We’re familiar with the concept of investing money, but do you invest in yourself… in you, and the business of you?
Careers today are often not so much a job, but an acquiring of skills as assets that allow you to work in whatever area of endeavor you enjoy. You’re likely just a few skills away from doing work you love.
Audio Article – Invest in Yourself:
Knowledge is the new wealth, so the saying goes. Investing in a steadily growing foundation of knowledge and skills is essential for staying engaged and connected in today’s fast-paced online world, no matter your age. The era of, “I still can’t program a VCR” is an old joke that’s no longer relevant.
Today, learning a new online skill is often just a few hours away.
Engage in the Fun of Learning
There are people—especially seniors—who feel left behind and alienated by all the technology that they don’t understand. Yet… it’s a lot like learning to drive a car. You don’t need to know how to fix a car to drive it. You don’t even really need to know how the oil and gas and electronic systems actually work. You just need to know how to USE those systems.
Investing in yourself by learning, growing and creating all the days of your life will keep your attitude vibrant, your brain agile and your finances healthy.
In today’s world, ongoing personal development, not only increases your chances of earning and growing your wealth, but it’s essential for it.
Invest in Yourself
Robert Kiyosaki, the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, revolutionized the way we viewed our homes and personal belongings: Homes are liabilities unless they somehow help our positive cash flow and bottom line financial prosperity, such as through rental properties. Kiyosaki received a torrent of public criticism from experts, yet the housing bubble bursts and ensuing bankruptcies of this past couple decades proved his point.
An asset puts money in your pocket. A liability takes money out of your pocket.
~Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad, Poor Dad author, investor, entrepreneur
Learning is acquiring an asset that can put more money into your pocket.
YOU are your own greatest asset. The more you do to enrich yourself through learning and growing your skills, knowledge, experience and understanding, the greater the asset… to yourself, to your life and to others.
You are either an asset to yourself or a liability. Become your greatest asset. Invest in yourself.
~LeAura Alderson, iCreateDaily.com
Most creatives grow in fits and spurts of inconsistent growth. There are times where you are your own best asset, creating rhythms of productivity, setting and achieving goals, and in a consistent flow of productive output. This space “makes muscle”… creates something from nothing.
You are an asset of one, with unlimited potential.
Other times, you are a liability to yourself. You fall into lazy spells, lose focus and consume more than you create. This space is a downward spiral that can suck you in before you know it.
This is where you’ll seek out people and places and things that discourage growth and tend to keep you trapped. It’s a negative cycle that can even lead to depression and feelings of hopelessness. We all need down times to recharge, but it’s important to keep these in balance, and not get stuck in a negative vacuum.
Growth comes when we pull ourselves out of this negative cycle, into our next spiral of growth.
The best place to invest your time and your money is to invest in yourself and your growth, both personally and professionally. Let’s explore how you can do more of that.
Feel the frustration, because when you let it invade you, then you will have the energy to do something about it.
~Tom Bilyeu, Entrepreneur, Impact Theory, Founder-Quest Nutrition
How to Identify Your Personal Liabilities vs Assets
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. The good news is that you don’t have to wrestle and wrangle with stifling your weaknesses. Rather, you focus on the good things… on what you want and ignore what you don’t. Immersion eliminates diversion.
Ask: Does this thing (activity, task, person, event…) support or detract from my goals?
That’s what this is about: how to minimize your weaknesses (liabilities) and maximize your strengths (assets).
- LIST: Create a list of all the things you do, whether for business or personal, or a mix of both.
- ASSET = ?STAR: Place a star next to actions you think move you forward towards your goal(s).
- LIABILITY = X: Place an ‘X’ for any tasks that don’t move you forward in your goals.
- NEUTRAL = O: If there’s a neutral task that you’re not sure about, put a zero next to it and you can decide later how productive that item is.
- PRIORITIZE: Now you can prioritize your goals, tasks, and activities based on the stars first.
Now of course we all have unavoidable liabilities. Paying bills… paying taxes… getting cars fixed… dental visits, etc. However, these are all assets because they are the privileges that go with living as adults on planet earth. And… it’s a privilege to have access to these necessary things.
But the rest… let them go.
X off the Energy Zappers
Cross off the X’s… the negatives in your life and your schedule. These are energy zappers and time-sucks that do not contribute to your life or your bottom line. Minimize them increasingly over time as much as possible. This includes distractions that do not add value to you and your goals.
Often when you focus on those things which produce the most growth for you and your business, the other tasks become inconsequential and less necessary. Some of these may be have-to’s that you can end up outsourcing to others to do instead.
Plan your 0’s… your neutral distractions intentionally. Don’t let them happen to you. Choose them and avoid the X’s as much as possible.
Invest in yourself… you’re the only you you’ve got and you’re worth it.
Unplanned distractions gobble up your time and leave nothing good behind.
~LeAura Alderson, iCreateDaily.com
Focus on the Stars
The goal is to spend more time on the Asset Tasks. Anything that’s classified as “Neutral” might not be things you cut from doing immediately, but they are actions which you should measure and evaluate as you engage them.
For example, maybe you have a networking event or industry webinar that helps you connect with people who are like-minded and see what others are doing.
But, does that event move the needle in your business..? In your relationships..? In your personal development..? Are you both giving and getting the benefit that you originally signed up for? For the time and money investment involved, is it a star on the side of your goals?
