Investing in Potential Earns Greater Returns


“The way to achieve your own success is to be willing to help somebody else get it first.”
- Iyanla Vanzant

Whether we realize it or not, we all have relational trust accounts with others. With every interaction, we are making deposits or withdrawals. Every relationship is an investment; the nature of each relationship determines the return.


By connecting and empowering someone, we develop trust, which in turn earns their respect; when we give them space to grow, increase their potential and discover their own path at their own pace, we receive a return on our investment.


Develop a Lifestyle of Investing in Yourself


“Invest in yourself to get the best interest.”
- Debasish Mridha

Investing in ourselves takes time and energy; many aren’t willing to make that commitment. Yet, without that commitment, we can never reach our full potential. As a lifelong learner, I’m an investor in people, starting with myself constantly pushing the envelope to reach new potential.


Lifelong learners tend to make objective lessons of everything they experience. So, when daily life becomes our classroom, we will note our experiences and those around us, learning from what we experience, we will pass it on. The person who said “you learn something new every day” must have been a lifelong investor in themselves.


None of us knows everything, all our years of experience are never exhaustive, nor can we ever utter an all-encompassing “been there done that.” The more lessons we learn, the more value we bring to the table when helping others. Roy T. Bennett says, “There is no more profitable investment than investing in yourself. It is the best investment you can make; you can never go wrong with it. It is the true way to improve yourself to be the best version of you and lets you be able to best serve those around you.”


You Need to Read


“Think before you speak. Read before you think.”
- Fran Lebowitz

I’m an avid reader and have been for as long as I can remember; adding to my library is a lifelong habit. With Kindle, I’m no longer limited to a number of bookcases in a given space. I first read books on management before becoming a manager, and on leadership, I was assembling teams and learning by doing everything I read. Margaret Fuller quipped, “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.


My mother always had a book on an end table next to the couch in our living room. She understood most successful people are avid readers. She was a lifelong learner investing in herself to add value to others. She earned her Master’s in psychology at the age of 66 and continued applying what she learned to help people later in life.


Carrie Smith Nicholson comments, “Whenever you talk to millionaires and business owners, one of the things they always recommend as a way of attaining success is to read books. Books give you the power to learn new things and bust through career slumps. In other words, books can take you to places you’ve never been and give you ideas you never thought of.”


Develop a Lifestyle of Investing in Others


“For our own success to be real, it must contribute to the success of others.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

Opportunities to invest in bringing out the best in others are all around us. Look at the people around you, your family, your neighbors, your friends, coworkers, clients, or customers. Being in the moment whenever you’re with them increases the probability you’ll add value to them.


When an opportunity presents itself (wherever it appears), seize the moment to help someone, go the extra mile enabling them to move up a step. Do not confine productivity to the workplace; see it as your lifestyle; view everyone around you with a “potential mindset.” Take note when they’re doing something right and be their biggest supporter when something goes wrong. Investing in helping them find solutions always adds value to them, bringing a good return on your investment.


Human Potential Inspirational writer Akiroq Brost exclaims, “Stop blaming other people for your own behavior! Own the truth. If you don’t like it, then invest the time and energy to change it.” Likewise, instead of telling someone what to do, invest some time to walk them through the process.


Fostering a “potential mindset” allows you to believe everyone can learn and grow from successes and failures. Human abilities are not static, and neither is potential. Both can reach new benchmarks when we challenge others as we challenge ourselves.


“Invest in relationships. Life is hard. None of us has the strength to do it alone. We need people to encourage and inspire us so we can encourage and inspire others.”
- Simon Sinek


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