#Confession: there was a point in my life when I didn’t prioritize my personal development because I thought survival was more important. Whatever money I had would go straight into something I considered ‘more important’ like food for the house, clothes for my kids, etc. Of course, if my employer sent me on a fully sponsored training program, I would gladly go but na ah, not with my own money! I don’t even remember investing in books during that season.
It was also in this period of my adult life in which I was constantly broke. From the little I knew about money then, the best way to stay afloat was to keep cutting down on cost. I had done that for so long and was just super tired! I recall a conversation with a dear one in which I said ‘I feel like I am constantly in survival mode’. To make matters more interesting, I had serious feelings of low self esteem.
BUT God used a series of events to bring me back to my love for reading and that was the beginning of a beautiful new season in my life. Between then and now, my life has changed so much and I cannot for the life of me fathom how I lived without reading! To God’s glory, I am now at a place where I’m willing and able to pay for my own personal development because I know it will come back to me 10X.
I am constantly recommending that all of us dedicate resources for learning and applying new knowledge. Time and again I get messages from women who desire to learn and be more; some however feel they or truly cannot afford the cost of some of the programs they desire. Today’s blog post is for such a person. You see, there will come a time when you will have to invest more, however for now, you can start with these 5 affordable ways to invest in yourself.
Books are relatively more affordable and if you can find a library close to you, that will just be fabulous! If you want to learn anything, simply look for books on the subject matter. I recently invested less than 40 Ghana Cedis in Hal Elrod’s The Morning Miracle and am amazed at its effect on my morning routine! Over the years, I have formed several new fantastic habits simply by reading and applying what I learn in books. Reading is literally getting mentored by people who may never even know you exist. It’s brilliant! I also love books by John Maxwell, Joseph Kyei Ankrah, Rev. Albert and Comfort Ocran, etc because they focus on subjects which interest me.
Listen to audiobooks
By the way, this is the easiest way to read one book or more per day. More importantly though, you genuinely cannot make time to sit and read a physical book, this option may be for you. I use an App called Audible which I downloaded from Play store on Android and App store on Iphone. I am constantly listening to books while driving, in the kitchen, washroom, etc. Sometimes I imagine God looking at me while He sips tea and mutters ‘how can you hear me when you are constantly listening to your people!’ Hahahahaa.
Many books have audio versions read by the authors and you can listen to them multiple times and take notes. Can’t afford an App now? Well, YouTube has many audiobooks available for free. You simply have to do a search to see what comes up.
Listen to podcasts
I love podcasts too and there are many free podcasts which have brilliant content. So podcasts are basically like radio accessed over the internet. Like audiobooks, you can listen to podcasts too. You can access podcasts through an App or the website of the host/hostess. I downloaded Podcast Addict on my Android and iPhones have Apple Podcasts too. Once you have the App, simply type the keywords of what you are interested in learning into the search. Some of the podcasts I listen to are Online Marketing Made Easy by Amy Porterfield, Redefining Wealth by Patrice Washington, Hopemongers Podcast by Aba Cato Andah and Oprah’s Supersoul and Masterclass.
There are some really powerful blogs that provide super valuable content. When I need quality information, I resort to forbes.com. My own blog (where you are now) also has fantastic content to help new women in business. Medium.com is another great resource and there are probably millions of other blogs. Just do a good old search on Uncle Google with the key words you are interested in.
The thing about videos is it engages both your eyes and ears. And so during the peak of the pandemic, I had all the time in the world to watch instead of just listen. YouTube is probably the best thing that ever happened to students; there is so much valuable content there. I am mostly interested in leadership development and business and so I do Marie TV and TED Talks as often as possible.
My own Mind Your Business weekly video podcast is also highly recommended for new women in business. On Instagram, I enjoy learning from Kristi Jackson of Women CEO Project as well. I know a fantastic fashion designer who learnt how to make clothes through YouTube. I am always amused when people ask me how I learned to do my eyebrows and I simply respond ‘YouTube’! Hahahaa
Seriously, in this day and age we cannot say we don’t have access to information; it is literally abundant! Most of what I shared are practically free and can get the one who says ‘I can’t afford it’ started. There are other resources which require money and I will likely share some in another blog post. For now, let me just remind you that knowledge is not power if it is not applied. If you really desire to grow, please reflect on and apply what you learn.
Before I say goodbye, if you’re a woman who’s interested in investing in your personal development through reading and being in a mastermind group of like-minded women, I invite you to check out Fab Readers Club which starts in October. Until the next blog post, continue being fabulous!
Photo Credit: Vera Obeng Photography