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5 personal investments to make this summer Written by Michelle Beck on 22. June 2016

While there may be no clear-cut path to success, there are some investments that never decline in value. Founders and CEOs often make it clear that doing well in business is more than achieving targets. Personal goal-setting and widening world views are equally important. These are personal things that make you more insightful, keep you balanced and will help you down the road. Whether it’s fostering relationships or reading something new, you can be certain of a high return.
We gathered 5 of the best personal investments you can make now to ensure success in the future. The bonus? A recent study found that happiness in employees led to a 12% spike in productivity. So making investments in yourself may well lead to a faster climb to business success, too.

Read widely and deeply

You probably spend the majority of the day flicking past news bites and videos. But make sure you’re reading more than that. Go deeper and explore other areas relevant to your business. But push the boundaries. The Harvard Business Review even suggests that businesspeople should join book clubs. They say it can make it easier to commit to systemic habits and make you more comfortable in leading discussions.
Reading is crucial to form your worldview. Whether it’s the news, a new magazine or a novel (like one of these five Bill Gates suggests for the summer), read with the intention of learning. It’s a form of travelling without the cost.

Travel outside your comfort zone

With cheaper flights and shorter flight times, people are often on the go. But get off the beaten path and try new places you wouldn’t have thought to go. Never thought of Tel Aviv or Portugal? These are major startup hubs with events and networks you might want to consider.
Learning about local culture is especially important if you want to grow your business overseas. There are many emerging markets where customs are unique and without knowledge or research, your learning curve will be much steeper. Get outside of your comfort zone. Push yourself to see the world differently.

Find variety in work and life

Monotony can be the ultimate buzz kill. Finding variety can be as simple as asking for new responsibility at work, making new friends or trying out restaurants. Many founders have made successful businesses out of their passions, whether it’s cooking or fashion. They’ve built up their startups by knowing their industry inside-out. But it’s not just technical expertise. People with diverse interests and hobbies develop key skills that can be applied to business.
Make sure you’re mixing things up and surprising yourself. You’ll live a more balanced life.

Continue your education, wherever

No, you don’t have to go back to university. Education is wide! Learn a hobby, take up a craft, start to code. The internet isn’t only for distraction and online shopping. Make use of the limitless information available. Keep learning whatever it is you want to learn – it doesn’t have to complement your job, it should just interest you. For example, many high achievers told the New York Times that musical training opened their pathways to creative thinking, while teaching them collaboration and the ability to listen.

Keep in touch, foster relationships

There’s nothing more important than good relationships. Stay in touch with old colleagues. Make sure to talk to people outside of your immediate group. Reach out to mentors. They might be critical to your career success. Many startups say that hiring is the single most important skill to have as a founder. And you never know who you might want or need to work with. Relationships won’t ever decline in value and you truly can learn something from everyone.

Image: Creative Commons