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Investing in Yourself

by Dustin Davis, Articles, 1 Comment

ng-confRight now I’m sitting in a room with 700 people. We have all come together for ng-conf – a programming conference for AngularJS.

My first programmer conference I ever attended was DjangoCon 2012. I loved it. Why do I love programming conferences?

  • It’s a chance to learn about best practices and what others are doing in your industry.
  • It’s a chance to recharge your batteries so to speak. I learn while I work, but I learn what I need to know to accomplish the task I’m working on in any given moment. At a conference I can step away from tasks and focus on learning and absorbing new ideas that will find their way into solving future tasks and problems.
  • Networking. One bit of advice a friend gave me before going to a conference was “speak with as many people as possible.” As an introvert it is hard advice to follow, but I try. In the past two days I have met people from Colorado, California, Oregon, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Texas, Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, New York, England and Germany!

In the book No Excuses, Brian Tracey lays out a formula on how much to invest in yourself:

To guarantee your lifelong success, make a decision today to invest 3 percent of your income back into yourself. This seems to be the magic number for lifelong learning. According to the American Society for Training and Development, this is the percentage that the most profitable 20 percent of companies in every industry invest in the training and development of their staff. Decide today to invest 3 percent of your income into yourself in order to make yourself an appreciating asset, to continually increase your earning ability.

If your annual income goal is $50,000, resolve to invest 3 percent of that amount, or $1,500, back into yourself each year to maintain and upgrade your knowledge and skills. If your income goal is $100,000, resolve to invest $3,000 per year back into yourself to ensure that you reach that level of income.

Tracy, Brian (2010-05-25). No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline (Kindle Locations 1281-1287). Vanguard Press. Kindle Edition.

This is why I don’t balk at investing in an Audible account. That is why I pay for a or Pluralsight membership when I want to go through a tutorial. I’m fortunate that my company pays to send me to conferences and I wish I had time to attend more.

But, am I investing 3% of my current income in myself? Better yet, am I investing 3% of my goal income in myself? I don’t think I am. First I need to track it better and do more.

How about you? Do you agree with this formula? What do you do to invest in yourself?