In past blogs I have mentioned how much I enjoy Shark Tank. If you don’t watch it, you really should. As a business professional, it is a great educational tool for both running a business and selling it’s products and services. One thing I really enjoy is the question asked of most of the entrepreneurs “How much do you have invested in your business?” Let me share with you both why I love the question and how you can apply it to your business (efforts).
I love the investment question because it proves real skin in the game. Too many people in today’s business marketplace are looking for easy ways to make money or achieve notoriety (or both). Investment into a business or job demonstrate that the person is all in and willing to do whatever it takes to succeed. Alternatively, if someone has just thrown a bunch of money into the pot to “buy-in”, this can identify a red flag for lack of need to succeed. If someone doesn’t need to succeed, in the long run they won’t.
How does this apply to you, especially if you do not own a business or are a business owner with little money? Let me offer two ways.
- Investment isn’t always about money. Often the better investment is blood, sweat, and tears. Regardless of owning the business or not, many of us have put these elements into our profession and it shows in the way we value the company we work for or the industry we serve. If you are just getting started, or haven’t invested much to this point, it’s never too late to do it. Go all in and trust that the investment of yourself will pay dividends.
- Investment can come in the form of personal education and growth. Maybe you have read a motivational book or attended a seminar. That’s a great start but don’t stop there. Investing in yourself means stretching your abilities and adding new ones. Ask your coworkers and colleagues what they do to invest in themselves. Look online for like-minded (and similar industry) professionals and see how they push themselves. Subscribe to a podcast or a magazine (I recommend Entrepreneur magazine). Find a mentor or hire a coach. Realize you will never graduate from this process but most likely continue to add to it.
During past Shark tank episodes, I have heard entrepreneurs seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars from the sharks answer the investment question with measly answers. Don’t be that person. If you seek multiples of success in your own business, whether you work for yourself or someone else, you will NEED to invest your own time, talent, and treasure. So what are you waiting for? Don’t miss out on the biggest deal of your life because you passed on investing ahead of time!