As the New Year approaches, many organizations and individuals are deep in planning mode. Where will you make your bets to drive the best possible outcomes? What investments will hit pay dirt in the coming months and years?
Of course, there is great debate on which investments are ideal. TV pundits scream stock tips into the camera, while your sister-in-law tells you about a real estate deal that “can’t miss.” Commodities, precious metals, art, start-ups, mutual funds and foreign stocks are being discussed at the dinner table while new factory equipment, headcount expansion, marketing campaigns, and R&D are the talk of the boardroom.
As our heads spin with limitless – and sometimes conflicting – options, we turn to the most prolific investor of our time:
“Investing in yourself is the best thing you can do. Nobody can tax it or take it away from you. If you maximized your talent, you’ve got a tremendous asset that can return tenfold.”
– Warren Buffett
Stocks are volatile, deals can collapse – so this makes a strong case for investment in your own growth and development. The cost of a book, course, seminar, personal coach, or workshop is dwarfed by the insight and knowledge it can generate. Your ability to discover new ideas, close that important deal, win new investment, get promoted, or help your community is directly linked to your ability to learn and grow.
Surprisingly, most people don’t invest in themselves. According to a study by the Jenkins Group, 42% of college graduates never read another book after graduation. Eighty percent of U.S. families did not read a book last year, while 57% of new books are not read to completion. Whether you prefer books, TED talks, live workshops, or YouTube clips, investing in yourself can quickly deliver the edge you seek.
The same is true in the business world. According to a 2011 study by the Corporate Executive Board, “Companies that invest in leadership development have outperformed others by 15 times over the last 60 years.” Businesses invest countless resources in technology, facilities, and compliance, yet the most powerful investment of all – investing to elevate team performance – is often underfunded or cut altogether. Ironically, companies that prioritize leadership development can enjoy enormous boosts in both revenue and productivity.
As you look ahead to the New Year, think about allocating some resources (time, money, energy) to personal and professional development. The format matters less than the focus, so choose whatever works best for you. Read. Explore. Watch. Learn. Grow. Evolve. Change. Adapt. Innovate. Expand. Investing in yourself and your team will fuel performance, and help make 2016 your best year yet.
Josh Linkner personifies creativity, entrepreneurship and disruptive innovation. He has been the founder and CEO of four tech companies, which sold for a combined value of over $200 million.
The content writers at BigSpeak Speakers Bureau are Experts on the Experts. They hold doctoral, masters, and bachelors’ degrees in business, writing, literature, and education. Their business thought pieces are published regularly in leading business publications. Working in close association with the top business, entrepreneur, and motivational speakers, BigSpeak content writers are at the forefront of industry trends and research.