Most of the things you can do to improve your performance produce positive financial results and cost nothing, or something close to nothing.
- Reading is essentially free. You can go to a public library and read any book you want. If they don’t have it, they’ll order it for you. You can read magazines on the shelf at the bookstore. You can read most everything on the Internet for the cost of your bandwidth.
- Studying doesn’t cost you anything either. You can take notes, review those notes, write your own ideas about what something means, and argue these ideas with other thoughtful people. Throughout most of history this is how great minds improved themselves. Their employers didn’t send them off for professional development.
- You can work a lot harder and a lot smarter. It is both possible and free to close your browser window and produce something of value. It costs absolutely nothing to close your inbox, and all of your email messages will still be waiting for you when you reopen it. You can work harder and improve your performance and your results without spending one thin dime.
- Interacting with other human beings provides an endless stream of learning. The experiences you have offer you lessons about what works, what doesn’t work, and why. Observing the experiences of other people provides a lot of learning opportunities too, if only for the people observant enough to notice and aware enough to know to watch for the lessons.
- You don’t need a gym membership or a trainer to improve your physical well-being. Most of what you need to do you can do with a pair of shorts, a t-shirt, and some gym shoes. You can feel better, have more energy, and live a much more vital life with almost no financial investment at all.
So what stops you from improving your performance? It isn’t anything financial, because no money is necessary. The only price you pay for improving yourself is an investment of time, and investment of energy, and an investment of your focused attention.
You are the only one standing in your way.
What should you be improving now?
What investment do you need to make to improve in that area?
How would it help you to improve that area of your life now?