Practical Ways to Invest in YOU

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  • Saturday, June 22, 2013
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  • Jennifer C. Jimenez
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  • It is a fact that acquiring business knowledge can be quite expensive. Contrary to popular belief though, there are a lot of resources that you can utilize to invest in yourself. Yes, you read it right. Before you invest your money in something else, it is wise to invest in yourself first.

    Academics can equip you with the right discipline in undertaking an endeavor. However, nothing beats entrepreneurial wisdom from years of experience.

    There are several ways to earn time-worthy experience. You can look for opportunities and apply for a job, or you can create opportunities for yourself.

    How can you create opportunities? If you are in a paid job, you can volunteer to work on big projects, or you can ask for additional responsibility that will allow you to work with the business person who has an immense scope of expertise that you admire. Scott Dinsmore, the pioneer advocate of Live Your Legend, said in TedTalk: "You are the average of the 5 people you spend most time with." Surround yourself with the passionate people, people who have made the formerly impossible possible, and you will be closer to creating your own opportunity.

    Investing in yourself also prepares you for your big break. The Internet offers wealth of resources, but you have to be very selective about it. Below are the list of activities you can do to invest in yourself:

    1. Attend Free Online Courses

    You can join free online courses offered by top universities, such as the Ivy League schools. I personally find as the most user-friendly online portal for those who want to get free online education. The best thing about it is that you can take the course you want at the time and place that is most convenient to you.

    You can also have certificate of accomplishment once you complete at least 70 to 100% of the course. Just a tip: you'd better be enrolling in immediately. News came out that the founder is planning to monetize the site by requiring a fee for getting certificates of accomplishment. The online courses also provides you opportunity to interact with like-minded professionals around the world; you can use Google hang-outs or forums.

    1. Download and Read Free e-Newsletters

    There are a lot of consulting and research companies that have website offering free newsletters and daily updates. You will surely enjoy the following sites who offer expertise in the corresponding topics:

    Marketing and Digital Media- Content Marketing Playbook, Hubspot, TNS Global
    Business and Industry Trends- PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Bain

    I will reveal more resources in my next blog entries. As of now, I'll leave the digging to you.

    1. Download Free E-books

    You can download free e-books from various legitimate sites such as Bookboon. The books range from different topics (from Management to Research and IT), and I must say that the references they offer are credible.

    FYI, the National Geographic site also offers free e-books on complete guide to photography.

    1. Follow Thought Leaders

    Thought leaders are experts in their chosen fields. Subscribing to their social media feeds is like getting free advices and tips straight from the experts. Below are the examples of these thought leaders, and by the way, some of them also offer free e-books and business articles that will definitely satisfy your mental appetite:

    Tom Peters- Fortune calls him the Ur-Guru, while the Economist tagged him as UberGuru. He is an advocate of running business in boldly practical yet unconventional way. He is an author of several bestselling business books, and he offers his manifesto though free e-books.

    Josiah Go- Josiah Go is the popular Marketing Mentor. He formulated tools that have helped a lot of companies from various industries in terms of marketing and innovation. Joe is a certified Blue Ocean Strategist, bestselling author with over 13 marketing and sales books, chairman of 5 corporations and one of the Philippines' most sought-after consultants and business educators. He received training and education from MIT Sloan, Kellogg, Wharton and London Business School. Josiah offers free marketing tips daily in his Twitter account.

    David Meerman Scott- David is an online thought leadership and viral marketing strategist. He is also the author of bestselling books (such as New Marketing PR) and also offers free e-books as well (e.g. The Secrets of Market-Driven Leaders).

    1. Read up interviews on Business Stars

    Yes, you have read it right. Read up, instead of listen. Companies that focus on interviewing the who's who in different industries now offer seminars and interviews in downloadable content, including PDF. There are some free samples but the rest requires reasonable fee.

    Visit the Genius NetworkInterview Series by Piranha Marketing and Michael Senoff's for Hidden Marketing Assets.

    There you go. Have fun and invest wisely!