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b&b115 What does it really mean to invest in yourself?

“You don’t need to call something an investment just because you want to buy it. It’s okay to buy something because it’s something you value.”

We hear it all the time. “Think of it as an investment in yourself.”

But what does that really mean? When you hear someone else tell you that, are they just trying to get you to spend money with them?

On this week’s show, we unpack the phrase “Investing in yourself,” from how to avoid being duped into buying something that isn’t actually an investment, to the difference between investing in yourself vs. taking care of yourself, to how to figure out what “investing in yourself” means for you.

Episode Highlights:

Dyalekt: “Invest in yourself” only counts as investing in yourself if you see a clear benefit on the other end.

Pam: People confuse and conflate the phrase “Invest in yourself” with taking care of yourself…They’re not the same thing.

Pam: You do need to invest in yourself. You do need to think of yourself as an asset in a lot of ways.

Pam: My job is to tell you what you’re actually going to get out of it and not leave you with some vague impression that you’re doing a good thing for yourself. I feel like that’s really why people use the phrase. It’s, I don’t have a clear idea of what you’re going to get out of this but you’re gonna pay me money for it and maybe you’ll get something out of it, so let’s call it an investment. Instead of you just giving me money.

Pam: If you are clear on the benefit for you and are not having someone tell you it’s an investment in yourself, than it usually is an investment in yourself, ironically. And that is really my red flag in general: when people say that phrase about their product or service.

Dyalekt: Investing in yourself is something that you have to do, and someone else can’t sell you. You can take classes all day long and it won’t benefit yourself. When investing in yourself is a thing is when you have ideas. You have a goal. And then, you put stuff together that puts you toward your goal…The class itself is not an investment. It only becomes so when you put it in the context of what you’re doing.

Pam: This is where it gets blurry a little bit. And I think staying healthy and feeling happy and going and getting a massage and getting your nails done. It’s not really an investment in yourself so much as it’s you deciding “Hey, I need to take care of myself right now” or “I need consistently” by buying healthy food and exercising regularly and sleeping regular hours and all of that.

Pam: It’s not an investment just because it’s expensive.

Pam: Where you spend your money is a representation of what you value, and you don’t need to call something an investment just so you feel okay buying it. You can just feel okay buying it because it’s something that you value.

Pam: The whole thing of taking care of yourself versus investing in yourself, I think it’s very important to be honest with yourself about whether it’s you just doing self care, and personal care, and being healthy, and taking care of yourself in that way, or if it is actually you taking the time to invest in something that you feel like is actually gonna grow.

Dyalekt: If you feel like you wanna invest in yourself, you need to know that you also need to do self care. That they’re two different things, and that you shouldn’t try to put them together and make them happen at the same time.

Pam: Investing in yourself is work. It’s not a time to recharge. It’s not a time when you can take a break from it all and then come back and be able to have more energy. Investing in yourself is investing not just money but time and energy into something that is gonna be hard. So self care needs to be you saying “I’m gonna step away from this for a minute” so that the next day I can focus on the investments that I’ve made in myself. And for myself.

Pam: Take care of yourself first. You have to do that before you can start investing in yourself. Just like you have to have an emergency fund first, before you put money into the stock market. Take care of yourself first, and then you can invest in yourself, and the investment will be less risky and you will find more reward from it.