Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Best Small Business Investment You Can Make

BNet  By Jeff Haden | July 25, 2011

Business owners make investments every day: In advertising, in expanded product lines, in better websites… investments that will hopefully generate positive returns.

One major investment category is missing, though: Investing in you.

Spending 30 minutes a day investing in yourself will produce better long-term results than any other investment you can make.

Here are five ways to invest a little time each day in your most valuable asset — you:

1. Build strong connections. Forget Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter for a moment. Social media connections can be useful, but the best connections are personal. For example, every few days I check out readers who comment on or tweet my BNET posts. I look at their websites and profiles and when I find something interesting or helpful, I send a short email.  (I also thank them for their comment or for the implied compliment of an article tweet.)  I’m not looking for replies but occasionally receive them, and some have led to article ideas and input… or just a nice personal connection.

What to do: Take a couple minutes a day and reach out — by phone or email, not by social media — to customers or colleagues or a person you just want to compliment or thank. Good karma is reason enough, but you’ll be surprised by the real connections you can build.