Investing in yourself: detailed instructions + where to start
Investing in yourself means spending time and money to improve your physical, mental, emotional, and financial health. This is the only type of investment that does not carry major risks. Because investing in yourself is always profitable.
No matter what happens to the stock markets, the exchange rate or the global geopolitical situation, a healthy, smart person will always find how to provide for himself. If you collect all the money in the world and divide it equally among all people, then after a while the very rich and very poor will again appear in the world.
Therefore, you should not rely on the state or a sudden inheritance. The optimal way to improve the quality of life in the future: effective investment in yourself. You can invest money and time in anything:
- soft skills;
Directly or indirectly, any of the points can bring profit in the future, lead to prosperity.
How to invest in yourself?
You should not sign up for the first courses you like or carry money to an organization that promises 300% profit in a year. Of course, it can be said that even unsuccessful investments bring income in the form of experience, but such investments can permanently discourage the desire for further action. Therefore, before you start spending real money, it is recommended to study a few guidelines.
Take responsibility for your life
Some people cannot understand that the quality of life does not depend on parents, or on the president, or on the exchange rate. Of course, all these factors have an influence, but the final decision is made by the person himself.
For example: parents did not have the opportunity to pay for education in England. But if an adult has such a desire, then he must set an appropriate goal and achieve it. Constantly thinking that parents did not give foreign education is destructive.
You need to understand that you can change any situation. Even if it seems that there is no way out, you need to stop blaming your parents, president, or boss for your troubles.
Learn to set SMART goals
Without clear goals and guidelines, a person’s life path turns into a meaningless fuss or a systematic solution of the same everyday issues. Therefore, before investing in yourself, it is worth taking the time to set goals.
For example: a person who sees himself as a popular artist is better off investing in specialized courses, mentoring. Of course, you can spend money and time on programming courses, but this is unlikely to bring you closer to the desired image.
SMART criteria will help you set the right goals. The English abbreviation means: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and limited in time. The goal of "becoming an artist" can turn into constant reflection and ephemeral plans. But the task of “enrolling in an art school before…" will be the first step towards fulfilling a dream.
Set aside at least a small amount regularly
Despite the abundance of free resources, only financial investments allow you to get what you want in the shortest possible time. Even if the monthly income is only enough for household needs, it is necessary to transfer at least 5-10% to a separate account.
It is better to refuse the next cup of coffee, but postpone at least 100-200 conditional units. It is extremely important to control expenses and stop spending money on things that are not needed or that you have to borrow (take out a loan).
Everyone can change life for the better. The main thing is to treat the issue as a hyper-responsible project.
How to invest in yourself: Top 10 ways millionaires recommend
If the very idea of investment finds an emotional response, then it is necessary to begin to act. Below are the most popular destinations, investments in which will help improve the quality of life in the future.
Even if there is no "live" money yet, it is imperative to invest in knowledge on how to get, maintain and increase profits. You need to read books about financial freedom, listen to thematic podcasts. Effective investment in yourself is impossible to understand how money works. Finances help you achieve your life goals. You can start with the "classics" of financial literature:
- Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
- "The Richest Man in Babylon", George S. Clason;
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
But it’s best to hire a personal financial advisor to help you plan for the coming years.
Not much can be achieved without good health. All current resources, thoughts will be directed to restoring health. That is why it is important to spend money on fitness, proper nutrition. Even if there are no financial resources, it is worth spending time on a full-fledged healthy sleep, meditation. Every day you need to do everything possible to live a long and happy life.
Panic attacks, toxic relationships, chronic depression, stress destroy a person from the inside. Instead of spending time and energy on achieving goals, you have to deal with current problems. Therefore, before choosing where to invest, it is worth working with a psychologist. A specialist will help not only solve emotional problems, but also tell you how to change your life for the better.
If the main job remains the only source of income, it is worth investing in additional education. Continuous improvement of skills will allow you to become the best in your field, get a promotion or an increase in salary. You don’t have to give up your job and start your own business. Top managers earn much more than ordinary entrepreneurs. The main thing is to “sell” your skills correctly.
Learning something new
A good investor always diversifies assets. Therefore, it is worth spending money on acquiring new skills. It is desirable to find a hobby that will bring at least a small income. Even if a person loses his main job, he will have a “fallback option”.
Opening an investment account
Keeping earned money in a savings bank account means constantly losing savings (due to inflation). The best way to ensure old age.
