There's nothing quite like the power you get from financially investing in yourself, & I'm not talking about retail therapy. When you take a moment to reflect on your life, regardless of whether it's going in the direction you want or not, I'd urge you to consider one (or all) of the following personal investments. I guarantee they will change your life in ways you never expected.
ATTENDING A CONFERENCE
The first conference I ever attended was back in 2017, pre-pandemic & completely accidental. A friend of my mom's tagged me in an Instagram post about a Boise conference called Craft+Commerce. 2017 was the first year they'd launched, & they were kind enough to give me a "scholarship" to go. I had no idea, not in the slightest, that this conference (& the same one I would attend two years later) would bring me to a whole new level in entrepreneurship, friendship & personal growth. What I learned over the course of just eight days total (2017+2019) has allowed me to build my photography business from the ground up, the people I've met (specifically two amazing fellow entrepreneurs) have given me a support system that I felt I was unable to gain here locally - until KCYP that is - & the confidence I have gained as a self employed woman has given me a personal empowerment I never knew could possibly exist.
While it will depend on the conference you choose, because it is incredibly important to pick one that has you mingling with like-minded people, opening your eyes to the opportunities that an in-person conference can provide is just the beginning of your whole new life.
JOINING A LOCAL COMMUNITY
Joining a local community, whether that be a church, a team or a professional group, can have you connecting with like-minded people near you just like a conference would, but you also have the perk of choosing one that operates year-round!
It's been one year since I joined KCYP, & I cannot tell you the difference it's made in my life. Even with the ongoing pandemic, I'm still getting to meet these amazing local entrepreneurs who all strive for similar goals & face similar frustrations. It's so great being in my element in my own home town, I feel like I have so many people to lean on!
Therapy can be a tough thing for many to consider, let alone actually move forward with. Telling a stranger everything about yourself is not exactly an easy thing for people to do, & I can completely understand why. From my point of view, it's simple. We all hold on to things that consistently weigh us down; things we might even think we've let go of. These things can be eroding us internally for months, years or decades, causing us all sorts of health problems. While a therapist cannot completely erase your pain or unease, they are an outside source for you to analyze each situation with & ultimately help you find new perspective so that you can get rid of some or even all of that weight.
It took me years to make this investment in myself, & now that I'm finally in the thick of it - having found the right therapist for me - it's amazing just how much control I feel I have over what I'm going through.
HIRING A COACH
There are a variety of coaching options out there that can completely change your world, push you forward & help you build habits you've always wanted to have. My personal favorites would have to be Business Coaches, Life Coaches & Personal Trainers, but there are a great deal more & an investment in yourself is always a good thing with the right goals in mind.
When you pay to do something, especially when it's a big investment, it motivates you to move forward in ways you haven't before. Hiring someone else to push you forward when you feel incapable of doing so should not be looked down on, it's something that has shown results for a lot of people.
Personally, I'll be working with a Business Coach for several months this year, & I cannot wait! Find the right coach, set the right goals for you & you will have created some serious power that you did not have before.
EXPANDING YOUR MIND
So many of us are living in the dark about certain things either purposely or out of ignorance. This personal investment is all about finding two sides of the story & analyzing each one, attempting to do so without judgment in the process. A good example of this is when I decided to read two very conflicting political books in one month; "Becoming" by Michelle Obama & "Never Play Dead" by Tomi Lahren.
It's so easy for us to stand in our own shoes, with our own views of the world & pretend that things just are what they are. Why not expand our minds & allow ourselves to think outside the box?
Google "Things people debate over" & you'll have a full collection of things you could analyze.
GETTING A MASSAGE
You'd be surprised how many people out there have never had a massage, manicure or pedicure. There simply isn't enough time, they don't feel like they are worth the investment or they've potentially never even considered it. It's a bit personal... but sometimes life needs to be about you. Take some time for yourself, & don't just let that time be a gift from other people.
STARTING AN IRA
Just like with most of these personal investments, when you cannot enjoy your money in the moment, it's much more difficult to understand the value it really has. I started an IRA a few years ago, & have been continuously maxing it out each year, but it honestly feels almost like my money is going to taxes or even evaporating into thin air.
This particular investment is one that I know I will see the benefits of, but sadly cannot see the benefits of as of right now. All I can do is say, "You're welcome future me" & move on with my day.
ANALYZING YOUR PURCHASES
It's weird how an investment in yourself can mean spending less on the things that we love, but it's very true. When you audit yourself, whether it be your calorie intake, your spending or even exercise, you can easily find simple ways to better your life.
My husband is a pro at this one, & has consistently taught me just how quickly my $3 coffees add up to HUNDREDs of dollars each year. The most beautiful part for me is the awareness I now have with each coffee splurge. I still make those purchases, but the value - this decadent little investment in my day - holds a lot more gratitude.
Amy Riordan is a Coeur d'Alene Commercial Photographer & FAA Certified Drone Pilot specializing in helping small businesses succeed in online media. She is also a proud wife, dog mom, writer & runner.