How to Invest in Your Future

Who doesn’t want to have a good future? It’s something everyone desires. But, for that, you must first accept that your future is your responsibility. The one who determines whether or not you have a good future is you. Don’t expect the circumstances or someone else to take care of it for you. It’s you who must take action.

With that understood, what should we do to have a good future?

I believe that one important thing you should do is investing in your future. Investing in your future means making some sacrifices in the present to reap rewards later. It means investing your time and money in something that might not give you immediate return, but which could give you tremendous value later. It also means preparing for the uncertainties of the future.

Sadly, many people don’t do it. They only think about the present. Therefore, when something unexpected happens, they aren’t ready and get into a difficult situation. For example, many people just do the same job with the same skills all the time. They don’t improve themselves and prepare for future changes. They neither learn new skills nor expand their knowledge. Then, when the situation changes, their skills are no longer relevant and they lose their job.

Two Essential Principles

Before looking at ways to invest in your future, let’s see two essential principles of it:

1. Start early

Don’t wait until something bad happens. Don’t wait until you lose your job. Start now while the situation is still good. Why? Because it takes time to build something.

Let’s say you want to build an alternative income stream that you can rely on. You can’t build that overnight. Doing that takes time and persistence. If you don’t start early, it might not have been ready by the time you need it.

2. Be willing to spend your time and money

It could be difficult to spend your time and money on something that doesn’t give you immediate return. But it’s important that you do that. If you don’t, your progress will be slow and you wouldn’t be ready in time.

Three Ways to Invest in Your Future

Now that we’ve learned the two principles of investing in your future, here are three ways to do it:

1. Expand your knowledge

Expanding your knowledge is useful for two reasons:

  • It helps you see new opportunities
    I’m sure you’ve heard the advice “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” It’s good advice, but how can you apply it if you know only one basket? By expanding your knowledge, you will know what possibilities there are so that you can find new opportunities.
  • It helps you see things in a new perspective
    Perhaps you already know something for a long time. But expanding your knowledge can help you see it in a different light. You can see it from a new perspective. That, in turn, will help you take a fresh approach that puts you ahead of the pack.

Overall, expanding your knowledge improves your ability to make good decisions.

Further reading:

2. Build a side business

Building a side business is one of the best ways to invest in your future. In fact, it’s a favorite of mine. Not only can it help you prepare for unexpected job loss (and provide you with an alternative income source), but also it teaches you a lot in the process. You will learn much because you deal with the real world.

Further reading:

3. Build your network

Your network of friends and acquaintances is one of the best assets you could have. It can inform you of new opportunities. It can also help you find the resources you need (for example, someone with a specific skill for your business). By building your network, you are preparing for a time in the future when you might need help from it.

But build your network with the right motivation. Don’t build it with the motivation to get something from it. The rule here is to give before you receive, so build your network by genuinely helping people.

Further reading:

Photo by ciccioetneo

18 Comments

  1. These Ideas are really useful … Thank you

  2. I totally agree with you. We are currently living in a “fast food” society where everyone expects something right away.

    I used to dabble in internet marketing while I did have that safe, secure job. I did make thousands but not consistently.

    After working the same job for 7 years suddenly it was gone. I am very thankful that I can still support myself and have since started building something the correct way.

    Randy

  3. Thanks for all the great resources. You definitely practice what you preach and are a great success story.

    My family has always dabbled with side business, but I have a strong commitment to really start driving it come new years.

    I think a word of advice to help your future thrive is to not get upset if you fail. I think success in networking, side businesses, and knowledge building, come with pitfalls and downturns.

    These are often the best learning experiences one can go through.

  4. Hey Donald.
    Great point.

    Everyone knows “Practice makes Perfect” One problem I think many have is that they think they think they are practising when they are doing they job.

    For example salesmen, they feel they are practising sales because they talk to their customers every day.

    That isn’t practise.

    You have to spend time reading, roleplaying, comparing ideas and experiences and so on, to be able to improve.

    //Daniel

  5. Wonderful post.

    If we think deeply, it takes time to go deeper either in a skill or a relationship. Most of the things will turn out to be a blessing if we think in a long term sacrificing the short term benefits.

    The very important person of everyone in this world is “themselves” and hence investing for long term harvesting not only makes sense but also adds “bliss” & “mindful” living.

    thanks for sharing.

  6. Faez,
    You’re welcome 🙂

    Randy,
    I’m glad you already had something to rely on at that time. Sadly, many people don’t.

    Bryce,
    I agree with you. Having the right mindset about failure is important because failure is inevitable on your way to success.

    Daniel,
    That’s right. You need to actively work on improving yourself. Just doing the same thing again and again is not enough.

    Lakshmi,
    Yes, thinking long term is really helpful. It’s not something people naturally do though.

  7. Patrick Vanderpoo
    Patrick Vanderpoo

    “Four Ways to Invest in Your Future”?

    Is the 4th to invent a 4th way? 😉

  8. Patrick,
    Ouch, how could I miss it? Thanks for pointing it out 🙂

  9. Perhaps a 4th is: to create a presence. One way might be to write a blog, or to volunteer (e.g., teaching, counselling or coaching) in a sector that, one day, you might want to work in.

    BTW, a great post, Donald.

  10. Jehangir,
    Thanks. Btw, I like your idea of creating a presence. It’s indeed a good investment for the future. It reminds me of something related: building your personal brand.

  11. sow in tears, reap with joy….

  12. Ah, the ‘future’, that age-old problem where people know deep down that they have to do something to prepare for it, but they have no idea what.

    Out of the 3 ideas, I like the first one the best: Expand Your Knowledge. I wouldn’t go as far as ‘knowledge is power’, but ‘knowledge is potential power’ is definitely true in my book. The more knowledge you have, the more prepared you can potentially be for whatever lies ahead in the future.

    Great post, thanks for sharing 🙂

  13. Great post…What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. .. I believe personal growth is the greatest thing that can have an effect on our future. We can talk about sales growth, profit growth, asset growth, but all of this probably will not happen without personal growth.

  14. This post is a must read four times! Very encouraging

  15. I like your posts, especially about the future.You made me to think about the investments which will be very helpful in the future.Thanks David

  16. Good stuff. The key word in this article is ‘invest’! Invest in learning to have the knowledge you need tomorrow. Invest in side business to reap the financial rewards later.

    Investing in your future means not being the same person tomorrow that you are today, always changing, always growing.

    Thanks Donald –

  17. saviourr amenku
    saviourr amenku

    am i luv with this site

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