The world is changing. And fast. Before you know it, flying taxis and trips to Outer Space will be the norm. A decade ago crypto was in its infancy, fintech was barely a thing and electric vehicles were nowhere near as hot as they are now. Change and uncertainty are interwoven into life’s fabric. Run from it, and you’ll get left behind.
Life is fun and exciting because it’s unknown. If we were to know the future, to see our plan in all its details then our lives would lack the thrill of serendipity. We’d lose our ability to change and miss out on the beauty of experimenting.
But beneath all this change, there is one thing that will always be constant. And that’s You. The very thing that can yield the greatest return is investing in yourself. It’ll be forever cool and trendy. That I can promise you.
What money cannot buy
We live in a society where (almost) everyone is trying to keep up with the Joneses. Whoever the Joneses are. It cripples our bank accounts and means that we gradually lose sight of who we are. Too many people focus on impressing others that they forget about impressing the most important one – yourself! Psst: A good place to start, read here how to master these 5 simple habits to upgrade your finances in less than 1 year.
So, instead of squeezing yourselves to buy that latest Range Rover or upgrade your apartment to make it look even swankier, try something a little closer to home. Something that will make you feel good.
Investing in yourself takes time. Just like any other investment, you will not see results overnight. Change is happening, but it is taking place beneath the surface. With a consistent and determined mind, anything is possible.
The trouble is, we’re programmed to want to see results right away. Started at the gym? Well, I can guarantee that after a few weeks you’ll be wondering why you haven’t lost a few more pounds. Or, if you’ve begun learning a new language, you may find yourself getting frustrated at size of your new vocab list.
Slow and steady wins the race
At this point, when results can’t (yet) be seen, that’s when majority give up. They give up because they think nothing’s changed. They haven’t lost much weight or they can’t converse in French. But little do they realise, all their efforts compound. The difference between Day 1 and Day 10 may be small but the difference between Day 1 and Day 100 will be vast. Dare to stick around.
If there was a guarantee that after X amount of weeks/months/years you’d see the result you want you’d probably keep going. But nothing is guaranteed. It could be that you work on a skill for over a year and it gets you absolutely nowhere. You may only end up ever so slightly better than before you started. But that’s because good things take time. Nothing worthwhile ever came easily.
And in the end, our efforts are what set us apart. Those who keep on going with such determination and grit will see results. Yes it may take years but they will not be bogged down by the fact that results are taking time. They are so focused on reaching their goal that they don’t stop. Not giving up takes zero skill or brains. What it is is hard work and effort but it is not only reserved for the smart guys. Anyone, no matter their IQ, can master this.
When it comes to investing in yourself, there are so many things you could be doing. This could be anything from reading in a particular area to engaging in digital skills to daily workouts but I’ve chosen my top three for starting the work on personal investment.
Warning: these kinds of results will take time so be patient. Looking back, you’ll be glad you didn’t stop.
#1 Your career’s insurance
Networking is a funny one. When we hear the word networking we imagine someone in a suit handing out a business card at an event or making some awkward LinkedIn introduction to a total stranger. But networking couldn’t be farther from this.
Networking is not a transaction. That’s where most go wrong. They approach networking with one objective: to get something out of the other person. But put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if a total stranger walked up to you and, before getting to know you, immediately asked for a job? You’d probably feel a little bit used.
So instead let’s flip it on its head. Networking is all about giving. Get to know the other person. And make a real effort to do so. Check in on them, ask how they’re doing and how you can help them. Over time, you’ll have built a network of connections. Genuine connections with people whom you know, and who know you back. See, networking isn’t about who you know. It’s about who knows you. And that’s the crucial difference.
We all have busy lives and to really make an impression on someone you need to show that you care. The world is a small place and you never know where you’ll land up so be sure to build real relationships, be careful not to burn bridges because when you’re in desperate need of a job, you’ll have an army of people that’ll have your back. And that is something you can’t put a price tag on.
#2 Personal finance – Your journey starts here
Well, if you’ve found yourself here that means you’re already doing something right!
Personal finance is one of those things we all wish were taught in school. But since we aren’t, it’s imperative that you get to grips with things like how mortgages work, how to invest your money, what are taxes, tips for budgeting and so on.
One of the things I love about personal finance is that it’s personal. We all have varying wants and needs and will thus have different ways in which we use our money. But the universal, underlying theme is getting to grips with how money works. Once you’ve got that, you’ll be on the road to financial freedom.
How we treat money is, in a large part, affected by our upbringing. If we were born into a family where money was seen as taboo, then we wouldn’t have had the chance to ask those key questions and understand the cogs of money at such a young age. If our parents constantly splashed out to impress others, then chances are we’ll see this as normal and will go on to do the same, unless we make a conscious effort to choose our own financial path.
My parents did not fall into the trap of doing things for others. For the first 10 years of their marriage, they did not own a car because they were saving for a property. After all, a car is a liability and will only drain money from your bank account. I learnt that you have to do what no one else is doing now to live a live no will later.
It’s so much easier to scrimp and scrape when you’re young than when you’re old. The only person you need to impress is yourself and to be honest, you will never know the true wealth of anyone unless you see their bank account and know what assets they hold. Don’t be fooled by fancy cars and big houses.
It takes a great deal of discipline to reject certain societal values but you’ll be better off for it. Spend less time focusing on what others think of you and more time on what you think of yourself. Build good habits when you’re young and they’ll compound. Just like the stock market. We tend to value that which we work for so work hard on yourself and you will be proud.
#3 Your personal brand – Leverage it!
When trying to land a job, your CV is only part of your story. The other half comes from your social resume. This will give potential employers a glimpse of who you are as a person. What makes you tick, what you enjoy as well as the chance to see a portfolio of your work.
But your own personal brand is not just for job prospects. It is a chance to show others what you’re all about. It’s easy to put on a show in the online realm but true character is when your online presence matches who you are as a person!
Building your brand will open all sorts of doors for you. It will allow you to connect with like-minded people and expand your horizons. Even if you haven’t received any leads (yet!) that doesn’t mean people aren’t watching you. Keep building and results will follow.
You will get what you put in. Do the work and the work will work for you.
The key is consistency and patience. EQ is the new IQ.
Disclaimer: This blog is not investment or financial advice. It is my opinion only. This blog is not a personal recommendation to buy/sell any security, or to adopt any such investment strategy. Always do your own research before you commit to any investment.