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What is the ROI when you invest in yourself?
  • 26 January 2016
  • Eric Michaels

What is the ROI when you invest in yourself?

As a small business owner, your early investments will define how your company grows. Choices in technology, office space, and staff have measurable impacts on revenue and market share. However, investments in yourself can deliver better returns than what you might spend on your company or staff. In fact, investing in yourself often has the best return on investment (ROI) compared to the alternatives.

Return on education
Entrepreneurs tend to be hungry for information. This type of curiosity probably led to the creation of your business in the first place. As the company grows, continue investing your time and money in learning and improving across a wide range of areas. You may decide to be a better manager, seek a business mentor, learn a new computer program, or examine case studies of successful companies of the past. Even though learning takes time, your business will benefit when you run it in an erudite manner. Additionally, sometimes learning something new leads to revelations your competitors cannot see, so gaining an advantage like this should not be understated.

Return on lifestyle upgrades
Entering an industry of exceptional wealth, such as banking, law, real estate, insurance or high-end sales can be intimidating for small business owners. Having to travel and do business in circles populated with affluent individuals driving luxury cars and discussing their expensive hobbies, while you’re busy wondering how to make ends meet, can be awkward.

Right or wrong, there are times when clients and colleagues will judge you by the clothes you wear and the car you drive. For this reason, investing in a professional wardrobe, or a newer vehicle may be worthwhile due to the tangible impact they might have on the perceptions of potential clients. In this case, spending money on a better lifestyle for yourself can deliver a big return on investment.

Return on better health
Never underestimate the power of a healthy, well-rested business owner. Your mental acuity and decision-making dramatically improve when you take the time to eat right, work out and take care of yourself. You’ll have more energy to devote to projects, a better perspective on the overall business, and the stamina to endure when extra work is required.

Of course, it takes dedication to eat well, get a good night's sleep, and exercise every day, but in return you should see a huge return in your performance on the job. By radiating health and confidence, clients and coworkers will perceive a clearheaded, energetic entrepreneur, as opposed to a stressed, overworked business owner.

Return on socializing
As with education and keeping yourself healthy, you must sacrifice part of your schedule to be able to socialize during the week. Among other things, socializing allows you to connect with and court potential customers and the community at large, and also gain insight into what’s wrong and what’s right with your business. Socializing is also a way to blow off steam so you can keep perspective. Be sure to include time to spend with family and loved ones as well, because when you’re working hard but know that you’ll soon be with people who care about you, performance and stamina tend to rise.

Though it’s difficult to determine precise ROI on professional development or investments in yourself, you can usually bet the return will be substantial and the money well spent.

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