If you hadn’t heard someone paid almost 5 MILLION DOLLARS to eat lunch with Warren Buffet. When I first read that I was shocked. Does Warren slide you the money back under a napkin at the table? Is a pile of cash your first course?
Why would someone pay that much money for lunch with one of the wealthiest individuals in the world?
One simple answer. This person understands how to invest in yourself. Granted he may have taken this to an extreme.
The importance of investing in yourself
I’ve written before about how important it is to become a learning machine after you graduate let alone how to invest in yourself. I feel most fresh graduates think their learning is done. In all actuality, its just beginning. If you have the mindset that you should be a sponge in every aspect of life it will do nothing but serve you.
I recently had an experience at the Echelon Front Muster that illustrated the importance of investing in yourself. Side note: I was fortunate enough that my company paid my way to the event.
At the Muster I was surrounded by former special operations operatives and industry leaders, just like myself, that wanted to learn from these individuals.
I can’t tell you the impact the event had on me. Not only learning from the Echelon Front team but just spending time around them as well as the other leaders had a significant impact on my mindset.
Investing in yourself is vitally important. I believe there are a few key ways one can invest in themselves.
Investing in yourself and compound interest
Before I dig into the details of investing in yourself I did want to make a key point. This point is the realization that investing in yourself is just like investing in anything else, compound interest takes a key role.
Starting out it may not feel like you are making a ton of progress. Persistence is key. Knowledge is like compound interest and you’ll start picking up momentum eventually.
I’ve been in the real world since 2011. In that time I’ve:
- Read/listened to 200+ books
- Earned my MBA
- Founded a digital marketing company
- Expanded my network
- Started a mastermind group to learn with some peers of mine
I’ve never put that list down on paper and its cool to see all I’ve started. Some of those things are no longer active and thats ok. Its all about sticking with it, moving forward and getting better every day. Here are the three big areas that I think you should focus on to get better every day.
Sharpen your skills
This is definitely the first one that people think of and there is nothing wrong with that. I’ve known people get their masters degrees in a variety of topics. The only problem I see with that is most people don’t think of just taking a class or two around specific topics to master certain skills.
While the traditional college or university may be a great place to get that “seal of approval” with an entire degree there are other routes. Look at places like Udemy or Coursera. These are places where you can take free or nearly free classes on a variety of topics.
With the entire goal of increasing your skill set I’m sure you can find something that will make you better with a small investment in the form of money and time.
Start a business
Starting a business is something most people don’t think of. It seems most jump straight to taking classes. Given my experience with this blog I think starting a business is a wonderful way to learn new things and challenge yourself.
Starting a business certainly is more risky than taking a class. What if it doesn’t work? What will people think of me?
While every situation is certainly different, I’d recommend not risking a ton of capital. There are a ton of businesses, especially online, that you can start for free or next to nothing. Maybe start there and see what you can make work.
Spending time with solid people
For some reason young professionals don’t put enough time into meeting new people. I think its so important to spend time with people that have qualities you admire. These people can be roughly the same age as you or older.
I’d recommend spending time with both age groups. One of the things I’ve found is that most young professionals don’t reach out to successful people in their community. They don’t believe the successful people will make time.
Let me tell you, I’ve done it and they will. The key is to be respectful of their time and come prepared with questions and areas you are curious about and want to dive into.
One of the biggest things I’ve learned as of late is that even if someone is ultra successful (however you define it), they are still just people. I tend to make these people into superheroes. They have flaws just like anyone else.
Set a goal of meeting someone new every two weeks or even every month. Start small. The goal at the beginning should merely be quantity and the quality relationships will develop overtime. This advice came from a successful entrepreneur/venture capitalist that I enjoy learning from.
The bottom line: Invest in yourself
Whatever path you end up taking its vitally important to invest in yourself. Its become more and more rare these days and it will give you a leg up no matter what your future endeavors are.
Read books. Take classes. Get another degree even. Meet people. Get some coffee. These are all things you should be doing!