It’s often said that investing in yourself is the best investment you can possibly make. I’m here today to tell you that this is one of the truest sayings of all time.
Obviously the best investment to make would have been Apple about 25 years ago but you get what I mean…
Investing in yourself
So what do I mean by ‘investing in yourself’? Am I saying put your limbs on the stock market and let people trade you on the FTSE100?
We’re talking about making investments that are going to improve your mind, body and soul – basically stuff that is going to make you a better, more complete and well-rounded bloke.
With that being said, we can classify investing in yourself as buying or experiencing things that not only help to improve your physical self, but also things that can improve your quality of life – the stuff that indirectly improves your being.
This all sounds a little bit Tai Lopez – giving you cool sounding words without actually offering any substance.
But ya boi doesn’t do low-level substance, so we’ll go into more depth in just a mo.
Am I really my own best investment?
Of course you are.
At the end of the day, if you buy a nice car or a nice house, eventually you’re gonna want a new one. The same goes for clothes, gadgets – anything.
The one timeless investment that will yield results forever and actually improve your life is yourself.
I’m not bashing buying any of those things by the way – I’m just illustrating my point.
Now this doesn’t mean you can just stuff £20 notes in your pockets and say you’ve invested in yourself.
It is about making good choices with whatever income you have that will benefit you long-term.
So, in answer to the question of this section – you truly are your best investment.
Let’s see how you can get started.
Here we are.
We know investing in ourselves is the best thing since sliced bread but how can you actually do it?
Well, since we’re talking about investing, let’s kick it off with the most boring of all…
This is actually a bit out-of-place on this list but investments are going to make your life so much easier in the long run.
Thanks to compound interest, money invested today will be worth a whole lot more in 30 years time. Having your money sit in a managed investment portfolio will yield £100’s per year – maybe £1000’s depending on how much you lump in.
Now compare that to the £5 a month – if that – interest you get when you have your money sat dormant in a bank account.
Be smart with your money now to give future you the best life imaginable. Imagine what it’d be like to have £100,000+ when you’re 45 just because you put a couple of grand away each year starting at age 20-25?
Personally, I use the Hargreaves Lansdown managed portfolio (shout out to Martin Lewis for putting me on to this) so I don’t have to do anything except put money in. At the time of writing, I have £5,500 invested and have earned about £150 in 2 months in just interest which isn’t bad for doing literally no work.
The best thing you can possibly do to enhance your experience of this godforsaken thing we call life is to learn another language.
I know, I know – most people can speak English.
But it’s about more than just getting by isn’t it? Being able to immerse yourself in a culture, speak to local people properly instead of just expecting them to understand you like a big ignorant idiot.
I tried learning my hand and French and Italian with the former being slightly more successful but if I was to recommend any language other than English to learn, it would be Spanish.
It is second only to English in countries spoken in and is the easiest to learn apparently so the bang for your buck on this one is going to be solid.
You don’t even have to invest either here – Duo Lingo is free! My app of choice is Babbel, which I’ve spoken about on the blog before but there are loads of options out there so just give it a Google.
This is more than just the gym, but the gym is a huge part of course.
My favourite aspects of fitness currently are the weights, sauna, ice baths and good food. These might be different for you – you may enjoy running, sports, whatever it may be – but fitness is an investment that you simply can’t afford to not make.
Fitness boils down to physical activity, mental acuity and everything you put into your body.
Fitness investments that you should make are (just a few ideas);
- A gym membership or home gym
- Organic food
- Personal trainer
- Fitness encyclopaedia
- Stress-relieving cooking equipment (Slow cooker, chef’s knives, etc)
Taking a course is probably the best thing you can do to increase your prospects of landing a well paid job or getting freelance contracts.
I’m currently smashing through courses on productivity, photography and web design on Udemy which have really helped improve the quality and efficiency of my work.
As a blogger, these 3 are integral to my business expanding and being successful, so I dropped £10 on each which has worked out to an absolute steal.
