When it comes to money, there are basically three kinds of people: those who dump their money into depreciating liabilities, those who sit on their money, and those who invest into appreciating assets. No doubt there is some crossover between them, but essentially all people can be classified by their activities into one of these three groups.
The first group of people spend much of their income on things that lose value over time. Examples include most cars, recreational vehicles, toys, consumables, and entertainment. These people pay premiums for the newness or attractiveness of something, but almost all of these types of products begin losing value on the first day. The dollar value decreases as the pleasure factor diminishes. When these purchases are made on credit, the buyers pay substantially more by the time they resell or retire the item. These things cost the owners money and create debt. And the reward is typically short term.
The second group chooses not to put money anywhere, except perhaps in the bank or under the mattress. They think that the way to conserve money is to hide money. Beyond the paying for the basic necessities of life, these people conserve money at all costs (pun intended). They refuse to put time or money, which are essentially the same, into anything big or small, known or unknown. They attempt nothing, risk nothing, and accomplish very little. But they feel safe.
The final group includes those who invest in assets which gain value over time; in other words, they appreciate. These investments include everything from businesses to real estate, human beings to fine art; things which accrue worth as they age. These people understand investing is one of the few actions in life that time smiles upon. They take on risk, but generally see a long-term growth on their money. Sometimes the growth is gradual and consistent, and other times the growth is fast and substantial. These wise individuals finish the financial race with more, often much more, than they started with.
It doesn’t take much intellect to understand there is great value in investing. Money and time. Most would agree. But have you ever really thought it through? Why is investing SO important?
To begin, it must be understood that to invest in oneself is the single most important investment anyone can make when building a business or a new venture. This investment can take many forms, but they all fall under the headings of value and time. All things considered, there is no more sure or more direct way to wealth and success.
You are an appreciating asset…the most important one, anyway. Your talent, abilities, and personal qualities cannot be matched by any other tangible thing. Why? Because you are not only material, but you are spiritual and mental and metaphysical. You possess the ability to accomplish the impossible. You possess the talent to create the phenomenal. You possess the quality to establish an empire of effective operations. And it all must begin with YOU.
All progression will be determined by you, by your decisions. Obviously, you cannot rely on someone else’s motivation and determination to accomplish what is within you to achieve. It may come about by the involvement of multiple personalities doing various parts to achieve the whole, but the genesis of all that happens comes by the input and direction of one person. If the person is someone else, then it is their creation. If it is you, then it is your creation.
Since the appreciating asset in discussion is you, what does it mean to build that asset, which is you? Perhaps this sounds a little confusing, but think about these three concepts: input, output, and benefits.
First, you are the one who manages the input. Anything, be it a building or a work of art or a new business, requires input. As the motivating force for the success of your endeavor, you will manage the input into yourself. This concept may seem very basic, but in truth, it is vital to your success.
As the saying goes, “Garbage in, garbage out,” the same could be said from a positive perspective. Any input into you, your mind, your experience, your education, will produce a flow of the same coming out of you. If the input is good and productive, the outflow will be good and productive.
Second, you manage the output. Here again, since the work is of you and for you, you will determine what comes out. The business or work will acquire your personality and uniqueness to become another “you”. Its perception is ultimately established by the quality you will give it.
Finally, because you control the input and the output you will get the benefits of it all. Here, in a word, is the core beauty of entrepreneurship and creating your own enterprise. Your work will bring back to you tenfold what you have put into it. Not only money, but a sense of accomplishment, satisfaction, and freedom.
It is difficult to measure the value of this final, intangible return. Money and financial gain are merely “toppings” to add flavor and beauty. The more substantial benefits of satisfaction and freedom run far, far deeper. I would liken the result to catching a great fish in the ocean. If you tried for several days to hook that fish, if you struggled for hours to reel in that fish, if you were cut and bruised pulling the fish into the boat…you can still sell the fish and make good money, but what is the real benefit of all your efforts? Is it the selling price? Or is it the sense of accomplishment and the satisfaction that goes with the catch?
Everybody, in a sense, is either investing or wasting, all the time, every day. The great majority of people don’t even consider the subject; they waltz along as if what they do really has no effect on their tomorrow. But as we well know, this is simply not true. What we do today absolutely will affect tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after…
To invest or not to invest is no question at all. It’s an answer. Yes, we must invest!
To realize the benefits of investing we must understand why investing is so important. We must understand the first priority is investing into one’s own person; the mind, the individual. Second, we must understand every investment involves input, output, and benefits. And since we control those factors, we control the results. Finally, we must remember the ultimate gain from investing is not merely financial, but achievement, and the freedom which results from it.