Return on investment – the problem may be our investment not the return

Whether we are running a business organization or our personal finances, the term return on investment (ROI) can be a very important aspect of financial success.  Business owners, investors, and individuals want to earn as much as possible from their investments.  There is often a great deal of time, analysis, and scrutiny placed on the return aspect of this performance metric, but oftentimes the investment piece of this equation is not given the same level of consideration.

While we often relegate ROI to the financial world, the same concept holds true in other areas of our life as well.  We invest time, emotional energy, intellectual commitment, compassion, care, and other aspects of our lives in addition to our money.  Just like our finances, we have choices regarding where and how we invest these aspects of our lives.  We can invest completely in ourselves, or we can invest in others.  We can diversify our investments across many people or areas, or we can isolate on one person or objective.  We can be active in our investments and make frequent changes based on results or we can be long-term focused and stick with our initial choice.

Similar to the financial aspect of ROI, if we aren’t happy with the returns we are getting, we can spend a great deal of time complaining, comparing, agonizing, and analyzing the returns, or we can take a hard look at our investment strategy.  If you aren’t happy with the returns in your life, you might want to take some time and honestly assess where you are investing.  Where are you committing your time, your energy, your thoughts, and your emotional involvement?  If you want to be impactful with others, you need to be investing in others.  If you want to be successful in your investments with others, you need to have something to offer them.

I would suggest a balanced investment portfolio where we invest in ourselves regularly to ensure we are prepared and equipped to invest in others.  We need to invest in regular exercise, a healthy diet, constant learning, sufficient rest, and continual growth in various aspects of our lives.  We can then take the returns from those investments and reinvest in others to add value to their lives and equip them to do the same.  We invest in others through giving our time, sharing wise counsel, teaching what we know, performing acts of service, providing financial gifts, and being available to support when called upon.  

The end of the year is a good time to reassess how we are investing.  It’s a good time to look back at our investments and consider what and who we are investing in with our lives.  You can sure look at your financial investments, but don’t stop there.  Make 2023 a year of investment beyond just the finances.  Invest in yourself so that you can invest in others.  Those type of returns are the ones that provide sustained satisfaction.


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