What do you invest your money in?
I know a lot of business professionals, executives, entrepreneurs, and consultants who invest their money in “stuff.” My definition of this generic term means brochures, gadgets, web sites, sub contractors, cars, copy machines, answering services, and peppermint mochas (one of my personal favorites). For a lot of them, professional development is a “nice to have,” rather than a “must have.” Professional growth is not a resource (money/time) issue, it’s a priority issue.
In my role as a school board director, we’ve had to make dramatic cuts to balance a shrinking budget. Part of that is cutting professional development for teachers and administrators. It’s one of the “easy” cuts, but it hurts me greatly. We are doing a tremendous disservice to our ultimate client, the children. As an organization, we often struggle with priorities due to forces outside of our control.
As entrepreneurs and business professionals, we have more control. We have the ability to make judgements and priorities without outside influence. And, we have the ability to dump a large part of or annual investment into the most important asset we have…us!
Here is my simple template for getting the most out of that most important asset in 2013…
- Determine what, when, and how much you will invest in for 2013. Put it on your calendar now. Put aside your money to invest in it now. If you hold off, you may never do it. I know what I’m doing next year, do you?
- Be flexible. Be prepared to take advantage of new opportunities that arise during the year. Never lock yourself in…leave room for the unexpected opportunity.
- Determine your best value. What are the two or three areas you MUST improve on next year? How do you plan on doing it? Where do you look for help?
- Don’t allow money to keep you from growing. If you choose wisely, the return on investment is always worth it.
- Hold your professional development sacrosanct. Don’t cancel out because you think something else is more important. Treat yourself like a client.
- Utilize technology to maximize your time and money. Webinars, teleconferences, Skype, and other advances can be of tremendous benefit to you.
- Always pay yourself first. That doesn’t only mean your bank account. That means your personal growth and development account. The more you invest in you, the better off your clients will be. The better off they are, the better off you will be.
We have to make so many financial decisions in a year. many of them are tough. You always look for ROI. Unfortunately, many of you will not put the ROI of yourself first. That’s a mistake. You are your most important asset. Invest in yourself first next year and watch your revenue and personal growth soar!
© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved