If you invest in or pay attention to the stock markets, you know it’s been a wild ride that the past week or two. Investing isn’t for the fainthearted that’s for sure.
It helps if you can take a long-term approach to financial investments riding out the ups and downs. Some investments will disappoint and others will succeed beyond expectations. That’s the nature of investing.
But that is why some people don’t invest money in the stock market or other opportunities. It’s too stressful.
I follow two rules when I make financial investments:
- I don’t carry any consumer debt. I didn’t invest (other than 401K and other retirement funds) until I was completely out of consumer debt.
- I don’t invest anything in the stock market or other similar investment opportunities that would ruin us financially if I lost it all.
Yes, wise investing requires good stewardship and a sober mind.
Investing in People
But what about investing in people? What does that look like? Do I approach my relationships as serious as I do financial investments? Am I aware of what I deposit into the life of another? And, should I expect a return on that investment?
Maybe it sounds too impersonal to think of people as investments, but I think that people truly are worthy investments.
Here are 7 reasons why I think it’s good to invest in people:
- People Have Value. Every person is of value regardless what the popular culture says. You might not believe that if you think that a person is simply an evolved mass of biology. But, when you believe that each person is the beautiful creation of a majestic God…well, God instills value in every single person. When we have that worldview, then investing in people makes sense because they have inherent value.
- People Respond. How you invest in a person depends on your role in their life. You might invest in a complete stranger by simply helping them in a time of need never to see them again. But for most people who you invest in you probably have a relationship with them. When a person invests in another person, whether as a parent, teacher, coach, mentor, or simply a friend, nearly every time that person responds in a favorable way. We all need help, encouragement, hope, nurture, trust, and most of all love. When someone takes the time to make an investment in our lives, we tend to get back up, move forward, and become productive again.
- People Reciprocate. When we invest in people, more times than not, that person looks for a way to return the favor. We all are givers and receivers. Those who make investments into other people’s lives always receive back more than they give.
- People Pass It Forward. I have seen first-hand how people want to invest in others after someone has taken the time to invest in them. So, when you look at the return on your initial investment in a person, there is a great chance that the return will compound many times over.
- It Is Life-Giving. It is inspirational when you invest in another person. Especially when you witness positive outcomes. Many times you get to join them on the journey and rejoice with them when they succeed in life. I don’t know about you, but I find that rewarding and energizing.
- It Helps You Grow. When you give something of yourself away, you grow. When you invest in others, you have opportunities to disciple, to lead, to even mourn with them through challenging times. All these things grow you as a person. So in effect, you are investing in yourself as well.
- Yes, for a Return. If you don’t expect a return when you invest in people, you probably aren’t really investing in them. We want people to succeed, grow, and have an impact on many others as a result of what we have poured into them.
Yes, people, just like financial investments will disappoint. They will let you down leaving you wondering why you invested in the first place. But I am going to give the same advice that wise financial advisor do. Don’t over-react.
Keep investing! Especially in People. They Are Worth It.