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Investing in Yourself for This Year and Beyond

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There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self

Investing in yourself can be one of the most profitable things you can do. At first that may seem like an exaggeration, but when you realize this topic literally applies to every aspect of life, it’s easy to see how big of an impact there can be. 

Having a wide range of knowledge, skills and experiences makes you more adaptable to unexpected circumstances, whether good or bad. The more diverse your knowledge, skills and experiences are, the higher the chances of quickly bouncing back from a job loss. Or maybe you finally realize you have the talent to start your own business!

How about if an opportunity arises? If you don’t have the knowledge to identify the opportunity and the skills to take advantage of it, the opportunity might as well not even exist.

And here’s a bonus. There’s growing evidence showing life-long learning reduces the risk of Alzheimers and dementia1. Another study showed a delay of up to 8.7 years in the onset of such diseases for those who continue learning even when they’re old and grey.²

The most important thing you can understand about investing in yourself is that no one will do it for you. It’s up to you to drive your career, your purpose and your life in the direction you want it to go. Without your actions, you will go nowhere.

To promote adaptability and wealth-being in 2022 and beyond, here are 10 skills that are important now and will continue to be in the future. My goal is to give you a kick start in thinking about what skills you should build to promote success and happiness in your life.



  • Life-long learning and skill building can help ward off mental decline
  • Having a wide range of skills improves your adaptability and resiliency
  • The average millionaire has 7 streams of income (You may already have 3!)
  • Having a business opens 2 very important doors for building financial wealth
    • The tax code
    • Asset protection
  • Staying alive via self defense and firearms training is absolutely a part of a total wealth-being strategy

Improve your computer skills

With computer technology at the forefront of the future, it is imperative that you start investing in your computer skills.

So get better at whatever program(s) you use for your job, business or that you think will be important in the future. Not only will it make you more employable, it can save you time and reduce errors in your work.

Over time this can lead to more job security, bigger raises and even promotions. If you’re a business owner it can lead to more satisfied customers, more efficient operations and higher sales.

Here are some tech/computer skills to get your ideas flowing:

  • Programming languages (SQL, Python, R Studio, Javascript etc)
  • Cybersecurity – Cybersecurity already was a quickly growing industry and the move to work from home means that companies have an even greater need for experts in this field. Not to mention the benefit of guarding against identity theft for individuals.
  • Data visualization and analytics programs (Power BI, Tableau, Qlikview, Amazon QuickSight, R Studio etc)
  • General automation skills
  • Cloud computing (AWS)
  • User interface and User experience design
  • Customer relationship management (CRMs)
  • Blockchain

Improve communication (writing & speaking)

Effective communication is one of those skills that are vital to success in all parts of life.

Whether you’re interviewing for a new job, going on a date or trying to get your children to listen, the way you frame and deliver a question or statement makes a huge difference. Do it right and usually get what you want with little resistance. Do it wrong and struggle for the outcome you desire.

Effective communication is important in:

  • Building trust
  • Preventing and/or resolving problems
  • Providing clarity and direction
  • Building relationships and teams
  • Expressing ideas and feelings

Effectively communicating vision, values and purpose is a major part of what sets successful companies apart from those who fail or are just “good enough”. To communicate these pillars, marketing departments across the world have turned to storytelling.

Not only is storytelling recognized as an asset in the professional arena, it has major impacts in personal settings as well. If you have ever heard a great campfire story, you know how much better it makes the overall experience. It can take a nice memory that will eventually fade into the past, and morph it into an experience you will never forget.

You can find a couple of the better videos on the basics of storytelling here and here.

Learn to manage people & processes

Both allow you to get more things done with less effort and time. These skills also transfer across all industries and situations.

According to the BLS, those who manage people have a higher median wage than those who do not. General Operations Managers make 55% more than Business and Financial Operations Employees.7

This is a very high level comparison that is not perfect. There are BLS salary estimates across hundreds of different occupations where the manager vs employee salary gap is different. The point is, when you are responsible for managing others and/or managing important business processes, your salary spikes.

