Um, so who rings in the new year celebrating new debt? That’s just weird. For many of us, we are taught that debt is bad, something that means we are living beyond our means. Scarcity mentality. I was raised by parents who were depression era thinkers, so that philosophy makes sense to me (after all, money doesn’t grow on trees!). But it is true? Are those beliefs valid?
In 2019, I went into debt on purpose. Because last year I made significant investments in my business, and in myself. I invested in my brain. Is there a better investment out there?
To be able to add value to leaders and to organizations, I need to practice what I preach. I needed to re-tool and pursue learning and growth so that I could in turn help others to learn and grow. Re-branding my business and business model meant investing in myself.
And it was hard. Time consuming. Sometimes incredibly frustrating. There was learning, but there were also tears. Sometimes I would think….I am paying money for this mental pain?! Do I really need this? Can’t I just rely on my 30 years of experience in the field, and in my degrees in Education and Business?
Well 4 online courses, one training certification and one challenging coaching certification later (not to mention dozens of books, webinars, podcasts and articles)—it is a resounding no. No, I can’t rely on what I’ve always known and always done. That strategy just won’t cut it in today’s world. Because relying on past knowledge, doing what we’ve always done is not an effective leadership strategy.
In today’s environment, that’s a recipe for stagnation. Businesses evolve, expectations are higher than ever before. We need to be consciously cognizant of this, and to lean into the need for growth. And the discomfort of growth. If it’s not difficult or challenging, we aren’t doing it right.
But we need to do it anyway. This is for our teams and for our organizations, but mostly it is for us.
Maybe you are one of the lucky ones who has a company that supports and invests in your growth. If so, are you taking advantage of those opportunities? I mean really challenging yourself in key areas you need to evolve and change? If your company does not offer learning will you pursue it independently? Go into debt on purpose for your own brain?
Because the price of leadership is continuous growth and constant learning. Maybe it’s not thousands of dollars yearly (but then again, maybe it is) but it’s an intentional investment. Learn to invest in yourself so you can fully and wholly lead others effectively, with energy—new knowledge and new ideas. Self-care can take many forms, we invest in health, our bodies. Are we taking care of our mind? The most precious and valuable element of our leadership?
Debt. I am celebrating it. It represents my investment in myself and in all of you. To bring that 30 years of experience coupled with new knowledge and new insights. The debt will be gone this year, the learning will be with me forever. Watch it grow.