I’m sitting at my neighborhood coffee shop listening to two women talk about their careers. Yes, I eavesdrop.
One of them is complaining about her job, but says that she can’t get another one because she’s uncomfortable with her computer skills. Which led me to this post.
If you take a $2,000 computer class and it lets you get a job with a $10,000 salary bump, you should do it. No question.
If you buy one book per week, for $20 each, that’s $1,000 per year. If you get one good idea per week, my friend Paul told me, it’s worth it. If you apply that idea, I can’t even guess how much it would be worth.
If you buy a new car for $8,000 more than a used car, it can sometimes be worth it.
Put the numbers in context and look at value, not just cost. A $2,000 conference sure sounds like a lot. But if you make $80,000 off it, it sure looks like an investment. (Which is exactly what another friend, Erica, just did.)
Of course, the excuses will come. I don’t have that kind of money. (Answer: Save up.) How do I know if the class will get me that better job? I could probably take the same class for $100 somewhere else. All this stuff is free online, anyway.
You don’t know. That’s part of deciding what’s valuable and what’s simply a cost. But remember, buying something is not just about a number. If the value exceeds the cost, do it.
Investing in yourself: the best kept secret in living a rich life
We love pointing to real or imagined “advantages” that successful people have. Luck, family legacy, inheritance. Sometimes these things are true and sometimes they aren’t, but what’s telling is they all have one thing in common. They absolve us of responsibility for improving our own lives.
And they ignore the effort successful people put into bettering themselves: acquiring new skills, taking calculated risks and automating positive scripts.
Alibis vs. Achievements
American philosopher Eric Hoffer has an excellent quote about this:
“There are many who find a good alibi far more attractive than an achievement. For an achievement does not settle anything permanently. We still have to prove our worth anew each day: we have to prove that we are as good today as we were yesterday. But when we have a valid alibi for not achieving anything we are fixed, so to speak, for life.”
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