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Investing In Yourself: Why and How

Which is the safest long-term investment? Land? Property? Bonds?


It's investing in yourself. In your skills, health, personal development, diplomas and certificates, your social network. Investing in yourself has a lot of advantages:

  • It's almost impossible to lose what you invested. No one can cheat you and steal your knowledge to speak Chinese. You can't just lose your engineering skills. No court can deprive your self-confidence.
  • It's always on hand. What's inside you doesn't need to be taken from somewhere. You don't need to get your business skills from the bank, you don't need to wait good market time to sell it. Your internal resources are 100% liquid and you can use them immediately in every given moment.
  • It's synergistic. If you know to write code, that's a good skill you can sell and earn money. If you are good in sales that's a good skill that can make you money. If you are good both in sales and writing code you are hundred times more valuable than one coder and one salesman. That's just one example, you got the idea.

OK, so what are the options to invest in yourself:

Formal Education

The most obvious route than most of us take from childhood is to invest in formal education. Diplomas, certificates and Scientific titles give you the advantage to find a better jobs and consulting gigs, and increases the perceived value of your knowledge. Sometimes formal education even gives you real useful knowledge ;)

People overestimate the value of formal education and often focus entirely on it. Don't get me wrong, it's a good thing to have, but don't put all your eggs in the same basket. Especially when everyone else does it.

Rand Paul
Most people focus on the formal education, but you should diversify.

Informal education

Just as important, if not more, is to actually know stuff and be skillful. You can land a high paying job with a lot of diplomas but if you are incompetent, you'll quickly lose it. Real skills help a lot more in freelancing or business as well. The key to them is self-education. There are hundreds of great self-educated people, and you can be one of them too.

How can you educate yourself in a given area? Just read and practice, meet people who are more advanced than you, take challenges. It's so easy to do it nowadays with the internet. Just don't fall in the trap of always learning - try to apply knowledge as soon as you gain it. It will not only help you learn it better, but will also bring you quick returns of your investment.

Time Management Skills

If you learn to manage your time better, to do proper prioritization, work with time management tools, and "shrink" time when you need it, you will be able to find exit from every hard situation.

Investing to learn time management pays off great because you benefit from all the time, in everything you do, till the end of your life. And time equals money, you know.

Investing in Health

This is really so obvious, I don't think I need to add any comments. Take care for your health and this will make you happier and wealthier.

Developing Self-Confidence

Being confident in yourself means not to never make a mistakes. It's more to not be afraid of them. All great people have done a lot of mistakes, but they are not afraid to try new things, to launch new projects, or even to apply for new jobs.

Here is one article suggesting 10 ways to build self-confidence. Just don't forget self-confidence does not mean to be bold idiot who think is always right.

Grow Your Social Intelligence

For good or bad, you can't be wealthy without other people. Either your customers or business partners, you need people to buy from you and work with you in order to build wealth. So one of the most valuable things to do is to build your social skills and intelligence, grow your social network of real, valuable contacts and develop persuasive and communicative skills.

So next time when you wonder what kind of investment to make, get back to this page and see if there's anything you can improve in yourself first.

Published at Apr, 10 '11 , Read 9291 times.

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User comments:

Mekzy at Jan, 04 '13 12:47
Great article. Really helpful for starters willing to invest. Thanks!
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