Identify patterns & think critically

It seems to me that the ability to think critically for oneself has been thrown out the window over the past couple of decades. Whatever happened to challenging the mainstream narrative by asking why and then removing any type of political or ideological nonsense to come to a fact based, unbiased conclusion? It’s a dying skill.

To promote critical thinking simply ask “why” when provided information. Keep asking why until you get down to the root cause (see The 5 whys method). You will end up with a much better understanding of the nuances of a certain topic or problem.

“How can I” also opens up your mind and puts your brain into problem solving mode rather than just seeing a problem as a given that cannot be overcome.

start a business or side hustle

Quiz: On average, how many different income streams do millionaires have?

  1. 4
  2. 6
  3. 7
  4. 10

Answer: 7

One more question. Do you think it’s safer to have one source of income or multiple sources with none of them accounting for more than 30-40% of your income?

I used to think that it was risky to start a business or side hustle. I have realized that it’s more risky not to! We all agree that diversification of our assets reduces risk and stabilizes long term return potential. Why wouldn’t having more than one source of income do the same? Millions of people carry around the risk that if they lose their job, their income vanishes or at least drops by nearly 50% (if they can get unemployment). Now that’s risky.

You may be surprised to learn that if you have money in a savings account, stocks, bonds or mutual funds, you have 2 income sources in common with millionaires: Interest and dividends.

The difference is that they make tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars each year from these two sources. Most people do not. We make hundreds and possibly thousands. Not exactly enough to live off.

This means that our best bet is to develop a business or side hustle to compliment the income from our jobs and one day become a full-time entrepreneur; If that’s what you decide you want.

Becoming an entrepreneur opens up so many other avenues in addition to having the freedom to make your own rules; The two most important are the tax code and asset protection.

  • As an entrepreneur, the tax code allows you to earn, spend and then pay taxes rather than earn, pay taxes and spend like employees do.
  • As an entrepreneur you can hold your assets in various business structures where you don’t personally own the assets but you do control them. For employees, on the other hand, you are relegated to paying large insurance premiums every month to protect your assets in case you are sued.  

When it comes to money and business, most laws are written by the rich and powerful. They push laws that will allow them to make more money, keep more of what they make and protect what they’ve built.

It’s a big game. Learn the rules and take advantage of it too!

learn to cook

It’s a great feeling when you make something that tastes good and everybody enjoys. Satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment feeds your confidence which in turns increases your desire to try new things.

Not to mention the income generation potential. As mentioned earlier, having the skills to generate multiple types of income leaves you more resilient during bad times and in better position to take advantage of opportunities when they arise.

The cherry on top is that cooking at home saves you money. The whip cream on top is the more nutritious food to improve your health. Now dig in!

paint, draw & create art

A lot of us, myself included, have lost touch with the right side of our brains. We have two sides of our brains and we need to feed them both for strong mental health.

In fact, this meta study in The American Journal of Public Health concluded “there are clear indications that artistic engagement has significant positive effects on health.”3

And this article from Harvard Medical School goes through several studies related to the many health benefits. Reduced stress, anxiety and depression in addition to the slowing of cognitive decline and dementia are just a few.4

In addition to all those health benefits, it stands to reason that by developing this skill, you create the potential for income generation if you get good enough. This helps diversify your income stream and can leave you better off financially by increasing your income or helping to soften the blow of a job loss, your business goes under etc. Again, adaptability and resilience. Adaptability and resilience. 

grow & store food

Growing food is kind of like cooking. Once you start getting the hang of it, confidence and the sense of accomplishment follows. And the taste and nutritional abundance of a freshly picked fruit or vegetable blows away what you can get from the store. It’s on another level.

Not to mention that gardening has been shown to reduce stress5 and promote healthier eating, higher life satisfaction, higher cognitive function and decreased severity of depression.6

If the scientifically supported benefits are not enough, I hope the Coronavirus pandemic showed you that every responsible adult should be storing stuff they use; particularly food, water and energy. When the isles were being wiped clean last year, I didn’t have to go get groceries for over 6 weeks.

