Is it time to invest in yourself? This is the question we should all be asking. I'm not talking about buying new clothes or the latest electronic, I'm talking about a true investment in your growth, your health, your happiness and your well-being.
So first, lets evaluate what stage of investment you are currently in. Ask yourself a couple of questions:
It's important to know where you stand from a investment standpoint and to be honest with yourself about it. You can't change what you don't acknowledge.
So lets talk about the various types of investments you could be making and the roadblocks that could be stopping you.
You see, a lot of times as professionals, new business owners and/or entrepreneur(s) we are very hesitant to spend money on things because we don't have a lot of it to spare.
This is especially true if you have a family to take care of or have made the decision to bootstrap your business.
Trust me I get it! I totally understand that mentality and actually think it can be a good thing. I see business owners all the time spending money on unnecessary things that their business isn't ready for and not on the things that they truly need. Ultimately, the focus is placed on the things that don't yield the highest return on investment ("ROI") for you or your business.
Understanding this is the issue for many, I want to talk about investing in yourself, in the right way. Supporting the dreams you have as an individual and a business owner.
Many times when you start talking about investing people immediately think about financial investments. In the Project Management world we have a saying, things will either cost you time, money or effort. If you don't have the money be willing to put in the time and the effort.
Think about areas where you can invest time into your business or into yourself. If you think about it, we find the time to do things we really want to do. I know when my tv shows come on, I make the time to watch them. Maybe it's not as soon as they come on (thank you streaming) but I manage to get it in.
Your business and personal life should be the same way. Prioritize the things that are truly important to you and make time for them.
I run across businesses on a regular basis where it is clear to me the owner hasn't put the proper investment of time and sometimes money into their business.
So let me ask you this...
How can you expect others to invest in your expertise or your company by buying your services or products when you won't invest in it by paying for things that will help you grow? Or taking the class that will help you learn how to do something in your business?
Maybe it's buying that domain so you can stop using your Gmail or Yahoo email address and have an official company email. It could be that you need to invest the time into setting up your company's basic website. Another common one is that you need to get the training to set your business up properly or to become better in your craft.
Whatever the investment you deserve it and so does your business. What message are you sending to potential customers when you aren't up on the latest trends in your industry or they can't reach you because of broken processes? Trust me if it's clear to me that you haven't invested the time or money, it's clear to them.
As women, we always seem to find the time to do everything else for everyone else and we neglect our needs in the process. How does that really help anyone? You are not a machine and you need a break too.
So let me tell you right now that sometimes it's okay to say no. The world, despite what you may think, will not fall apart.
Did you know that telling your kids no, actually helps them grow. It helps them know that sometimes we don't get what we want. Did you also know that your family and friends are often times wanting and willing to help out if you would just ask. You don't have to do all the things yourself. Don't be a martyr.
Something else you need to know is that you have to learn how to set limits regarding what you commit to, so you have time to breathe. Just because an acquaintance asks you to attend something doesn't mean you have to do it. Now, if they always attend your events and you never reciprocate, that is a problem.
The truth is you are not always going to be able to do all the things. My rule of thumb is if you really want to attend then make it happen, but know something else is going to have to take a backseat or be dropped to allow it. I also always put things against my ROI meter. What is the return of investment of this action? Is it really worth it?
Don't over analyze this, but do start to evaluate where you can make the shift. Selfcare is truly important to your health, your family and your business. If you run yourself so much that your system shuts down how is that helping anyone?
Invest in your mental and physical health so you will be around to live your dreams.
I want to challenge you today to be a little "selfish"...put yourself first by really considering what you want and need in your life and business. Put the guilt up on the shelf and let it rest for a while. It's tired! It's tired of being at the forefront of your mind constantly. Instead...that personal, self-development thing you have been pushing down for years, let it shine and float on up to the top. It's been patiently waiting back in the wings for you to give it the time it really deserves. It just wants a chance.
Aren't you worth it? Don't you desire and deserve better? Invest in yourself and see how your life can truly change.