I’ve been thinking a lot lately about investment, especially as it relates to
time priorities. While many definitions exist, I’ve arrived at my own that has proven really useful for me:
A [good] investment is a small, short-term loss I take in order to achieve a large, long-term gain.
In evaluating what’s important to me at any given moment, I ask myself what kind of investment I'd be making, if any. I ask questions about investments a lot when I’m coaching and mentoring. For agency owners, I often ask if they’re willing to take the short-term loss of doing thankless but lucrative work—banner ads and site maintenance come to mind—for the long-term gain of funding more desirable work that doesn’t pay as well. When I’m mentoring senior designers, I often ask if they’re willing to take the short-term loss of feeling like a beginner again for the long-term gain of being more proficient in code.
Thinking about what investments I’m making has been a useful framework to help me make decisions, and I share it in hopes it can do the same for you.