Invest In Your Potential

Sunday, 6 July 2014

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There’s no doubt about it.

Just how investing in the right business could end up making you a fortune – investing in yourself is the ultimate key to achieving a life of wealth and abundance in all areas of your life – no matter who you are or where you are from.

Whether you want to ‘make more money’, ‘find your inner peace’ or simply figure out a solution to a problem that is bugging you – investing in yourself with the right tools will go a long way.

As the saying goes – ‘knowledge is power’. And self-invested knowledge is power that you can undoubtedly use to your advantage in any difficult situation you might be facing.

Regardless of what you might think – all of the answers are already out there. For millions of years, humans have documented their thoughts, ideas, experiments and solutions in writing that is readily available to you today.

Sure, what has worked in the ancient times might not work today – but you’ll be sure to find endless amounts of wisdom with just a little research, plus – with the click of a button, you can literally get access to everything every single person has ever created on any topic possible.

Thank You Ze Internet.

To make my point clear (and being the marketer that I am) one of my favourite examples of this is a story my wife told me which originates from the time of ancient Arabia.

There was an Arab business man who sold camels for a living. His sales weren’t that good so what he decided to do next was nothing short of brilliant. Instead of selling his camels at a higher margin – he decided to sell each one of them at a loss.

Of course, everyone thought he was insane for doing this – but as you can imagine, the entire village bought their camels from him.

The thing is, and what most people missed out on – is that he had a master plan in place. He was happy to make a loss on each camel as long as he ‘acquired’ each customer – and made sure that they bought more of what they came for.

So he got to work and ended up buying all the rope used to tie up camels in his village, and sold them at a huge mark-up – since he was the only one selling them (supply and demand baby).

Funnily enough, this technique in modern day marketing is called the ‘upsell’ – where after selling a product, you recommend another product to the customer – one that compliments their initial purchase.

For example, if you were to buy a camera from Amazon – you’ll end up getting emails asking you to purchase batteries, SD cards, camera bags and the whole shebang.

But in his case, the up-sell (a product that was necessary if you owned a camel) was in extremely limited supply and exclusively sold by him.

He ended up making a fortune.

More than anything, this was a reminder that knowledge in all forms, shapes, and sizes is available to us and within easy reach – and we should always consider studying and learning from sources that might seem a little foreign to us.

Which begs the question (and the reason I wrote this).

What should we start doing today in order to invest in ourselves for a brighter and more optimistic tomorrow?

Here’s what I came up with.

A. Read more books. This one is obvious. Whether you want to master the art of marketing or become a yoga pro – chances are, at least a thousand people have already written something about this.

And the best part is most of these authors have probably spent most of their lives learning as much as possible about whatever it is you want to master – so you can simply take what they’ve learn’t over the years and apply it in your own way.

The key is to read as much as possible on the topics you want to invest yourself in.

B. Study ancient wisdom. Just because our technology is way more advanced than anyone ever could have imagined – it does’t mean that the human race is smarter or wiser than we were a thousand years ago. In fact, I would argue the opposite.

Ancient wisdom is full of great insight and beautiful poetry that pays tribute to spirituality and the fundamentals of good living.

C. Become a student of life. By learning from anything and everything around you. The people you talk to, the places you visit, the laws of nature – there is always something to learn if you can pay close attention. And the only way to pay attention is to actively participate in being aware of your surroundings.

D. Watch Youtube more often. Youtube is a great tool for anyone who wants to invest in themselves. Sure, most people use this platform to watch cat videos – but the fact is that you can pretty much find any lecture or talk that that has ever existed in the form of video.

If you really take the time to think about this – it’s quite incredible.

From Steve Jobs, to Gandhi, to Martin Luther King, to the wonderful Ted Talks – there has never been a more powerful way to learn and be mentored by the worlds greatest.

E. Stop watching TV. Not all TV is bad, but from my experience – exposing yourself to too much TV can really put a dent in your mental and physical capability.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying entertainment in moderation, but when a person becomes obsessed with this platform – it becomes way to escape the realities of life more than anything else.

Which in turn, prohibits you from actually putting in the effort and work to invest in your potential and make the necessary changes in your life.

F. Study different industries. Just because you couldn’t care less about a specific topic or industry, it doesn’t mean that you can’t learn anything from it.

In fact, some of the best ideas are those that are a mashup of two completely different concepts (think Steve Jobs with the intersection of technology and the arts) – which is why sometimes it’s a good idea to take a step back and study everything else that is out there before jumping back into your work.

Being tunnel visioned can be dangerous to your productivity and progress – and this is a great way to come out of that.

G. Model the best. I like to preach that you should never take advice from someone who has not been able to achieve what you are set out to achieve, simply because their claims and thoughts have absolutely no authority or validity to them.

Instead, it would be a smarter decision to seek out those who are the best at what it is you want to do – and model their behaviours.

We were all made equal, and we are all able to achieve whatever it is we want to achieve – the only difference is that some of us find unique and better ways to get their faster, so it makes sense to simply take their formula and apply it to yourself – regardless of how difficult and how much hard work it might involve.

H. Try and fail. If it’s important to you, then you need to try it out. No matter what it is, all the knowledge and research in the world will not be as valuable to you as actually trying your hand at it. For years I read everything I could on business and marketing – claiming to be an expert… but only after I actually started to dabble in this field did I realize (and end up learning) that it’s not quite as easy as it might seem in the books.

Reading a couple of books on how to get rock hard abs and a firm flat stomach will never teach you the effort and discipline to make it happen.

Sure, you might know everything that is required – but that is only half the battle. Which is why it is important to always invest in yourself by trying things out, and then failing – and then trying again, and failing again.

God only knows how many times I’ve done this, and still do on a daily basis – from running multiple businesses into the ground, to giving up my hopes and dreams of becoming a hip hop music producer… but one thing for sure is that these experiences have been more valuable to me than anything else.

I. Take everything with a pinch of salt. As much as I believe in investing in yourself – it is important to always take everything you consume with a pinch of salt (yes, even this article).

Never believe that any ONE person has the only answer. There are always different ideas, opinions and ways of doing things no matter what it is you are set out to achieve.

And believing that a single person holds the key to your success can be extremely damaging and make you do some really weird things (I’ve been there).

J. Write. Writing is an extremely difficult task (at least for me). It takes of lot of patience, isolation, and willpower to be able to sit down for 5 or 6 hours and just write.

Even right now, it’s a real struggle to finish this article. But what I’ve noticed (and perhaps the main reason why I write) – is that writing allows you to formulate and make sense of your thoughts.

Many times I would have an idea – but only when I start writing about it do I realize how many different layers and elements I hadn’t taken into consideration, and in turn – I come out with a clearer and more concrete interpretation.

Not everyone is born with world-class talent, but investing in your greatest potential with the right tools is the fastest way to bring yourself closer to your greatest dreams and desires.

Sure, these things don’t and rarely ever happen overnight – but if it’s a thing that you can’t stop thinking about, then perhaps you owe it to yourself have a chance at it.

No one has ever regretted learning a new skill, especially one that they are interested in – and the benefits of doing so are just too good to miss out on.

So give yourself a chance. And never stop investing in your greatest potential as well as the things that make you curious.

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