How often do you invest in yourself?
…waiting for your answer…
Okay, I know that question can be a bit confusing.
When most of us hear of the word investing, we associate it with the rich or at least the middle class who have a coin to spare. We think of investing in the stock market, bonds, and most recently cryptocurrency.
But, who said that investing must involve large sums of money?
In other cases, it doesn’t involve even a coin.
And, I meant, investing in yourself, not just investing.
So, what is investing in yourself, how can you do it and how can it help you?
What is Self-Investment?
Investing in self is taking time to work on either the physical, mental, emotional, or financial aspect of your life.
Jim Rohn once stated, “ Income seldom exceeds self-development.” In other words, you can never make more money than the measure of your self-investment.
When you work out, you are investing in your physical and mental wellbeing.
When you attend a financial seminar, you are investing in your financial IQ – as Robert Kiyosaki would call it.
When you read a book, you are investing in yourself and so on.
Why am I Blubbering About This Self-Investment Gospel?
In 2017 I decided to venture into online writing seriously. By that time, I was working in my ‘dream job’ as a psychologist in an NGO.
I was getting home at around 5:30 pm from work, shower and sit at my home office and start writing up to around midnight. I would hit the bed, sleep and wake up at 6:00 am to work up to 8:00 am before leaving for work. Luckily, my office was just five minutes away from where I was staying.
I did this for a couple of months, and things were looking up. I got one writing account, and in a week I would make up to Ksh. 10,000. I couldn’t believe my luck. I was killing this online game, or so I thought.
I was making good money in my part-time but little did I know that all the pressure I was putting on myself was catching up with me.
I remember this morning when I got to the office and all my colleagues were giving me this concerned look.
“Bonniey, uko sawa? We ni mgonjwa?” (Bonniey, are you okay? Are you sick?)
My eyes were red-shot. I was looking drowsy and exhausted. The director summoned me and told me to take the next day off. My body had reached its breaking point. I couldn’t keep up with my schedule.
As if this wasn’t enough, I woke up to the most dreaded message on my email:
Your account has been suspended indefinitely!!!
“HAHA, are you freaking kidding me? Are these guys serious!” I was in anguish.
My account had been terminated with over $160! What was happening?
To cut my long story short, I was able to get two other accounts and they were also closed in less than a month!
“I’M DONE!” “Ikae sasa!”
“ I’m a professional psychologist, with a well-paying job. Why am I bothering with this online writing stuff?!”
All these monologues were going through my head.
I took a break from writing for a month. During this time, my wife and I made three major decisions…
We decided to give writing a second chance. To go at it for a year and, “If it doesn’t work out- we’ll be out of the game and focus on our corporate jobs.”
We also decided not to look for work on writing accounts anymore. We were to only focus on getting clients on Upwork and through our social media accounts.
Lastly, we decided to start taking good care of our health. We were to start working out every morning.
It was at the beginning of the year last year. I started pitching on Upwork but… *crickets chirp*.
I started pitching to clients on Facebook and LinkedIn but…. * more crickets chirp*.
By the end of January, we were broke, in debt and frustrated…here’s what worked
“ If It’s Going To Be It’s Up To Me” I kept telling myself.
As months proceeded, we started landing a few gigs from clients on Facebook. Things began to pick up and by April, my wife hand enough work to bring in as much as I was getting from my full-time job.
Around mid last year, one of my e-mentors, Walter Akolo, announced that he was launching his new e-book “ How To Get Client’s To Say Yes!”
It’s like this guy saw or heard how much all my prospects were snubbing me.
It’s like he sympathized with my poor persuasion methods that were repelling clients instead of getting them to listen.
I decided for the first time in my life I’m going to buy a book. Yes, I’ve never, ever bought a book in my life. I’ve never been a fan of books — an unfortunate fact for a writer. But, in my defense, before people start hurling stones in my direction, I read lots of blogs and listen to audiobooks and podcasts.
So, I bought the book. I was reading each chapter and making sure that I implement almost everything he says in the book. I was hungry to learn all the tricks in the book. I wanted to learn from the master himself.
Reading the book seemed like I was having a heart to heart conversation with Walter. He was explaining to me how silly my methods were. How lame my Upwork proposals looked.
I remember when I read the chapter on how to write proposals on Upwork, I logged in to my account and immediately applied for a job following his steps one by one. In less than an hour, I got a message from the client.
“Are You Freaking Kidding Me!!!”
“I’ve been pitching like crazy for all these months, and nobody has ever looked in my direction. Now, a client wants to know how we can work together.”
I was over-the-moon excited!
He was hesitant that I didn’t have a work history on Upwork but I convinced to him by mentioning that I work with most of my clients off Upwork.
Hell yes! Game on.
In the next three months to four months, I had earned more than $3000 from that particular client.
Note that I invested in myself with around Ksh 300 and went ahead to earn more than $3000. That is crazy ROI!
My point from this experience is that, if we as Kenyan writers want to build a career in writing, we should consider investing in ourselves.
If we increase our value, we can afford to charge higher rates
So, go ahead and buy a book on a skill you want to acquire. This post has a whole list of books to consider.
Get a mindset coach to help you remove the mental blocks concerning money and entrepreneurship.
Get into a mastermind group where you can get group mentorship.
Follow particular e-mentors and learn from them
Invest in yourself.
As I conclude, my wife and I have since quit our corporate jobs to pursue writing full time, and we can not even dream of going back.
Online entrepreneurship is a goldmine. But, you need to invest in yourself each day.