We go into business for ourselves, and we don’t give much thought to investing into ourselves. It is always about the customer or client, what they want, what they need, will they buy, how do we market that. More often than not, we don’t think about ourselves until we hit a wall, or it’s simply too late. We have no direction; we fumble around, and it becomes too hard. If only we knew where to turn to help us climb that wall because sometimes, the grass is greener on the other side.

I’m not talking about taking a walk or watching your diet, these are givens, we already know we cannot sit for 12+ hours a day with a walk to the fridge being as far as we travel. I’m talking about investing in your brain, your knowledge.

I often wonder how far my business would have gone if I didn’t take the time to learn and grow, to further my skills. To make time to become a better me. I got to thinking about how much time we actually spend giving back to ourselves, the truth, not much.

For a long time, I didn’t bother; I wasn’t worthy, it was all about my client and who has time for books. I am an SME in administration; it’s my thing. Times change so my knowledge needed to. How can I expect to continue as an SME if I haven’t learnt anything new in the last 12 months.

I often hear (or read) from other small business owners who become so caught up in all of the above that they become cynical about investing in themselves. My job is to advise these businesses on what they need to be doing to move forward. However there’s a saying:

you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink

I’m not going to make you drink, but I am going to share with you 10 ways you can give back to yourself.

  1. Schedule a reoccurring time in your diary to give back to yourself. Set a reminder.
  2. Know where you spend your time. If you are spending all day getting caught up in social media, then you are not doing what you need to do for yourself.
  3. Read, watch, listen. Know who you like to follow, subscribe to their blogs or if they do videos find them on YouTube and subscribe to them there. Find them on iTunes and grab their podcasts.
  4. Have the right tools for the job, don’t try to be the expert for your clients while trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
  5. Find a mentor or a coach, ask for referrals from friends. The value you will receive from the right person is immeasurable.
  6. Follow through on what you start, don’t give up when it gets hard, being strict with yourself is part of the diligence needed to give back to yourself.
  7. Create a new habit that is going to help you. I’m not talking about having less coffee. I’m talking about maintaining what you start to help you give back.  What’s that thing they say, if you do it every day for 21 days you are home and hosed.
  8. Learn something new, keep your skill level up, over and above. You are an SME in your chosen business, don’t think you know it all because as each day passes, the world continues to change.
  9. Answer questions, become relational on social media
  10. Network, get out there, move out of your comfort zone and meet new business acquaintances who once they get to know you will be great advocates for your business and vice versa.

I’d love to know how you invest in yourself, so please leave a comment below.