We make investments all the time, but they don’t always have to do with money.
The way you use your time and energy is important to developing the kind of life you want. For the most part, I have a kick-ass life. And most of that is due to the non-money investments I make.
If you’re looking to level up, here are a few non-money investments you should make. Some of them might even lead to a higher income down the road.
One of the best things you can do is keep learning. This doesn’t mean being a perpetual college student. There are plenty of ways to learn that don’t involve going to college.
My favorite way to keep learning is to read a lot of books. Even fiction can provide you with insights and lessons.
There are plenty of places online to learn new things. Read something you don’t agree with to learn the other side. Take a course in something you don’t know a lot about. All of that can be done online.
I also find you can learn from mistakes and failure. Get out there and fail big time. Just make sure you pay attention to the lesson.
Take what you learn and apply it to your life. Whether it’s a new system that helps you be more productive, or whether it’s information about child development that helps you connect better with your nieces and nephews, learning is a great way to make non-money investments in your life.
A couple weeks ago, I was swamped. I had too much to do and felt stressed out. One of the items on my calendar was a mani/pedi. “I think I’m going to cancel,” I told a friend.
Instead of backing me up, he told me to go through with the appointment. “Self-care is an important part of staying well emotionally and physically,” he pointed out.
I try to take time for self-care regularly. This includes relaxing at home, reading for pleasure, and, yes, going to the spa a couple times a month to have my nails done.
My work is better when I take care of myself. I’m more productive when I make time to enjoy myself. And, most importantly of all, my relationship with my son is better when I’m in a healthy state of mind.
You don’t have to get a facial every month or a massage every week (although that sounds AMAZING) to engage in self-care. The important thing is to take time for yourself, doing something that you consider a pleasure.
Networking is one of those non-money investments that can pay off financially down the road.
Getting to know people in your community and in your career field is an important part of moving forward and improving your life.
Networking can help you meet interesting people that you can learn from. It can also help you get an “in” with folks who can help you find a new job, start a business venture, or do any number of things.
I attended a charity benefit not too long ago and I saw a kid, just graduated from college, working it. His parents had brought him long for the express purpose of meeting a couple of attending luminaries and for networking with the cream of the business crop.
As an introvert, networking can be difficult. I know. I just spent an hour at a party, hiding, before getting back out there and smiling and visiting and making connections for the county political organization I head.
Invest the time it takes to learn how to network effectively. It will help you in ways you can’t even begin to fathom.
4. Personal relationships.
I’m not talking about collecting tons of friends. You don’t need a wide social circle to make meaningful personal connections. While I go to a lot of events and am involved in my community, I have a surprisingly small number of deep personal connections.
And I’m just fine with that.
However, the personal relationships I do have are very meaningful, and I like that. Most of us, as humans, have the desire for personal connections.
Good personal relationships enrich your life and provide you with needed emotional support.
Invest in your personal relationships. One of the most important relationships I invest in is the one I have with my son. I also value other relationships in my life. These relationships take time and effort to maintain. It’s worth it.
These relationships take time and effort to maintain. It’s worth it.
Your health is pretty much everything. You can’t enjoy life when your health sucks. I spent five weeks basically sick with everything that was going around at the time.
It was Not Fun.
An investment in your health today pays dividends in the future. You will be better able to meet your goals, and you will have fewer healthcare expenses.
You can benefit from healthy habits today as well. I have more energy when I eat right and exercise. I’m more productive. I make better decisions. My mood is better, and that helps my relationships.
Good health can fuel all sorts of ventures, including those that can make you money down the road.
Pay attention to your health and you will come out ahead in life.
This includes your mental and emotional health as well as your physical health. You might be surprised at how much good it can do to visit with a counselor or therapist on a regular basis to maintain good mental and emotional health.
Don’t forget about your spiritual health. I’m not religious, but there are many things I find edifying and refreshing in my experience as a human, akin to spiritual experiences. If you are religious, nurture your spiritual side and work on your relationship with the divine. It will be good for you in the long run.