Let’s call them life investments.
These less-tangible investments may seem unrelated to money, but they’re all connected.
There is no use investing solely for money if your other life investments are lacking.
The best financial investments, in my opinion, are those that involve emotional investments as well.
They allow you to grow not only your bank balance, but your character, your social skills, and your connection with others.
Here are some of the top five things you should invest in other than money:
1. Other people
It’s important not to see people as a means to an end.
This can sometimes be tough in business because we’re all so goal-focused, and we have our eye on the prize so to speak.
But in our rush to get the deal done, to finish what we’ve started, we can sometimes overlook our colleagues, friends and family.
This is a bad idea because these are the very people who will pull together to help you when the chips are down.
I’ve always liked that saying, “Be nice to those on your way up because you’ll meet them on your way down.”
As you’re forging ahead in your career and you’re beginning to achieve your goals, you may forget to stop and take stock.
But this is important for personal growth.
You need to ask yourself whether you’re happy and engaged, or stressed and disconnected?
Do you like the person you’ve become or are becoming – and if you don’t what are you going to do about it?
And then there’s the importance of investing in your business skills.
Often we can be our own worst enemies and we hold ourselves back with self-defeating or negative behaviours.
It’s handy to do a personality audit from time to time to check that we’re not getting in our own way, so to speak, or stopping opportunities from coming to us from outdated belief systems.
None of us have enough of it.
If we could buy time, there would be plenty of people doing so.
As hard as it is, though, spare time is not just important for business growth, it’s non-negotiable.
You have your best ideas when you’re daydreaming or mowing the lawn or taking a walk.
Down time is essential to rebooting the brain and checking in with your dreams and goals.
If you don’t have any spare time then you become a robot.
You’ll be getting lots done, but you won’t be innovating.
Too many adults stop learning once they enter the workforce.
They think they’ve done their studies and it’s time to make money.
But education is a lifelong task.
It’s where we get our ideas from and how we learn to make better investments.
Reading about what other successful people have done before us, and learning from their experiences, is vital.
To stop doing this is to stop growing.
Business is also a complicated field, and goal posts are constantly changing.
The residential property market, for example, is subject to certain trends, as well as government policy, and it’s always important to keep on top of these issues.
And furthermore, let’s not forget the joy of learning for learning’s sake.
It’s one of life’s great pleasures.
5. Giving back
Some people call this “cultivating gratitude”, but I’m a bit of a straight talker, so let’s just call it giving back.
Because it keeps you humble and it acknowledges your good fortune.
Sure, it’s a fortune you built, but you were lucky enough to be born into a country that allowed you to pursue your dreams.
Giving back also acknowledges the many people who have helped you along the way.
It could be a supportive partner or a team at work.
Either way, success is rarely down to just one person’s hard work alone.
Giving back can be done in many forms.
You can do it directly by offering to volunteer in your industry or you could mentor a younger person who needs a bit of guidance.
If you focus on these five investments, your life will be much more rounded as a result.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying you should neglect financial investments, I’m just arguing that we also need to factor in life investments.
Because they really do go hand in hand if you ask me.
Michael Yardney is a director of Metropole Property Strategists, which creates wealth for its clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He is a best-selling author, one of Australia’s leading experts in wealth creation through property and writes the Property Update blog.