There are a number of ways to invest in your career which will provide you with high returns. It is important to remember that while a lot of investment can be FREE, at times, you may need to PAY to get something that is of true value to you.
INVEST IN YOURSELF: Brian Tracy speaks often of this. In his book, Focal Point, he says that 3% of your income should be re-invested back into your learning. Whether this is a high investment or a low investment is not really the point. While it is good to have a regular figure to set aside each month into learning and knowledge gain, this may not always be possible. Work this backwards. Make a list of all the things you really want to learn, which will improve your writing and your business skills. Perhaps it’s a business writing course to help you widen your target market. Or an online marketing course to improve your marketing strategies. Once the list is complete, think of how you can best achieve them. It may mean doing some free online courses in order to save your money for a paid business writing course. Or you can buy books and subscribe to ezines and gain your knowledge from them. Often, online courses are more affordable than a college or university held campus course. Research your options thoroughly and do what’s best for you.
In a recent post, I mentioned losing three clients in a single month to recession. I took the opportunity to put my savings toward gaining a long-planned degree in Online Integrated Marketing. Just receiving my study material has given me the boost I need to go out and find new clients.
INVEST IN YOUR TOOLS OF TRADE: These are what you’ll be using on a daily basis. A good computer is a must. So is a printer in order to print and edit documents. Simple things like good printing paper will go a long ways in saving you money. When I first started freelancing I came across a ‘great deal’ with regards to printing paper. It was cheap and plentiful and as I always print to edit documents, I usually need a lot of it. So I bought it and within the first two days of using it, I realized my mistake. The paper was thin and absorbed a lot of ink. My cartridges (which cost far more than the paper ever would) lasted for half the amount of time they usually do! I now invest in high quality paper which uses printer ink sensibly.Rethink your working tools- notebooks, pens, pencils- and invest in good, sturdy equipment to make your job far easier and less expensive.
INVEST IN YOUR CLIENTS: And finally, invest in your clients! They are so worth it. They are the ones who have not only trusted you to write for them, but who will also provide you with repeat business and more importantly, will refer you to their friends. A lot of my business for example comes from referrals.
So do a good job. Go the extra mile. Be friendly and courteous. And above all, be professional. This is probably one of the greatest investments you’ll ever make.