What do people mean when they say you have to invest in yourself to be successful?
Every self-help resource out there mentions that an investment in yourself pays the best dividends.. But how many people understand how to do that?
In this Sunday Motivational article we continue our mission of breaking down and giving away highly expensive information for free.
Believe it or not.. People pay thousands of dollars for gurus to tell them how to get be “the best version of themselves”.
We went through all of the advice these people give, took out the bullshit and made our own list.
Here are the REAL best ways to invest in yourself if you want to really change your life for the better.
As always, here’s the video version:
Read for growth
Honestly, the most accessible thing to do for long term growth and investment in yourself is to learn how to read for growth.
People don’t read books, because their teachers forced them to read boring books and they got scored on it. There’s an association with homework and truth be told, we all dreaded having to do homework.
Schools actually made you hate the most valuable self-investment tool out there.
The best strategy to pick up a reading habit is:
Read What You Love Until You Love to Read
If you don’t like physical books, you know about our partnership with Audible, where you can listen to books being narrated to you. We personally use Audible when in transit or at the gym. Go to alux.com/freebook and if this is the first time you sign up you can pick any audiobook to listen to for free.
Talk to people – Find a mentor
Talk to people, to a lot of people… from different backgrounds and ideologies.
The more you expose yourself to different types of thinking the more you get to understand the world around you.
More often than not, people live in what we call ideological bubbles: you have out with people who are very similar to you, they live near you, they consume the same content as you, they think the same way you do, they vote the same way as you, basically creating an echo-chamber where your ideas get redirected back at you.
The problem is, that growth happens only when you expose yourself to new concepts. Growth happens when you either assimilate new found knowledge, or the old one gets replaced by better ones.
Never be arrogant enough to think you know everything!
In your quest to talk to interesting people, some will become guiding lights for your future. Pick one of them to become your mentor.
If you’re looking to invest in yourself, finding a mentor that’s open to guiding you through life is one of the best investments you can make.
Your friends and network are your own personal and professional safety net.
Now once we’ve said that:
Your net worth is directly correlated to your network!
The higher the quality of your connection the wealthier you are in life.
Outside of professional and financial reasons to network, what kind of life is it where you go through it all without sharing it with people you care about?
Other people’s happiness becomes your happiness and the person who doesn’t have friends lacks a big piece of the puzzle we call life.
Invest in quality friendships, sometimes this will mean time – call them right after this video, sometimes it will mean investing money or other resources – keeping friendships alive requires work.
If your friendships have faded away it is because none of the parties made it a priority to invest in the relationship!
And both parties are worse off because of it.
This point expands on the 2 previous ones. In our experience the father you go the more your understanding of the world changes – in the best possible way.
10 hours away by plane and the entire way people look at life changes. Karma comes into play, or maybe a different type of education, customs and traditions.
The farther you travel the less self-centered you become!
You realise that there’s an entire world out there that’s been going on forever without knowing or carrying that you exist – and that moment of realization is quite a big milestone in one’s journey.
Travel is one of those very few things that when you spend money it makes you richer!
So embrace travel, make it a priority to see hard to reach places – even with the covid situation that we have upon us.
Don’t be a tourist, be a traveler. – you’ll never learn about the country you visit in a Starbucks or McDonald‘s.
Embrace the culture and allow it to shape your identity; and you’ll be richer because of it.
Take courses to build skills
The best investment one can make in himself is to acquire new skills in his life. Skills are like upgrades to the quality of potential outcome of your life. They’re like valuable tools which you can put to work!
The best thing about learning new skills is that nobody can take them away from you!
Which is why we always recommend learning the fundamentals instead of the latest flashy technique.
This has been the cornerstone of our entire eLearning efforts. Every course ALUX will design covers a fundamental skill to living a better life. Out first premium product was Mind Mastery, a course which teaches you how to Meditate – a skill that has allowed us to make better strategic decisions and be control of our emotions. Mind Mastery is currently available for purchase at alux.com/meditation.
