What does it take to start a business, live a healthy lifestyle, have a great career, achieve financial peace or gain the skills needed for success? The correct answer is YOU! Believe it or not you are your greatest asset. Merriam-Webster defines an asset as something of value that is owned. That means that you already have it within you. The term “asset” also includes synonyms such as advantage and resource. The key to maximizing your potential as your own personal asset is to invest in yourself. Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”. Investing in the stock market is a great opportunity for success, but what about the individuals that do not know whether or not they are facing a bear or bull market? Returns can be uncertain, but the beauty of investing in yourself is that internally you have the aptitude to produce abundant returns in every aspect of your life.
6 ways to Invest In Yourself
- Gain Experience: If you are thinking about starting a business or changing careers the best way to invest in yourself is to gain experience in your field. It is much easier to obtain business financing for a new business if you have “skin in the game.” If you are thinking about one day opening a bakery try working at a local bakery so that you can get experience in the field and also learn the ends and outs of owning a bakery. Gaining experience beforehand also helps you to understand what pitfalls to avoid.
- Ask Questions: Research the type of business that you would like to own. Getting information on permits and prices on starting a daycare will be of course hard to get from a local daycare owner. However, scheduling a visit with a daycare 75 miles up the road that is not your competition will prove to be very insightful. You will be surprised at how much help other small business owners are willing to give if you just ask. They may even decide to be your mentor.
- Go to class: This phrase is not just for students it’s for adults too! Whatever you are most passionate about it could be cooking, decorating or makeup. Check out local organizations such as community colleges that offer classes in courses that you are interested in. If you are thinking about starting a business or have a struggling business your local community college may offer a 3 hour class such as marketing or accounting that will be beneficial. Starting a small business involves money and time, investing in either requires an understanding of where they are going now and in the future. Many organizations such as Texas A & M AgriLife Extension provide classes at little to no cost on various topics such as agriculture, healthy eating, childcare, and small business development.
- Relax and Workout: It is so easy to get caught in everyday life that we fail to sit down and take care of ourselves. Working out can reduce a lot of stress. Activities such as Yoga or a brisk 30 minute walk can not only help alleviate stress, but help to avoid an increase in weight and the health consequences that come along with it.
- Set goals: If you have dreams of owning your own business or house within the next few years write it down as a long term goal and then put under it the short term goals need to get there.
- Save now: Everything from back to school shopping, to a family vacation or opening a business involves savings. Many banks and credit unions offer vacation and Christmas savings accounts that allow you to save up for those expenses so you won’t be stressed out about it at the last minute. A good idea is to complete a 52 week challenge. The 52 week challenge involves putting $1 on week one in a savings account, $2 in week w and so forth. By the end of 52 weeks you will have saved $1,378.
If you would like more information on how you can get started in investing in yourself or if you know of a class that you feel will benefit your community Contact Winnefred Jackson. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by the office phone (936)334-3230. Winnefred Jackson is the new Community and Economic Development Prairie View Cooperative Extension Program (A Division of Texas AgriLife Extension) County Extension Agent for Liberty County. She holds a Masters of Business Administration from Prairie View A & M University and a Bachelors of Business Administration from Baylor University.
Visit us online at www.pvamu.edu/cahs