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What You Should Really Invest In If You Want To Be Successful

What You Should Really Invest In If You Want To Be Successful

What do you think of when you hear the word “invest?” What do you think of the word “success?” Doing the first will lead you to having the second, but how?

What I Thought Success Required

As a child and early teen, my vision of success came from my parents and society. My parents encouraged me to learn all I could at school. So I did. I focused deeply on my studies. My grades were great and I was in the top three in my high school class. It didn’t matter the subject, over time I learned to enjoy them all—except gym class, I wasn’t really into sports. But I knew that was fine. Education would rescue me.

The odds are that you were given the same story: get an education, get a good job, stay at the company for 40 years and retire with a big pension. If we’ve learned anything since the Crash of 1987 and the 2008 Recession, it’s this: jobs aren’t stable.

Success Will Cost You

I know you want success. So do I. But the idea of coasting to success based on a degree (or multiple degrees) and a single company just doesn’t happen anymore. You know success is possible, but how? You have to pay the price. You have to make the investments. Not the investments in mutual funds, real estate, or the stock market (although those have their places). No, you have to make investments that will have a positive return—no matter what happens to the market, or your job, or anything else over which you don’t have complete control. Here are the five areas you should really invest in if you want to be successful.

1. Invest in Books

According to Pew research, half of all American adults read less than 5 books in 2013. That number is essentially unchanged from previous years. Five books in a year is a relatively low number. However, if they were books to help you succeed and you applied all of the principles, then you might benefit very much!

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Success Books

    What are people actually reading? According to author Tom Corly,

    People who make $35,000 or less per year read for entertainment 79% of the time.

    People who make $160,000 or more per year read for entertainment only 11% of the time.

    People who make $160,000 or more per year read two or more books per month in areas specifically targeted to help them grow personally and/or in their careers.

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    Among the $35,000 and below income group? 15% read the same number of books in those areas.

    It’s pretty clear that investing in reading the right kinds of books can make a great difference in your level of financial success!

    2. Invest in Events

    In one of my businesses, I went from a $500 investment to over $70,000 in monthly revenue—in seven months. My wife and I were working out of our home helping people to lose weight and get in shape. It was so much fun! But do you know what we did before we made much money at all? We went to an event to learn from people who had already done so.

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      No matter your industry, there are likely events that you could attend. In the automotive industry, there are the Detroit and Chicago auto shows. In electronics, there is the Consumer Electronics Show. Real estate investors have multiple conferences per year. When you invest in attending an event, you not only learn, but your vision grows. You see not just where you are, but where you can be. In talking about mission trips for people (a very specific type of event investment) best-selling author and pastor Mark Batterson puts it this way, “A change in place plus a change in pace equals a change in perspective.”

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      3. Invest in a Coach or Mentor

      Do you know why you are reading this article right now? Let me share two of the reasons: I attended an event and I hired a coach. You may know exactly what you want to do for success. You may have a vision board, a series of daily affirmations, and wonderfully specific goals. But do you know how to make it all happen?

      Mentor

        Do you know all of the small details, or the possible pitfalls? Do you know where making a tiny change could result in a huge return? Do you know where you are just beating your head against the wall and need to stop? No? But guess who does: someone who has already been there. When you hire a great coach, you will save yourself years of frustration and thousands of lost dollars. They will lead you, correct you, encourage you, and (like events) show you a vision bigger than your own. Take your money and invest in a coach, or suffer the consequences of trying to figure it out on your own.

        4. Invest in Relationships

        Success isn’t all about money. How happy will you be if you are making $10 million per year but have no friends or loved ones with whom to share your time? I’d rather be flat broke (and I have been) and happily married than insanely wealthy but all alone.

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        Relationship

          When you are climbing the ladder of success, don’t leave behind those you love most! Lift them into their own success and enjoy the climb together. Invest in relationships because they are worth more than the most precious of diamonds.

          5. Invest in Health

          When I was in my mid-thirties, I decided to take charge of my weight. In less than a year, I was down over 50 lbs. Overall, I lost around 72 lbs from my heaviest and am now in my target weight range. When I was 42, I took up running. I’ve now been a runner for more than four years (feel free to do the math). Do you know why I made these changes and why you should too?

          Running

            Investing in your health has three main benefits:

            • You’ll feel much better: greater energy, a zest for life, and finally enjoying how your body performs.
            • You’ll inspire others: my wife, son, his wife, and a bunch of people I mentor are runners now.
            • You’ll live longer: success does you no good if you are dead. When you invest in your health, you’ll be around for more years to enjoy and share your success with those you love.

            Conclusion

            The idea that a degree and a life-long job will bring success no longer rings true. If you want success, you have to make it happen yourself. Success IS attainable—if you make the right investments. Investing in books (print, electronic, or audio), events, a coach, relationships, and your health will get you the success you so greatly desire… and will help you to bring others with you along the way.

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            Troy Stoneking

            Troy is a coach and speaker who helps people develop amazing relationships and love their work.

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            Last Updated on March 23, 2021

            Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

            Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

            One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

            The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

            You need more than time management. You need energy management

            1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

            How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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            I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

            I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

            2. Determine your “peak hours”

            Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

            Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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            My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

            In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

            Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

            3. Block those high-energy hours

            Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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            Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

            If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

            That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

            There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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            Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

            Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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