Entrepreneurs need to invest just as much in themselves as they do in their business. While other entrepreneurs are doing their best to grind every last nickle and dime out of their business, you should take time out of your schedule to invest more in your personal and professional development.
This unique kind of strategy can pay off huge dividends if you stick to it.
1. Head to school
School offers so much more than just the ability to learn new things. It’s also a networking hot-bed. Consider if you had of met the likes of Mark Zuckerberg back in his college days while Facebook was still just a flash in the pan for him? Go to school part time when your schedule permits, or take an online course with an accredited institution.
2. Read things you normally wouldn’t
Of course, you need to constantly be reading business related books. Motivation’s great too, in limited doses. Some experts recommend staying away from fiction because it doesn’t teach you anything. I disagree. I’ve lost count of the number of facts I’ve learned from reading fiction — across all genres.I’ll readily admit to reading horror, mysteries, even romance novels can hit the spot now and again.
If you normally just stick your head in a juicy spy thriller or romance novel, consider reading more non fiction, as there’s much to learn from them. However, don’t discount the relaxing fiction fare either. Even if you’re not learning anything, you’re distracting yourself temporarily from the stress of building your business or career.
3. Take up teaching as a side gig
You’ll instantly gain credibility wherever you go when you can put that teacher moniker on your resume. It doesn’t so much matter where you teach, or what, so much as that it challenge you in some form. In order to be a great teacher, you have to know the course material backwards and forwards, be willing to stay up late at night preparing lesson plans, etc.
This will invigorate your mind and you’ll start learning new things too, from faculty, students, and the research materials you use to prepare your lessons. Don’t let your talents and expertise go to waste and the rewards will be many.
We all need to travel, whether we know it or not. Human beings are hunter/gatherers and traveling is just ingrained in our genetics. Traveling will relax you, while also expanding your horizons — learning about new cultures, seeing how people on the other side of the world do things, learning how to talk to people from all walks of life.
Travel will also help spark new business and product ideas that you may not have otherwise thought of had you not ventured out of your cozy space.
5. Get in shape
Getting in shape is so important for everybody. Some entrepreneurs enjoy constant exercise during their day, especially if your business involves plenty of physical labor. So many though find themselves chained to a desk for 16 hours a day, which can quickly lead to health problems including heart disease, diabetes and mental illness.
While this might not seem like an investment at first, consider what happens to your business if you can’t be there to run it?
6. Get into a co-working building
This is a huge growth move that few entrepreneurs have the courage to do. Co-working communities are a great way to meet both like-minded and completely different-minded people who can help to mentor, teach, guide and inspire you to build a better business.
If you think this kind of opportunity isn’t something available in your area, think again. There are communities in every city and most major towns. Some are dedicated to specific industries while others are open to all. They’re also a great way to save money as you’re sharing a space as opposed to renting it just for your business.
With that said, I expect costs to rise quickly in this space, as this survey showed coworking spaces are serving 46% more member today than they were two years ago.
7. Start networking more
This isn’t new advice for any of you reading this. Go to trade shows, enroll in local and regional business clubs, pick a sport and sign up for a team, etc. Heck a really good idea for networking is to lock onto a target, a person you really want to meet and get to know, then network your way into their lives. This kind of investment speaks for itself as to the continued benefits it’ll offer your life and business.
Have any tips for entrepreneurs to invest in themselves?
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