That’s just one example of something that could be a “Neutral” thing. Not good, not bad, but maybe not relevant now.
Conference, Course or Expert…?
Here’s one of our examples of a decision we made that changed a possible neutral (0) into an asset or star.
We were looking at whether or not to attend a conference versus remaining home to get more done. The conference would mean investing several thousands of dollars by the time we paid for conference tickets, airfare, ground transport, food and lodging for two.
Attending that conference would’ve been fun and informative, and yes we would’ve met interesting people… maybe even made pivotal connections. However, that’s an unknown. We’ve been to more than enough conferences which—afterward—couldn’t really be strongly placed in the star column, all things considered.
Converting a Neutral to a Positive…
So instead, we stayed in town and doubled down on the next area of business growth we needed to focus on. We hired freelancers to consult with us on specific things we needed, as we needed it, for a fraction of the cost of a conference.
Rather than relying on the happenstance of a conference for learning what we needed to learn most, we’ve learned that hiring consultants, strategists and freelancers moves the needle forward for us the most.
Now again, we’re not advising not to do conferences. Conferences can be a great way to learn, expand our industry knowledge and make great connections.
Once we’re through the “messy middle” of where we are right now, we’ll be doing more of those again. Right now we’re uber busy and uber focused, so it’s saving time and money not to. When the time is right, we’ll shift strategies and be sure to attend some strategic conferences.
Examples of Investing in Yourself
Okay, so what can you do? One of the first things many people think about is going back to school. But today, there are so many other and better options than that, especially for creators.
Now many of the best teachers and courses are available online for you to partake from the comfort of your home, when it’s most convenient for you and at the pace you choose.
Naturally, the best courses for you will depend on your interests, the kind of work you do and what area of endeavor and personal and business growth you wish to pursue. Here are just some examples to get your own brainstorming going.
Courses and Training that Grow Your Creative Skills
Thinking outside the box… let’s say you’re an artist who enjoys connecting with others through social media. You could take free online training and tutorials on how to manage social media pages and groups, and then apply to become a group manager or admin for a creative group you enjoy.
You could be getting paid to converse with other artists and help them, and in so doing, you’d also be keeping your finger on the pulse of your own industry. You could be getting paid to do what you already enjoy doing naturally.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of possibilities.
Resources for Learning
Julia Cameron – Many creators, us included, have touted Julia Cameron as an inspiration. Everything from her books, online courses, to her simple yet powerful Morning Pages Ritual has helped so many artists. We love her book The Artists Way, and encourage you to dive into her website for more gems! Julia Cameron’s blog and content is especially relevant for writers though you can learn so much regardless of your creative medium.
CreativeLive – Created by a world-renowned photographer entrepreneur, Chase Jarvis, CreativeLive offers hundreds of free and paid course for artists navigating the online world. They offer a variety of short, doable courses ranging from artistic technique to marketing your skills. CreativeLive offers hundreds of classes at affordable prices.
The Abundant Artist – If you’re a visual artist, or want to be one, that sells your work either online or at shows, you’ll want to check out Cory Huff’s Abundant Artist site and courses. We interviewed Cory on the iCreateDaily Podcast, so you can learn more about him and his business there. Cory also has great articles on his site that help you get in the mindset of selling your art.
Fizzle.co – Fizzle has hundreds of tutorials, support, and resources for entrepreneurs getting started. It’s a membership subscription that grants you access to training on everything from setting up a new business to keeping it running. Marketing advice, money-making advice, content creation advice and everything in between taught by people who are successful in their work.
Skills for Creatives
These are great skills to learn for developing your own brand and/or earning money helping other brands. This is just scratching the surface of possiblities!
- Research of all kinds
- Photoshop & Adobe programs
- Digital art
- Social media management
- Graphics for social media
- Facebook ads management
- Ebook formatting
All of these skills you can learn to develop through continual practice and educating yourself.
For instance, graphic design has become a lot easier with tools like Canva or Adobe Spark. You can make simple and elegant graphics designs for social media. You could sell those as packages of graphics and market them on your own social media to business owners to buy. The more you improve your eye for graphics editing and creation, the more you can increase your prices and offerings.
That’s just one idea! The goal is to start with learning one skill that you enjoy and is of value in the marketplace.
Time Well Spent
Time well spend is time you invest in developing yourself, your craft and your skills that move you closer to your short and long-term goals. Even the process of goal setting and planning is an art that becomes more efficient and well crafted with practice over time.
So set your quarterly goals, then plan your months, weeks and day with tasks and learning that help you reach your goals. Minimize the distractions and you will maximize your opportunities.
And remember… you’re may be just a few skills away from doing work you love, and earning more income from it!
Your goals are your stars. Focus on the stars and you will have more light in your life.
~LeAura Alderson, iCreateDaily.com
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Hey! I’m Devani, a multi-passionate creator who enjoys honing the craft of writing (mostly;)), photography, cooking, podcasting, learning about business, and growing brands. I’m the former co-host of the iCreateDaily Podcast with LeAura Alderson (my mom), and co-founded the iCreateDaily brand. I hope through the content and products we produce, you will be inspired to start, sustain, and succeed in your goals.
My non-business and artistic hobbies include: enjoying a good movie, discovering obscure but epic music, obsessing over The Beatles, and developing fictional stories in my head. My Maltese dog, Caspian, provides an insane amount of creative inspiration by just being his adorable self. #HeWokeUpLikeThat. 😉
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