There are thousands of paid and free resources on the Internet that help you build an investment portfolio with minimal risk.
Personal coach, mentors
You can use free advice on the Internet to choose the direction for the first steps. But for those who want to quickly change the quality of life, it is worth hiring a business coach or personal coach.
The consultant will identify strengths and weaknesses, develop an individual program for professional and personal growth. Mentors are needed not only to take a business or career to the next level.
The help of specialized specialists will also be needed for those who feel the potential for growth in other areas of life. Having a coach does not make a person weak or dependent. The main thing is to keep track of progress. If, despite the implementation of the recommendations, there are no changes for a long time, it is worth changing the mentor.
Investing in yourself – Social connections, environment
Those who are looking for an investment in themselves that does not require real money should definitely invest time in building and maintaining relationships.
Close bonding with friends and family will pay off in the future. It is highly likely that a close friend or relative will help in a difficult moment in life.
Of course, communication for selfish purposes will not lead to positive results. It is recommended not to refuse family meetings, to help those who need it.
However, before you strengthen friendships, it is important to analyze your surroundings. It is known that each person is a reflection of the 5 people with whom he spends the most time.
Therefore, those who surround themselves with apathetic, eternally dissatisfied people do not find support in investments and undertakings. The right environment should stimulate, help, and even guide.
And if it can be difficult to refuse to communicate with relatives, then toxic colleagues and friends need to be changed. It is enough to remember your immediate environment and answer the questions:
“Do these people inspire, encourage you to become the best version of yourself? Do they support when they see failure? Are they trying to poison or darken any success?”
If there are no positive, supportive, inspiring people in the environment, it is worth investing time in finding new acquaintances. It is recommended to start with visits to specialized forums and seminars. At personal growth trainings, it is easiest to meet people with an active lifestyle. Although you can start with social networks: communicate in thematic groups, participate in webinars.
Comfortable place to live and work
It is important to create a conducive environment for personal growth. At home there should be a place for relaxation and recuperation, as well as a separate area where nothing will interfere with concentration.
Even if there is no money for repairs, it is necessary to declutter. Marie Kondo’s Magic Cleaning Book. The Japanese Art of Tidying Up” is a good investment for those who are not yet ready to do a full renovation.
Traveling should not be considered a waste of money. "The world is a book, and he who does not travel has only read one page." Travel is truly the best investment in yourself.
And we are talking not only about rest and recuperation, but also about changing the type of thinking. It is unlikely that a person who is afraid to leave the hotel and explore the surrounding locations on his own will decide to change his job or his environment.
Even if there is no money for foreign trips, it is worth starting to travel around your native country or explore all the streets of your native city.
There are many more areas to invest in yourself, but these 10 points really pay off.
Invest in yourself – What to do if there are no results, the motivation for further actions is gone
Investing does not always bring quick results. And if the money spent on travel, sports or repairs is not a pity, then continuing to invest in training or coaching without visible results seems inappropriate.
Psychologists have identified several points because of which people often lose motivation for further development. Fortunately, most of the problems can be worked through and move on towards the goal.
Separate objective and biased criticism
Those who began to doubt the appropriateness of the chosen actions, due to a flurry of criticism, should pause and decide on the objectivity of the comments.
Toxic, dissatisfied people may criticize even the best investments in themselves. But an experienced business coach forms comments based on his own experience.
The first thing to understand is that criticism is just a review of a person. Sometimes the comments are objective, and you can listen to them. Objective criticism is usually accompanied by specific proposals, a detailed analysis of mistakes. Surprisingly, such an analysis only motivates to action, and does not spoil the mood.
Biased comments are usually very emotional, not based on any specific facts. You can try to explain to a person why you need to invest in yourself, but hear in response “this is all nonsense”. It is best to ignore such criticism altogether. It is worth investing your time in learning to recognize different types of criticism, to confront toxic people.
Example. Mom sincerely does not understand why her son spends money on travel, but does not buy a car. Impressions from each trip are poisoned by remarks of various kinds. You can stop the flurry of criticism, and not quarrel with your mother, by saying: “I heard you. But the car — it’s your dream and desire. I want to travel because travel allows me to find new friends and inspiration for work. Thank you for your concern, I hope you understand."
