Written By: Richard Rosso & Byron Kidder, Jr.
The human capital investment is a topic that very few on the front lines of finance wish to tackle.
Thankfully, there is a growing generation of financial professionals who on an hourly or monthly retainer fee basis act as holistic money coaches and are dedicated to partner with young professionals to help formulate and monitor fiscal steps that get them from soil (the basics of debt, saving & investment), to harvest (retirement).
So, what is human capital investment exactly?
The human capital investment is simply, YOU. Yes. YOU are an investment. The greatest investment. A lifetime money-making powerhouse. Earnings if directed wisely, result in long-term financial security and perhaps more important, a career passion that continues up to and far into retirement.
As adults, we have been counseled to invest financially through real estate, stocks, retirement, etc. but not always in ourselves…at least not to the same extent. At Real Investment Advice, we believe that human capital investment is one of the biggest ROIs and should be treated with the same importance as traditional financial investment. We call it “Return On You.”
The Census Bureau data shows the average American with a Bachelor degree earned $2.4 million over their lifetime in 2013. It is hard to argue with these figures when AARP published the average seasoned American (e.g. at least 55-years-old) had $255,000 in their retirement account during the same year.
Formal education is important to earnings potential, but it’s merely the beginning of a lifelong learning process. The economy and career paths appear to be in constant flux; it’s easier than ever to lose the competitive edge.
Fortunately, unlike financial investments where many variables are out of our control, we do possess the ability to strategize and take ownership of human-capital gains whether personal or professional.
So, how do you begin to untap your peak human capital potential and eventually increase earnings power?
Here are 5 easy starter points.
Break it down to the basics.
Your ability to be a life-long learner in your field or passion of choice, share and then communicate that information in a simple manner, will allow deeper and memorable connection with others.
In my opinion, the absence of effective communication is one of the leading causes of career stagnation. You must leave a positive impression, an impact in a world that is drowning in information. How will you stand out?
The spirit of communication begins with the role of active listener and using the technique to build on the basics of memorable verbal communication. Active listeners are masters of the quiet observation and ironically, the best communicators out there.
They are open and inviting in tone and mannerisms; they allow others to speak and share before responding. Active listeners become adept at the identification of key words, hot buttons, or motivations of others and follow up with open-ended questions using the same words or hot buttons, to gain clarification and foster bonding.
Active listeners care about those they encounter. They’re naturally inquisitive. Warm, direct eye contact and mental focus are important throughout the active listening process. You know you’ve met up with an active listener when you feel like you’re the most important person in the room during your time together.
There are no barriers or “airs” about them. There’s a genuine curiosity they wear on their sleeves and frankly, it makes them irresistible. It makes them leaders. It helps them gain promotions and earn more than their counterparts.
One of my favorite books on the topic is John C. Maxwell’s “Becoming a Person of Influence: How to Positively Impact the Lives of Others.”
Passion is the key that unlocks purpose.
Passion is a perpetual source of energy that allows an individual to plow through any challenge and discover the opportunities within them that most will overlook.
Over the coming weeks, I will share stories of how I found my passion and will introduce topics from my book “It’s All About Everything.” I’ll outline easy to implement strategies that will help you be the best you can be for yourself, clients, employers, family, and friends.
My goal is two-fold: to assist those who need the education, motivation and inspiration to elevate their careers and “nudge,” those who are stuck and seeking a way to forge an entrepreneurial path to success.
If you currently work a corporate job you dislike or feel stuck in an organization that conflicts with your passions and ethics, hanging around to collect a paycheck will ostensibly disconnect you from what makes you unique. The longer you stay, the unhealthier mentally and physically you’ll become.
Hey, breaking free from “The Matrix,” isn’t easy.
Studies show that people are less mobile today. In other words, they feel trapped and won’t transfer to where the opportunities are especially if it means packing up and leaving the security of a hometown or a bedroom at the parents’ house. Learning to embrace change is not always an easy task and is often a barrier to the progression of one’s life goals.
