It’s already happening. We see the Christmas decorations before we can even find a turkey to carve. That must mean that new year resolutions are coming quickly behind. One of my favorite things to ask people is to how are you going to invest in yourself and your business in the new year.
Here are five quick ways to make that happen in 2017. The best part? YOU determine how much of your budget you are going to allocate in each category depending on the impact you see each area has for your business.
5 Ways to Invest In Yourself in 2017
- Invest in your network. This means have monies available to treat people to lunch. This is not to pick their brains. This is for bona fide listening sessions where YOU add value to their plans and ambitions. You can also add to this list buying their books, taking their webinars, or even sponsoring their events. Good karma comes back to you and making your network stronger only helps your business grow.
- Invest in your library. What books, magazines, newspapers, etc. are you actively paying for to make sure they arrive on your doorstep daily, weekly, or quarterly? Do you have a budget for such things? Warren Buffet spends about 80% of his day reading. If you are going to put that kind of investment into an activity, I wouldn’t leave it to the whims of shares on Facebook. Invest in a few key subscriptions in 2017.
- Invest in stationary. Seems simple, but in our tech world, how much of your communication could be on paper? Business cards, letterhead, post cards and even thank you notes should be at the ready. In a pinch, it is okay to send any of these items generically. However, make a memorable statement more memorable with your brand attached. Here's a bonus stationary item: If you are doing any videos get a banner, or even a step-and-repeat, to place behind yourself during your broadcasts or recordings. Why? You guessed it. Branding.
- Invest your time in YOU. Take some free or paid classes. I love Coursera.org for classes I can take at my own pace. Plan social media time so that you aren’t letting it become a time suck. What Facebook groups do you frequent where you are making real connections or coming away with actionable suggestions? What’s your website look like? How often have you said it needs a revamp? One or two changes a month can make a huge difference. Invest time in planning your calendar daily, weekly, and monthly so you know what you are doing and when. Make time to sit and create a big, hairy, audacious, smart hustle goal on a daily or weekly basis. Luxuriate in that vision. You can’t do that if you don’t have the time or are only stopping to do this when you have a moment or two between meetings.
- Invest in building your stage. Something wonderful happened to me in the last month. I made a decision not to attend an event I’ve attended for the past few years because the cost exceeded the need for the information. Then I decided to host a free event in Washington, DC, even though I live in New York City. Once everything was said, paid for, and Ubered, I spent as much on my own free event as I would have at the conference. The conference would have taught me a lot, and I would have built up my network to some degree, but the feeling of hosting my own tribe? That was worth 10X what I spent to me. My goal is to build my own stage – i.e. host my own conferences - and it should be yours, too. When you attend conferences and events, your ultimate goal should be to build up YOUR list and YOUR contacts so that in the long run you can host events as the expert. Once you start seeing the receipts (financially and as becoming a go-to expert in your field) of your labor, you will understand how this investment is the best one of all. Plus, this is where all the other investments – your time, network, library – also reap the rewards.There’s still plenty work to do in 2016. However, every Smart Hustler knows you have to plan your work and work your plan. Here’s to planning your investments in 2017!