My Best Investments of 2016

Welcome to episode 324 of Hit the Mic with The Stacey Harris.

Let’s do it guys, let’s talk about the money. I sit back at the end of every year and I try to pay attention to what I spend. I do this more regularly than once a year now that Charles handles the bookkeeping, just full transparency. I’m much better at it when somebody else does the day-to-day of it, but I do like to evaluate what’s going out because I want to know that I’m getting the value and that value may not be dollar-for-dollar, but I want to make sure that I’m getting what I need out of the financial exchange.

I sat down and I’ve been looking at the investments I made this year and so I want to tell you guys about the four best investments I made in 2016. I’m not going to be naming physical things you can buy, really more the mental investments I made that were financial investments as well, but they may be different for you as far as the specific thing. That will make more sense once I go on so I will just go on. Are you ready to jump in? Let’s jump in.

Number one, and I’m doing this in no particular order, by the way. The first one we’re going to talk about: focused coaching and mentorship. At different stages in my business I’ve thought I need need a coach or I need a mastermind, and I was always right. I did, I needed a coach or I needed a mastermind and the programs I invested in have been fantastic. The coaches I’ve worked with, the masterminds I’ve been a part of, all wonderful. However, I needed this year something really focused on my goals in a way that I’ve not done before. Generally when I’ve been this focused on something it’s been from the perspective of a program. However, this year I really wanted coaching that was super specific to my goals, and so that’s exactly what I did this year. I invested in what was going to move my goal closer.

I’m still in some of those investments, but that was hands down one of the best investments I made in my business because it was specific to what my goals were.  I wasn’t trying to figure something out or working with somebody who could do nine different things for me and who was going to work on my mindset and who was going to work marketing and who was going to work on my program development. No, I got what I needed, so if you need to build and launch a program, find somebody who does that. If you need help with your money mindset, find somebody who does that. If you need help with your social media, find somebody who does that. By the way, I do that. Whatever it is, your needs.

It may mean working with a couple of different people throughout the year. I try not to be working with more than one person or thing at a time because I’m very cognizant of the percentage of my time that is working on my business versus actually working on my business from the perspective of creating content, executing the things that I talk about with these coaches and these masterminds, so that’s important. Pay attention to that.

Find what it is you need. Absolutely if you have somebody you’re working with on your mindset and you have somebody who you’re working with on a program development, that does not need to be the same person. Get specific. Get really, really specific about what you need when you need it and do that. That’s been huge for me.

Number two, saying no to things that weren’t a fit. This was not a “I laid money on the table” kind of thing, but this was a “I didn’t take money off the table” kind of thing. It definitely cost me this year on things I said no to. However, saying no to those allowed me to make money somewhere else that was more in line with what my goals were. We had possible management clients and we had possible consulting things and we had opportunities to invest in sponsorships or to invest in events, and I said no. I said no because they weren’t aligned with m goals at the time. I’m not saying that they were bad things or bad opportunities. Some of them were really, really fantastic, but they weren’t a fit for where I was right then or where I’m going in my immediate future, so I said no.

I think that’s an investment that early in our business we’re really, really afraid to make, but can be one of the most rewarding and most freeing investments we make. I challenge you in 2017 to invest more in saying no, because man, oh man does it pay dividends. You have the ability to do things that are aligned with you. You have the ability to do things that are what you’re interested in and what you want to be doing, and that’s incredibly powerful. Invest in the no. It’s a game changer.

All right, number three, physical gear. We talk a lot about our investments from a software perspective but one of the best investments I made this year was physical gear. I updated my iPhone and, full disclosure, I wasn’t terribly out of date. I had a 6+ and now I have a 6S+. I’ll probably have a 7 in the next few months. I think I’m actually going to wait until the 8. I made a conscious choice to just wait until the 8. I’m just waiting until the 8, or whatever comes out next year, but we also upgraded for Charles. He was working on a laptop and we moved him to a desktop and it has been a huge productivity increaser because just the nature of the machine he is working on and his setup and his flow is a lot better now. If you’re working on a machine that’s way outdated or way not serving your needs anymore, it’s costing you time. Change it.

In the land of live video and SnapChat and Instagram stories and photo sharing, you want to make sure that your gear can hold up to that. You want to make sure that your gear is going to serve those needs, so if you have a phone that’s eight years old and it has terrible camera and terrible memory life and terrible battery life, that’s hindering your business. I talked to somebody not too long ago, and they were like, “Yeah, I’d love to do SnapChat but it won’t work on my phone because my phone’s so old. You’re leaving marketing money on the table because you refuse to upgrade your device. No.

I’m not saying go out and spend a fortune on your gear. What I am saying is making sure that your gear serves your goals. If that means to need to upgrade, find a way to do that. Hustle the cash. Set a goal and achieve it. You can do it, but you got to be willing to say, “This is what we’re doing.” All right? Physical gear, that was a big upgrade for us this year and probably one of the best investments we made this year from a delivering great content, delivering great photos, and a productivity thing. That’s really important.

My fourth one was actually, I thought, a personal investment, but it’s actually kind of a business investment as well, and that’s my health. I started working out one-on-one with a trainer in the second half of this year, and it’s been absolutely incredible. Earlier in the year I started investing really committed, dedicated time to running, to working out, and then I upgraded further to the trainer, and it’s been a game changer. Not only do I feel better, and I’m starting to look a little better, if I do say so myself, but I feel stronger. I feel more confident. My posture is better. I’m more energetic. I feel better.

All of that plays into my ability to hustle, to work, to make money, to serve my goals, to be there for my family. It really checks all of the other boxes. Also I would say, probably my best, most important investment is my health. It’s easy, really easy as entrepreneurs, especially if you’re doing the solo hustle thing, to leave that to the side, to not prioritize it, to say, “Oh, I’ll get to that. When X, Y, Z happens or you know, whatever, then I’ll definitely, I’ll make that a priority again.” I said “Enough of that,” and I made it a priority now, and I’m so glad I did because it feels good and it really does pay dividends all the other places in my life, including my business. All right?

There it is, four investments I made this year. Some financial, some a little less financial, saying no, but all absolutely critical. I want to hear from you though, so come over to Facebook.com/TheStaceyHarris, that’s the Facebook page, or over on Twitter, Twitter.com/TheStaceyHarris if you prefer to tweet me, and let me know what the single best investment you made this year was.

I want to know, and the really cool thing is is it can encourage the people around us to invest in themselves, to spend the money, spend the time, whatever it is to make their lives and their businesses better. Let’s inspire each other, all right? If you’re totally at a loss, you’re like, “I didn’t invest at all this year,” head over to Hit the Mic Backstage. Let’s invest a little bit of time and a tiny bit of money into making your social media marketing better because it will definitely pay dividends. All right? All right.

I will see you Backstage.

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