Three women from across the globe talk about how important it is to invest in yourself and how they do it.
All successful people across the world invest heavily in themselves. Mark Zuckerberg learns a new skill every year, Bill Gates reads multiple books, Arianna Huffington never compromises on sleep, and advocates repeating outfits so women can save time and spend it on other activities.
Investing in oneself is not a fleeting one-time activity but requires dedicated and consistent effort. It is important to invest in oneself and what works for one individual may not work for another. So the big question is how do you invest in yourself and why is it so important?
We reached out to three women in different parts of the globe to understand their thoughts on this.
And this is what they had to say.
Thirty-four-year-old Shalini Prakash believes that identity capital is what we invest in ourselves. “It is our collection of personal assets, which is mostly our learnings and experiences. Investing in oneself is to nurture both your mind and body, and it allows you to have more ideas, more knowledge, more compassion, greater strength and mental endurance.”
India-based Shalini is a VC representing a foreign fund and managing its India portfolio, and mother to a toddler. Since 2016, she has been consistently writing on multiple platforms such as Linkedin, YourStory, and Entrepreneur.com.
“Writing on multiple and diverse topics helps me stay sharp as I read, research and develop my perspectives around different subject matters. Last year, I was Linkedin Top Voice 2017 for my articles and writing; this was very encouraging.”
She has also held different positions with organisations like XPrize, Facebook, and WeWork that have helped her connect with people from around the world and learn from them.
“These opportunities bring in new thinking, fresh perspectives, and new possibilities,” she says.
Hulisani Neswiswi is from South Africa and CEO of Loranico Group, which invests in small businesses. She feels it is important to invest in yourself because “it’s impossible to take out of a system what is not already contained in the system. To be able to give, deliver on objectives, create, etc you need to have the internal resources within yourself and within your personal “ecosystem”. This requires investment in yourself. Women often want to do a lot for people and invest in their communities, this requires that they first invest in themselves.”
The 33-year-old makes it a point to read daily. She takes short courses that relate to her business and field.
“I also believe in mentorship and maintain relationships with different people who have significant experience in their field so they can guide me as I grow my business. I do mentor young women who want to get into business,” she says.
For Hulisani, it is not just about investing in her professional but also personal life. “I believe in creating space in my life for playing. Everything else I do is geared towards work and it’s very difficult for me to ‘switch off’, however playing demands my mind to focus on the games and its fun so it’s something I do a little bit of every day regardless of what time I get home. I mostly play video and online games.”
She also pays attention to her physical health and exercises regularly to keep her body balanced. “I tend to get tension headaches and exercise helps to keep them at bay,” she adds.
Marianne Rugard Jarvstrat is the CEO of Mossytop Dreamharvest Ltd, a publishing house based in Dornie, Scotland.
The 52-year-old who is a mother of four children, and runs her own company feels that it is slightly difficult to take time off and invest in herself.
“Before I had children, I travelled a lot, and when I settled down as the family grew, I spent a lot of effort in renovating houses so I could relax by using my hands. However, the more stress that was around me, the more I realised that the ideal investment was something that not only de-stressed me, but also ensured that I left the office and had time on my own.
"My ideal investment, therefore, became spending time in the yard with my horses, sometimes alone, and sometimes with my children. The good thing about being with horses is that they always remind me to leave my stress at the gate, and that they get me out of the office, whether it is sunshine or rain. Investing in myself is especially important as I tend to prioritise my children, my family and business, sometimes so much so that there eventually would be nothing left to give if I do not take time out. Therefore, by investing in something that invigorates me, I am in a better position to enjoy all of the many wonderful opportunities that I come across.”
So how do you invest in yourself? What do you do that helps you grow and become better? We would love to hear from you. Let us know.