Why It’s Important to Invest in Yourself — and 4 Ways to Do So
Leadership roles need competent minds — but having a clear vision means you need to invest in yourself first.
As a business owner, you must be willing to invest in yourself. But beyond willingness, you need to take the time and be intentional about doing so. As an entrepreneur or leader, you likely wear many hats and have a never-ending to-do list. However, it’s essential that you don’t neglect your own personal and professional development. This is imperative, especially for women and people of color who are typically underrepresented in the business sector.
Why Investing in Yourself is Paramount
If you’ve been on an airplane recently, you might remember the flight attendants specifically instructing parents or those traveling with children in their safety demonstration. They are told that in the event of a cabin pressure change, they should place the oxygen mask on themselves first before their small children. It’s a critical step that can be applied to real life.
If you don’t care for your needs first, you might find yourself drained and unable to care for the needs of your business or others around you. Investing in yourself is like putting the oxygen mask on you first, getting what you need so that you can take on other tasks and help other people.
Four Ways to Invest in Yourself
So, how do you place this proverbial oxygen mask on yourself? There are many options, and everyone has their own unique ways that may or may not work for someone else. Investing in yourself should be tailored to what fills you up and recharges you. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Seek Out a Mentor or Business Coach
Find a mentor or business coach who can take you to the next level. You can likely name a few people right now that might be a good fit for this role. Reach out to them and find out if they’d be willing to spend some time mentoring you and helping you grow.
Get Involved in Your Community
Find a community cause you care about and seek out a leadership role. Not only will you be investing in the community you live or work in but also in others around you. While taking on an additional task might sound counter-intuitive to putting on your oxygen mask, volunteering is an excellent opportunity to boost your spirits and invest in yourself.
Delegate When Possible
Knowing when to delegate is a skill and an art in letting go. Sometimes, to focus your energy on a few areas, you need to be willing to let others take care of some items on your to-do list. Think about:
- Who else on your team is ready to step up to a task?
- Who can be trusted with handling the implementation of your vision?
Once you can identify these individuals, you will probably feel more confident in delegating tasks. To invest in yourself, make sure to have people you trust that share your vision.
Start a Good Habit
Set aside time every week to focus on reading, listening, or learning. Make this a habit and stick to it. For example, attorney and business leader April Jones takes a power walk every single morning. She uses this alone time to pray, think, and learn. The bonus in this scenario is the physical and mental benefits of exercise. However, it’s okay to choose a habit that is sedentary, such as sitting down to read a book for 30 minutes in your favorite place or listening to a podcast while taking a hot bath. Whatever you choose, make sure it helps you feed your soul and grow intellectually or in your leadership role.
Jones leads the Sam Cary Bar Association in a second term as President (2005 and 2021). She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. Jones is a member of the California State and Colorado State Bars and is a 2021 recipient of the Denver Business Journal “Outstanding Women in Business Award.”