Having just started my career with Sun Life, I thought that it was a word best left to adults, (that would be the people at our office, who seem to be always intense in the morning) , together with the stock market and my personal ‘accountant,’ my mother. As someone who had a semi-thriving blog revolving on my superficial side, I was sometimes guilty of throwing the word ‘investment’ around when reviewing expensive products {i.e. ‘Aging slowly comes with a fat price tag.} or justifying a Php 5,000 hair color job with the opportunities that may come my way. And while I could say that it may have been a self-fulfilling prophecy as I believe everything I’ve done and all the luck I had contributed to where I am today, I would tell you one thing today: Invest in yourself. By investing in yourself I mean carving out the time from your day to read, learn and apply your learning. Investing in oneself is primarily acquiring knowledge and skills beneficial to your personal life, aspirations and/or career. This is the very lesson I wish I learned earlier, instead of cutting classes because I found my class too boring. Maybe I could’ve NOT read the entire Sweet Valley franchise and learned to read business books younger than I started to. Maybe I should’ve taken the cooking lessons and swimming lessons when I had the time as a child. If anything, I was grateful that I’d been given the chance to still rein myself in and get the training that I could. Training, or investing in oneself is not necessarily expensive. One only needs an open mind. Reid Hoffman, Co-founder of LinkedIn and Ben Casnocha, Entrepreneur and author of The Start Up of You says “To adapt to the professional life of today, we need to rediscover our entrepreneurial instincts and use them to forge new sorts of careers.” From a newbie investor to another, here are some tips to start with:

  1. Read and never stop learning. The best books I’ve read lately weren’t over a thousand and many a lousy uninspired day, the knowledge I’ve picked up from them were monumental enough to pick me up and send me careening forward with passion and inspiration. Some of my favorites include: Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, Brains on Fire by Robbin Philips, Greg Cordell, Geno Church, and Spike Jones, Basic Black by Cathie Black, The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss, and Women, Work and the Art of Savoir Faire by Mireille Guiliano. Locally, I recommend Randell Tiongson's No Nonsense Personal Finance. Find a non-fiction book on something you love and see yourself inspired.
  2. Take advantage of trainings. If like me, you are employed by a company that sends its members to various trainings in and out of the country, take that chance, by all means. Regardless of where it is (even online!), you are guaranteed to learn something that you can use to advance whether in your career, your business or personal life.
  3. Look for the trainings you want and go to them. If what is being offered to you at your workplace is not your cup of tea, the Internet for sure will help you find one. Being a self-confessed art loser, I was lucky that my neighborhood offered watercolor classes --- and from there, I discovered that I wasn’t such an art loser at all!
  4. The Internet is your professor. I always give credit to YouTube when people ask me about my makeup (yes, makeup!) skills. And cooking skills. And CSS skills. And yes, Photoshop skills.
  5. Meet new people. Yet another myth I busted, being geeky and locking oneself in a library is not the only way to gain knowledge. Meeting new people who possess skills you may or may never have, and having opinions as diverse as the North and South Pole is another way to know things you may never have learned.

Photo used under Creative Commons from somegeekint.

Tara Cabullo

Tara is the lifestyle blogger behind ChroniclesofVanity.com, a founding member of the Brighter Life Team, a BDJ Box Beauty Minister, and a digital marketer for a Telco company.