There is absolutely all sorts on there that you can invest in. You get to keep the courses for life and download them for use offline – very useful for one of my points further down.
Obviously Udemy isn’t the only place to invest in courses but it is a good starting place.
If there’s a specific course you want to enrol in, then go for it. I recently enrolled in the Wim Hof 10-week course and I’ve literally never felt better in my life.
After months of reading reviews, watching Youtube videos and trying out the free method, I took the plunge and got it (which was the first course I’d ever bought online). It turned out to be one of my greatest decisions and really hammered home the age old adage – you get what you pay for.
Read, read, then read some more.
Reading is the greatest thing you can do to expand your mind and books are the greatest investment you’ll ever make for acquiring knowledge.
Imagine being able to absorb the life’s knowledge of the most famous, successful people who have ever lived?
That is the window of opportunity that books offer.
Amazing people have dedicated their lives to learning and perfecting their crafts, then condensed it down into a handy little book-sized memoir just for you.
We can take in, in a day, what others spent their lives learning – if that doesn’t show you the truly unbelievable power of books then I don’t know what will.
Here are some of the best books that I have read so far;
- The Secret
- The Alchemist
- The Monk who sold his Ferrari
- The Bulking Blueprint
- The Power of Now
- The Death of Cool
- Farenheit 451
Some of these are fictional books that offer perspective on life or actionable advice, some are pure self-improvement, some are in-between and The Death of Cool is just unbelievably funny.
Each of these books will teach you something about life though and I can wholeheartedly say that I would recommend them all to anyone.
Another way of investing in yourself – without actually technically investing – is to set yourself challenges.
One way that I have recently done this is to have no internet at home. This was a little bit tough at first, but it allowed me to concentrate on my writing, get stuck into my Udemy courses (downloaded offline…) and actually unplugging after my day instead of watching Youtube compilations of Jay Jay Okocha until midnight.
It also made me realise how much time we waste on the internet and it allowed me to enjoy going the library again. Plus, if you were to go permanent with your internet-less-ness then you’d actually be saving money instead of investing it – just saying.
Another challenge I enjoy is the thrill of climbing a mountain. It’s good old fashioned hard work and the pay off is incredible once you get to the top.
Views for days, a sense of accomplishment unlike no other and a workout to burst your lungs and snap your legs.
Every man should climb a mountain at least once in his life – try a hike sooner rather than later.
And our final investment – accountability.
This simply means that you need to start holding yourself accountable for your actions. As a man, you should always own every decision you make and not try to make up excuses as to why something has gone wrong.
A way I like to do this is with my finances by using something quite new to me – Monzo.
Monzo is an online bank that has an app which tells you exactly where your money is going. There are loads of categories such as general, food, shopping, drinks, etc that breaks your money down into a summary which can be downloaded at the end of the month.
You can also set budgets, set a round-up feature (that rounds up transactions to the nearest pound and puts the difference in a savings pot), create tabs with people for trips, ongoing expenses, etc and loads more.
It has been a revelation since I ordered one of their cards and it has allowed me to grow up a bit in terms of finance now I can see exactly where my money is going (shopping).
Obviously every online banking system offers this, but they don’t give such a detailed breakdown and keep it as simple as Monzo.
I’m not endorsed by these by the way – I just think they’re the best out there – plus it’s all free.
There’s a few companies out there who offer similar stuff but Monzo seems to be the far more favoured by the good old general public.
The Bull Excretion List
Here’s a few things that the business gurus/lifestyle hackers/shmucks will sell you. Effectiveness varies from mild to absolute zero.
- Seminars (just a load of pseudo-inspirational talks that offer zero value – watch Ted Talks on Youtube instead for free)
- Fast-track courses (insider groups from the usual types; Forex traders, crypto traders, property investors, angel investors – it’s all bollocks. Take a proper course)
- Exclusive content (if you can think of it, it’s probably out there for free – don’t buy into people’s exclusive content that you have to pay a subscription for).
- Merch (this is self-explanatory, but don’t buy merch from your Gurus – it’s awful and it doesn’t help your cause one bit).
