I’ve talked before about how I use the holiday season as a time of reflection to redesign my business. One of the other important things I do for myself and my business this time of year, is invest.
I’m not great at doing things for myself. In fact, I’m horrible at it.
But, come December, I devote a lot of time to self-care and plenty of thought into planning my next 12 months of business.
If you haven’t used the end of the year (or any time of year for that matter) to plan for your business growth, you’re probably missing out on some valuable opportunities.
To get you started, I’m sharing a few ideas to help you invest in you and your business at the same time.
5 Ways to Invest in Yourself During the Holidays
1. Knowledge & Education
We all want to know more and be better…and there are literally TONS of resources out there to help you hone your skills. From audio and ebooks, to online courses and learning websites, there really is something for everyone. Here are a few of my favorite resources for online learning. And don’t be afraid to search more specific options that can help you to excel in your field.
Audible – Audible is an online audio book store where you can buy and listen to the latest books. It’s an Amazon run company with a huge selection of new and popular audio books.
Lynda – Lynda is an online training program that allows you to subscribe monthly and take unlimited online courses on a variety of topics. On Lynda.com, you can learn how to create a logo, watch Photoshop tutorials, or take complete courses on web design photography, business development and more.
Treehouse – Treehouse has everything from business courses to web design and coding. Many web developers swear by it. And the great thing about Treehouse is that you earn points and achievements every time you progress in your education…keeping you motivated. Want to learn for free? Here are some alternatives: Khan Academy, CodeAcademy, Code.org.
Marie Forleo’s B-School – I’ve heard nothing but great things about B-School. The 8-week online training program exists to help women grow their online business and includes an online community of peers and mentors to keep you motivated.
Sista Sense – LaShanda Henry has been an internet mogul for over a decade. She’s the woman behind Sista Sense, a monolith of information on everything you need to know about starting an online business, web-based marketing, and how to build your network online. Check her out for tons of great webinars, masterminds, conferences and more.
There are lots of other programs and masterminds like the ones by Marie Foleo or LaShanda Henry. Have you had your eye on a specific program for a while? Why not gift yourself a membership and use the opportunity to expand your business while having fun with a group of women you adore?
2. Tools & Apps
There are tons of great tools and resources out there to help you develop your business and most of them are wonderfully free. Here are a few links to some of my favorite premium tools that can help you evolve your online business.
FreshBooks – FreshBooks is a great tool for managing clients and invoices, tracking your expenses, project time tracking and more. It’s inexpensive and can save you a ton of time in your business. I’ve tried several client management systems before and this is the best one for the price of those I’ve seen.
Office 365 – Microsoft recently started offering their full Office suite online as Office 365. Just like Office 2016, you’ll get all of their programs, like Word, Excel, Publisher, etc. The main difference with Office 365 is that you’ll also get new software as it releases and a 1 TB of online storage to keep all of your spreadsheets and documents in order. Access your files from anywhere.
Adobe Creative Cloud – Adobe Creative Cloud allows you to access all of Adobe’s latest design and development products online. Full access starts as low as $29/month. They also have a photography plan starting out at just $10/month that includes Photoshop and Lightroom. That’s a great place to start. If you’re not familiar with Adobe products, you can also take their programs for a trial run.
3. Professional Services
Nothing beats having an expert on your team. This holiday, consider expanding your business by hiring your first virtual assistant, a transcriptionist, branding coach or web designer to take you to the next level. There’s no limit to what you can do when you have a skilled professional in your corner. Instead of struggling to do things yourself, count on someone who already has the expertise you’re looking for.
Here are a few things you can hire freelancers and experts for:
- Content development and freelance writers
- SEO and backlinking strategies
- Transcription and translation services
- Newsletter design and writing
- Web design and website organization
- Branding identity design
- Digital strategy and coaching
4. Equipment Upgrades
What could you buy that would improve your work situation? How could you upgrade your office space? Here are a few ideas to help you upgrade, because your work-space is just as important for inspiring your business evolution and growth.
- Standing desk
- Comfy office chair
- Touch screen laptop
- DSLR camera
- New lenses
- Smart phone or tablet
- Office decor and inspirational prints
- Organizational tools and planners
Related: Gifts for Bloggers and Solopreneurs
5. Conferences & Networking Events
Another great way to invest in yourself is to gift yourself a ticket to your favorite professional development event. There are so many conferences and events now…for bloggers, entrepreneurs and even many smaller niche markets. Here are a few types of conferences and events you could attend:
- Blog conferences
- Business conferences
- Online webinars
- Networking events
- Live mastermind events
- Locally hosted events
- Live training events and workshops
IN THE COMMENTS: Tell me…what would you gift yourself this holiday?