Build Your Future: Invest in Yourself

My friend (and writer of brilliant blog, Exile Lifestyle), Colin Wright, once said to me (paraphrasing), “You can never go wrong with investing in yourself – that way, everything that you learn and have can go with you. You can invest in three ways – your health, your network, and your knowledge, and all three are necessary to be successful.”

Wiser words have never been spoken.

Investing in yourself is the true way to improve yourself. If you trade your time and effort now for increased skills or knowledge, relationships, and better health, your results will multiply in the future. While we all have to do what is necessary and proper to maintain equilibrium – keep working at our jobs, for instance – we should be leveraging our spare time for self-investment instead of wasting it on things that truly don’t matter.

Taking an attitude of investing your time in yourself now will result in payoffs later. The key is to discriminate between what is investing and what is not – because more things can be considered “investing” than we think. Being social – talking to just about anyone – is investing because it improves your communication skills, extroversion, and builds relationships. And, yet, many people like being social because it’s fun. Investing doesn’t have to be boring – in fact, by pursuing what you’re interested in, you can invest in yourself very effectively.

However, no amount of intellectual or emotional investment is worth it if we don’t invest in the first pillar: health.
The Importance of Health

Your health, first and foremost, determines how effective you are. How you treat your body determines your mood, your ability to focus, and how you treat others. In short, how you feel determines how you behave – and the best way to feel great is to live a healthy lifestyle.

Here are some simple ways to invest in your health:

* Exercise Often: Engaging in exercise makes you burn calories, lose weight, feel good, and stay mobile. It’s the catch-all for good health, in my mind. Make sure to switch things up to keep your body adapting and to make things more interesting; don’t do the same workout 5 days a week.
* Eat well: People will tell you different things, but as long as you maximize your green vegetable and fruit intake, while minimizing processed foods, you’re eating pretty well. Buy organic produce as often as you can: the difference in things other than price – like taste and nutrition – is very noticeable. Eating smaller meals and sticking to “natural” foods like nuts, fruits, veggies, and meats is a nice rule of thumb, though you can eat some carbs as well to give you energy that lasts throughout the day.
* Sleep well: Figure out what you need to function at your best, and make it your mission to get that much sleep every night. This is simple but the hardest change to implement, in my opinion, but the rewards are great. Don’t get cocky – your body does need sleep. Give it the rest you deserve.


Photo credit: Arkady Golod

My friend (and writer of brilliant blog, Exile Lifestyle), Colin Wright, once said to me (paraphrasing), “You can never go wrong with investing in yourself – that way, everything that you learn and have can go with you. You can invest in three ways – your health, your network, and your knowledge, and all three are necessary to be successful.”

Wiser words have never been spoken.

Investing in yourself is the true way to improve yourself. If you trade your time and effort now for increased skills or knowledge, relationships, and better health, your results will multiply in the future. While we all have to do what is necessary and proper to maintain equilibrium – keep working at our jobs, for instance – we should be leveraging our spare time for self-investment instead of wasting it on things that truly don’t matter.

Taking an attitude of investing your time in yourself now will result in payoffs later. The key is to discriminate between what is investing and what is not – because more things can be considered “investing” than we think. Being social – talking to just about anyone – is investing because it improves your communication skills, extroversion, and builds relationships. And, yet, many people like being social because it’s fun. Investing doesn’t have to be boring – in fact, by pursuing what you’re interested in, you can invest in yourself very effectively.

However, no amount of intellectual or emotional investment is worth it if we don’t invest in the first pillar: health.

The Importance of Health

Your health, first and foremost, determines how effective you are. How you treat your body determines your mood, your ability to focus, and how you treat others. In short, how you feel determines how you behave – and the best way to feel great is to live a healthy lifestyle.

Here are some simple ways to invest in your health:

  • Exercise Often: Engaging in exercise makes you burn calories, lose weight, feel good, and stay mobile. It’s the catch-all for good health, in my mind. Make sure to switch things up to keep your body adapting and to make things more interesting; don’t do the same workout 5 days a week.
  • Eat well: People will tell you different things, but as long as you maximize your green vegetable and fruit intake, while minimizing processed foods, you’re eating pretty well. Buy organic produce as often as you can: the difference in things other than price – like taste and nutrition – is very noticeable. Eating smaller meals and sticking to “natural” foods like nuts, fruits, veggies, and meats is a nice rule of thumb, though you can eat some carbs as well to give you energy that lasts throughout the day.
  • Sleep well: Figure out what you need to function at your best, and make it your mission to get that much sleep every night. This is simple but the hardest change to implement, in my opinion, but the rewards are great. Don’t get cocky – your body does need sleep. Give it the rest you deserve. Leer más “Build Your Future: Invest in Yourself”

Japan Has More Than Just a Yen Crisis

Disappointment over token efforts resulted in exactly what Japan didn’t want: an even stronger yen, which has gone from 85.2 to the greenback on Aug. 23 to 84.4 on Sept. 1. Suzuki Motor Chairman Osamu Suzuki, who has built a big export business for his company’s sturdy little cars, speaks for many when he says of the currency: “I spend every day feeling anxious about this.”

So do politicians in Tokyo. That they are at a loss to do anything about it has Japan suffering the same fate as Aesop’s boy who warned of crisis so often that no one took him seriously anymore.

As the dollar and euro slide, the yen rises by default. Rarely before has it been so difficult for Japan to control its currency. The yen’s jump to a 15-year high says much about where Japan finds itself in 2010. Here are three specific things to consider about Japan’s plight.


The currency crisis is merely one symptom of the country’s general aversion to change after the boom-and-bust 1980s

By William Pesek

It’s the economy that cried wolf.

