How to Invest $15

Fast Company / Inc post card

Seriously. I see these little cards every month and think to myself  “what a steal”.

One of the best uses for your money is investing in your own personal development.  Reading offers the most bang for your buck – you can literally learn anything you want by picking up a book.  Back in January I wrote a post entitled What I Read.  The list has changed a bit since then, but the overall goal hasn’t changed – read a whole lot each and every day because I never know when I’m going to stumble upon something that will change the course of my life or our company.

Both Inc. and Fast Company are filled from cover to cover with great features.  I can’t even quantify how many useful things I’ve learned from these two magazines.  Sometimes I read about a technique a company is using that I can directly apply to our company.  Sometimes I read about a web tool that I never knew about that we can use.  Sometimes I read a totally unrelated article, but something in it sparks an idea.  Sometimes I put myself in the shoes of the business owner in a case study and try to discern how I would handle his or her situation.  Other times I just read and enjoy the article…and then a few months later it becomes relevant, at which time I head over to the website and find it again.

A great example was on my last post.  In the comments Travis asked me a question that immediately made me think of an article on Inc.  I searched around, found the article, and then linked to it.  I wouldn’t have had a good answer if I hadn’t read that article.  It happens to me all the time.  Reading about business increases my general knowledge about all things business.

So cut out a few beers or hold off on the movie this weekend and instead pick yourself up something that will improve you over and over again for the next year.

9 comments on How to Invest $15

  1. Allie Osmar says:

    I’m so glad you mention books and magazines, and not just blogs. I really like reading blogs, but I love my Sunday morning routine, sitting in a coffee shop flipping through a quality book or magazine (and you’ve just reminded me that my own list needs updating).

  2. Travis says:

    Adam, thanks for the link!

  3. Adam McFarland says:

    @Allie – great book list. How is “Made to Stick”? I always wanted to read that – I enjoy their column in Fast Company.

    @Travis – you are very welcome. Glad to have you commenting.

  4. Brandon says:

    Inc & Fast Company are good. Also try to find time for big business reading (Fortune, Forbes, BusinessWeek). But I miss Business 2.0 most of all. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_2.0) They seemed to have the best grasp on Internet Business and were always an entertaining read.

  5. I agree with you point at the end that the more that you read the easier it is to come up with post ideas and answers to questions.

    As far as the list of magazines that are good for those involved in online business I would add Wired.

  6. Allie Osmar says:

    Made to Stick is a great book on storytelling – and an easy read for anyone who wants to improve how they communicate

  7. Adam McFarland says:

    @Phil/Feedback Secrets – yes, Wired is a very good mag as well. I haven’t read a ton of issues, but every time I’ve picked it up (usually when traveling) I’ve enjoyed it. I’m dropping Entrepreneur Mag from my subscriptions so I may just pick up one to Wired.

    @Allie – thanks, I’ll have to add it to my “to read” list (which is ever-expanding).

  8. Adam Holland says:

    I spend $50 per month in personal development materials (CDs, DVDs, and online learning), and spend about 3-5 hours per week reading self-help or entrepreneurial books…

    Your best investment is in yourself :o)

  9. Adam McFarland says:

    Yes sir it most definitely is. I’d say I spend about the same amount of time myself. 3-5 hours/week allows enough time for DOING, which is definitely one of the problems I think first time entrepreneurs get caught up in – they spend so much time thinking “I just need to learn this to get started” that they never actually jump in and get started. Doing both concurrently is my preferred course of action. Even now when I program something new I approach it like that.

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