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What Does it take to Invest in Yourself?

First Published - September 2017

If you think Adventure is dangerous... Try Routine it is Lethal! ~ Paulo Coelho ~

Where Does Investment Begin?

Investment begins with YOU!

From the day you were born there has been consistent and regular investments being made on your behalf. Think about it... your whole life cycle to date, has been a series of investments in one form or another. Sometimes, the investment deposited is small, and other times there can be a sizeable investment made but, it all depends on what is being invested and the duration of the investment. There are rare occasions when we can even accidentally fall into an investment, only to find out that it wasn't by accident, it was meant to be all along!

Okay, you might be thinking how? Well... let's look at the stages:

  1. Your parents invest in from inception to birth; investing in your health, well-being and education until...

  2. You are independent and, have to invest in yourself! You 'pick up the mantle' and, undertake this task by way of investing in further education, investing in your first home, investing in your first car, investing in a suitable clothing, ranging from work, casual to occasional attire, oh yes, one can't forget to invest in holidays and short breaks to recharge your batteries.

  3. You’re getting restless and have goals and aspirations and, have been in your job for a considerable amount of time, and now feel you have outgrown your role and feel that it's time to move on... You invest time in looking for your next challenge and role that is aligned to your qualifications, knowledge, skills and expertise. You invest money into buying a new suit, shoes or other necessities for the interviews you hope to be attending.

  4. You’re looking at other roles and responsibilities that stretch you. You may even need to retrain and move sideways or even back in job role that will definitely take you down the career pathway, that ultimately leads you to achieving your goals and aspirations.

So… What stops you from investing in YOU?

There are times when the very thing we desire the most, is the very thing that stops us! We can talk ourselves out of the investment because we're scrutinising it far too much and in great detail. I'm not saying don't do your due diligence and, by all means, do go and find out as much about it as you can and need; i.e., reputation, cost, ROI etc. Sometimes we look too hard at the cost, the packaging, the size, the weight and, come up with every rationale justifying why we're not pursing an investment we are interested in and, e

ven desire to a certain degree. 

So… What is it that actually holds us back from taking that step towards investing in ourselves?

Well... we are the main ones that hold ourselves back!! 

Sometimes, we fall into the category of yearning… no… needing the upskill and development or career change but, we just don’t take that leap of faith and do it. Of course, there are others out there who will gladly help us do the job by holding us back professionally, or by downplaying our skills or competence to progress in the field of interest, but we don't really need their help do we... as we tend to do the job quite successfully ourselves!!!

Over the last 2 years I’ve been on a steep learning curve and have invested heavily in myself! I had been wanting to get myself up-skilled for the longest time but, each time I looked at the costings to acquire what I desired and, more to the point would further enhance my divers skill-set, I put it on the back burner, vowing that I would definitely invest in myself, when I had the time, the money, the time... Oh yes, did I mention the time?

Also, there are some professionals out there in business, who consider themselves at the top of their game; I’m in no way detracting from that fact at all as, we’re all entitled to our own opinions, thoughts and feelings.  The concern I have is, when approached with a proposal or an offer of something that could only add value and, another facet to their skills and service provision; not only that, but would give an all-round boost to their business. 


The individuals would falter... and sadly, although they would like to gain the skills and insight of this fantastic opportunity and service provision, would only do so, if the person sharing this lucrative offering to them, invests in them and their business offerings first!! I find this type of behaviour and mindset quite bizarre and distasteful! 

Hey, it happens... A lot!!

All I will say is... Look at the 'Bigger Picture'! You were introduced to an opportunity to invest in a product or skill (you currently don't have), that will seamlessly enhance and weave into your own skills, professionalism and suite of offerings as a business provider and, instantly give you that leading edge setting you apart from your counterparts; why wouldn't you want to do it? 

Enhancing My Skillset

Late 2015, early 2016, I found myself at the crossroads in my career, I was once again facing redundancy (for the fourth time). I thought long and hard about where my career journey had taken me, looked at where I currently was along my journey and, decided that I really didn’t want to go back into the ‘hamster wheel’ and cycle of work I had left behind in late 2014! 

You see, at that juncture, I had just come back to the UK after spending a year in the Middle East and, I didn't have a job to go to but, I wanted to invest in myself and introduce some new skills, qualifications and competences to my 'toolkit'. I went through all the scenarios around the costing, how I would utilise the skills I would acquire etc... I agonised over the cost of this big investment in myself for the longest time as, it wasn't just the investment in the development, it was the cost of getting there and accommodation too! I agonised over the fact that, I didn't have a job to help ease the impact that this investment would make on my savings. In fact, because I didn't have a job to go to, I had in essence, been talking myself out of taking the plunge and just doing what I

desired most at that juncture. I finally won myself over and went and acquired what I had desired for so long and never looked back with any form of regret whatsoever. In fact, I'm pleased I did it when I was at that vulnerable point in my life and career journey.

I flew over to the USA to gain this skill and whilst there, visited my brother and sister-in-law. I was really pleased to sit and talk to them about my newly acquired skills and training. We spoke about how businesses utilise and empower their staff to go beyond where they currently are. In our conversation, Geeta Wilson, shared that in her line of work, her organisation had invested in Emotional Intelligence as a tool to support, enhance and enable their workforce to develop and thrive in this ever changing business and organisational landscape. That was like music to my ears as, I knew that I had done the best thing for me by investing in myself within the Emotional Intelligence arena.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Geeta again, when her family flew over to London recently on vacation. We talked about my journey and progress made since we last saw each 2 years ago, when I decided to take the plunge and invest in myself; and where this journey had taken me. She shared her views on investing in staff in her department and within the organisation...

I have changed my whole approach to leading and managing teams. In a world where need to be more nimble, faster and need quicker outcomes, we need to test for Emotional Intelligence. Geeta Wilson, VP Consumer Experience, Humana

Lessons along the Journey

I have learned a lot since embarking on this fantastic journey and experience. Each experience whether success or setback, has given me insight and ideas to further enhance my profile as another facet to my cornucopia of skills and expertise.  Life is not easy; neither is running a business. You are deemed the little fish in the BIG pond but guess what? It doesn’t matter, because the skills that you have enable you to nurture, grow and branch out as, there are other clients out there waiting for someone like you to come along and provide a service that is suitable to their needs.  

I've learned that not everyone feels they need to upskill to get to a position they want in their careers and, that's okay. It really is down to the choices one makes in life. Some people have it easy and walk into high profile roles, whilst others have to jump through hoops and the like to even get to a higher paid role... I'll leave that story for another time...!

Where am I now? All I can say is, I would do it again and again, in order to gain what I need for my progression along my journey and career pathway in Life! I've never looked back since taking that leap of faith and investing in myself; it has taken me places and opened up opportunities I never thought I would experience or attain.



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