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I is for Invest

Do we invest enough in our future? In our businesses? In our education? In our happiness?

As I thought about what to write on the topic of investing my mind started to calculate how much I have invested in myself, in my business and into other things.

My tuition fees, which were for the most part quite low (especially in comparison with other countries) and sometimes even non existent, where an investment that my parents made into my future. Investing in an education is probably always a good thing, even though we cannot be sure of the returns. It is an investment of funds that we hope to regain somehow in the future.

Recently, I read that every entrepreneur should invest about 10% of what they make into their business. I don’t know the numbers, but I have the feeling that there are many who invest everything in hope for some returns while others should invest or invest a bit more.

Three years ago, I headed into the adventure that is freelance teaching. It was a business that I could undertake with very little up front investment. I bought an invoice booklet for I think 10€ and at one point purchased a month preferred ranking on the website where I had my listing at the time. Those two investments were covered by one hour of work, and back then I had no idea how to price my services…

Now three years later, I haven’t invested much, I bought an amazing book about German grammar, I buy metro tickets and sometimes invite my student for a beverage if our lesson takes place in a café. Recently I bought a bike helmet. When I purchased my own domain, it was in away an investment in my business and in myself. Still, all of these investments (not all are really investments, they are often necessary expenses) are very far away from the recommended 10%. If they would be 10% then that would mean that I had either made very little or that things are way too expensive.

Now the question arises of where to focus my investments so that my business and myself can further grow on a personal level. Maybe look into more interesting hosting options for my blog? Enrol myself in a course to be certified as a German as a foreign language teacher or in a creative writing course? Invest in equipment (video and audio) to start selling courses online?

But not all investments have to be of a monetary nature. I can invest myself in a project and come out with more experience with more of something.

I think that investing means that we have to put something in, in order to make something more out of it.

So maybe investing money is not always what needs to be done, it really depends on what we do. Time and energy do seem to be good vehicles of investment. Maybe if we invest 10% of our time, or 10% of our energy (harder to measure I guess) then there can be a very positive return on investment. 10% of one’s free time can be used to learn new things, to work on writing blog posts or a book, finding a new job or something else. If one is a freelance professional 10% of a day’s work time can be used to acquire new skills, to find new clients, creatively develop new services and so on.

How do you invest in yourself, in your business? Do you do enough of that or too little?

Interested intelligent Isa, an Iguana  is interviewing insecure islanders in Innsbruck.

During the month of April, I am participating in the A to Z Challenge, my theme is authenticity and eclecticism, which in my book go hand in hand.

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© Solveig Werner 2016. All rights reserved.