The Best Investment I Ever Made


By Phil Harwood

Investing is tricky. However, there are some investment rules that have stood the test of time. One of them has nothing to do with the stock market but something closer to home. It’s an investment strategy that all of us can take advantage of and one that I believe is worth your consideration. If you give me one minute of your time, I’ll fill you in. 

The best investment a person can make is in themselves. This is true because when you invest in yourself, you are making a decision to sacrifice something valuable (time, money) in return for something potentially even more valuable. You are the person who decides what the return on investment will be, whether the ROI is small or large. It is whatever you make it to be. 

Investing in oneself sounds like a selfish endeavor but it doesn’t have to be. When there is a reason (purpose, mission) for the investment, it changes everything. When you are deeply motivated by something, your willingness to make the investment in the face of sacrifice increases greatly. Without purpose, there is no reason to invest in the first place. 

Investing in oneself takes different forms for different people. My greatest investments have been in the form of formal education. I don’t recommend that path for everyone. However, for me, the investments were significant, the sacrifices were great, but the ROI was exponentially more significant. 

My undergraduate degree (B.A. Marketing) consumed four years of my life and was quite expensive. However, it led to a management career that would set me up for a career in leadership and provide for my family. Big investment  with a big return. 

My graduate degree (Executive M.B.A.) was a huge sacrifice as I was working full-time while attending classes on the weekends. However, my company was growing revenues and profits as we implemented what I was learning, providing career opportunities for many. Even bigger investment with an even bigger return. 

My terminal degree (J.D.) will be completed in three years, if all goes as planned. It is the biggest investment I’ve ever made in myself. However, I’m deeply motivated because of the impact it will have on hundreds, if not thousands, of people affected by my work. The 90-hour weeks are worth the sacrifice. 

Like I said, formal education isn’t the right path for everyone. But, what is the right path for you when it comes to investing in yourself? 

Neal and I created GrowTheBench so you could invest in yourself and in your people. We invested our time, talent, and treasure so that others would benefit. We made it affordable. If you haven’t yet checked it out, maybe now is the time to do so. Check out one of our free courses to get started. If you are a subscriber already, what is your next course as you continue to invest in yourself? 

Now go forth.  

Tags: Learning , Growth , Investment ,