Time to look back into the archives at a concept I learned long ago from one of my favorite personal development authors and speakers Brian Tracy. In his book Time Power he mentions the concept of spending at least 3% of your monthly take home income on some form of improving your skills within self-help and personal development.
This of course can take many forms. The easiest of which would be books that you purchase from your local bookstore or online through sites like Amazon. In my case that would be buying 4-5 books a month on a variety of subjects, from working on my finances to improving my relationship skills with my wife and children all the way through to better time management, communication, productivity, mental fitness, physical fitness and a whole host of other topics under this umbrella. My wife knows how much I love reading material to not just read for knowledge and enjoyment, but as author Harvey Mackay mentions in the interview on the latest November 2009 Success magazine CD to “study” success- you must take this knowledge and then apply it in your life, your business, your relationships.
You can apply your 3% one month to a purchase of 1 or 2 audio books. Turn your workouts at the gym or your drives to and from work into a learning environment, where you can gain the chance to learn new insights and applications. There’s nothing wrong with learning a new language, listening to a business person explain his rags to riches story, improving your vocabulary, exploring new interests, etc. and once again taking notes on what you learn. There are times that you can accelerate your learning curve and take something that someone else did right and save yourself years of struggle and heartache to gain those same accomplishments.
You may have to save up a few months of your 3% personal development investment fund to take in a day or weekend long seminar- but think of the rewards of being able to be face to face with some of the best minds in your topics of interest. Imagine the impact of being surrounded by other like minded individuals that you can share the experience with, learn from and with, and make lifelong connections. This is an area that I plan on exploring over the next year or two as I believe I can accelerate my personal and professional goals a hundred fold if I surround myself with a nurturing, learning environment and gain the chance to meet face to face some of the people I’ve had the pleasure of reading and listening to through the years.
And there’s nothing wrong with investing in coaching- at any topic large or small. As I’ve stated before when it comes to bowling, I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on lessons even as an adult, because I wanted to not only improve upon what is strong within my skill set but also be able to add a few new tools to my toolbox. I know successful people who have multiple coaches based on what they want to know best. Would you trust your financial coach to help you with your personal relationships? Would you trust a bowling coach to be able to teach you how to play the piano or guitar?
If you are in a time where you can’t invest 3% of your monthly income, start with 1% and go from there. Get a library card and get cracking on materials that are at your disposal for free. Find a friend and partner and develop a weekly book or mastermind club where you are able to share, debate and grow based on these new materials at your disposal. The point I’m making is: there’s no better time to improve, grow and blossom than today. We can’t gain back time once it’s spent- so you might as well be as productive and successful as possible in the here and now.
And another important aspect of your development- become a buyer of journals. Record your thoughts daily- explore what you learn and question what ruminates in the depths of your mind. Have a wonderful day.