There are three valuable things a person can invest: time, money and effort. And nothing will give you a better return than investing these in the things listed below:
1) Invest in yourself:
It shocks me to see how little people invest in educating themselves after their formal education is over. I read somewhere that the average American reads just one book a year, and I guess that this figure is a lot lower here in the Arab World.
Want your business to grow? Well you have to grow first! There are no two ways about it. Invest in quality business books, audio programmes, magazines, newsletters and attend high quality seminars. Though I have two business degrees, I consider myself self-educated, and I must have spent at least $100,000 on my education since leaving university. I have an impressive library of audio CD’s, DVD’s, home study manuals and books on various topics, the majority of which are marketing and business/entrepreneurship related.
But please don’t stop there. Also invest in your health and well-being. Being an entrepreneur is damaging enough to your health because of all the stress and very little sleep. So you have to balance that with exercise, good eating and a healthy lifestyle.
2) Invest in marketing:
Marketing should never, ever be seen as a business expense, but as an investment. Management business guru Peter Drucker once proclaimed that a business should focus on two things only: marketing and innovation (More on innovation in the next point). Just like a regular investment, your marketing should provide you with a proper return on investment. If it doesn’t that means that there’s something wrong with either your message, the media you’re using, or the market your targeting.
3) Invest in Innovation:
Innovation is not the exclusive domain of the tech industry. You don’t need to be Apple or Samsung to be considered innovative. Just updating your filing system to make records more accessible is a form of innovation. When I ran a martial arts school I updated the belt grading process to a system that allowed for larger classes with more varied skill levels.
At the DreamBody Centre, we have some major or minor innovation every quarter. Innovation is part of our DNA, make it part of yours as well.
4) Invest in your Team:
I’m blessed to have a great Team around me, and I’m often complemented on their professionalism and excellent customer service skills. This however is no accident, I invest a lot of time, effort and money in their training. And to be completely honest, the return on investment is beyond measure.
I’ve taken Team investment a step further by developing an in-house leadership mentoring programme (I call it “LMP”) Here I take a small group of hand-picked Team Members through an intense 8-week mentoring session run directly by me. The Team Members love it, and I know it will pay back several times over.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and talk to you soon.