Grandpa-sounding advice coming your way. Here is a thesis for you to test out. Do you agree with this statement? There are 4 smart ways to invest time: people, experiences, assets, and writing because all these things get more valuable over time. In the age of immediacy and instant access, your relationships, memories, passive income, and point of view will be unique to you.
Invest in people. After all, what else is there really? We all want to make an impact, leave a legacy, leave the place better than we found it. Isn’t it all about relationships – professional opportunities, a sense of community, a workshop for your gifts. It’s all about people.
Which people? Your spouse, your parents, your kids, your work colleagues, your friends, your neighbors. You determine how big your metaphorical cup is, but it might look like this. Expand your kingdom as broadly as you can to influence, support, and love on more people.
Invest in your family, relatives, friends. Send them a book. Spend time with them. Find ways to help them articulate their dreams, encourage them, and help them. Push yourself to help others. . except don’t loan money. As Dave Ramsey warns, “once you loan money to family, Thanksgiving dinner starts tasting differently.” Give money to family, don’t loan money.
Invest in experiences. First of all, why not? Life is too short to sit in one place, doing the same thing, not branching out. Have fun – live a little – but also become great at your craft. Be so good they cannot ignore you (affiliate link). This is my favorite quote from Teddy Roosevelt – US President, and bad ass.
Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. – Theodore Roosevelt
What new experiences are you learning from? Are you getting smarter and wiser. Are you innovating and making the right kind of mistakes? As Seth Godin prods us, “We are always becoming, and we can always make the choice to start becoming something else, if we care.”
The only way you become a more interesting person is to have something to talk about – ideas, experience, advice. Would you pass the airport test?
Invest in assets. This is a big thing for me. I know too many people who make $$$,$$$ on their income statement, but don’t take the right steps to save, and put that money in assets (dividend paying stocks, rental properties or cash-flowing businesses) which will help them get retired. You have to own assets without liabilities. In non-accounting talk, you need be an owner of something – not just a productive worker. Financial freedom is about the balance sheet – not the income statement.
Consume less (buy less stuff) and invest more (in assets that make money for you). Things are really not important. As Dave Ramsey often says, “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like”
Invest in writing. This is a surprising one for me. Have enjoyed writing this blog enormously – hones my thinking and catalogs my thoughts. If anything, I urge you to start putting your thoughts on paper, putting it online, finding your voice. It’s fun, evergreen, and helps you grow. Most important, it creates a community – a tribe – of like minded people like you (readers) to talk to and learn from.