The Ultimate Guide To Investing In Yourself
Investing in yourself seemed like a no brainer to my go-getter self. When college ends, it doesn’t mean that the learning and investing in yourself should too. You’re now in the real world, competing with millions of other people and a lot of them will seem better, stronger, smarter and more talented. Investing in yourself makes you stand out to others around you: you’ll pick up skills that will make you a better employee, you’ll be more aware of the world around you.
Why should you invest in yourself?
Investing in yourself gives you power, it gives you more opportunities, and it allows your world to grow as you grow.
When you decide to invest in yourself, you have just made the best decision possible. Of course investing in yourself doesn’t always need money of tons of money. Below are many ways that I invest in myself and doubled my income.
Read Books, Blogs and Forums
Free - $
Books and blogs provide you tons of insight into anything that might interest you. Simply taking the time out of your schedule and sitting down with a book on something you want to learn or expand your knowledge on goes miles. Books, in my opinion, are on a very specific topic and tend to be best on concepts and knowledge that are rooted and do not change rapidly.
Blogs usually reflect trends and update their information more rapidly than books and usually provide an overview to medium insight into a topic, allowing for the basis for a deeper dive if you continue exploring the web. Blogs are a great starting point into a new topic to expand your knowledge.
Forums are ever changing and provide a multitude of routes to get to the information you need, but often times can lead you down some rabbit holes that might led you away from what you originally wanted to know. Better yet: forums like Reddit have brought me to new topics and information that I never considered learning about! Tread carefully and be ready to explore a new world of information.
Listen To Podcasts
Podcasts are one of my favorite ways and I highly recommend using to invest in yourself. They give you information in a clear, concise way while exploring new topics you might not of considered. I listen to podcasts on my drive to work, while I’m working, and while doing a light cardio session. Best of all, they don’t require any money to subscribe.
Get An Education
$$ - $$$$
Continuing my education was the biggest driver of my success. Having a degree gave me respect, credibility and authority. Especially with (getting) my masters from a well known school.
Shoutout to NEU!
I finally decided to invest in myself through education when I came to the decision that I wanted and needed some formal lessons on UX/UI to transition into a career that I had little knowledge on. I wanted guidance from teachers and fellow students as well to learn from and get feedback from. Something that I feel was invaluable compared to the price tag of the school.
There are other ways to get an education besides going to a fancy school, getting your masters and spending a ton of money. Sign up for local chapters of whatever interests you (for me that UX groups, development groups and design groups), sign up for groups online (Facebook groups, Reddit groups, Linkedin groups), find a mentor to guide you, or take online classes.
Online classes don’t have to be university based, for credit. I recently signed up for Treehouse to learn more web development so I can contribute to my job. Seek out the classes you need, compare their options and go which what will propel you to where you need to be at the right price.
Just a note about Treehouse:
Yes this is a little promo but I would appreciate it if you used my link so we can BOTH help each other invest in ourselves. Treehouse is an online subscription that has online video lessons/quizzes on web development including UX Design (what I do). By using my link you’ll get 7 days free and I’ll also get a discount on the classes I currently take. Win win for both of us.
Invest in your future
$ - $$$
Besides investing in yourself, you should honestly take a good look at investing in your future. Future meaning having an emergency fund, saving up for a car or house, saving for a extended break from work, saving for even an early retirement. When I first started out in my career, I didn’t make enough money to invest anything.
Now that I have a stable job, living at home and income to spare I am investing 25% of my paycheck into my 401K as well as maxing out my HSA. With whatever money I have left over after paying bills, I am putting $1,000 in my bank account to save for a house/rainy day fund.
You should invest what you can then younger you can, since money grows and compounds over time. Though I am not left with much money to freely spend after each paycheck, I know my future is well funded and the goals I have for it. I highly recommend talking to a financial advisor if you are new to the investing game as well as read and educate yourself.
Give yourself a break
Though it might seem counter intuitive, giving yourself a break (especially if you have a million things going at once like me) can be a powerful way to invest in yourself. Taking breaks allows your body and mind to heal and refuel. No one can go 24/7, believe me I have tried.
You need time and space to allow yourself to breathe a grow, just as how you need to take a break from strenuous exercise. Find some time, even 5 minutes a day to take a break, take a walk, read for fun, journal or meditate. Personally (and embarrassingly enough), I have a solo dance party to my favorite songs as my break.
Create multiple streams of income
Free - $$
Creating multiple streams of income is a fantastic way to invest in yourself: currently I am working on it as well after struggling with how to create passive income. In today’s society, I feel (and maybe you too) that I cannot achieve everything I want to in my life without having multiple ways of earning a living.
Some of the passive income ideas that I am trying include:
Starting an Etsy shop
Creating art and putting it for sale in a Society6 shop
Selling stock photography
Starting a blog, like this one (even though it doesn’t make money yet)
Freelancing (everyone has some kind of talent someone else needs)
Though right now I’m in the starting phase of starting multiple streams of income, it’s essential to the success and stability of any young person today. Plus, making money in your sleep is pretty awesome.
Learn to say no
This might also sound like a step backwards from investing in yourself, but learning to say no has been one of the most powerful ways I have personally invested in myself. Think of it this way: you only have so much time, so much mental bandwith, so much physical energy. Can you really say “yes” to everything without sacrificing either time or energy? I have found the answer to be “no”, so I started saying “no”.
Now, I only work on the stuff that I want to personally work on. That gives me the ability to focus and create some beautiful results. Now, I only see the people and go to the events that I want to. Because, who really wants to waste their time being somewhere or with people that don’t add value to your life? Saying no has become like a super power, and I’m getting stronger because of it.
I hope that these 7 ways of investing in yourself will bring you clarity, strength, power and more income! I know that when I practice these and set them in motion in my life, good things happen.
Life is about growing, learning and being happy most of all. So invest in yourself, because you are your own most valuable asset.
This post may contain affiliate links. What does that mean? It means that every time you use a link from my site, I get a small proceed, benefit or discount from the products or services I mention. Those help me continue to put out quality content as well as help to supplement my income while pursuing financial independence.
This site is also not intended to give definitive financial advice, think of it as an unprofessional guide. You should only take definitive financial advice from a certified financial planner or advisor. And on that note, before handing your money over to anyone, take charge and be proactive about who sees and handles your money.