Growth Leadership Learning Mental health Purpose

[First] Invest in Yourself

Investing in yourself should be your priority. Learn from Tony Robbins and Warren Buffet how they see personal growth and why it matters.

Remember I mentioned last week that I was not much of a dancer?

I may be a dancer one day, or in a future life. But today, I’m not a dancer, and I haven’t been one. Nevertheless, I danced last Friday evening around 1 am (so technically Saturday morning).

Before I tell you what happened, I’d like to refresh your memory with the main points of the previous two weeks:

  1. Is work just about the transaction, or is it about fun and fulfillment?
  2. To be an effective leader, we must understand the people we work with.

Is it shareholder value only or stakeholder value, which includes the value for the employees within the business?

Are employees human resources or human beings?

I’ll come back to this later. Here’s how I ended up dancing a little on Saturday early morning and how it relates to the lessons I’ve learned from Tony Robbins.

I signed up for a webinar by Tony Robbins called “Unshakeable Business.” The webinar was supposed to last three hours, but it turned into a five-hour ‘show.’

I know Tony’s events from a distance and watched the ‘I’m not your guru’ show on Netflix. If you’re interested in personal development, growth, mindset, and motivation, you must study Tony Robbins. 

He’s the industry leader in that area primarily because he knows how to address large audiences, keeps the learning intimate and individual, and still knows how to make a show out of it. He also understands the principle of dynamic pricing for his events better than anyone. Today, his businesses make 8 billion USD in revenues annually. He’s a master in human psychology and senses human needs better than anyone.

He often refers to Warren Buffet, the the legendary investor and one of the wealthiest individuals on the planet, by asking his audience what is the most important investment you can make.

“The most important investment you can make is in yourself.”

Warren Buffet

While you may believe that a finance guru like Warren Buffet’s priority is managing his portfolio, he continuously stresses to young talent that they should become critical thinkers and make time to grow.

Embracing the mantra of self-investment, I’ve realized that it’s not just a personal choice but a necessity for the services I offer and the coaching I provide to leaders and teams. To be effective, you need to prioritize your growth. We’re all human beings and have areas where we’d like to grow.

If you’re familiar with Tony’s events, you know he invests much in his audience’s energy. He believes sound thinking, good decisions, and excellent performance correlate to good energy reservoirs.

“Energy is a state,” he says often.

As Tony often reiterates, energy is a state that we can consciously influence. Whether you’re naturally high on energy or not, you have the power to manage it. Beyond the obvious factors like healthy eating, exercise, and sleep, you can also harness your mind, body, and soul to create energy. This is a practice he instills during his events.

He makes sure his audience is and remains energized. To begin with, at the start of each session, people are asked to stand up and move to some energizing music. 

Before I continue, I won’t make some fairytale story here. While you know how it ended, let me also walk you through the process I walked through. 

Remember, I’m from a ‘normal is already crazy enough’ culture.

So, there was no way I would get up and move my body like an idiot at the start of the session. I kept my camera off (I was one of the few) and watched the spectacle unfold right in front of me. Some people can turn a switch and turn into moving body parts within seconds. I watched it in amazement. Frankly, it was also a bit scary. To see thousands of people (yes, thousands) follow the orders from one guy on stage immediately without any apparent self-reflection raised my eyebrows.

To his credit, he did explain what he was doing and the importance of energy. I fully subscribe to that vision; I just do it differently. 

Energy gets depleted during the day. Your brain can tire and make less optimal decisions later in the day. Productivity goes down. Sitting in meetings for hours without breaks is madness. I also believe that the back-to-back meetings badge of honor and pride is close to the definition of insanity. Lastly, not making time for lunch, stretching, or going for a walk will result in physical and mental issues sooner or later. Always-ON is stupid. Burnout is lurking around the corner.

When I’m with clients, I break frequently. Usually, I have blocks of fifty minutes and then a ten-minute break. Lunch breaks are generous. People need to recharge. I always get the feedback that people appreciate it.

Frequent breaks are a unique selling point, believe it or not.

And yes, some people frantically use my generous breaks to check their devices. Some never learn. We are irreplaceable, or so we think — until we’re not. Recharging your battery is also investing in yourself mentally, physically, and intellectually. And so I agree that energy is a state that needs to be consciously managed.

Investing in yourself should be your priority. This investment can take various forms, from attending personal development webinars and workshops to reading self-help books and practicing self-care. The key is to prioritize your personal growth and well-being above all else. 

From simple but hard rituals to care for your mind, body, and soul during a busy workday to making time for growth and learning.

Business is a game of sport. And you are an athlete. Athletes understand the need to recover and balance rest with performance.

Athletes practice. Athletes learn. Athletes grow. Athletes take care of themselves.

When you’re a leader, you are a role model. People look at what you do. It’s not easy to take a thirty-minute lunch break when your boss eats her lunch at her desk.

Most importantly, you’re most creative and make the best decisions when your mind is in flow and rested. ‘Flow is a complete immersion in an activity, where you’re fully focused and energized. You can’t force creativity; it comes from a peaceful state of mind. This understanding of ‘flow’ is crucial in personal growth and development, allowing you to maximize your productivity and creativity.

Tony Robbins understands this very well. He teases your soil, inspires your mind, activates your body, puts you in a peak state, and then asks for your business and to work with him. ‘Peak state’ is a state of optimal mental and physical performance where you’re fully energized and focused. This understanding of ‘peak state’ is crucial in personal growth and development, as it allows you to maximize your productivity and performance.

So, how does my story end?

I loved the five-hour webinar, but perhaps an immersion, activation, and inspiration show is a better name.

I did stand up a few times to stretch and move to keep the blood flowing. And at the end, after a lot of mental inspiration and little videos of success stories, he managed to get me moving on a good piece of music. At 1 am. Without any alcoholic beverages. 

This a good lesson for a naturally skeptical, hard-to-inspire, but creative and curious learner.

I grew that evening. I invested in myself. And that’s what it’s all about.

Your turn: How much do you invest in yourself?

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Erikjan Lantink
Business & Leadership Coach

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