I attended a conference in Marina del Ray a few weeks ago that was sponsored by “The Perfect Pitch.” I was able to hear Richard Branson of Virgin enterprises speak, as well as a number of other entrepreneurs and investors. In addition to giving a presentation on licensing, I enjoyed meeting up with old friends and making new ones.
But inevitably, when I attend an event like this, someone always asks me, “Why did you go? What do you get out of those?” And yet again, someone did. He didn’t understand why I’d be willing to travel down to southern California for a single day to attend a single conference. And I responded to him, like I respond to all of them, by asking, “How much are you willing to invest in yourself? If you’re not… what is going to motivate someone to invest in you?”
I put a lot of time and money into my business. A lot of opportunities present themselves to me and I assess each one. How am I going to benefit from the experience? What am I going to learn? If I decide the opportunity is worth it, I do it. I can honestly say that I’ve learned something from just about every person I’ve ever heard speak – even if it’s what not to say and what differentiates a boring presentation from an exciting one! Sometimes those speakers confirm what I already believe and know. Sometimes they contradict. But they each cause me to reflect, to wonder, and to question. And those are three actions any decent businessperson cannot do without.
When did you last invest in yourself? You are your business! Spending time and money on you IS spending time and money on your business. (Let me be clear: This is true up to a certain point. We’re not talking here about splurging on a facial.) Take the time to learn something new about the industry you want to work in, to get rejuvenated by interacting with new peers, or to be inspired by someone who knows more. I guarantee it’ll be worth it.
Stephen Key is a successful award-winning inventor who has licensed over 20 products in the past 30 years. Along with business partner Andrew Krauss, Stephen runs inventRight, a company dedicated to educating inventors about selling their ideas and the skills needed to succeed. You can listen to the weekly radio show on inventing. Get In The News, list your invention to have media outlets find you for news stories.