For the past few days I’ve been writing about different ways to show yourself love and self-care. Investing in yourself was amongst those ideas.
Today I want to share with you five incredibly easy and beneficial ways to invest in yourself…for free!
Let’s be clear though. Just because something is easy or free does not mean that it can’t be beneficial. We typically tend to think that the more something costs, the higher the value of that product or service. While that is true in some cases, in others, services and products are masked as high quality but in reality, are just junk.
When it comes to perfecting your craft or simply just learning more about your craft– what to do and what not to do, how to do it, etc. there are many free resources that are available, all of which I have found to be incredibly beneficial. They can have the same impact in your life as well if you apply them.
But before I share with you what resources have helped me, I want to talk about what “counts” as an investment.
Inspiration. Anything that inspires, encourages, moves, or propels you to take action is an investment. If something encourages you to do something different, other than the way that you have been doing it (assuming that it’s for the better) then it is adding value to your life.
Knowledge. Gaining knowledge and insight is pivotal to your growth. Anything that teaches you how to do something, especially as it pertains to your gifts and crafts is certainly going to be of benefit to you. Anything that provides you with skills to accomplish a goal is a worthy investment.
Experience. The old adage that says, “Experience is the best teacher” is true. The same is so with the saying, “It’s easier said than done,” and I’ll tell you why. The latter saying suggests that everyone thinks that they know what they would do, that is until they are actually in a situation and have to experience it for themselves. We do things quite differently once we are in a situation and actually have to respond or make decisions. Likewise, our experiences teach us more than our perceived notion of what we think we would do in a hypothetical situation.
You will find that all of the resources that I list, fall under at least one of the categories above or in some cases, all three.
5 Easy Ways to Invest in Yourself for Free:
We learned this one in grade school. The library is one of our biggest resources for finding knowledge. Maybe we’ve forgotten about it because the only thing that we can remember the library being good for is finding books to do research or reports. But there are thousands of books that are readily available for us to use and in any field or subject that sparks our interest. In the event that the book you are looking for isn’t at your local library, all you have to do is request it from another one that you have access to and it will be delivered to your local one.
If you find a book you think is worth reading and having in your personal library, you can purchase it from a bookstore or online. If not, dispose of it (that is, return it back to the library).
You can find a TON of useful and amazingly crafted videos on YouTube in pretty much any genre that you can think of. You want to know how to write better? YouTube. You want to know how to create better videos? YouTube. You want to learn how to cook? YouTube.
There are some amazing people on YouTube who are doing exactly what you are doing or want to be doing and they are doing it well! These are people who are in a continuous state of perfecting their crafts and they want to share what they know with you. It’s a creative outlet for them. Most of them aren’t selfish with that they know. If they were then they would not be taking the time to create content, produce their own videos, and put them on the web for millions of people to see.
Here are some of the people that I follow:
Shameless Maya (inspirational, artist, techie, phenomenal video creator, actor, etc.)
Divas Can Cook (cooking channel with a ton of amazing recipes that I’ve actually tried myself!)
Gabrielle Marie (video & photo editing and reviews)
TheTayraPerezProject (DIY, home and event decorating and designs)
Finding someone who is where you want to be is the key to going further in life. A mentor can provide you with both knowledge and wisdom on how to go about accomplishing your goals. Essentially, this person acts as a guide to usher you into your next season or phase of life. Because she has already been where you are now and more than likely have been through some of the things that you are going through, she has the capacity to tell you the “ins and outs” and the “do’s and don’ts.”
A mentor can be a teacher or professor, a supervisor or manager, a family member, a friend of a friend, a coach, etc. The idea behind this relationship is that this person knows more than you do and can offer you the help that you want to achieve.
When it comes to volunteering, the possibilities are endless. It’s one of the best ways to gain experience doing something that you think you may be interested in. Most times, you won’t even have to go through a rigorous process before you can begin volunteering. Granted, you won’t be able to come right in and start with the “big stuff” because these are still legitimate businesses and organizations. However, over time, once you gain more experience and prove that you can be trusted with smaller tasks, then you can move on to bigger ones.
Yep. Social media can actually be good for something other than sharing the latest gossip or obsessing over how your friends spent their summer vacations. Facebook in particular is very useful when it comes to creating communities of people who share similar interests. Usually, these communities are found in Facebook “groups.”
I recently joined a Facebook group called, “The Power Pitch Challenge.” This group is specifically for small business owners and is lead by virtual assistant, Bria Hash who teaches about various aspects of gaining and keeping clients. While this particular challenge is only for a few weeks, there are several groups that are ongoing and remain a place where people can network and make meaningful connections.
Just as a heads up, you may have to answer a few questions from the administrator of the group first to gain entry into the group you’re desiring to be a part of.
All of these resources provide ways to get you started towards reaching your goals and investing in yourself. The key to seeing any success and transformation, however, is remaining diligent and thorough throughout the learning process. Read all that you can, but remember to apply what you know. Make meaningful connections, but nurture your new relationships. Reach out and ask for help. Sometimes that requires asking around or asking the people closest to you if they can help or if they know someone who can.
If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got. -Henry Ford
Do something different today. Step out.