Spend resources only on your desires and goals
Sometimes a person spends a lot of time and money trying to achieve someone else’s goals. In the post-Soviet space, it is fashionable to earn money for an apartment, a car, and your own business.
But the main reason why a person should invest in himself: the desire to become better, to feel happy, and not to meet the requirements of others. The process of achieving unnecessary, undesirable goals is exhausting and demotivating.
Even when receiving prestigious values by generally accepted standards, a person does not feel happiness. Whether such investments can be called paid off is a moot point. For example, a coveted round-the-world trip might cost as much as a nice apartment (which society says you should have).
It can take about the same amount of effort, money and time to achieve the goals. But in the first case, after receiving the desired person, he will feel an extraordinary uplift, inspiration, and in the second – demotivation, disappointment in himself.
Before you start actively moving towards the goal, spending resources, you need to make sure that the final goal is really desirable. Then the process of achievement will be pleasant, not demotivating.
Don’t forget to praise yourself
Not all types of investments allow you to see the result in the shortest possible time. At a certain stage, it may seem that spending money and time is pointless. It is especially hard for people who do not feel support, hear only disapproval and criticism from their loved ones. But you don’t have to wait for someone to pat on the shoulder and say, "Don’t stop."
Those who have set themselves SMART goals are encouraged to reward themselves for each intermediate achievement. Small rewards will motivate, fuel the desire to continue moving towards the lifestyle of your dreams.
Invest in yourself – Forget the guilt
Surprisingly, people from the countries of the former USSR feel guilty if they invest in themselves, and not in children or older relatives. This approach is fundamentally wrong. You need to spend on children and parents, but your own development should still come first.
Destructive guilt needs to be dealt with. Otherwise, every investment will turn into remorse. Also, don’t blame yourself for your mistakes. Unsuccessful investing should be regarded as a lesson, draw conclusions and move on.
Feelings of guilt can also be provoked by relatives themselves. If there is no way to get rid of toxic relationships, then you should contact a family psychologist. The specialist will help to come to a compromise, to minimize the negative.
Learn to say "no" and "yes"
There are many trainings on how to say "yes" to your life, and courses on the opposite topic "how to say no." In the first case, the curators suggest not to give up any opportunities (remember the movie “Always Say Yes” with Jim Carrey), and in the second case, to strictly limit your personal space, not to be afraid to refuse others.
It is worth investing in literature and thematic courses on both topics. Saying "no" is okay. It is appropriate to refuse things that definitely will not bring joy, will waste time, energy and resources. But do not give up new opportunities. “Yes” must be said to everything that attracts, but due to habits and internal limitations, it cannot be realized.
And what about those who do not have money or desire?
It may seem that only those who have already “got on their feet” and earned the basic capital can make any investments. People with a destructive, pessimistic mindset don’t even start reading about investing in themselves, believing that everything comes down to finances. But this approach is fundamentally wrong! Investments are just investments. And you can invest not only money, but also time, knowledge, getting experience, new skills, relationships in return. It just takes a different amount of time to get results. For example, someone who enrolls in an English school and additionally studies with a tutor will reach a high level of language proficiency faster than someone who learns from self-study books.
But do not think that free resources are useless. A person will simply have to spend more time searching for and verifying information, correcting errors. In the era of the coronavirus, there are many free courses from professors from world-famous universities. In most cases, students of the free versions of the courses do not receive any diplomas, but it is quite possible to study in the Ivy League.
Those who want to change their specialty should apply for participation in training programs with subsequent employment. The company trains a new profession for free, but will take part of the salary after employment.
Resources called Google and YouTube will also help you learn anything absolutely free. In fact, users of ready-made courses spend money to get concise information. But everything you need can be found on your own: just instead of money, a person will spend time.
There are also people who have money, but have no desire to spend on their development. Usually, this refers to the age category "50+". At this age, people believe that they already know everything, have earned everything they could, and the phrase “invest in the real you” is considered good advice to yesterday’s students. But you need to develop constantly, regardless of age. After all, a person lives while he moves and is interested in something.
Investing in yourself – Bottom line
The right investment in yourself will definitely pay off. To live a fulfilling life, you need to spend money and time improving your financial situation, health, and skills. Remember, whatever is holding you back is in your head.
The main thing is to have a desire. Money, time are important, but still not primary resources. Even reading this article is already the first step towards changing your life! The main thing is not to dwell on theory and move on to practice.