That’s why living below your means financially and minimizing debt is so empowering to your future. If seeking to eventually break away from the cubicle coffin, you must manage the chains of personal liabilities. Without excess debt, you’ll have choices, be free to travel where the opportunities are.
At Real Investment Advice, we’ve created debt guidelines to empower you on the journey back to “YOU.” Check out Guardrail #4.
Begin a daily ritual.
To discover or re-ignite your passion, you must get to know who YOU are again. The YOU before the office politics, the YOU before the boss who made you feel inadequate, the YOU that commands a higher wage. But how?
Grit. It takes grit. The grit is comprised of small, measured steps taken to achieve the big goal. Hit the target. It’s the grind, albeit boring cadence of daily activities that nobody pats you on the back for; there are little social media accolades given. However, grit is the DNA that seeds the fire of who you want to be. Grit is fueled by your passion to win, and it begins with your daily rituals required to get to know yourself, again.
The daily ritual is comprised of those physical, emotional and mental activities undertaken to reunite you with your passions. Rich Rosso’s friend and mentor James Altucher calls this ritual a daily practice. The practice you personally craft is what makes your grit different from anybody else’s.
Change your mindset.
It’s never too late to take a new road. I was a late bloomer and returned to college at 22 and graduated at 26. At the time, it felt like I was too old to change course, but my father provided some wisdom and emphasized “it is never too late.”
Who are the gatekeepers who deem us as too old? What does that mean?
Have you ever thought about who creates these mores and how they’re detrimental to your personal growth and earnings potential?
I’ve created my own set of rules. They arose through successes and most important, my failures. They are deliberately kept easy to understand, yet profoundly relevant to my journey. If one person can be reached resulting in a better life leading to self-discovery, improved relationships, and increased business opportunities, I have succeeded.
I dropped out of college; it was my first impactful experience with failure. It was demoralizing. I could have stopped there but eventually realized that college was an investment. I went from drop out to a graduate with honors in Chemical Engineering.
Hey, everybody makes mistakes; however, failure is temporary and eventually realized as progress toward success. Learning to navigate one’s hills and valleys is an essential part of a person’s growth in both business and life. As a result of personal experiences, I developed simple self-improvement tools and happily share them.
For example, one strategy to improve or create a positive mindset (self-esteem, too), is to gain a reputation as a connector, the “go-to” person. Think of a connector as a human conduit, a matchmaker of sorts who is there to forge or facilitate a communication link between two people. Whether it’s for a service, or referral, be the reason for an engagement of others that eventually leads to overall positive outcomes. You’ll never be forgotten. It’s all about creating good impactful memories.
Read, read again, then write.
Passionate readers and writers travel an indomitable path of self-discovery and analysis.
Rich has a reading goal of one new book a month. I know he’s re-reading “Never Eat Alone,” by Keith Ferrazzi & Tahl Raz. An excellent tome that outlines how to build lasting, life-changing relationships.
Reading leads to writing. Even if only 100 words a day, writing (not typing), will help you connect to what’s important and strengthen your ability to think and create.
Begin with a daily journal. Allot 30-45 minutes every day to write. I prefer mornings as it sets the tone for the day, but some are peak creative when the sun sinks low in the sky.
Rich’s journal of choice (which I endorse), is The Morning Sidekick Journal. Ten minutes will be all you’ll need to get focused for the rest of the day.
Finally, it’s an honor to join the “Money Avengers” radio team for the Real Investment Hour. I am excited to share my insights during each of the Human Capital Investment segments. The goal is to provide listeners with strategies as inspiration for success and earning more to save and invest even more.
Some rules will be easy to implement; others will require habitual application. Like most habits, consistency and conscientious learning are keys to making them second nature.
Join me as we dive deeper into those tenets, through Real Investment Advice and the Real Investment Hour.
Byron Kidder is an engineer, author, business owner, and renowned sales and managerial professional within his fields of occupation. He has honed the ability to not only understand his clients’ needs but deliver services beyond their expectations. Mr. Kidder’s positive energy is contagious, and he hopes his best-in-class service will be too.
- Website: www.ByronKidderJr.com,
- Twitter: @ByronKidder,
- Email: ByronKidder@Gmail.com