With Christmas less than a month away, I’ve been thinking about I would like for the holidays this year. So far, all I’ve come up with is a cheap waterproof speaker so I can properly sing in the shower, and maybe some fuzzy socks.
As I started contemplating about my list, I wondered what would be on yours, as business owners. I’m not talking about tools or equipment or soaps. And I’m not talking vehicles. Those things are all kind of a given.
I want to know what you, as business owners, think is an important investment not only for your company, but for yourself. To find out, I put the question to Facebook. Here are some of my favorite answers.
- Education and training. This was a pretty popular response because it’s an important one. Books, audiobooks, training, coaching – all of these can teach you how to become a more successful business owner and a better leader. One person suggested a subscription to Audible, which allows you to listen to endless numbers of business-related books. Audible offers a free 30-day free trial, then is just around $15 a month thereafter. Another idea is to subscribe to LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com), which gives you unlimited access to all kinds of business, software, and other skills training, all for a flat monthly rate. Again, LinkedIn Learning comes with a 30-day free trial. They also offer a group rate, which means you can give access to your team as an added employee benefit. (I’ll do a future blast about recommended reading.)
- A “good computer.” Another popular answer, some went further, recommending getting a networked system that is “lightning fast,” and that has great CRM and accounting software. I don’t know that I realized how important this was until I joined the J. Racenstein team this past summer. JRC President Steve Blyth took a look at the laptop I’d been using as the publisher of eClean Magazine, and quickly determined we needed to upgrade. In his wise words, “Saving a few hundred dollars is not worth the cost of lost production from running a slow computer.”
- A comfortable office chair. This is not just for comfort, though. It’s really for your health. Sitting too long, especially in an ergonomically unfriendly chair, causes a lot of aches and pains. This will eventually impact your quality of work as well as life.
- A good massager. Speaking of aches and pains, Nando Medina recommended getting a percussion massager. As he wrote, “If you have muscular pains or suffer a lot from stress knots around the neck like I do, you must get this item. I have had a muscle on my mid back just under my shoulder blade that has been bugging me for a while, no matter how much I stretched. However, one good session with this massager at mid speed shredded that muscle and relieved the pain.” Prices for these on Amazon range from around $110 to $250 depending on the make and model.
- A high-quality step stool. Yep, no reason to risk standing on your comfortable office chair to reach high things.
- An Apple watch: This one comes from TJ Kallhoff, who said he has a third generation Apple Watch that he has been washing with for two years, as well as wearing it in the ocean when on vacation. It’s been soaked in saltwater and strong SH (sodium hypochlorite), but he’s had no issues with it yet. “The Apple Watch has a cellular connection, which ties to your phone. As an owner/operator, this is an invaluable asset. It allows me to leave my phone safely in my vehicle, while having the ability to glance at my wrist to stay connected. I can instantly check emails or texts, respond with voice dictation, and answer or decline phone calls. This lets me manage my operations while still in the field getting work completed.” On Amazon, these range from around $200 for a Series 3, up to around $500 for a Series 5.
- YOU time. For some, that’s a vacation. For others, a hobby. As Chris Gold wisely advised, “Do the stuff you love. Invest in your hobbies. Devote time to self care.”
The most important thing is to remember that your happiness and your health matter. Take some time to invest in yourself, and in turn, you’ll be investing in your business.
Have an awesome week!