“Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.” ―Dr. Stephen Covey
Having a “why” and purpose for what you’re doing will ignite your quest for greater purpose in life. This means, once you make decisions, it’s best to know why you’re doing what you’re doing. When your decisions are informed by clear and educated thought, you’re on the road to success. Then, you can start giving deeper thought to investing in yourself — in other words, building on the wins you’ve already accumulated.
Think of it like this — when you have already started to build a strong foundation of values, experiences, small and large wins, the more you keep building on this, the greater structure and overall body of work you’ll have. In the process you refine and strengthen your character, by also gaining a reputation among others as someone of integrity.
Building. Learning. Growing into the vision of yourself you always imagined. At a high level, this is a winning formula. It’s where you truly form the living and breathing concept of compound interest. Compound interest, by definition, means: “interest computed on the sum of an original principal and accrued interest.” That’s more of a financial term. I’m talking about it in human capital.
Compound interest manifests itself in the following pattern. For the sake of this discussion, let’s use the path of becoming an entrepreneur of a digital marketing company:
- You form your values, goals and plan for what you want to do
- You get educated and begin to start earning experience
- You become an expert, producing great content, establishing a business and learning all that you need to scale and sustain it
- As you grow and continue repeating your process, you have built your “principal” and “accrued interest.” Now, it’s time to keep generating more interest. Once you’ve established yourself and demonstrated consistency, more opportunities come your way. New clients, media opportunities, industry-leaders willing to partner with you and help.
I came up with a list of five ways to invest in yourself. They’ve helped to form a career as a bestselling author and coach. I’ve seen these threads throughout the lives of many successful people I’ve studied. I hope they benefit you.
1. Always show up
The gym I used to go to had a sign at the front that said, “Showing up is half the battle.” Corny? Cliche? Maybe.
But think about this — if someone is willing to offer you a seat at the table — an opportunity to do something you love — why in the world wouldn’t you take it? By accepting and committing, you’re already there. You have a chance. And you should never, ever take it for granted. The rest of the battle is up to you. From there, you have to earn your keep.
I think of this in the context of the abundance of resources we have at our fingertips in the modern world. If you want to learn something, there’s simply no stopping you if you have an Internet connection and access to resources at a public library. If you’re willing to “show up”, you will eventually see extraordinary results. If you don’t show up at all, you’ll always be left guessing, wondering and speculating.
“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” — Theodore Roosevelt
I’d encourage you to be discerning and wise when it comes to making decisions. You don’t want to jump at just anything. But if you research opportunities — or better yet, have them come your way — then GO FOR THEM. Always show up. Always give things a shot.
2. Keep doing (creating)
We’re all entitled to a day off, but for those of us who desire the best of ourselves, we’re not entitled to making up the rules. Or rule. In fact, here’s the simple rule of life that’s been proven time and again:
The people who operate most efficiently, most effectively and with greatest consistency win. It’s that simple.
I’d like to particularly focus on consistency. Consistency and repetition are the sharpest tools in the toolkit of winners. Keep doing. Keep creating and producing. This is what I’d like to call “The Rolling Stones model.” The Rolling Stones became one of the most famous music groups of all time by making a lot of hit songs. That’s a fact.
But you know what else The Rolling Stones did? They produced a lot of mediocre and just so-so songs. A lot. But what do people remember? They remember the hits, the best stuff. And you have to admire their overall body of work because they kept churning out the best work they could. They never stopped. They’re still going!
Keep producing and churning out the best work you can. That may not be viewed as the best work by others. But it’s a heck of a lot better than doing nothing.
3. Strengthening your strengths and eliminating your weaknesses
In a Harvard Business Review article, Bill Barnett shares the importance of developing our strengths and reinforcing what those are in a multitude of ways. First, it’s important to list our strengths. Know what you believe them to be. But then, you need to seek external validation. Ask others what your strengths are. Think of times that you’ve done something well, when others have offered you review or feedback. What are your strength themes?
Make it a point to build a list of strengths and continue to revisit these.
I also believe in the long-term importance of eliminating your weaknesses.
Everyday that I live without reverting back to foolish traps like negative thoughts, sinful desires and temptations or repeating mistakes of the past, I feel like I’ve won a huge victory. If life is all about finding ourselves, then we’re far better geared to do this by living with pure intentions and free from pointless distractions and things that detract from who we want to be.
You could become an industry-leader or highly successful businesswoman, but you could also become known for one misstep along the way that ruins you due to bad habits. Look at your weaknesses. Be honest. You may not want to share these things with others. But remind yourself each day of the things you need to improve and ensure you don’t hurt yourself with one small weakness in a sea of strengths.
4. Everyday (life) education
The most important thing you can know is this: Your education DOES NOT culminate in the public school system, secondary school or even in college. Heck, even at your Master’s degree or doctorate degree ceremony. That’s an old way of thinking and it will lead you to gradually fall behind. Your education continues until the day you leave this earth.
“It’s our time to make a move. It’s our time to make amends. It’s our time to break the rules. Let’s begin.” — lyrics from “Renegades” by X Ambassadors
5. Find your niche and become the expert
Life is about finding your niche, finding your unique way to share yourself — your voice — with the world. Through love. Through enthusiasm and passion. And with purpose. Find your thing and then crush it. I know what my thing is and I’m always trying to become the best I can.
My “Why”, which is part of my larger mission statement, lays things out in crystal clear clarity: I want to help others and make a tangible difference in their lives through my writing, speaking and coaching.
So in that context, I gave more thought to online writing. I thought more about the ways that we create, read and distribute content. Frankly, I simply enjoy writing and perfecting my craft. I want to continue to become the best writer I can, while growing and learning more about myself, learning about your journey and seeing how we can help each other along the way.
I want to invest in myself each day. Hopefully, you’re willing to do the same.
Invest in yourself. It will make all the difference.
I’m helping thousands of people each day build their life on values and put together their personal game plan. Join me! Check out The Value of You, my Amazon bestseller. The e-book is available for a limited time for just $2.99! Order the e-book HERE!
This article first appeared on Medium.