Investing in Ourselves

“The smartest investment we can make is an investment in ourselves.” -Warren Buffett.

A similar practice was followed by Warren’s partner, Charlie Munger. The first hour of his day as an attorney was spent on his #1 client — himself.

A decade into practicing this behavior, tallied up to more than a working year spent thinking and working on ways to improve his lot.

Investing in ourselves pays off.

That was a motivating example the first time I heard it so I’ve applied it myself:

I wake up early to get a few hours in for my blog. I prefer to do all my work before my 9-5 so by early I mean very early. As in, 4:30 AM early. It is crazy to most, but for now, it is the only way I can block off a full 3 hours each morning to write content for Distilled Dollar.

I’m receiving a lot of benefits from the site, so it has been a privilege to put in the time.

Playing-to-Win vs Playing-Not-to-Lose

I’m convinced this approach to investing in ourselves is the result of our focus on making money-instead of not-losing-money.

The sports analogy is: playing-to-win vs playing-not-to-lose.

Being overly afraid of losing money would have diminished our portfolio but hindsight is 20/20. Our approach to our finances as detailed in our Huffington Post article, came about as part of taking on risk.

Don’t get me wrong, focusing on not losing money is critical, but I’m convinced most of our time should be focused on creating value (aka making money).

Often, we focus so much on what’s not possible that we syphon time and energy away from making what is possible.

For more on this subject, check out this episode:

How are you investing in yourself?


8 comments… add one
  • Mrs. Picky Pincher Mar 29, 2017, 8:28 am

    FANTASTIC point. I always say that people should invest in themselves in some way, in addition to actual investing. I invest in myself by reading and taking courses online. I also like to watch YouTube videos to improve my sewing, crocheting, or cooking skills.

  • Brad - Mar 29, 2017, 10:42 am

    My biggest investment in myself was my previous company.

    Even though my wife and built-up close to a million in retirement accounts (limited contributions just like anyone else) we made a lot more when we sold the company a few years ago. It sucked because almost half the sale went to taxes, but still, it was a good investment.

    What did I invest? A *ton* of time. Think easily 12-hours daily and 7 days per week. 16 years of taking a laptop EVERYWHERE. Seriously, no vacation that wasn’t a working vacation. And of course money. We literally invested into the business, plus we had to personally guarantee everything for the company (yes, even a multi-million dollar revenue company needs guarantors).

    Those investments were 100% worth it though. Not just because of the exit but because of the personal freedom. Building something that was ours instead of building someone else’s business. Having the ability to spend time with my daughter, travel to her athletic events, stay with my father when had had cancer, etc.

    Investing in yourself is one of the best investments anyone can make IMO.

  • Frugal Mainer Mar 29, 2017, 11:18 am

    No one, and I do mean No One, will care as much about your financial well being as yourself! Certainly there are those who will try to do the right thing in terms of assisting you, but in the end, you will have the most at stake.

  • Ryan @ Just Another Dollar Mar 29, 2017, 12:18 pm

    Ever since I’ve been on my own, I’ve been a huge proponent of investing in myself. I’ve taken jobs (customer service, accounting, etc.) that didn’t necessarily fit my career path just because they would give me experience that I could use in life or future positions. Outside of work, I’m constantly reading books and articles to try and gain skills and knowledge for the next stage in our life.

    I also really enjoyed your insight on playing to win vs playing to not lose. I’ve been able to open my girlfriend’s eyes to this concept as well, and we don’t worry as much about taking on calculated risks while we’re still young. Thanks for sharing!


  • Diligent Dividend Mar 29, 2017, 2:33 pm

    I spend a lot of time investing in myself through my website and Investing in dividend stocks. I do a lot of self reflection through my articles along with research into companies. I also like to do a lot of exploration Into other bloggers websites and get new ideas from others. I like to think of it as a collaboration.
    Awesome write up.

  • Matt @ Optimize Your Life Mar 29, 2017, 3:33 pm

    This is a great reminder. I am sometimes good about setting time aside for self-improvement, but I am not consistent about it. This is definitely something that I need to work on.

  • Cash Poor Apr 2, 2017, 10:29 am

    Investing in yourself is critical. When you invest in a business that you run you are really investing in yourself. They key is to really ask yourself what is important to you. That will offer you clarity in your “investment”.

  • Kevin Mathew Apr 4, 2017, 12:09 am

    I’m investing in myself by committing to fulfilling my simple, yet specific New Year’s resolution: “Read one book per month.” This has inspired me to launch my own blog, and dive right into online courses in online marketing and content marketing! The blog serves as means to make sure I continue reading more because I want to share the information I find with as many people as possible!

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