I really focus on the most important asset in creating greatness—YOU. Why invest in yourself? Because the only thing controlling your future is you.  It took a while for me to really nail it down to these 2 best ways to invest in yourself that are helping me on my entrepreneurial path and I work on them each daily. In case you missed them, I’ve included links to my other material in my series:

4 New Life Leadership Principles to Living Big

#1 ‘Know Where You Are’

#2 ‘Create Your Personal Vision’

#3 ‘Use Your Time Wisely’



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Be careful who you surround yourself with. I love the quote from Jim Rohn who said: ‘You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with’. You have a dream, a goal that not everyone around you is going to understand or agree. Your drinking buddies with detract you from a weight loss plan. Your closest friends will discourage you from a new business idea. WARNING: you may find that the people that love you the most, will be your biggest skeptics…because they simply love you and are just looking out for your security. For months, my mother was skeptical about my business venture…now she’s a believer.

Feed your mind with positive stuff! Invest in the areas that instill the ultimate benefit of what you have set your eyes on. Who you have become up to today, may not be the same person you need to become. The old self hates change, and will pull you back. My natural inclination is to be negative. I’ve learned to tune this noise out by listening to motivational speeches and entrepreneurial success (and failure) stories that prepares my mind for the ultimate prize in my life: financial and time freedom that comes with success and patience. I also practice affirmations and meditation. I discovered that many successful people do this.

mindset-743166_1280Minimize distractions…or eliminate all! This may include your social circle. I’m not saying be anti-social. Invest yourself in relationships that encourage you and with individuals who share the same mindset as you; and spend minimal necessary time with those who don’t. Just be aware. Read 10 pages of a book, instead of watching YouTube. I stopped following headline news about 6 months ago due to all the negativity. I may be boring during social events with not keeping up on current affairs…but so what?—does it make me a better or worse off?—neither.

Re-programming. You WILL discover in this transformation process, a few areas that are holding you back. These are mental perceptions and beliefs that have been ingrained into our thinking since childhood. We are a product of our parents, our education system and our social environment. I realised late in life, 3 key re-programming areas that I knew I had to work on having only discovered them on my entrerpreneurial path…and following my own advice. My father was the best loving father any child could have wished for. But his character instilled in me a tendency to be impatient, wanting everything done right, according to plan…NOW. Didn’t help with my ultra-competitiveness in tennis and the fear of winning (notice I refer to ‘fear of winning’ and not ‘fear of losing’). I now realise that building a business system takes time, perserverance and that in the end, it’ll all be worth it. I also tend to be negative, thinking the worse case scenario. The last 17 years in corporate, and the type of business I was in, really solidified this, as risk-planning, managing internal and public perception, and ‘glass half empty’ thinking was the cultural norm. My concept of money also needed correcting. My fear is rooted in the fear of poverty; not having enough. I earned a lot, but always worried about savings. I am now learning that money is a tool, a means to an end. Whenever I made money on investments, or gains on stock options, I would take a conservative route by saving in the bank. I now learn to be smarter at investing and getting money to work better for me.

2. The ’70-20-10′ RULE

If you’ve been in corporate for some time now, you will have no doubt heard of the 70/20/10 Model for Learning and Development. 17 years of the annual performance appraisal process, I knew this inside out. The model simply means that your greatest learning and skills development is through the DOING or on-the-job learning: normally a challenging assignment that pushes you. You can’t read a book and learn how to ride a bike—fall, get your knees scraped up, and eventually you can be competent. Making mistakes from the doing is the best form of learning and investment. The 20% is about learning from others. In corporate, this is project work with other teams. In life, this can be regularly consulting with people who share the same vision as you. This could be exercise in the gym where your expert friends may lend a few workout routine or diet tips. The remaining, and small percentage is through formal study which typically involves a 3rd party expert resource like atttending a course, seminar, online learning, webinars, or reading. Here’s my own daily/weekly activity breakdown for the 70/20/10 rule:


  • 30 minutes a day with a morning mindset and affirmation routine to get my mindset for a powerful work day
  • 2-4 hours a day prospecting business partners for my business, generating leads, following up and having one-on-one meetings
  • 1-2 hours creating added value content for my blog site in sharing my learnings
  • 1-2 hours for identifying future ideas and planning for the coming week to 10 days

Invest in You - 70-20-10 RuleLEARNING FROM OTHERS (20%)

  • 2-4 hours a week meeting with entrepreneurial associates, sharing strategies and business updates
  • 15-30 minutes per day catching a daily podcast, video blog on entrepreneurial stories, mindset, motivation and business resources

STUDY (10%)

  • 10-15 minutes a day reading a book. I’m currently in the middle of ‘Start With Why’ by Simon Sinek
  • 30 minutes to go through a couple modules of a recent course on social media marketing and online branding

What I’ve found to be immensely profound is this: inspiration comes from prolonged, consistent, and intense doing. Your DOING creates new HOWs and WHATs on your life leadership journey. Had I not been following my daily blog reading or podcast routines from my mentors, I would never have come across the idea of creating leverage from through social media marketing. I then sought after the right course and the investment became a ‘no brainer’. I am now fired-up on new avenues that I am creating for myself, pushing my limits, and all together creating congruency (big word that simply means ‘things that belong together’) for myself towards my goal.

In my opinion, this is probably the most important Life Leadership principle that you will take home with you that could mean your dream remaining as a dream…or your dream becoming a reality. It’s the principle that will launch your vision into motion by investing in yourself first (read: Life Leadership Principle #2: Creating Your Personal Vision). Best ways to invest in yourself is 1) protect the seed of this dream from people who may pull you back and steal it from you; 2) get busy working on it, motivate yourself by reminding yourself; and 3) find resources to draw inspiration and know-how. Then, just REPEAT 1-2-3…and invest daily.

Thanks for taking time out. Was this valuable? Did you learn something new? If so, why not share it with someone else who might also find value in it. You can also follow me on FaceBook or Twitter by clicking the links at the bottom of the page, or feel free to post a comment below on what you liked best.

‘Climb your mountain..and see what’s on the other side’!

Ian Billingham - Life Leadership Entrepreneur