The earlier you start investing in yourself, the better. It’s like with all good investments – the best time to do so was 10 years ago, but the second best time is today.
Try and get started on the free stuff first; learn a language on Duo Lingo, make better food choices, go running, read books from the library, go on a hike, remove the Wi-Fi router from your house and get a bank account that lets you budget like a real adult.
Once you’re in the swing of things and you have a taste for just how amazing it feels to invest time and energy into making yourself a better human you can take the plunge and put your money where your mouth is.
Try lumping £1,000 a year in an investment portfolio, sign up with a language tutor, start buying local organic food, join a gym, buy some high-end kitchen equipment and enrol in an online (or physical) course.
The possibilities are endless, so the quicker you can apply these ‘investments’ the earlier you’ll be able to reap the rewards.
This is a bit of a benefits section for investing in yourself.
We’ll just touch on a few things that you can expect to experience when you start actually treating yourself like the #king you are.
Competence = Confidence
When we’re competent at a certain thing, we have confidence in that area. For example, a teacher is extremely confident in a classroom, but probably not as confident behind a bar. That’s because being a barman isn’t their area of competence.
Well, what happens when that area becomes every aspect of your life?
Being competent in all areas gives you so much unwavering confidence in your day-to-day life that you’ll feel like a completely new man.
Imagine if you stick with your self-investment journey properly and you look at yourself 5 years down the line…
…You’re a top-tier gentleman who speaks 3 languages, is fit as a fiddle, doesn’t rely on the internet for his entertainment, climbs mountains for fun, has thousands of pounds accumulating wealth on his behalf in investments, cooks like a chef, has multiple skill sets that bring in thousands each month and has an accountant-like handle on his finances.
It’d be hard not to be a confident sod – maybe even arrogant one at that level of competency!
You see, investing in yourself is all about the long game. Like with all investments, it doesn’t happen overnight – you’re going to see results reasonably quickly, but the big wins come much further down the line.
Opportunities will just start to manifest constantly.
Once you put out into the world that you are on a self-improvement journey and start taking steps towards your dream goals, opportunity will start to present itself at every corner.
If you’ve never read The Secret you need to – it explains this phenomenon it in much more detail.
You should also read The Alchemist which shows you the importance of the insignificant occurrences of daily life and how to follow these little omens to reach your destiny.
It all sounds a bit woo-woo but trust me, when you want something so badly that you’re willing to invest everything you have into it, the universe will conspire to make it happen.
This means in both the physical and mental sense.
Investing in going to the gym, eating better quality food and cooking nourishing meals are all going to make you much healthier.
But along with building Mount Bicephious, fitness also boosts mental clarity and happiness whilst lowering two of the biggest enemies of our generation – anxiety and depression.
As the old saying goes – Health is Wealth.
Taking time to invest in this area will pay dividends for years. Not only will being healthy add years to your life, it’ll add life to your years.
The benefits of stress-alleviation on health has also been widely documented, so taking time to read, getting your finances in order and having fun learning can also be excellent ways to stay young and healthy for much longer.
One thing you will definitely notice is improved relationships with those people in your life. Partners, friends, family and co-workers will all benefit from your improved relationship skills.
The way to think about is this; if an airplane is about to crash and the oxygen mask falls down, you are supposed to put yours on before you help anyone else put theirs on – even if you have a child.
It perfectly demonstrates that we need to put ourselves first all the time. We must improve ourselves so that we can help others do so too. If you ever need any justification to your loved ones for leaving them to go and do something more important, just show them this section and blame me.
At the end of the day, how can you be expected to love anyone else if you don’t love yourself? And how can you expect people to enjoy your own company if you can’t be alone with yourself for more than an hour?
Like I said at the beginning, investing in yourself is the absolute best decision you can make for giving yourself the best shot in life and overall, just being a far happier person.
Make sure you’re investing in the right things, be sensible with how and when you drop your wonga on said things and you’ll be absolutely flying.