Are you the type to take risks? Not jumping out of an airplane for the thrill, kind of risk. But spending your valuable time and your own dime, to put yourself in a better situation for advancement, kind of risk. Have you pushed the limits, despite the possible loss, or are you too afraid of no reward? A lot of you may be further along in your endeavors, as opposed to those just dipping your toes in. Investing in yourself can be done at ANY point in your life and your career. Though, our culture and our younger generation is just not talking about it, investing in ourselves is what helps us climb the ladder in our careers, without wasting time. Knowing that investing in myself right now will eventually make a positive impact on my life, gives me faith. There will be a lack of sleep, sometimes you lose money or friends but when you devote the right amount of time, focus and strategy to your vision, the return is far greater than the losses

HAVE YOU BEEN WASTING YOUR TIME?

We all love a good show, right after work you definitely deserve a little winding down. But when you’re 5 seasons into the show, in one sitting, it might be time to reconsider your priorities. Use that extra time you have throughout the day to build your capacity.

Time is among one of the most valuable things that we have in this life. With its limitations and unpredictability, we can’t afford to waste it.

“Stop spending your time, start investing your time” – Al Duncan, Advocate, Educator & Publisher. Since we can’t get back lost time, we have to dedicate time to our craft. If you want positive results with your endeavors, your trade, your vision, it will never manifest if you aren’t setting aside time to work on it. The benefits will take the slow route at times, but this extra time also allows you to learn new ways to improve your expertise. In return, your confidence and effectiveness will grow tremendously. 

My experience with investing toward my craft, wasn’t exactly a walk in the park. But I saw where I wanted to be, and knew that it’d take saving up to put myself through grad school, getting a masters degree, and climbing the ladder. Since my job didn’t have the budget to fund the classes I needed for certifications, I knew I would come out of pocket for the classes, but I was willing to invest these funds in order to obtain the salary that I wanted. When things don’t happen when you want them to, you have to make a way for yourself. The end goal for me? Becoming a better version of myself, becoming more marketable and at a young age qualifying for better paying positions. The roller coaster that is investing, may seem tricky and almost impossible to win in the beginning. Those ups and downs are happening for a reason, each fail and each win, you’re learning what does and doesn’t work. Each set back gives you the drive to do better next time.

Keep up that hard work and the time you’ve sacrificed will pay off, soon enough you’ll strike that pot of gold. 

YOU WILL only go as far as you invest into you 

The truth is, none of us are going to win, win, win, no matter what, of course unless you’re DJ Khaled, or Frane Selak. But let’s face it, no one wants to be a loser. It’s definitely demeaning as a word. But until we fall down, we will never know how to get up at our lowest points. The ultimate objective for me, is to one day be in a position where I can provide opportunities for others, or go into business with other like minded people. In order to do that, I’d need to surround myself with those who share my values, and those who are progressing in the direction I’d like to be. Eventually, your whole network will begin to change. When you’re investing in yourself, those people who take a general interest in what you’re doing, gravitate toward you, and support your vision. While others will gradually fall off, revealing their lack of interest in your cause, this is a loss for the better

The further along I get, in my journey, I start to understand that I’m only going to go as far as I invest in myself. You can put the blame on others being in your way, but once that’s no longer an excuse, you’re the only one left standing in your own way. You have to recognize, right now, how bad you want the change and if you are willing to sacrifice the money, time, and energy to bring your vision into fruition.  Seeing the success of those around me, hitting marks in their career a lot quicker than others, opened my eyes to the possibilities there could be for me if I invest in myself. You’re probab ly reading this thinking “Ced, that sounds great and all, but how exactly do I invest in myself?” I’m glad you asked, below are some

Steps You Can Take to Invest in Yourself: 

  1. Set Goals → This will allow you to prioritize where your time, energy, and money will go to ensure your success. Start with setting specific, attainable goals.

  2. Look for ways to expand your level of knowledge in your desired expertise. Reading books on the subject, attending workshops, go back to school if possible,  anything that will further your advancement in that skill set. 

  3. For those who have a craft, spend time practicing it until it is perfect. In your down time, on your off days, every minute you have to spare, use it toward discovering how to be the best in your industry.

  4. Invest into your health, what you put into your body affects your daily performance.

Make it a habit to prioritize these goals, and put your energy only into the things that are going to catapult you toward meeting them, your vision will seem even more attainable in no time.

THE STRUGGLE IS REAL, BUT IT’S WORTH IT: THE PAY OFF

Do you know exactly where you want to be in life, so much that you can almost taste it? Speaking my accomplishments into existence is one thing, but I had to also speak with my mentor about, “How do I get there?”. I wanted to be in a different tax bracket within 3 years versus 6 years. I want to skip the whole seniority phase,  “Let’s give him the promotion because he’s been here for so long”. This cannot determine my career. I have to make myself as valuable as possible as soon as I can. Get that degree, invest in myself from the jump. The people using this method, I’m watching them go from 90k to 120k in a matter of 2 years versus what would take 6+ years to obtain. When speaking with the CEO of SPGBK watches , Kwame A. Molden, he drops some gems on the significant influence investing has created in his life and career success. 

“I didn’t get the idea, concept or the passion for my brand SPGBK, until investing into my education and going back to grad school. Nobody wants to hear about your struggles, they just want to hear that you’re winning. Don’t take it personal when other people aren’t supporting you. If you’re focusing and investing in yourself, your company and what you’re building, everyone will eventually follow your wave. I transformed my life by making time to read, meditate, seek inspiration & exercise daily. Your corporate job may be what pays the bills, but at 5:00pm, close your computer and start thinking about your life. Work as hard as you can, put forward 100% and the work will speak for itself.”

– Kwame A. Molden  Founder of and CEO of SPGBK

When you take your craft serious, like your future depends on it, investing time into it will become natural. Yes, this loss of time could potentially seem like a risk initially because you are sacrificing time when you could be doing other things you may enjoy, like sleeping or hanging with friends. The risks long term can take a toll on you socially and physically. But essentially, people aren’t going to take an interest in what you’re doing if you aren’t. While in some communities, it’s become a norm to invest in stocks, in the black community it’s become normalized to invest in material things that offer nothing in return.