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Strategically Invest In Yourself to Build Personal Wealth

By Erik Folgate

I was sitting in a computer science class back in 2004, trying to figure out the foreign language that the professor was speaking (computer language, not an actual foreign language), when I realized that this wasn’t for me. I may have been investing in myself, but it was a bad investment. I came to the realization that I liked tinkering with computers, but I hated learning binary code, writing meaningless programs, and learning about every intricacy of a processor chip. Some people love that stuff, and they are fantastic at comprehending it. It wasn’t for me. I switched my major, and moved on. Getting a college degree can be a great investment in yourself, but it can also be a very bad investment in yourself if you don’t get anything out of it. My philosophy has always been that you get more out of an undergraduate degree just by surviving for four years rather than what you actually learn. Developing writing skills, personal responsibility, setting and achieving goals, time management, and money management are all skills that you either sharpen or dull while in college.

I am challenging you to think past a college degree. Your self-improvement does not stop when you leave the college campus. The value that you bring to a company and to society must constantly be improving in order for you to be a successful person. Ask yourself this question today, and every day that you wake up in the morning:

“What will I do today to invest in myself?”

Will you learn a new trade? Will you read a non-fiction book? Will you begin taking classes towards a certain certification? Will you break an bad habit? Will you exercise? What will you do today that mentally, physically, spiritually, and financially makes you a better person?

This sounds like a post about self-improvement, and it is, but I want you to be encouraged that you have all the ability in the world to turn your financial situation around whether you are 20 years old or 60 years old. You hold the key to your own destiny. Stop thinking about what the government is going to do for you, what your family is going to do for you, or what your employer is going to do for you. Start thinking about what you are going to do for you. If you treat yourself like you treat your financial investments, you’ll find that personal wealth will beging to increase.

I am fully convinced that people who want to work in a career that they love will make more money than people who work in jobs just because it pays well. I am fully convinced that people who strive to constantly learn something new every day will be more wealthy than those who read engage in mindless activity every day. Mindless activity is great sometimes when you need to unwind, but try to do something each day that improves yourself. You just might find that your financial situation will start to improve as well.

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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    I believe the professor would call an “actual foreign language” a “natural language” to distinguish it from the “artificial language” of machines.

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