Through some strange and powerful principle of “mental chemistry” which she has never divulged, Nature wraps up in the impulse of strong desire “that something” which recognizes no such word as impossible, and accepts no such reality as failure. – Napoleon Hill
Investing in Yourself
If you are interested in personal development it is important you commit to investing in yourself. No matter what it is you want to improve, no matter what you want to achieve, it will almost certainly require an investment or will be much better and be achieved much quicker with the right investment.
Start by listing the areas of improvement to which you wish to commit. This can be in a very wide area, and I am not limiting myself at all to one particular niche. Have a look at my previous article about the Top Ten New Year Resolutions. All ten are perfectly acceptable self improvement goals, and you can probably add quite a few more to this list.
Take a look around and see what resources are out there which could help you make serious inroads on those improvements you desire. Examine them carefully. There are a lot of scams out there, but there are also a lot of diamonds if you look carefully enough. Try to find at least one for each of the areas on your list. Don’t worry at this stage about how much money they may cost. All that should concern you right now is whether you believe they will help you achieve your goals better or faster, or both.
Once you have come up with the list of investments you want to make in yourself and are reasonably comfortable that, at least for now, this is a fairly complete list, the next step is to work out how you will pay for them.
One problem many people have, though, is that after they have paid all their monthly bills there is no money left to invest in themselves.
What may surprise you, though, is that no matter how much you earn you will almost certainly still find there is no money left after paying the bills. How can this be?
Parkinson’s Second Law
The answer lies in Parkinson’s Second Law. You have probably heard his First Law – “work expands to fill the available time”. But perhaps you missed the Second Law – “expenditure rises to meet the available income”. Parkinson’s Second Law is often applied to bureaucracies and they way they can needlessly spend our money. But it is equally applicable to personal expenditure.
The corollary of Parkinson’s Second Law is that if you look carefully at your spending you will always find cuts you can make without impacting noticeably on your overall lifestyle.
Your first step should therefore be to examine your budget very carefully. Pretend you are a business which is not making profit. Step back and look at that business as if you were the finance director (or maybe the bank manager!). I think you will be surprised by some of the cuts you could make and still continue to enjoy life just as much.
It’s a sure thing that you’ll not finish if you don’t start.
An ancient proverb says, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” You have probably known people nearing the end of their life’s journey who looked back and said, “If only I had done things differently. . . . If only I had taken advantage of that opportunity when it came along.” Unfulfilled lives are filled with “if only’s”. They are the refrain of the timid souls whose lives were finished before they ever really got started. Life is filled with many opportunities — for great successes and spectacular failures. It is up to you to seize the initiative, to take advantage of the opportunities that come your way. You are condemned to a life of mediocrity — unless you get into action. Don’t delay; do it today! – Napoleon Hill
Pay Yourself First
Once you have done this, regard yourself as your own primary creditor. You owe yourself a lot of money, so start paying it back.
Pay yourself first. Before you pay anyone else. Do not feel guilty about doing this. Every day of your adult life up to now you have paid everyone except yourself. Now it is your turn!
How much should you pay yourself? Well, that depends, of course. It depends on many factors. Not least of which is how much you managed to save off your budget – make sure at least half of this goes to you. Some coaches suggest it should be a minimum of 10% of your gross earnings. But again I stress this depends on your own circumstances and budget. Just don’t allow it to be whittled down to almost nothing!
Put it in savings and investments that you resolve not to touch except when investing in yourself.
Whether you work for someone else or have your own business you should consider ways of creating a second income. You can then reserve most of this new income to invest in yourself (well, the profit on it – as there will always be expenses).
One way you can do this is to set up an online marketing business. There are some major advantages of choosing this route rather than, for example, finding an additional part time job somewhere.
The first advantage is that you will be completely in control. You can invest as much or as little time as you like. As your business grows you may decide to give up your "day job" and spend all your working hours moving your internet business forward – but that is entirely up to you. There will be no boss looking over your shoulder telling you to speed things up or do things differently. Of course, you should also recognise this can be a disadvantage – you will need to have some good self-discipline to ensure you spend enough time doing the right things.
The second advantage is linked to the first. You do not have to work on specific days or at specific times. You can choose when to do this work. If you wake up in the middle of the night and cannot get back to sleep you can sit at the computer and do something to move your online business forward.
The third advantage is that once you have set up your business properly it will begin to generate profits for you even if you do not put a lot of effort in to grow it. You will need to continue doing some work in order to maintain it, so I do not believe it is correct to call it "passive income", but it should certainly generate you high profits for not a great deal of work as long as you have built it correctly.
Be aware, though, that as with any other business an online marketing business will require you to invest time and effort. Do not be misled by claims you will often see that suggest this is a miracle "instant millionaire" formula. It is not! You can certainly become very wealthy if you choose to do so, but this will not happen over night.
You will also probably find there will be a few false starts before you get your own formula right. Ideally you should take advice from an internet marketing coach who has been there and done that and who can stop you needing to re-invent the wheel yourself. This will not be cheap, but it will save you making costly mistakes and ultimately ensure you reach your goal faster if you choose the right coach.
Invest in Yourself
You can be certain that if you invest all your time in work you don’t care about, your spirit will die." — Oprah
Once you have started this habit of paying yourself first, and have perhaps additionally created your second income, start to invest with this money. Not in company shares. Not in bricks and mortar. You are going to invest in something far more valuable than that. You are going to invest in yourself
People who fail to accumulate money, without exception, have the habit of reaching decisions, if at all, very slowly, and of changing these decisions quickly and often. – Napoleon Hill
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt
"Life is the sum of all your choices" Albert Camus