A return on you


Here’s what happens when you tell people that you’re going from Australia to Canada not for a holiday, but a course. Wide eyes. “What? A… a course? All that way for a course?” And after a little pause, “Are you going to do a little sightseeing while you’re there?”

What’s funny here is that people aren’t nearly so incredulous when I say I have 70 pairs of shoes. That I’m speculating on the stock market and have invested more money than a cautious person like me normally would. That I have been known to travel interstate to catch gigs by musicians I love. All things I have spent considerable money on – certainly more money than this course – and instead of incredulity this is what I get: indulgent smiles and nods. “Oh, Vee, what are you like!”

We understand treating ourselves. It’s understood and expected – if sexist – that Women Will Shop. It’s understood that people will spend money on hobbies and interests. It’s also understood and expected that a smart person will invest money as they can.

What’s not understood is the ultimate investment: ourselves.

We may not think anything of blowing our entire tax return on a new television, but when we’re frustrated at work and think about retraining, blanch at how much it would cost. Or we may go on a health kick only thinking of the immediate effect rather than our future health, so give up our efforts when we don’t see any improvements straight away. It seems that no investment is quite so frightening, so risky, as ourselves.

But we are our own best asset, and our best investment prospect. There is no ROI like the ROI you get from investing in your own self. The education that will impact your career or business. The spiritual nurturing that will impact your personal growth and relationships. The diet and exercise that will impact your health. We carry around, in our minds and hearts and bodies, the potential for vast fortunes of every kind. It’s not just an ROI, but an ROY – a return on you.

How are your investments going? Are you seeing returns, or could you stand to have a little more skin in the game? Is it time, perhaps, to go on an actual or figurative trip of your own? Yes, it means time, money, and effort, but what returns! And you know what? There is always time for a little sightseeing.