Why You have to Invest in Yourself First

Reading time: 4 minutes

Invest in your identity capital

Investing is a key factor for a successful financial journey. One way to invest is of course investing money. But before we dive into that topic next week, I want to highlight investing in yourself. In this blog post you will learn why it’s important to invest in yourself and get to know different ways of investing.

What is identity capital?

The term identity capital was coined by Meg Jay in her book “The Defining Decade”. Your identity capital is your personal set of professional, intellectual and social skills and experiences, that you build up over the course of your life. She calls it a kind of capital, because all of these skills and experiences will determine the quality of your relationships, and the success of your career.

Bloom where you are planted
Photo by Paula Brustur on Unsplash

How does identity capital benefit you?

Building identity capital will help you to build a more fulfilling and more successful life. The more identity capital you have, the more informed decisions you can make and the more skills you have to contribute. This will help you to build better connections with the people around you and create a happy and peaceful home. Identity capital can help you to advance in your career. In terms of finances it will enable you to make smarter financial decisions as well. By taking advantage of the opportunities and ressources you have, you will automatically create more opportunities for yourself.


You’re the CEO of your own life

What seems obvious can still readjust your view about life and your choices. View your daily habits and major choices from different perspectives: How will it affect you personally, emotionally and financially in the short and long term? If this was a business, would it thrive under your leadership? Thriving doesn’t only mean money, it can include anything that you define as success for yourself.

How do you invest in yourself first?

You can invest in yourself in various different ways. It includes being purposeful about your daily habits.

Take care of your health – physically and mentally!

Strive to live physically and mentally healthy. Health is the basis for anything else – if you’re sick or weak permanently, it will impact your whole life. I want to emphasize mental health, because mental / emotional pain hardly receives the attention and care it needs. If you need to talk someone or require professional help, you should reach out. Don’t feel like you just have to “get it together” by yourself. Mental health is just as important as other health issues.

Have a vision for your life

“If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough”

Create a vision for your life. If you don’t have any goals or dreams, it’s easy to wander aimlessly. Life doesn’t always go as planned, but it’s still important to have some direction and purpose. You need to know what you aspire and what you’re working for to stay motivated. When you set your mind to something it will also be easier to prioritize your goals and not get distracted.

Invest in your education

I’m a firm believer in the value of education. Most of it was instilled by my parents. Both were very hard on me when it came to my performance at school and demanded a work ethic beyond what’s required in school. I agree that education is key getting ahead – but education is more than academic education.

I encourage you to do your best in school and seek the best academic education you can get. Use all of the ressources you have access to. But I also encourage you to educate yourself in ways that school typically ignores. One major topic is of course: Financial education. Learn all the things you need to know to become a functioning and thriving adult. Follow your interests and become an expert in valuable skills.

Invest in experiences

Life experience is something that comes with age, but you can increase the depth of your experience and broaden your horizon. If you travel, try new things and meet different friends you can even have more experience than someone who may be older than you, but never did any of these things. Sometimes our life circumstances can limit the possibilities we have, but whatever the situation is, try to actively seek experience. Ask for more responsibility at home or at work. Go on an adventurous trip. Take on a new hobby. Participate in that competition you’re scared of.

Have a mentor & get inspired

Another way to indirectly benefit from life experiences without making them is to have a mentor. Maybe there’s someone in your life you look up to or who has a lot of stories to share. This doesn’t have to be a famous person or a millionaire. It just has to be someone inspiring and suitable for teaching you something. Your mentor could be your grandmother, your neighbor or even a fictional character from a book or movie.

Photo by Nadir sYzYgY on Unsplash

I spent most of my childhood reading. Books allowed me to travel to distant places, to reflect about different worlds, their rules and get to know all kinds of characters. When you grow up you can still benefit from books to gain life experience. Reading fiction, non-fiction and biographies are great ways to explore and learn from other people.

Build daily habits to stay grounded and rested

Invest in yourself by building daily habits. I love having an outlined routine and spend a lot of time with planning and going through my calendar. If that’s not your thing that’s fine, but having at least a few daily rituals can go a long way. Make sure you rest throughout the day and take time for your family and yourself. Remember how we talked about physical and mental health? Make sure you have time for all of that in your busy schedule.


Conclusion

Now that we’ve seen what investing in yourself can all entail, it’s time to move on to investing money. With all that identity capital you build, you will also be able to make smarter financial decisions. For an overview of our financial journey, read this. Next week’s post will be about investing for beginners. Stay tuned!

How do you invest in yourself?


Read more about identity capital in this book *link is affiliated*:

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