Just to get the immediate necessities taken care of, all you need is several 10 lb bags of rice, dozens of cans of beans (or bags of dried beans), frozen or canned vegetables, pasta, sauce and water. This will take care of just making sure you survive should some other unforeseen event take place that results in food shortages (And there already are signs of shortages to come).

From there you can focus on storing higher quality foods and supplies so you can maintain a healthy lifestyle and some sort of happiness should things go south.

relationships, support groups and communities

The obvious here is social media and networking. They can be very effective in keeping in touch with friends, family and like-minded people or for promoting yourself or your business.

But let’s not forget about in-person interaction and local support groups and communities. Having a close relationship with your neighbors and being able to trust them enough to watch your house while you’re gone or to take care of your children in a pinch is important.

Supporting local, organic food producers or participating in neighborhood programs are all things that have slowly faded into history for most people.

It’s time that we bring this back because the security, human connection and wealth building potential in these is immense.

Self Defense & Firearm Training

I think we can all agree that being able to defend yourself, your family or others from violence is priceless.

But self-defense is more than that. It teaches self-discipline, self-respect, respect for others, situational awareness and it’s great for your physical & mental health.

In my opinion, Krav Maga is the most applicable to real world situations as it focuses on hand to hand confrontations, defending against weapons attacks and wrestling. But most importantly (as any martial artist will tell you) it drills through your skull that you should ALWAYS look to avoid a confrontation if you can. Your first objective should be to extract yourself from a situation, if possible.

As far as firearms go, I am a firm believer in gun ownership for everyone except violent criminals and the mentally impaired. I respect anyone’s opinion against gun-ownership and they have to respect my opinion and constitutional right for gun ownership. Since my focus is on the building and preservation of wealth, and I consider defending myself and staying alive as part of my wealth, I see firearms as an important part of a total wealth strategy.

Almost everyone understands how Investing is a vital part in their wealth-being. But most people take a narrow view of wealth that is restricted to the accumulation of financial assets and physical possessions. If you are going to truly be wealthy, you need to expand your view of wealth to include all aspects of an enjoyable life. One such aspect is investing in yourself; Skills, knowledge and experiences so that you become more adaptable to the many spitballs life will throw at you.

1 Wilson RS, Mendes De Leon CF, Barnes LL, Schneider JA, Bienias JL, Evans DA, Bennett DA. Participation in cognitively stimulating activities and risk of incident Alzheimer disease. JAMA. 2002 Feb 13;287(6):742-8. doi: 10.1001/jama.287.6.742. PMID: 11851541.

2 Vemuri P, Lesnick TG, Przybelski SA, Machulda M, Knopman DS, Mielke MM, Roberts RO, Geda YE, Rocca WA, Petersen RC, Jack CR Jr. Association of lifetime intellectual enrichment with cognitive decline in the older population. JAMA Neurol. 2014 Aug;71(8):1017-24. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2014.963. PMID: 25054282; PMCID: PMC4266551.

3 Stuckey, Heather L, and Jeremy Nobel. “The connection between art, healing, and public health: a review of current literature.” American journal of public health vol. 100,2 (2010): 254-63. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2008.156497

4Harvard Medical School. Harvard Health Publishing. Harvard Women’s Health Watch. “The Healing Power of Art”.,a%20person's%20skill%20or%20talents. Accessed 4/3/2021

5    Van Den Berg AE, Custers MHG. Gardening Promotes Neuroendocrine and Affective Restoration from Stress. Journal of Health Psychology. 2011;16(1):3-11. doi:10.1177/1359105310365577

 6 Masashi Soga, Kevin J. Gaston, Yuichi Yamaura, Gardening is beneficial for health: A meta-analysis, Preventive Medicine Reports, Volume 5, 2017, Pages 92-99, ISSN 2211-3355,

7 May 2021 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates United States. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Accessed June 14, 2021

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