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Self Investment - The Greatest Hidden ROI

​With the long weekend looming, take this time off to reflect on your personal and professional goals, and what you can do to achieve them. Investing in yourself could produce the greatest dividend you will ever capitalise on in this lifetime.This could be as simple as learning a new skill, developing yourself personally or professionally. 

"Self-care is not selfish, you cannot serve from an empty vessel." – Eleanor Brown. 

A new skill may involve a qualification or accreditation but alternatively, it may be a quality that can't be defined, tested or quantified; such as, choosing to be happy, building confidence or being adaptable. Remember everything we want to know is probably available online, in a course or a lecture that we can access cheaply and in our own time to support us in our professional career.

Never forget that "soft skills" are probably the most important skills of all for our success. Our soft skills differentiate us from the pack so spend time sharpening them.

For "soft skills" I think focusing on the skills below will help reap your rewards. They are definitely worth investing time and effort in in:

​1. Critical Thinking - Critical thinking involves looking at each situation objectively and considering all the possible implications of a course of action. The ability to objectively approach and solve complex problems you haven't encountered before is a valuable skill. You can start fine-tuning your critical thinking by developing a step-by-step system to problem solving that you can continually improve upon. A great book in this area is Carl Newport's Deep Thinking. He argues that this is a skill in short supply at present and by developing our ability in this area we set ourselves apart.

2. Creativity -  Creativity allows us to be inspired, and to inspire others, to have fun and appreciate the beauty in the world. It is a skill that you can continue to grow and apply throughout your life. The most successful and highly-rewarded Independent Professionals seek to challenge ingrained ways of thinking and working. They are very well placed to do so, as they have seen many different approaches to problem solving in different companies. It is this original thinking that will set you apart from your permanent counterparts and potentially justify your price tag. We should always seek out opportunities to do things differently. Be creative, be radical, be bold.

3. Confidence -  We all know what confident people look like, the advantages they are presented with, and that it's something we should all aspire to. Confident people who know their value, have something to say and others do tend to listen. Focus on developing an understanding of the value that you possess and can offer others. Learn to have the courage to speak your truth. The more you undertake this successfully the more confident you will become.

4. Set Goals -  Become an expert at setting personal and business goals for yourself. If you're not taking the time to set goals you will have no direction and you will waste precious time. Your goals should be SMART goals -Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. You've heard this a 100 times in business, now apply it to yourself.

5. Business Acumen -  A strong business acumen is an essential cornerstone in any independent professional's journey to success. Having a clear understanding of how businesses work and operate is an obvious but absolute essential skill. There are so many online courses and books to help you strengthen any area you might feel weak in. This is time well spent.

​Managing ourselves and developing the "Brand of You" is important in our career for all of us. What do we stand for, what do we deliver, and how we contribute are all areas we should give attention to. Learning is a life-long process in this fast changing world.

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Friday, 17 August 2018