HomeBusinesssme's chat: What did you invest during 2011?

sme's chat: What did you invest during 2011?

You can either invest to get more of each and get rich, or waste it and become poor. Each one of us has the power to either invest or waste both money and time, and the results are clear for all to see.

All those rich people, be they music or film stars, authors, entrepreneurs, football players or business executives, invest a lot of their time in order to get more.

According to Bryan Tracy, rich people are those who have made a decision to be rich; poor people have not yet decided to be rich. Your decisions and actions determine your lot in life.

A person is worth what others are willing to pay for his labour. A surgeon can charge a lot because his work is highly valued: it’s a matter of life and death at times.

A farm labourer gets paid a very low wage because his labour requires no special skill and there are lots of people who can replace him.
Success in your business is dependent upon your ability to charge premium prices for your labour.
By labour I don’t mean just physical work, but mental work.

How much are people willing to pay for your ideas and thoughts depends on how much knowledge and skills you have, the value you are creating and how unique your services and products are. If people have no choice but to buy from you, and they desperately need your product, then you get to set your own price.

invest your time in order to increase your value
In the Richest Man in Babylon (George Clason 1926), the rich man tells his poor neighbours about the importance of not spending all your earnings, but investing at least a tenth, so that your wealth grows. If you invest nothing, then you will never get financially independent.
Now back to my thoughts at the beginning of this article.

I asked myself “How much did I invest to make me and my business more valuable?”

Apart from advancing my professional education, I spent a lot of time doing the following: reading business and self-improvement books, reading business magazines, researching and getting more knowledge on the subjects of my profession, attending training workshops — both as a trainee and a trainer, attending business seminars and networking events and talking to hundreds of entrepreneurs so as to hear their thoughts and ideas.
I believe my wealth of knowledge is now much more than what I possessed at the beginning of the year.

What about you? What new things did you learn this year that have improved the way you do business and added value to you as an entrepreneur?
The unfortunate thing about your time (and money) is that once you spend it, it’s gone. But if you invest it, it becomes an asset that increases your value.

A consultant I spoke to recently, decried the fact that his clients are only willing to pay small amounts for his services. In other words, they don’t put much value on his services. To me, I think the problem is that his service is not unique; just open the classified sections of daily newspapers and you will find dozens of people offering similar services.

These people will accept low fees because they know the client has a wide choice of consultants to choose from.
There are many inspirational books that you can read in order to learn from those who have been successful in business, investments and wealth building.

Books like Rich Dad, Poor Dad, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and 25 Ways to Win with People contain loads of advice that can help you improve your business and life.

Investing in reading such books will add value to you and your business. Now with audio versions of these books available, you can listen to them while in bed, driving or flying. Don’t let those hours go to waste, invest them.
Participants at the “Accelerate Your Growth SME Seminar” on December 14 will receive CD copies of these and other business and inspirational audio books. You will find more information at  http://smebusinesslink.com.

One of the lessons I learned this year, from a business development course, is to make my product or service unique and valuable to the customer.
You cannot attract a lot of customers if you are ordinary like many others. Be extraordinary, be different, add more value.
The best people to learn from are those who have achieved the success that you desire. Would you learn horse-riding from someone who has never ridden a horse in his life? Or English from someone who has never spoken a complete English sentence? Learn from those who have made it.
The best teachers are those who have failed, even many times, and eventually succeeded.
Your thoughts and comments are important, please email them to me.

l Phillip Chichoni is a strategic business planning and financial management consultant who works with SMEs and entrepreneurs. You may contact him by email chichonip@smebusinesslink.com

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