Every day we are inundated with advertising that urges us to buy things that may or may not improve the quality of our lives. Seldom are we encouraged to invest in experiences that will enlarge our inner selves.

If you’ve read Making a Living Without a Job you may recall my story about the call I received from a stockbroker who asked, “How would you like to get a higher yield on your investments?” When I told him that my primary investments were my businesses, he said, “Oh, isn’t that scary?”

“Not at all,” I said. “Giving my money to a stranger over the phone is scary.”

Like many things, investing is viewed differently by the Joyfully Jobless than it is by folks who think more conventionally. This month, we’re going to explore Good Investments that enhance our entrepreneurial journey.

Investment vs. Expense

Many new (and not-so-new) entrepreneurs do not understand the difference between expense and investment. While both may involve money (or other things), their purposes are not the same. An expense is money that is outlaid for running our businesses. It includes all those mundane supplies and equipment that we need in order to set up shop.

On the other hand, an investment is a way to spend money or time or effort on something that will bring a profit at a later date. To invest implies that you must first put something in in order to get something greater out.

When most people think about investing, it generally involves putting money into something rather cold or impersonal, then waiting in the hope that the investment will grow.

The Joyfully Jobless see investing as a necessary aspect of growing their business —and themselves.

What Investing Could Be About

Unlike conventional investing in stocks or bonds, there’s a far lower risk to be had when we invest our money, time and effort in ourselves and our dreams. Although it can be a far better investment to do so, many people have a hard time understanding its importance.

Writer Sondra Ray confronts this attitude. She writes, “Let’s take a look at the priorities on which people spend their money. What comes first? The rent; and this is the worst investment on the list. Compare rent with self-improvement. The fact is that self-improvement is the most valuable item on the list and most people don’t even have a category for it. Fear of running out causes you to spend only on things people told you to spend money on. When it comes to buying things that are really good for you and that make you happy, guilt comes. When you say, ‘I don’t have enough money to go to that self-improvement seminar or buy that self-improvement book,’ it is almost like saying, ‘I am not a good investment.’ The best way to make money is to invest in yourself and that is what self-improvement is all about.”

When you invest in yourself and your dreams you are making the most important financial decision of your life. You have also invested in the one thing that lasts a lifetime and cannot be taken away from you. The ups and downs of the economy have no effect on your investment in yourself.

In fact, if you do it wholeheartedly, you’ll acquire skills and tools for circumventing difficult economies. Can you think of a better return on investment?

3 Responses to “Should You Invest?”

  1. Andrea Watson

    Investing is my way of earning money both online and offiline, right now i am into venture capital.:**

  2. Diego Gray

    investing will always be a part of get rich programs, sometimes you need to be a risk taker to succeed.,-`

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