Invest In Yourself

Invest In YourselfAs many people make new years resolutions, it’s a good idea to share them and perhaps be inspired by what others are doing.  My thought by asking, how do you invest in yourself, was to find out what members are doing to grow.

Aside from resolutions and goals, and required industry CE’s, it isn’t often a topic that is explored. I strongly believe that the more you educate yourself, the more knowledgeable you will be and the more value you will add.

Lifelong Learner

I’ve always been a learner. In the early days, it was through cassette tapes and Cd’s. Today I listen to 2-3 podcasts a day. Most of what I listen to is business, sales and marketing related, but I also listen to a couple of motivational podcasts, because I believe life can get in the way sometimes. (listen to episode 16, The Business of Overwhelm, which is my own story of life getting in the way) A little extra motivation doesn’t hurt sometimes!

Most of what I talk about today applies to business, but some of these could also be applied personally.  While I think exercise, weight and health goals are important, I’m a believer that  those need to become lifestyle changes, not just something to focus on in the new year.

My thought with investing in yourself is how do you improve your knowledge, personally or professionally. Below is a summary of some of the responses from members of Select Business Team this week.

Read a Book a Month

The person who suggested this said he had a lot of books on his shelf that he’d never read, so he wanted to put them to good use.  He had already started one book titled ‘Present over Perfect’.  The title resonated with me because I hear so many people struggle with perfection.  It holds them back and frustrates them and often adds undue stress to their lives.  While I haven’t read the book, it’s one that might resonate with some of you listening.

Reading a book a month is a great way to invest in yourself, expand your horizons both personally and professionally.

Attend Conferences 

A few members in different teams had this one on their list, so I’m sure conference planners will like to hear this!

Last fall, I invested in attending a conference. It was my first industry conference in years. As a podcaster, I’m focused on helping insurance agents create a podcast as a sales tool and this was my ideal audience, not to mention that I was able to pick up another certification as an insurance agent. It was extremely beneficial as I made some new connections and actually received two referrals from it.

If you are looking to invest in yourself, consider attending one or two conferences…one in your industry and one in your target markets industry.

Join a Think Tank

If you are a business owner, the more you surround yourself with other business owners and learn from their mistakes and successes, the faster your path to success will be.  Select Business Team provides this concept, but we don’t just have business owners on our Teams, we allow professionals and those in business development. This allows for a diversity of ideas creating greater impact in everyone’s business.

Take Time To Breathe

This might sound odd, but everyone is focused on business, there are so many things that need to be done and there usually isn’t enough time to get them done.  Taking time to slow down, take it all in and not let business control your life is important.  Part of taking time to breathe is stepping outside of the office for some quiet time to plan and think.

Some members struggle with this worried that they are too important to be away for an hour.  The reality is if you don’t do the planning and the creative aspects of running the business, things will get stagnant and then you will be looking back and wondering what is happening.  Plan a lunch outside of your office, leave your phone on silent and take a paper and pen with you to write without distractions.

You will be surprised at what you accomplish in such a short period of time.

Invest In Yourself Personally

The ideas I’ve mentioned up to this point were mostly business focused.  Some members are working on themselves personally and I thought I’d share some of the more unusual things members are doing to invest in themselves.

  • Take classes at the local hardware store. Many of the bigger box stores offer free classes on things like installing tile or changing plumbing.
  • Write goals on the bathroom mirror – and repeating them outloud every day – this not only helps you reach your goals but if you are suffering from self confidence, it’s a way to build your confidence.  Without a doubt, this works.
  • Learn about cryptocurrency – it’s here, and a lot of people don’t understand it, so why not!

What About Sales

The one area I didn’t hear anyone focusing on was sales. It’s the perfect area to invest in yourself.

Every member of our team is responsible for sales, also known as business development. If you are a business owner listening to this podcast, you are also in sales, even if you don’t want to admit it.  If you are just getting started, how are you going to get revenue for your company if you aren’t thinking and acting like a salesperson?

In previous meetings, we’ve talked about sales and for many it’s a dirty word.  Regardless of what you call it, converting a prospect to a client and getting paid for it, is a form of sales. Some people are great at this and some people absolutely freeze.

I’m probably in the middle and I know if I want to grow my business this year, I have to wear my sales hat. Who doesn’t find it easy to make excuses.  It’s easy to find other things to do so that I don’t make the follow up call or ask for the business.

The reality is that to succeed in sales, you need a process and a system.  Most importantly, a way to collect the revenue.

Those that do this regularly, shine. Those that are reluctant, struggle.

Which category are you in?

Find a way to invest in yourself this year to expand your knowledge and skills.