With growth slowing, deflation deepening, and the yen inexplicably surging in late August, Japanese policymakers pledged bold action. Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa rushed home from Jackson Hole, Wyo., to deal with the emergency. Investors braced for aggressive intervention. The media mobilized on Aug. 30 to cover Prime Minister Naoto Kan unveiling a fat stimulus package to counter the export-crimping effects of a strong yen. Then—nothing. Leer más “Japan Has More Than Just a Yen Crisis”

SEC Investigates Massive Computer Driven Orders As Possible Market Manipulation

On May 6th at the peak of the “flash crash”– when market averages plunged suddenly over 700 points– some 3.1 million buy and sell messages were entered into the market by high frequency traders. These messages— many of which were pulled almost immediately– overwhelmed confused market makers, and triggered some computer driven systems to shut down– reducing liquidity in the marketplace.

Today, the Wall Street Journal reported that the SEC was investigating whether the practice of entering a multiple of orders the actual trades needing to be executed amounts to a form of price manipulation in the marketplace. In other words, if the high frequency traders, who handle 56% of all transactions in the stock market, are influencing price levels so as to make short term profits at the expense of others, some new regulations may be required. These HFTS, are not regulated by any agency unless hey are registered as broker-dealers.


Robert Lenzner

Robert Lenzner

On May 6th at the peak of the “flash crash”– when market averages plunged suddenly over 700 points– some 3.1 million buy and sell messages  were entered into the market by high frequency traders. These messages— many of which were pulled almost immediately– overwhelmed  confused market makers,  and triggered some computer driven systems to shut down– reducing liquidity in the marketplace.

Today, the Wall Street Journal reported that the SEC was investigating whether the practice of entering a multiple of orders the actual trades needing to be executed amounts to a form of price manipulation in the marketplace. In other words,  if the high frequency traders, who handle 56% of all transactions in the stock market, are influencing price levels so as to make short term profits at the expense of others, some new regulations may be required. These HFTS,  are not regulated by any agency unless hey are registered as broker-dealers. Leer más “SEC Investigates Massive Computer Driven Orders As Possible Market Manipulation”

Review: The Art of Barter

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest.

art of barterA while back, I wrote a post called “Askers, Guessers, and Personal Finance” that proposed that bartering and negotiation are much easier for some people than for others, depending on their personality and the culture in which they were raised. I’m very much in the “guesser” camp, which means that I often have difficulty negotiating with others, asking for things, and bartering.

After that realization, I’ve spent some significant time focusing on improving my willingness to ask for and trade for things, and thus when I spotted The Art of Barter by Karen Hoffman and Shera Dalin on the shelf at my local library, I snatched it right up.

The book basically makes the case for bartering – in other words, offering one good or service in direct exchange for another good or service without cash in the middle – and discusses how exactly to go about it in many different situations. I myself have found bartering to be very useful and often do it with people I know – but will this book offer enough advice for me to attempt it in other situations?


Written by Trent

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest.

A while back, I wrote a post called “Askers, Guessers, and Personal Finance” that proposed that bartering and negotiation are much easier for some people than for others, depending on their personality and the culture in which they were raised. I’m very much in the “guesser” camp, which means that I often have difficulty negotiating with others, asking for things, and bartering.

After that realization, I’ve spent some significant time focusing on improving my willingness to ask for and trade for things, and thus when I spotted The Art of Barter by Karen Hoffman and Shera Dalin on the shelf at my local library, I snatched it right up.

The book basically makes the case for bartering – in other words, offering one good or service in direct exchange for another good or service without cash in the middle – and discusses how exactly to go about it in many different situations. I myself have found bartering to be very useful and often do it with people I know – but will this book offer enough advice for me to attempt it in other situations? Leer más “Review: The Art of Barter”

B2B Marketers and Buyers need to interact differently


So I spent some time the other day writing about the 7 expectations of a social buyer and the more I thought about it, it became evident that it isn’t the expectations of a social buyer, but more so buyers in general in a connected world.  We ultimately need to address the needs of the buyer as much, if not more than the sales force as B2B marketers.  Selling is one thing, buying is definitely another and it is that later that has changed with the emergence social for all industries.

With so many social options out there for buyers, the sourcing for products/solutions is different and so is the expectations of the availability of information and offers.  Remember when the RFP or the trade show was the best way to source options?  Those day are gone for many of us B2B technology marketers.  Buyers want information on their time lines (or at least their managers).  So as I think more about the expectations of buyers, I’m going to write a little more detail on each of the 7 items buyers expect and maybe even change them a little bit over time as I write, but as of now here is where I am when thinking out buyers and their expectations:

7 Expectations of a Buyer Leer más “B2B Marketers and Buyers need to interact differently”

The latest post by Seth Godin


Pennies and dollars

“Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.”

I’m not sure this is true. In fact, I’m pretty sure that if you watch the dollars, you don’t have to worry so much about pennies.

Big brands don’t sweat the small expenses. They don’t hassle about a return, or a little coupon fraud or the last penny per square foot on the rent in a prime location. In fact, they understand that there’s a powerful honest signal sent when you don’t worry about the tiny expenses. It shows confidence.

My first business was running a ski club from my high school to a nearby ski area. Most of the other clubs rented expensive coach buses. I rented school buses. That one shift saved thousands of dollars. As a result, I had plenty of money to spend on snacks for the bus, no hassles about refunds if you broke your leg… it was easy to be generous because I’d saved so much on the bus.

So many small businesspeople are crippled by their relationship with money. I know… I used to window shop at restaurants and then go home and eat Spaghetti-Os. The thing is, if you run out of money you lose the game. That’s a given. But what’s the best strategy for not running out of money? Leer más “The latest post by Seth Godin”