“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
– Warren Buffett
On Friday morning I got paid $85 to copy and paste comments onto a blog post. It took me two minutes to do and I ended up getting a $15 tip. While this isn’t something that’s ever happened before, and probably won’t happen again, it serves as a great example for why you need to invest in yourself.
If I had a job, an opportunity like this would never pop up. While I might eventually get a promotion, or an end of the year bonus, there would be no random goldmines for me to stumble into. getting a hundred dollars to copy and paste half a dozen messages is great work if you can find it. However, it’s hard to look for opportunities when you’re on another person’s clock.
People will spend eight dollars to sit through a two hour movie, they’ll blow a hundred bucks for a night of drinking in some lame bar, and they’ll sacrifice their lives to an electronic screen and some imaginary accolades from people they rarely see. Yet very few people are ever willing to spend an hour or two a day investing in themselves. Reading books, going to the gym, starting a small business, learning a new language. Those are things that actually pay off. In the two hours that it takes to watch the latest James Franco movie you could build a fully operational website. In the time it takes to watch a funny YouTube video you could send out a few job applications on oDesk.It won’t be that hard for someone with a part time freelancing gig to make a couple hundred dollars a month. You could sit on the couch and watch TV while writing articles and pay for your rent within a week or two of casual effort.
Take some time to read books, start a web business, find a hobby. While you might not get an immediate or guaranteed payoff like you would from the television or your job, there’s room for infinite rewards. When you invest in yourself you’ll see huge returns. They might be instantaneous or occur like you had imagined, but they’ll be there.