The holidays are behind us, and it’s a new year and a brand new decade. Phew! I hope you’re feeling renewed, lighter, and super inspired to start fresh! Many of us are taking the opportunity to look ahead with some clarity and make goals for the future. And as an entrepreneur, or what I might call a “near future entrepreneur” if you’re planning to take the leap this year into business ownership, then on top of just personal resolutions you’re probably also thinking about how you want to invest in your business and improve your finances.

The term “invest” is usually used in reference to property, shares, financial commitment, or a purchase. But your most valuable asset isn’t your house, 401k, or a family heirloom you’ll unexpectedly get rich from on The Antiques Roadshow — it’s you, babe! Just like anything else that you hope will appreciate in value over time, you need to invest in it. However, investing in ourselves is not often something we budget for, or make a priority. And I’m not just talking about self care (although that’s important and we’ll talk about that later). When you’re an entrepreneur you ARE your business, and your greatest asset is your ability to earn more. So, how are you investing in yourself?

Here are seven ways you can transform your business by investing your time, money and/or energy into yourself.

1. Seek Out Knowledge

Reading is one of the cheapest ways to educate yourself. This is one of my favorite hobbies because it’s such an easy way to be well-informed. I listen to audiobooks and buy books (call me old fashioned, but I still prefer physical paper books) that I can pass on to a friend when I’m done. And if you take advantage of all that the internet has to offer by reading blogs, watching how-to videos, and listening to podcasts, your self-education is totally free! Pick something specific you want to learn, like managing money or project management, and sign up for entrepreneur-focused and industry-specific newsletters to stay up-to-date on new tools, changing laws, trends, etc. You’ll learn things that will help you be a better business owner, more productive in your work, and more tuned into your customers and their needs.

2. Take a Course

If you’re planning to start a business for the first time, or are rebuilding and need some help getting things right this time, get some step-by-step guidance from an expert. Planning a business is no small feat, and even the smartest, most dedicated entrepreneurs will run into some area where they lack knowledge and need support and direction. Figuring it out the hard way can cost you time and money, so a small investment at the beginning to learn how to do it right is well worth avoiding that stress, heartache, and liability.

(Pssst… by the way, we know you like to do things your way and on your own time, so we created our self-paced Nest for Success e-course. We walk you through picking the perfect name, developing an airtight business plan, getting your financial ducks in a row, creating your legal agreements and everything else you need, including coaching on the MAJOR mindset transformation that happens when you become a business owner!)

3. Get Certified

Developing your expertise can increase your earning potential and enhance your professional marketability. If you’re a business owner, acquiring a new skill or leveling up on one can allow you to expand your offerings and gain more clients. Is there a certification that could add credibility or value to your services? If you’ve been putting it off, ask yourself why. Is it a worthy investment in your business? If so, get your study materials, commit to putting in the effort, and take the test! You’ll get a boost of confidence and you can add that credential to your website and marketing to gain trust from your potential clients or customers. It may even give you a competitive advantage.

4. Make “Your People” a Priority

We often talk about investing in things, but people are an equally worthy investment. The most important people in your life are probably the reason you get out of bed each morning. You make certain decisions and spend time increasing profits and productivity in your business so you can take care of and spend more time with your favorite people, right? So make sure you don’t neglect them when you’re busy hustling to make that happen. Vacations or free nights and weekends can be few and far between, so little gestures in your day-to-day are crucial for relationship maintenance. When can you take a couple minutes to reach out and check in with a loved one? Send a quick text when you’re thinking of them. Maybe plan a phone call on your drive home. Schedule a weekly time block for a personal coffee or lunch date just like you would a work meeting. Commit to phone free dinners and conversation. You will never “find” the time, but you can build it into your day.

5. Find Work/Life Balance

We live in a society that equates busy-ness with importance so it’s easy to view workaholics as driven and successful. But at Wildernest, we believe in designing your ideal business around your ideal life. So although it can be tempting to put in a few extra hours to “get ahead,” you need to create some healthy boundaries for yourself. When you’re exhausted, not feeling well, or just need a break, it’s OK to put work on pause. Carve out some free time when you can relax or explore your interests. Maybe that means a Sunday morning ritual like going out to breakfast and reading for a couple hours, or a big yearly getaway. Find some zen by meditating or taking a walk. Surround yourself with whatever makes you feel good like soft sheets, green plants, or beautiful art. Get enough sleep. And DON’T let yourself or anyone else make you feel guilty about any of this! We need to take care of ourselves if we’re going to be able to focus on, achieve, and enjoy our long term goals.

6. Eat Well

Your health is one of your most valuable assets, and maintaining and improving it should be priority number one. Unfortunately, when we are busy and stressed we reach for convenient and comforting foods that are usually not good for us. We may get a temporary boost of energy from those sugary or fatty go-to’s, but there is no real nutritional benefit. Drinking enough water and eating fresh, healthy foods that stabilize your blood sugar and give your body the fuel it needs to function properly can help you prevent illness and increase quality of life and work productivity. Help yourself feel your best and stay on track by always carrying a water bottle and having quick access to nutritious options in your fridge, desk, or lunchbox. If you need some motivation and ideas for meal planning, talk to friends, follow healthy lifestyle accounts on Instagram, or subscribe to a meal kit delivery service.

7. Move Your Body

Along with eating nourishing foods, we can take care of ourselves by getting daily exercise. We know not everyone has the time and passion to wake up at 4:30am to do Crossfit or train for marathons, but we all benefit from getting out of our chairs, moving our bodies, and getting a little sweaty. This has always been hard for me because when I’m busy this seems like the easiest thing to cut from my schedule rather than a priority. However, when I am able to get into a regular routine of going to the gym or practicing yoga, I notice that I feel so much better physically and mentally. I’ve recognized it as essential self care as it allows me to manage my stress and anxiety as much as my fitness or weight. How can you plan some “me time” for yourself? Try to block off time on your calendar for the gym or sign up for regularly scheduled fitness classes. You can also look for any opportunity to walk or stand throughout your day.

Make a Plan

What do you want to accomplish by investing in yourself? As you budget your time and finances for 2020 business commitments and goals, don’t forget to keep some aside to invest in yourself. Investing in your personal and professional growth will not only yield future returns, it also has ‘right now’ benefits. Investing in yourself helps to create a strong and secure foundation on which to build throughout your life and will impact your ability to perform, achieve your goals, and live to the fullest. It will be one of the best ROIs you are ever likely to experience and your future self will thank you for it!

You’ll need a committed mindset to achieve what you’re hoping to accomplish. Write your goal or vision down and stick it somewhere you’ll see every day like your fridge or bathroom mirror. Set up recurring reminders in your calendar to check in with yourself on your progress. Make a separate account for what you’re saving for and even set automatic deposits so it grows and gets you closer to your goal. Do anything you can to help yourself stay committed to whatever it is you’re doing to invest in yourself. YOU ARE WORTH IT.

author

andrea kalan

Digital Marketing Director

Tampa, Florida USA

Living by the mantra, “Do no harm, but take no shit,” Andrea believes that everyone deserves a fair shot at happiness. She brings her advocacy, desire to connect with clients on a personal level, and 10 years in digital marketing to help women pursue their dreams and define their own success.In building Wildernest, she’s created the lifestyle she needs to be her most full, creative self and has found the power to use her voice to help other women do the same.

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