Many people invest in retirement programs. Some people invest in real estate. Buy a home and count on its value appreciating. What about learning? Are you making a learning investment?
You have daily, weekly, and monthly bills. Turn on the lights, drive to work, or pay for cable TV? These really are not investments, they are more in line with what you would consider expenses.
While some of those may be consistent with the cost of doing business or earning a paycheck, they really aren’t a direct investment.
Is learning an investment for you?
Have you attended college or some form of specialized training? Did you have to take out a loan, or save really hard in order to pay for it? If so, is it an investment or an expense?
It may depend on what you do next.
Making a commitment to improving your skills is probably not an expense. It’s not the same as the cost of doing laundry or buying food.
An investment would suggest that you are spending time, money, or the energy to do something or create something that is going to provide a return later. The idea of course is that the return has more value than what it originally cost.
It’s an investment.
When you buy a book, and read it, it might be an investment. When you sign up for a workshop or take a class, it should be considered an investment.
If you join a trade association, a Chamber of Commerce, or some form of professional organization or club, it might be an investment.
Most motorized vehicle purchases are not an investment. They depreciate instead of appreciate in value. The same is true for your electronic purchases, such as your smartphone, laptop, or camera. They may be tools or toys, but they are likely not an investment.
Learning produces or enhances skills. It may add to your competence and your ability to earn more.
You can attend college or go to a specialized seminar. The act of going may feel like an expense. Being committed to learning and using the knowledge gain is an investment.
Learning may be one of the most economical investments you can make.
Do you see it that way?
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.