Most people in Western society have no qualms about utilizing hard-earned money — and often going into debt big time — for the latest furniture, clothing, cars, and electronic goods. They will even purchase gadgets and trinkets that add absolutely nothing to their happiness and satisfaction. But will they part with some of their cash for educational products that could help them become more successful in life? It has been my experience that over 95 percent won’t.
If you have never done this, attend a two- or three-day motivational event sometime soon. One thing will stand out among the array of successful and polished speakers: They all will say that their success and polish is due to the books they have read, the seminars they have taken, and the mentors with whom they have worked. Surprisingly, most will also admit that they were miserable failures early in their lives.
Take, for example, John Assaraf. He was the leader of a street gang when he was nineteen. Assaraf wanted to change his life but he didn’t know how. “I got a job selling real estate,” says Assaraf, “and fortunately someone took me to a sales training seminar.” He has spent over $500,000 on seminars and coaching in the twenty-five years since then. It seems like a fortune — and it is until you learn that his current net worth is over $1 billion! The return on Assaraf’s investment in education has been approximately 2,000 percent. If you want to be more successful in life, spend more on your personal
development than on your next hairstyle. It was the irreverent Jeff Foxworthy who stated, “You may be a redneck if you have spent more on your pickup truck than on your education.” Redneck or not, you should be spending a certain percentage of your income on your career advancement, self-education, and personal development.
Harv Eker, author of Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, advises that you should allocate 10 percent of your after-tax income to self-education. My take on the 10-percent figure is this could be a touch high, particularly if you earn over a million dollars a year. I have allocated 5 percent of my after-tax income to my personal and business education, which works well for me. Whether through a book, a magazine article, a seminar, travel to another country, or a conversation with a truly successful person, whatever it is that you undertake, always look to broaden your experiences and your education. This applies regardless of how many college or university degrees you have to your name. “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune,” according to Jim Rohn.
It has been my experience that the right educational products such as motivational books, seminars, and CDs can be much more valuable than an MBA for achieving success at what I do. I should know. I have an MBA and have found virtually no material worth reviewing from the courses I took in the program. Yet I find motivational books, seminars, and CDs great resources for reminding me what helped me become successful as an author and publisher.
Of course, you should not take all career and personal development advice as gospel. You do not need to take the techniques to extremes nor do you have to do everything suggested. Advice reflects one particular person’s truth and view of the world. Take whatever useful ideas you need from career and personal development material. Every book, seminar, or coaching session should have at least one important tool, strategy, or insight. Take what appeals to you and run with it. At the same time discard what doesn’t work for you.
Your creative mind is your greatest asset and you should be spending money to enhance it. Regardless of the amount you allocate for your career and personal development, this overall point is important: The money you put in your education account is an investment in yourself that can reap unbelievable returns. Search out the best tools available to open up your creative side, get you focused, and direct you toward attaining true success. These tools may cost you a tidy sum at the outset, but they will save you time and make you a lot more money in the long run.
Culled from: 101 Really Important Things You Already Know, But Keep Forgetting
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