Friday, May 8, 2020

How to Invest in Your Future

Who doesn’t want to have a good future? It’s something everyone desires. But, for that, you must first accept that your future is your responsibility. The one who determines whether or not you have a good future is you. Don’t expect the circumstances or someone else to take care of it for you. It’s you who must take action.

With that understood, what should we do to have a good future?
I believe that one important thing you should do is investing in your future. Investing in your future means making some sacrifices in the present to reap rewards later. It means investing your time and money in something that might not give you immediate return, but which could give you tremendous value later. It also means preparing for the uncertainties of the future.

Sadly, many people don’t do it. They only think about the present. Therefore, when something unexpected happens, they aren’t ready and get into a difficult situation. For example, many people just do the same job with the same skills all the time. They don’t improve themselves and prepare for future changes. They neither learn new skills nor expand their knowledge. Then, when the situation changes, their skills are no longer relevant and they lose their job.

Two Essential Principles
Before looking at ways to invest in your future, let’s see two essential principles of it:
1. Start early
Don’t wait until something bad happens. Don’t wait until you lose your job. Start now while the situation is still good. Why? Because it takes time to build something.
Let’s say you want to build an alternative income stream that you can rely on. You can’t build that overnight. Doing that takes time and persistence. If you don’t start early, it might not have been ready by the time you need it.

2. Be willing to spend your time and money
It could be difficult to spend your time and money on something that doesn’t give you immediate return. But it’s important that you do that. If you don’t, your progress will be slow and you wouldn’t be ready in time.

Four Ways to Invest in Your Future
Now that we’ve learned the two principles of investing in your future, here are four ways to do it:
1. Expand your knowledge
Expanding your knowledge is useful for two reasons:

It helps you see new opportunities 
I’m sure you’ve heard the advice “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” It’s good advice, but how can you apply it if you know only one basket? By expanding your knowledge, you will know what possibilities there are so that you can find new opportunities.

It helps you see things in a new perspective 
Perhaps you already know something for a long time. But expanding your knowledge can help you see it in a different light. You can see it from a new perspective. That, in turn, will help you take a fresh approach that puts you ahead of the pack.

Overall, expanding your knowledge improves your ability to make good decisions.
Further reading:
The Power of Curiosity and How to Develop It
5 Things Smart Learners Do that Others Don’t
How to Find Good Books to Read

2. Build a side business
Building a side business is one of the best ways to invest in your future. In fact, it’s a favorite of mine. Not only can it help you prepare for unexpected job loss (and provide you with an alternative income source), but also it teaches you a lot in the process. You will learn much because you deal with the real world.
Further reading:
Review: Career Renegade
50 Side Businesses You Can Start On Your Own

3. Build your network
Your network of friends and acquaintances is one of the best assets you could have. It can inform you of new opportunities. It can also help you find the resources you need (for example, someone with a specific skill for your business). By building your network, you are preparing for a time in the future when you might need help from it.

But build your network with the right motivation. Don’t build it with the motivation to get something from it. The rule here is to give before you receive, so build your network by genuinely helping people.

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