The saying ‘ignorance is bliss’ cannot be more further from the truth. Not sure where the phrase emanated from, it is simply not intuitive. “Ignorance is bliss” is a fallacy because ignorance is very expensive. Imagine a situation where, for whatever reason, you only became aware of the benefits of enrolling in your company’s 401(k) retirement plan during your third year working for your company and learning that your peers who enrolled from day one (maxing out annually on their contributions) are already up an average of $25,000 in assets. Ouch!!! OR one of your peers at work has just landed a coveted project role thanks to having a mentor who helped advance her interest…and they say ignorance is bliss??? Below are 3 guidelines:
- Invest in yourself: let’s face it – who else has a greater vested interest in your success besides you? In other words, if you do not make the commitment to better yourself, no one else will; afterall, it’s your future at stake and not theirs. Take an active interest in reading books – business related, motivational related, self-help content, increasing your knowledge base. Strive to stay abreast of current affairs i.e be present. I must admit that sometimes I fall behind on keeping up with the news but I do try to catch up when I can. To combat this, some people subscribe to daily newspapers and business magazines; not a bad idea. Surround self with family and friends who bring out the best in you. Recall in my 2018 new year’s resolution pointers, I stressed the importance of ridding one’s self of negative, energy-sapping friends and family (click here for that post). There is simply no time to indulge in useless banter with anyone, channel such time to investing in yourself. Always wanted to learn fashion designing? or carpentry? or programming/coding? enroll in a course or two in your local community college then practice, practice, practice.
- Invest in your career: don’t go through life or career absent minded. Be active and aware. Join professional organizations for the opportunity to network with colleagues in the industry and keep abreast of industry developments. Take the time to enhance soft skills – remember the 80:20 rule i.e. 80% of our success stems from how adept we are at soft skills while 20% is technical related. If you are mediocre at public speaking, now is the time to develop that skill, enroll in public speaking engagements, join your local Toastmasters International. Once you become comfortable, volunteer to give speeches on topics dear to your heart. Get a mentor, don’t envy anyone in a top position or highly coveted role, but rather, draw inspiration from them to emulate for your professional advancement.
- Educate yourself on personal finance: take charge of your finances – subscribe to finance blogs such as this (share the link with your contacts) to receive tips of finance, enroll in a finance or accounting class for a summer, know the difference between good and bad debt. Set up a realistic budget and adhere to it. Take an interest in stock market investing to make some extra cash annually. No one expects you to be a stock market pro but know enough to engage in intelligent conversation and oh, while making money in the process.
Where is the time to do all these you ask? There is time, just need to find it – reduce time spent binge watching TV, on social media, gossiping (definitely drop this bad habit), binge online shopping (and save some money in the process) and voila! all of a sudden, you free up a few hours of your day or weekend for more fruitful activities such as listed in #1 – #3 above. I wish us all the strength.
How else have you invested in yourself? Drop me comments, I’d love to hear from you. I read them all.