Invest

“Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.” Robin Sharma

I am a business owner. You are a business owner. Yes, all of the readers of this newsletter are business owners. And the one business that all of us own is the business of our personal life. It is the most important business you will ever own.

Because of this truth, business articles that are written for business owners, also apply to us personally. Some of the best suggestions for personal success are found in business articles.

Entrepreneur and author Andrew Griffiths recently wrote an article for business owners that may be even more important on a personal level.  He wrote…

“I often get asked by business owners and entrepreneurs what’s the single most important thing they should do to be successful? For me the answer is really simple, invest in yourself. It is without a doubt in my mind, the greatest investment that we can make, yet surprisingly few do.”

In his article, The Most Important Investment You Can Make, he emphasizes three important points:

  • Investing in oneself is the single most important tactic to be successful
  • Few owners rarely invest in themselves.
  • The reason for not investing is a perceived lack of time or money

Investing in oneself would appear to be common sense. Perhaps, even easy to accomplish. If so, is there a good strategy to do this? Yes, there is.

As I started my own transportation company, over 40 years ago, I decided early to continue my education by regularly reading a number of publications: business journals, leadership books, and industry magazines and newsletters. My firm conviction was that my knowledge was never complete. There is always something that can be learned.

My personal investment process is the same today as it was early in my life.  It is plain common sense.

Gather; Analyze; Decide; Act

  • I gather a broad area of information, through reading and listening to others. I make mental and written notes on what I have heard and read. I regularly reread my own notes.
  • I engage others with the material I am now processing. I ask plenty of questions. I test out my thinking through the eyes of my counselors.
  • At some point, I have to decide what it means for my life and the important people who surround me. What is essential? What will make the most difference three to five years from now?
  • Nothing matters unless there is some action at the end. Action is the rubber meeting the road.

My reading endeavor is divided into three main groups.

  • Industry news
  • Best management and leadership practices (for readers of this newsletter, this category might be oriented by the type of job you do)
  • Positive thinking material
  • Company news

In today’s world, with all of the rapid changes, everyone can benefit from staying on top of your industry. In some instances, not doing this can result in loss of a job or failure of a department or organization. In the early years of Hackbarth Delivery Service, we were a bank transportation company.  At one juncture, our bank revenues were over 90 percent of our total sales. Yet, we knew that electronic technology would change this industry. We went to work on creating other verticals for our company. Today, bank transportation represents less than 10 percent of our revenues. If we had not invested in staying on top of our industry, we would be a much smaller company today. Perhaps, not in existence.

In my past and current roles, management and leadership books are very important for what I do. What type of job do you have now? Are you a medical technician? If so, staying on top of the newest technology is essential for long-term success. If you are a real estate broker, changes in tax laws concerning mortgage interest are critical in your effort to provide customer service.

Keeping a positive attitude is the third category. A positive attitude is always part of the success of any individual or company.  I consistently read books and certain publications on keeping a positive attitude. Much of what is available is free. Everyone needs and depends on a great attitude for long-term success in life. Mondays are Great is my personal brand and a constant reminder of the importance of positive thinking strategy for success. What is yours?

Finally, staying on top of the news within your own company, whether you are an owner or employee, is essential. Every aspect of your company, financial or social, is significant in today’s world. How often have we seen a wildly successful company of the previous year on the rocks today? If you are retired, then your company is represented by the family and friends surrounding you.

Business owner, how is your business doing?

Today, I will succeed.

I will invest in me.