I am often asked what is the most important business investment I have made?
We all know that cash is king in business, which also means that how you spend invest your money can make or break your success.
My primary philosophy in business is that every cent that goes out, needs to be seen as an investment. In other words, there needs to be a tangible return to the business for me to continue investing money. This includes marketing, administration, furniture, utilities, everything.
Some expenses are harder to measure a return on, but the mindset of return is still paramount. Do I buy the cheaper biscuits, or invest a little more in premium? How does that impact my business? Sounds ridiculous but it allows me to be clear on the value of every cent I have and ensure that it’s working in my favour.
So back to the question… The most important investment is not the biscuits, nor is it stock, technology, marketing, or even my team… The most important investment I have ever made is in my own education period! Any time someone recommended a good business or mindset book, I add it to my list and my library.
From a very early age, I learnt the value of being self-educated. Investing $20 on a book is a miniscule price to pay for the knowledge. I only need to get 1 distinction that I can apply to my business and the book will pay for itself several times over.
My very first motivational book was “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. It paid for itself before I finished the first chapter, and has continued to pay dividends for over 30 years…In fact, I got so enthusiastic, I picked up the second one (How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie), another awesome read, and never looked back. I now have a personal library of over 1,000 business, sales, motivation, marketing, psychology, communications, strategy, health, wellbeing and self-help books, audio programs, video programs. My library is worth at least $10,000 and takes the prime position in my home. If I look at the amount of money it has made me, literally millions, there is no other investment that comes even close.
The one investment you’ll make that is guaranteed to stay with you for the rest of your life, is in your own education. Remember, The more you learn the more you earn, or put another way…Learning is earning with L plates on.
I now have a goal of reading at least 1-2 personal development books every month, and have done so for the past 25 years. Some people say you must get bored reading so many books on the same topics. I love to see different peoples perspectives and read differing opinions on the same subject, it just deepens my understanding and distinctions.
I’ll even take on a new sport or hobby just so I can stretch myself and get out of my comfort zone. All this gives me greater fulfillment a more rewarding life. Learning new things is not for everyone. Some people prefer to stick with what they know, and that’s OK. But if you believe that there are areas that need improving in your life or business, grab a book and get to learning.
When I started reading personal development books, there was only one shop in Melbourne, The Success Book Shop in Mitcham, I was like a kid in a candy store when I went there… Now, almost any book on the planet is available and you can learn so much just sitting on your butt and using Google.
Imagine how your life would change if you committed to being a lifelong learner and pushed yourself to learn new things, like how to communicate better, how to employ the best staff, how to get anything you want in life. I believe there’s nothing in life you can’t achieve if you put your mind to it.
For most people, they can always find reasons for not improving their knowledge, like…
- I don’t have the time
- I can’t read, I just fall asleep
- I can’t concentrate for that long
- I get bored
- I don’t know where to start…
Don’t let any of these be your excuses, even if you don’t read all the books you accumulate, at least they are there to remind you of all the things you can have in life.
Here is a list of some of my favourites so far…. David Guest’s Must Read Book List
If you want to live the life you deserve, you have to earn it, and the best way to earn it is by developing your knowledge.
I’d love to hear about any books that you have read that have changed your life, so please feel free to email me. There’s still room on my bookshelf.