You know many business owners talk about investing in themselves, growing their skill sets to make a more and more successful business. But I believe that times have changed. I believe everybody needs to make this investment, regardless of whether you own your own business or not.
We’re living in a different era. If you’re a business owner, the reasons for investing in yourself, getting coaching, counseling, training, and doing other important things are obvious. You’ll be able to make your business run better, you’ll do more, and you’ll make more money. In many, many cases, the amount of income you receive from training, improvement, et cetera, will greatly exceed the amount you spent on it, so it’s really a great investment. Better companies, better people, better outcomes.
What if you’re an employee of somebody else? What if you’re just working for somebody else’s startup or business, or even if you’re in corporate America. Why would you spend money on this kind of stuff? Isn’t it better just to keep that money you worked so hard to earn? Unfortunately, the tax code will generally support the idea of people working for others not being able to do these kinds of things, because many business owners will be able to conduct some training, improvement, and other coaching, but regular individuals may not. Consult your tax advisor. Even with it not being tax deductible, even with it coming out of your money, does it make sense for you to invest in your training if you don’t own your own business yet? I think the answer is yes.
The corporate environment is changing in the world. As most of you know I do a lot of speaking, www.rshawnmcbridelive.com/presentations. My fellow speakers and I have found that some companies are getting reluctant to do training because of the mobility of the workforce. Mainly, people are moving from one company to another, very quickly. It’s a changing world. Author Dan Pink talks about us being a free-agent nation, and how each of us is moving around quickly. The jobs statistics seem to support it.
I’m a huge fan of football, and if you watch the NFL, people move from team to team frequently, maximizing their income opportunities. What can you learn from these professional athletes and from others? Each team wants the best player, and they don’t care if you earned your skills at the prior team or if you learned it from a private coach outside of professional football. Each team wants to put their best athlete on the field. Companies are no different than NFL teams. Every company wants to put their best player in each position. They want to get a match, and they want to get the most productivity, usually for the least dollars.
If it’s your goal to earn more dollars for your time, you need to show an employer that you can do more, and make higher paying, higher quality positions available to you. How do you do that? You need to differentiate yourself from your workforce. You need to be able to do something differently than your competition. One of the best ways to do that is to get training, to invest in yourself. Many times, your company is not going to make that investment, so you need to make the investment. You need to reach outside; you need to find out where your weak spots are. Think about where you can add more economic value. Get that training. Start doing those things. This will lead to one of two things, advance in your current company, or you’ll have a greater skill set when you look for your next employer. That’s why you need to invest in yourself. If you’re an employee, if you’re a middle manager, if you’re the owner of a company, you need to be improving. You’re going to increase your economic value; you’re going to do more than others. In the end, you’re going to provide more economic value.
What are you doing? Are you reaching to become better and better? Are you doing everything necessary, or are you letting your employers make arbitrary budgetary decisions which will drive the future course of your life? Are you investing in yourself? Join us in the comments below and let us know about your thoughts and experiences.
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This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. Each case is unique. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Freeimages.com/photographer Josephine Eber.
About the Author
R. Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment, gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can email R. Shawn McBride or (214) 418-0258.