Investing in Yourself

It’s April, everyone! Here we are in the midst of springtime. As spring arrives, we find ourselves at the start of spring cleaning. This is a time of renewal; a time to clear out the old and bring in the new. Often when we clear out the old, we over-correct and begin shaming our old ways of doing things. In essence, our spring cleaning can start to become more of a to-do list. “Get better at this, stop doing this,” etc., etc.

A counter top with spoons filled with different spices.
Is there perhaps a different way to pave a new path? Could we be forgetting the bigger picture here? What I encourage you to do is to alter your list to be more vision-focused. Look for ways to connect the things that you add to the list to the things you really want to accomplish.  Investing in yourself means keeping your overall growth at the forefront, not just curbing bad habits and changing small features you don’t like.

Rather than pushing out what you want to be different, bring in what you want to make stronger.

Now, this is easier said than done. When you inevitably enter into unknown territory, it often happens unexpectedly, and realizing you might get stuck may take some time. You need to discover new ways to invest in yourself, to build your capacity to grow. The right combination of mentors, coaches, and advisors will support your development. Establishing this takes effort and networking, but the time spent doing so is invaluable. Unfortunately, in business and life, you really can’t Google all the answers! Building relationships with others who are in the same place as you is another key to success. People who are going through the same things know what the road looks like and often have words of advice and encouragement.

So, how do we truly invest in ourselves, building up both our personal and business lives to get what we really want?

  1. Build networks and support systems. Creating support systems will build your confidence to go after your big gorgeous goal. Finding mentors, coaches, and a special group of women advisors (what I call a privy council) is an important step in investing in yourself and your business.
  2. Find mentors. Mentors are those who give you advice and counsel. The network I’ve built has helped me many times over as I’ve wrestled with problems or questions. When you find someone who has the expertise you would like to learn more about, invite them for coffee or lunch. Take the opportunity to assess their fit for you as a prospective mentor. You may just need that one lunch or coffee to ask the relevant questions related to their knowledge and skills. However, if you find you want to create a longer-term mentorship with them, you need to ask for it. Often, mentors will work with you in return for lunch or dinner a handful of times a year.
  3. Work with a coach. A coach can be a great sounding board for you and your ideas. The coaching relationship looks at all areas of life: business, family, home, and the whole person. Working with a coach can teach you many things about yourself. It can broaden your perspective and, with a good coach, teach you to be an advocate for yourself, too, integrating the skill of analysis—turning problems around and examining them from all angles.

As you continue your spring cleaning, my hope is that you will continue to build in all aspects of your life and focus on the parts you want to make stronger. Too often we shift focus from our big gorgeous goals onto the ugly parts of ourselves we want to get rid of. When engaging with spring cleaning, you want to focus on the stuff you’re bringing in… not the stuff you’re taking out. Keep your eyes on the prize and don’t forget to pat yourself on the back every once-in-a-while.

Investing in yourself is a gift – enjoy it, cherish it, and let it be your guiding light!