The main reason I wanted to create this blog, like I wrote in the first post, is to help others with my experience.
One way to improve is to invest in yourself. Many people don’t see it this way, but when you pay for courses, a degree or even when you buy yourself a new computer, you are investing in yourself. And I mean it literally.
Investing VS Wasting
People often see this things as wasting money. But, if you see yourself as a stock, you’ll see that spending money or wasting time on yourself is not wasting, but investing.
The end-point for both views are the same. Money is leaving your wallet. Time is being lost. But the fine tuning each point of view has its all the difference.
Like I wrote, not only money can be invested in this kind of stock. Time is also a precious resource. Nobody is born with all the knowledge it needs, but we learn it by investing time on it.
Understanding this new kind of view is the first step into entering the right path. When you start to see yourself as a stock, it will become easier to invest in yourself.
Investing in yourself
By this I mean, what do you like? What are you passion about? This is the first and more important step. Don’t learn stuff because other people told you to, invest in the things that YOU are passionate about. Imagine if Toyota would one day start making fish tanks, that would be odd, right?
There are many ways you can improve your value.
Taking courses, reading articles, listening to co-workers and more. Paying for a course is not a waste of money nor time. I took more than 10 courses in the past 3 years. Not all of them are about stuff I use daily (or even ever), but the fact I know that stuff helps me make the right decisions.
Even just talking to your co-workers and seeing what and how they do their job will help you, and this is free of cost!
Buying something you need
My new laptop can run all the things I need to keep learning and working. This investment turned out great.
Seeing myself as a stock, which needs investments to grow, allowed me to make this purchase without feeling any regrets. The “I want it” changed into “I need it”. I need it to learn better. I need it to practice better. I need it in order to grow.
Do be careful with this. Not everything you “want” can be something you “need”. Do you really need it in order to grow?
Money is, in my opinion, the easiest way to invest in yourself. Not because I’m rich or anything like that (way-way far from that). But because you can estimate very quickly how much you can buy or not. It’s very analytic. “I need something” is the first step, “can I buy it” is the second, and it’s easy to look at your bank account and answer that question.
But we don’t have a bank account for time. We get our 24 hours each day, where 6-8 hours go to sleeping, 2 hours go to eating and so and so. We can’t passed hours from one day to the other. We remain with a few “extra” hours where we can watch TV, go out with friends and such. Our days get busier and busier and we have less free time to invest in the things we want to.
I have a slot, twice a week, marked in my calendar, to invest in this blog. The first slot is usually used to find an interesting topic to write about and start writing. The second is used to refactor the post and publish it. It’s no more than a couple of hours a week.
Another slot I keep to myself is a 2-3 hours weekly for courses (when I’m taking one). When I find a course I like (Personally I like Udemy), I set myself a goal to sit at least a few hours each week.
It’s not easy and it has to come instead of something else. Sometimes it means I sleep one hour less, and sometimes it means I’ll eat while learning or pause my favorite TV show for a few weeks. But, again, understanding this is not time wasted but time invested in yourself, is worth this “sucrifice”.
There are many more ways one can invest in itself, every little thing you learn or do that is directed into something you love and want to get better at, is an investment. Even going to the gym or watching what you eat is an investment!
Value can go Up or Down
Like any good stock, its value can go Up or Down and so is your value. If you keep on investing in yourself, your value will go Up. But if you neglect yourself, stop learning stuff or learn things that do not promote you, will make your value to go Down.
What does this mean? It means you need to be very careful on what you do each day. Maybe ask yourself regularly if what you are doing right now will advance you or not.
Not everything you do has to be something that advance you directly. I watch TV, sit on Twitter and go out with friends! Investing in social life and in some free time is important even as taking a new course. The key word is dosage. How much time I invest in every thing I do.