Becoming an entrepreneur may be a dream come true for some, but that doesn’t change the fact that it requires more effort than most people are willing to exert. The trade goes beyond just starting a business – you’ll have to work to make it grow.
Still, not every startup ends up succeeding in the long run. Some businesses fail after just a year or two through the endeavor. This is because managing a company can only be perfected through rigorous training, extensive experience, and solid determination.
You’ll need money to expand and further your company, but an entrepreneur with a better shot of succeeding will not only spend it on tangible items like tools and equipment; they would also invest in themselves. You see, your own creativity and skills are considered intangible assets that can push your business closer to the endgame.
That said, you must choose the ways you invest in carefully. Pick high-value ones that can fuel you and provide the right drive for your company.
In this article, you will learn about the five best investments you should make in yourself as an entrepreneur.
Few things can do more in enhancing an entrepreneur’s intellectual capacity and credibility than higher education. With the learning environment offering vast connections and a chance to spark creativity at the same time, further education can serve as a great incubator for your specialized training.
The beauty of this is that learning comes in many forms.
Finishing a degree or taking up a new one can make a huge difference in your ability to manage your business. Of course, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a four-year course. Even short-term professional development workshops can provide you additional and up-to-date knowledge on your chosen niche.
Reading books, watching documentaries, and even listening to influencers talk during podcasts can prove useful in this endeavor. Plus, you can also talk to successful individuals and seek mentorship with these great minds to gather insight into your business based on their experience.
After all, every brilliant entrepreneur continues to invest in their knowledge base.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg learned Mandarin to help expand his business in China, the world’s largest economy. Investing legend Warren Buffett dedicates an average of five to six hours every day to reading.
Businessmen like Zuckerberg and Buffett are living proof that enhancing one’s skills and abilities are high-value investments necessary for their business to thrive.
A vast network is another important thing you should consider investing in. After all, nobody can do business with you if nobody knows you.
Fortunately, the digital age made it possible for entrepreneurs today to expand their network easier than ever. Social networking can be done on different platforms, including Facebook, Periscope, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. These platforms allow you to build a solid online presence at little to no extra cost.
The best part is, these social media websites also help entrepreneurs establish and sustain relationships with clients – both old and new – and business partners. It can also help them gain perspective for the direction of their business, as well as discover new markets.
Plus, moving yourself and your business to a coworking community can also help you develop an entrepreneurial spirit through collaboration. This will also allow you to find mentors, partners, and even people who think differently – all of whom can contribute to your strategic vision and personal growth.
Besides expanding your own education, a learning environment can also allow you to gain credibility and establish a reputation as an expert. Being on the other side of the podium allows you to help others who are struggling in the trade, thereby solidifying your position as an authority in the industry.
Plus, teaching also encourages you to become an expert in what you’re teaching and learn how to explain ideas and unfamiliar concepts in new ways.
Of course, the classroom is not the only venue suited for this. You can also speak during functions, seminars, and accept invites to become a guest speaker in industry-based conferences where you can market yourself as a knowledgeable and credible source.
The bottom line is to make yourself and your business known as something people can trust.
One thing that many entrepreneurs neglect on their quest to become successful – but most definitely shouldn’t – is their own health.
Many of them make the mistake of overworking themselves, spending more hours at the office, sleeping less, and spending less on their bodies, thinking what they’re doing would help the company succeed. It won’t.
The truth is, your own health is the most essential thing to your success, so it doesn’t make sense for you to risk it. As difficult as it may seem (especially if you have a workaholic mindset), you should never sacrifice your health.
Head to the gym, treat yourself to a good meal and make lifestyle choices that would benefit your health. Even better, take a break and go on vacation.
If you find these suggestions hard to swallow because of the expenses, it will help to think of them as investments in your business. After all, your company wouldn’t be able to progress if you’re not well enough to lead it.
While it may sound cliché, knowing who you are on a deeper level can help you identify your company’s direction. As the company owner, you are expected to have a deep understanding of who you are as it reflects on your business.
When you’re sure of what you want in life, you can also be certain of the direction your company is headed. You see, a common reason some businesses fail is that they lose track of their mission and vision. And this can also occur when the CEO loses his direction in his personal life.
Investing in You
While it is natural for business owners to invest in inventory replenishment, website building, and office rent, investing in themselves is just as important.
If you want to gain an advantage in the market, never forget to spend time, effort, and money in keeping yourself abreast with new knowledge and managing your reputation.
Keep yourself healthy. Never forget that, no matter how many companies you establish, there will only be one you.
Salma El-Shurafa is an experienced Executive Coach and founder of The Pathway Project. She is a Professional Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach from The Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and a graduate of CTI’s Co-Active Leadership program.