When you invest in yourself, you’re increasing your ability to create the life and business you want to live. As female entrepreneurs can be tricky to justify an investment in ourselves. It is especially hard when society often brushes it off as “frivolous self-care”.
What if the best investment you can make is in yourself? We asked women entrepreneurs the best investment they’ve ever made in themselves.
Some of the investments female entrepreneurs mention include taking a business course, investing in a personal brand consultant, hiring a coach, and joining a community. These women know that dedicating time and resources to their own growth is the key to success.
Investing in the space around you
Robyn, the founder of Cornish based bakery ‘Robyn’s Roost’, was furloughed from her job in 2020 and has since set up her own business that has taken local retailers by storm. Robyn invested in an industrial kitchen, following the success from baking at home, which enabled her to fulfil an ever-increasing demand. She was able to scale her business and consistently increase her revenue.
Reviving our office, home, or hidden retreat after a long day of work can be one of the most important investments we can make.
Sofia Maria Hayat, owner of Sound Healing Practice in London shares how she created her unique retreat space for herself and her clients.
“I built a temple in my home for healing – it’s an investment in me and my clients. The floor is made from crystal. I also added an infrared sauna which I detox and do yoga in. As I travelled the world visiting spiritual places which have activated my own spiritual energy, benefitting my soul, spirit, mind and body.”
I spend my attention and my money on how I feel inside – and using that to help others – Sofia Maria Hayat
Investing your time
Though there are many investments a female entrepreneur can make in herself, the best investment is often the simplest: time. Every day, it can be time to do something special for yourself, or even something as bold as taking a year out to think, plan, and build.
Lamia Walker, founder and CEO of Housesit Match, shares how for 35 years, she worked full time. However, at 48, after spending another week away from her family, she decided that she needed to rework her life.
“I had just been promoted to a big job with a challenging team. My children were going through significant exams that year, and I was regularly in work meetings abroad and uncontactable.
So much to the surprise of those around me, I took a step back resigned from my job. I took a year out to refocus on my family and their needs. As a result of this time to think I could build a business that I could manage without having to get on a plane every other week.”
When you are on the treadmill, it is tough to think clearly about the priorities in life. Managing family, career, and home can be more effective when you reflect and plan new priorities.
“It was an expensive year, in that we were living on savings. I was spending time and money on building an entirely new business,” admits Lamia. “However, I was also building relationships at home which all proved a fantastic investment. My new business had won awards within three years, and we were expanding across Europe. One child was at University, and the other was at a school she loved.
That first year was tough, but it proved a significant investment personally and professionally because I was forging new paths in many directions. However, it was also the most rewarding, for my family and professionally”.
Investing in self-development
Many female entrepreneurs invest in learning and self-improvement to give them the confidence to turn their dreams into reality.
“One of the most powerful investments I have made is goal-setting. At the start of the year, I sat down and made a mood-board, setting goals for 2022 across my personal and professional life,” shares Tash Grossman, founder of Slip.
“This ended up being a creative activity, involving a trip to Hobbycraft and several glitter and pen explosions. The creation may look like an art homework assignment produced by a child in Year 3, but it has definitely ensured my accountability.”
At just 25 years of age, Tash was voted Retail Week’s Startup of The Year for Data & Insight and has been a finalist in Dell’s Women in Tech contest.
As a CEO, it is crucial to be forward-focused and set goals for short to medium term too. I ensure I am taking actions to move closer to those goals each day – Tash Grossman
Dedicating time to learning and up-skilling can give the confidence to take the next steps in strategy and growth. You may look to join networking events, sign up for a course or invest in a coach.
“The best investment I ever made was the first business course I bought online. It taught me the basics of business and opened my eyes to what was possible,” admits global business strategist Lisa Johnson.
“My family now have no worries, and my young twins have everything they need. It changed my life being able to provide the security I’d never had before.”
Whatever route you choose, make sure to commit to it and be patient – results rarely come overnight.
Investing in yourself
I am always going on about how getting laser eye surgery is the best investment I’ve ever made.
Riannon Palmer, founder and director of Lem-uhn, had worn glasses since she was 8 and moved to contact lenses from about 12.
“I had terrible short-sighted eyesight (being able to see long distances). Without glasses or contacts, I couldn’t see something held even from arm’s length. My mum had laser surgery when I was little. It was something I wanted since I was a teen. When I got my first job after University, I saved up. I booked the appointment in February after finishing University.”
The pain of having to put contacts in each day, and then occasionally one would fall out if you rubbed your eye, and you’d spend the rest of the day seeing from only one eye.
“It’s been the best investment I’ve ever made as I love being able to wake up and see straight away. Another thing I tried on my first holiday post-surgery was swimming underwater with my eyes open. For the first time since I was a child, I could do that and see. It was a big expense, especially at that stage in my life, but my mum still has perfect distant vision 20-something years later, so I can expect the same until I may need reading glasses.”
Investing in people
We all know entrepreneurship is not a 9-5 job, but having a team can help you. You can start creating a work-life balance that suits us. That’s the power of delegating, after all.
“The best investment that my co-founder and I made professionally was hiring early on,” Lea Henry, Co-founder and Director, CocoRio Creative Child Care.
Building a team, although far from easy, has meant we’ve been able to achieve more, grow faster and also has meant that we can log out at the end of most days to spend time with our families – Lea Henry
Investing in yourself can mean so many things, and it’s something we should encourage and celebrate. You may commit your time, money or embark on a change and improve something (or learn a new skill). As female entrepreneurs, the resilience to enhance, evolve, and change is a powerful testament to what we can achieve.
There’s no question that female entrepreneurs are a force to be reckoned with. The investment in oneself is an important one to make, and it can pay off in a big way.