! The only problem I have is figuring out what is good and what is trash. I feel pretty secure within my own Yakazie community because I read the various blogs often, but I am referring to the vast majority of information on the Internet.

I like the point about reading books a certain way now. I too will take notes (although by the sounds of things, not as extensive as yours) in order to retain information. I used to think that the more I read the smarter I’d get, but actually it’s what you retain that makes the difference.

As a young graduate myself I believe now is probably the most crucial time for self investment in my life as I will probably never have this much leisure time again. Also, any financial gains I make from my efforts will have much more time to compound, and my career will more time to establish momentum.

I need to do more investing in myself. Namely honing my negtiation and communication skills and improving my foreign language.

Great post – it’s important to remember that investing in your skills is never a waste. I’ve invested in myself by getting negotiations coaching and foreign language tutoring… and later I will make a VERY big investment in myself when I go to graduate school!

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