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Episode 23: How to Invest in Yourself

See the show notes for this Episode here.

This transcript has been automatically generated.

If you have felt yourself resisting this, like, I can't do that, or it's not possible, my question to you would be, how could you make it possible? How could you make it possible?

I'm Bonnie Christine, and this is where all things, creativity, design, business, and marketing unite. I'm a mama living in a tiny town, tucked right inside the Smokey Mountains, running a multi seven figure business, doing the most creative and impactful work of my life. When I first set out to become an entrepreneur, I was struggling to make ends meet and wrestling with how to accomplish my biggest dream of becoming a fabric designer. Fast forward to today, I'm not only licensing my artwork all over the world, but also teaching others how to design their creative life and experience the same success. I'm here to help you spend your life doing something that lights you up. I'll help you build a creative business that also creates an impact, changes people's lives, gives you all of the freedom you want and is wildly profitable.

Welcome to the Professional Creative Podcast. Today we're going to be talking about one of the business breakthroughs I shared with you way back in episode number one of this podcast. The breakthrough that we'll discuss today is investing in ourselves. This has been something of quite a learning curve for me and one that I learned early on that has significantly impacted my ability to learn and grow constantly. And so oftentimes it's something that I also see other people struggle with quite a lot.

And so we're gonna be moving from saying maybe things like, I don't have the time, or I don't have the money to, I can't afford to not invest in myself in this way. Now we're gonna be covering three different areas that we can invest in ourselves. One is skills to is creativity, and three is mind, body, and spirit. And some of the ways that we're gonna be talking about investing is financially and other ways it's gonna be in our time spent, which doesn't cost us anything other than the intention of doing it. And so it's gonna be a mindset shift for all of us, for sure. So kind of let go of any kind of, you know, grudges or any kind of friction that you feel and just listen and let this kind of pour over you.

I'm not only gonna share you three different areas with a bunch of examples of how you can invest in yourself via skills, creativity, mind, body, spirit, or spirituality. But I'm also gonna share with you a bunch of ways that I have personally invested in myself in these three areas as well, just to kind of give you an overview of the different possibilities that there are.

My biggest takeaway for you today is that we should never stop learning. There have been times in my career that I have felt like I didn't have time to learn, I didn't have the money to learn. And both of those things are red flags for me that I either need to slow down or reprioritize because learning and being just really hungry for new information and the next level of our current selves is really the only way to keep making progress and keep finding more and more success. Before we dive in, I also wanna discuss the difference between how I think about spending versus investing.

I think that the way that we think about these two words are really important with the way that we feel about where our money goes, spending our money feels frivolous, it feels maybe irresponsible, or maybe it feels fun depending on where you're at with your finances. But investing feels like, okay, there's gonna be a return. I'm gonna invest in something and there's gonna be a return that benefits me.

And so sometimes we spend money like on shoes or that new, you know, fancy whatever. Sometimes we invest our money and when we invest our money, we expect a return. However, investing does come with some risk. Typically, you may not always know what your ROI or your return on investment will be, but it's suggested that there will be one if you put in the effort or you know, whatever you're investing with works the way it should, then there will be a return. So when you think about investing in yourself, think about it as spending versus investing when it comes down to the mindset.

The other thing that I want to cover is really the bottleneck that I see created every time I resist investing in myself. There are so many different examples, but I see it happen in myself over and over again. And I also see it in the people who I teach and my peers who I work with all the time. We will put off investing in the thing that we actually need for, you know, any million of reasons. Oftentimes, we might feel like we don't have the money or whatever. And the amount of energy that we put into basically scotch taping the rest of the world together to make it work without the thing that we actually need is what creates this bottleneck.

And so a perfect example of this is sometimes there's a piece of technology like an app or a platform or maybe even something like an iPad Pro or something that you could very much utilize in your workflow, but you feel like it's too much of investment and I'm just gonna kind of piecemeal another workflow together. And then we end up spending so much time kind of connecting different things or spending our time on a different process that just isn't very efficient.

And so our inefficiencies lead to this giant bottleneck. And the most important thing to realize is that we have wasted so much time and so much money by way of our inefficiency. And so when we're more open to identifying the most efficient solution and investing in it right away, it frees up so much of our productivity and our workflow to where things flow seamlessly. And then there's no bottleneck. It's just flowing down the river beautifully and easily. And so I spent way too much time in the early years letting my business bottleneck.

Another perfect example of a bottleneck that I see all the time is when we resist getting photographs taken. Like we resist taking the time that we need to take in order to either take photographs ourselves or hire a professional photographer to take pictures of ourselves or our work. And oftentimes this creates a bottleneck because you don't have anything to post on social media. You can't update your website because you don't have good photos. You can't turn in that bio and magazine article because you don't have photographs to go with it. And so all of a sudden we book the photo session and we come out of that with 200 brand photos of you and your work and your your setup, right? And all of a sudden the bottleneck releases and you have content for months, if not an entire year, right there at your fingertips.

So just to start to take note when there's a bottleneck in your business, and rather than entertain it, try to think about the one thing that you could invest in that would clear that bottleneck right away. And that'll just keep you running smoothly and making progress more and more quickly.

