Posted on October 16, 2022  
by Noel Guilford

With rising energy and food prices, inflation, a weak pound and rising interest rates it’s not surprising that business owners are asking themselves about where they should invest. Things look bad in the economy right now.

The answer – perhaps counter-intuitively – isn’t in financial or physical assets, but in yourself.

My primary goal, and that of many other business owners, is to own my own time and not have to report to anyone else. To achieve that requires that I invest in activities that provide the highest possible return, which means my habits and behaviours and not financial assets.

Here are some of the most important and highest ROI habits you can invest in:

Time to think: the single biggest problem with our lives today is the lack of time to think; you are in meetings, answering e-mails, taking ‘phone calls, attending to clients, coaching staff and so on in an endless round of activities in which your time is dictated to by others.


It is impossible to properly solve problems and plan without time to think deeply. Spend time thinking of ways to access new opportunities you previously only dreamed of.

Step out of your comfort zone: this is where all change and growth happen. Dream big. Family and friends – and even that voice in your head – will tell you to be realistic.

“You’ll never be able to achieve that – oh you just did!”

From the Apollo space mission to the guy who just got to the top of Kilimanjaro in a wheelchair. Dare to believe.

Self-education: if you aren’t learning then you are slowly regressing; your skills are becoming out of date and you’re missing opportunities. And yet most of us allocate time to self-education after all the busyness we spend time on.

That’s upside down.

After you’ve booked time in your calendar for leave (holidays are a great time for really deep thinking) the next most important allocation of your time is in self-education: courses, workshops and reading are the most valuable investments you can make.

Do unto others: how did you feel when someone did something unexpected for you and asked for nothing in return? What is the thing that happened to you today that you are most grateful for?

I get asked for help a lot and I’ve made a habit of providing help – for free – to as many people as I can who are deserving.

But eve if it’s not free, you can still go the extra mile and exceed their expectations. Even those of us with modest talents and limited skills can brighten someone else’s life.

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Noel Guilford

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