We plan on doing high-end training courses on all the skills we believe to be fundamentals, which is why our next one is on Strategic life planning under the name of Goal Mastery.
In our opinion, the best courses one can take leave you with something you can use for the rest of your life. Once you install one of these skills in your system, you know you’ll always have that tool at your disposal.
For those of you who think courses are expensive and that content is available everywhere, you’re not really buying content, you’re buying TIME & Expertise.
We have this brutally honest opinion that goes like this:
Your life is cheap because you think investing in yourself is expensive!
If you think spending $15 on a book or $250 on a course is too much money, you’re not there yet in your journey to understand the ROI of You. A single idea from the course or book can make you tens, hundreds or thousands of dollars, that’s why we’ve never been afraid to spend on things that we know will add recurring value to our lives.
Understand how to & Actually Build Health in your life
People neglect health when their young because they don’t understand the following:
Health neglect is an invoice coming your way in the future!
You know how we always talk about trading with the future for personal gain? Health can work both ways.
Most people take away from the future and use that health in the present.
The more you develop, the more you understand the ROI of good health, of good sleep, of the difference between running at 95% brain capacity versus on the fumes that red bull gave you at 3 AM.
Invest time and money in learning about nutrition and the body, and then invest effort and money into making sure you’re reaping all the benefits of that knowledge.
This is a piece on the most valuable ways to invest in yourself. Hands down one of the best ways to grow is by trying to sell something. So many skills have to come together in this type of exercise that your growth accelerates because of it.
Selling is one of those fundamental skills which we’d love to cover in a future ALUX course so we can really go into detail on this.
As with everything, the more you do it the better you become at it. When you set your goal to sell something, you have to figure out what to sell, who to sell to, how to communicate with the potential buyer and figure out how to deliver and close the deal.
All of these steps can be translated to other parts of your life, which is why practicing selling is one of the best investments you can make in yourself.
Optimise your environment
This has 2 clear benefits:
- Time management – you’re no longer wasting time figuring out where all your stuff is or what are you supposed to do next
- Increasing efficiency – well organised spaces allow you to get more done, quickly.
Even if you don’t follow a minimalist approach to life, the idea of having things organised is something most youths are struggling with.
The bad thing is, some people never shake it off their entire lives, living in a constant environment dominated by chaos.
Happiness, success and the feeling of calm, come as a result of you putting order in the chaos of the world; begin by optimising your immediate environment and expand outwards.
If you want to master something, teach it to others!
Teaching is an incredible tool that we’ve leveraged ourselves. Why? It forces you to rationalise things in a way that are easy to comprehend and follow a long.
It’s one of the things we hated most in schools:
Learning stops the moment you begin to memorise!
Instead of learning formulas and word-by-word paragraphs, learning should be about understanding. When you’re teaching someone anything, it coerces you to make sure you have a good enough handle on the topic at hand so that you can pass on the knowledge.
In the process, you’re getting a lot of value yourself, for the information you’re teaching gets cemented in the wisdom palace that is your brain.
Build a separate income stream that’s not dependant on you
This is the only pure financial point in this list, although everything we mention is indirectly correlated to money and leads to you making more money on the long run.
Here’s the truth:
You will never be wealthy unless you have multiple income streams!
You can make some money with a really high paying job or by working hard in your business, but wealth comes from outside of work.
How much are you making if you’re not working?
Really?! Answer for yourself..
The realization that you’re probably not earning much outside of your immediate efforts should hit you like a bag of bricks.
You’re here because you want to know how to invest in yourself.. Well, invest your money so that you don’t have to work for money. The oldest advice in the book: let money work for you!
You will never be rich as long as you’re trading time for money!
The moment you’re able to generate a second income stream that’s independent of you, your life changes. It might not be a lot, but if you do it right, it’s there to stay.
The most important thing is that it’s not dependant on you to bring in more income, otherwise you just got yourself another job.