Now I can hear you loud and clear. This conversation always gets met with, I can't, or it's not possible, or it's not in the cards or any other version of, I can't. And so if you have felt yourself resisting this like, I can't do that or it's not possible, possible, my question to you would be, how could you make it possible?

How could you make it possible? An example of this for me was when I started out wanting to work for myself, wanting to be an entrepreneur and I needed to take about a year or more to learn everything that I needed to learn. Now I'm gonna be talking more about this in the very next episode about the year I took off to create. But it wasn't like this luxurious thing.

My husband and I were so broke, we had no money, and I very much needed time to learn what I needed to learn. And so instead of sitting in this, I can't, it's not possible, I shifted my mindset to how can I make this possible? And what we decided to do was sell a car. We had two cars. Now, we didn't have a family at this point. This was about 12 years ago. But we sold a car and really used the money from the car that we sold to buy us some time, buy me some time. And so this meant we went down to a one car family and I was running David all over the place. I was taking him to work and picking him up from work every day, but it allowed us for about a year and a half or two years to really make ends meet. Now we made a whole lot of other sacrifices as well. But that was one thing that I remember just shifting my mindset around like, I can't, it's not possible. Well, what could I do to make it possible? And then, you know, ideas began to come and it's a much more empowering statement to make rather than, I can't, it's not possible. Well, how can I make this possible is so much more empowering. Your greatest resource is not time, and it's not money. It's your creativity, it's your passion, it's your joy and it's your enthusiasm. In fact, I believe that your greatest resource is resourcefulness.

If you find yourself needing something to develop, needing something to really get you to where you wanna go, and you're feeling that I can't, it's not possible, pop up for you. Think about how resourceful you are. Oftentimes, not all the time, but oftentimes we need to just come to terms with, well, maybe, maybe you can step away from the, I can't and step into, you know what I'm choosing not to because it's not important enough for me to make sacrifices for. And that is, again, a much more empowering statement rather than, well, I can't, it's a, I'm choosing not to because it's not important enough for me to make sacrifices for, in fact, this is kind of a rabbit hole.

But something that it made me think of is everyone knows, everyone around me knows that I don't say the phrase I don't have time for because it's a minimizing statement and it's like, oh, poor me, I don't have the time for that. And so instead of that, I say, it's not important enough for me to make time for, which is a much more empowering statement.

And it's also, it puts me into the correct relationship because the truth is I do have time. So if I'm, if I'm finding that I, I don't feel like I have time to go work out, well, I do have time, I'm just, it's just not important enough for me to make time for. So we all have time to do the things that we find most important.

And I found that that mindset shift has been really helpful for me.

I am so excited to share with you a brand new project we've been working on. It's called 60 by 60 because there are 60 incredible artists who have come together to share with you one way that they create income from their artwork in under 60 seconds each, which means that it's 60 minutes of incredible knowledge and wisdom being shared by some insanely talented artists that I know you're going to love. Our hope is that it not only shows you what's possible, but it also encourages you and helps you get clarity on the very next steps you want to take in your own creative endeavor. And it's entirely free. We've also created an interactive directory with all of the artists included so that you can go dive into all of their worlds and get to know them a little bit better. To watch the video, head on over to bonnie christine.com/income. Again, that's bonnie christine.com/income. You'll be able to watch the 60 by 60 video right away, and we cannot wait to meet you there. Okay?

So investing in yourself will increase your confidence. It leads to more productivity, it leads to higher levels of success, which ultimately leads to increased quality of life.

So I'm gonna dive into the different ways to invest in yourself. Obviously there are thousands of ways, but some that came to mind for me under the skills category would be a way to advance your education. So is there a class you need to take, a course you need to take? Is there a book you need to read? Is there a conference that you need to attend?

Is there a webinar that you need to watch? Is there a podcast you need to listen to? Is there a workshop you need to enroll in? Is there an article that you need to read? Is there a TED talk that you need to listen to? Is there a trend that you need to research or is there a specific technology like an app or a piece of tech that you really need in order to get to where you wanna go?

Different ways that you could invest in yourself from a creativity standpoint would be learning a new skill or learning a new language, starting something new like maybe you want to start writing or making pottery or exploring nature in a way that you never have. Or maybe you want to learn how to play an instrument or learn how to cook.

Now, different ways that came to mind for this mind, body spirit is maybe taking time to read or eat healthier or exercise and move your body more or pray more routinely or meditate or have quiet time more routinely or learn about your personality type or some kind of self-development. All of these things really enhance the amount of skin you have in the game. And so sometimes I find that investing in myself, sometimes with time, definitely when I've invested a lot of money, I will hold myself more accountable to making progress because I, I won't waste it, I won't waste that money, I won't waste the time I promised that I would spend on it. And so it's kind of a trick really to increase your performance is to invest in yourself because then you've got skin in the game and you won't let yourself down.

So let me tell you about some different ways that I have personally invested in myself and the skills category. I have definitely tried my best to invest in the right technology. This has been ever more important. As the business has grown, there will be a new app or something like Slack or Cajabi, the platform that we use, just a piece of technology that all of the sudden streamlines our processes and our systems and makes something more simple.

I used to hem and haw over, you know, how much it was gonna cost or add to our monthly recurring, you know, payments and things like that. But now if as long as I can identify that yes, this is the best, you know, piece of technology that's gonna help us streamline, you know, X, Y, z,

I'm all in, give it to me, courses and classes, I take them all the time. I take in-person classes, I take in-person workshops, and I take tons of online classes. I find that it's really just the best way to dive into something that I need to enhance my skills in masterminds. I have been in a couple of different masterminds, but the primary one is impact with Stu McLaren. I've been there since 2019 and it is, let me tell you, it is an investment and it has also had the biggest return on my investment than anything I've ever done. Conferences, I missed conferences for a couple of years. There is so much I'm back attending them. And so I try to go to a conference once or twice a year, and there is just nothing like the energy and momentum you get from being in a conference. It's so amazing. Webinars and workshops, I find myself diving into other people's worlds and tapping into their genius in these particular kinds of ways all the time. I also love to read, so I try to read a book at least every month and I just devour it.

I think what an incredible thing we have at our fingertips. Books from experts and geniuses all over the world. And I love really just honing my skills and increasing my knowledge by reading books and listening to podcasts. Podcasts are one of my favorite ways to develop my leadership skills, and those are the ways that I invest in myself via the skills category. Now we are probably all creative.

There are a lot of things that I do to invest in my creativity. The first obviously was to learn how to create artwork and then routinely create it. I also spent a long time learning how to sew from my mom. I'm currently having so much fun learning how to work with clay. I am not very good at it, but I'm having so much fun learning how to throw, you know, we'll call them bowls, shapes, and it just feels like something so outside of my norm, but also so hands-on, so creative. I love advancing my skills in something that you know, I'm not familiar with at all. One way that I'm also really enjoying investing in creativity is through my daughter Ollie is seven and she's so creative. She's way more creative than I ever was, and I love pouring into her creativity. It's this multi investment. It invests in me seeing her, you know, dive into creativity, but it's also investing into her. So the latest thing that we've done is knitting classes for her. And so she's learning how to knit and loving it so much, and in turn, it brings me so much joy.

And the last category that I was gonna share with you are ways that I've learned to invest in myself from a mind, body, spirit, and time perspective. This one probably is the one that is the most difficult, and it's also the one that's, you know, usually free. It's the one that takes time commitment. So reading and praying every day, this one is hard. I always have to try and remember and wake up a little bit early and just have that really quiet time to read the word and pray and get my day started off in the right way. I also love to listen to music in the morning, but very specific music. And so it's not really like hype music, it's more like worship for me.

And it really is this testament to starting my day in the way that I want to and not just jumping into social media and jumping into work. I very much want to read, pray, listen, and then exercise before I even think about work every day. And this was a huge thing that I've changed in probably the last three years in efforts to really protect my mental health and my anxiety is to just put some boundaries into how I was being intentional about starting my day and when I was approaching work and checking, you know, work, email and things like that. And it has been a game changer. So I mentioned exercise. This is huge for me as well. I typically work out five or six times a week for 60 to 90 minutes. And to me it's just this incredible way to really stretch myself in an area that I don't typically stretch myself. So really push myself hard physically will also end up pushing myself really hard mentally.

And that in turn makes my mind and my body stronger outside of the gym. So I love it. Eating healthy is also on here and just generally researching health and food. I'm fascinated by it. I view it almost as an experiment, but I love to experiment with the way that we eat. We are plant-based. We have been for like 12 years and so we eat pretty clean, pretty healthy anyways, but but not always. And so really diving into being as healthy as we can. And then I also love to travel. This is a huge investment in our mind, body and spirit, creating memories and rejuvenating and stepping away from work and focusing on our family time. And then the last one is that I am a little bit of a nerd for like personal development.

I love learning about personality types. I love learning how people work and why they work that way. My favorite is absolutely the Enneagram. My favorite Enneagram book is called The Road Back to You by Ian Crohn will link that up in the show notes. And it's just one of the ways that I love to develop and invest in myself and in turn, invest in the people and the way that I understand them around me.

That is a wrap on ways that I think we should be, be intentional about investing in ourselves and ways that I've invested in myself. I would love to know how are you investing in yourself and what is one way that you would like to invest in yourself over the next 30 days? I know that you're all doing this already, and I also know that there's always ways that we can better be intentional about investing in ourselves, our creativity, our skills, and our mind, body and spirit. As a recap, really learning to embrace this and be willing to invest in the things that I know I need in order to make progress on where I'm going, even if it takes incredible sacrifice along the way, has been a game changer in helping us get to where we need to go.

With that, thank you for listening to this episode of the Professional Creative Podcast. You can get show notes for this episode and all other episodes [email protected]. Remember, friends work to create the beauty that you want to see come alive in the world. And don't forget, there's room for you. I'll see you same time, same place next time.

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I'm Bonnie Christine.


Thanks for joining me in this journey. I can't wait to help you to craft a career you love!

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