Here are 3 books we strongly recommend on this topic:
- The 4 hour work week. https://amzn.to/33hEGws
- The $100 start-up https://amzn.to/2Ro5jdU
- The parable of the pipeline https://amzn.to/3hxApug
Read all 3 and figure out how to build for yourself. You can always go to alux.com/freebook and sign up. If it’s your first time, our sponsors at Audible will let you pick one of these free of charge.
Clean up your image
Investing in yourself means giving you access to the highest number of opportunities. To get there, you need to sacrifice the handstand keg chugs you and the boys did last summer that are all over the internet.
We all judge people by their appearances and your social media profiles are the new emperor’s clothes. You’re probably lying to yourself if you think it doesn’t affect you.
Clean up your facebook, clean up your linkedin, do some press and opportunities will start coming your way.
Now start taking better care of yourself, learn about fitness, about grooming, about personal hygiene and the snowball will keep rolling down the hill in your favor.
Expose yourself to art and creative ideas regularly
Most people don’t see just how valuable art is. They think paintings are overpriced and “who has the time to look at statues, buildings or print anyway.. We’ve got a tv celebrity to bash on twitter”
Creativity breads value!
And the only way to be creative is to exercise your creative muscle. Think of it like light in a room. The more you expose yourself to other the brighter yours shines. You connect dots differently, you learn about different approaches.
Outside of family, art and beauty is probably our favorite thing to be surrounded by.
Art should inspire you.
It should make you think.
It should make you question things.
It will tell you more about yourself.
That’s why you should make a habit out of coming face to face with creativity with any opportunity you have.
There are 2 great shows on Netflix which you should definitely watch if this sparked some interest in you:
- Abstract – the art of design. Phenomenal show which spoke to our creative side
- Chef’s Table – we’re big foodies, but their take on creativity and storytelling through food is what got us.
Where else are you getting this kind of homework?
Learn a new language
Learning a new language has immediate marketplace added value. You will get better jobs or better deals because of it, but that’s not all.
When you’re learning a new language your brain is expanding. You’re learning culture, you’re learning new structures which all have recurring results over time.
It doesn’t hurt that your inner circle increases in value because of your new found passion.
Going to a restaurant in italy and ordering in italian makes all our italian friends throw their hands up and cheer.
It gives you the feeling of being embraced by a culture and there’s so much value in learning that you can do something like this.
Better equipment & tools
Out of everything on this list, this is the most straightforward one.
Buy better tools that allow you to either:
- Increase the quality of your work – or
- Do your work faster.
Early on in your journey, at least 70% of your residual income should be reinvested in equipment that’s directly correlated to bringing in more money.
Why? Because these are things you need to buy once and then you’re good to go.
At one point you will have everything you need and these tools will pay for themselves in the short to medium term.
Don’t be afraid to spend more on things that make money, not only they are a deductible expense, but you can’t afford to be wasting time fixing issues that can be solved by simply throwing money at them.
Practice introspection & Stop saying YES to bullshit
This one is about investing time into yourself.
Here’s why introspection is one of the most valuable skills we’ve developed over the years. It ties in with meditation but not only.
We’re all carrying a bunch of baggage with us. The goal of introspection is for you to solve the issues of the past one by one, until one day, when all you have to worry or stress about are issues at hand.
This is a fundamental step towards happiness!
Not having to worry about the anchors of the past is illuminating and freeing.
Can you imagine getting to a point in your life where all your worries boil down to simple and trivial things? You should!
The additional step to this is not bringing in new issues. Some of you – and we’re calling you out on this – say YES to things that you know you don’t want to do, and people take advantage of that leading you to a more miserable life than you deserve.
Stop doing this. Stop living for other people and start thinking about what you want out of life yourself.
Investing in yourself means taking all of these things we’ve mentioned seriously and pursuing them because you understand and can see that they have a direct benefic impact on your existence.
Which makes us wonder: How many of these 15 do you actively pursue? Let us know in the comments.
This wraps up our take on the best 15 ways to invest in yourself!