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Compounding Interest in You

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Everyone knows the power of compound interest–when interest earnings are reinvested into the principal amount of the savings or investment to greatly increase the ultimate payoff. Those who take advantage of this phenomenon early reap great benefits later in life. Those who don’t take advantage of it find themselves much poorer and wishing they had.

Few of us think about about the power of compound interest in our investment in ourselves, however, assuming we can always focus on our growth and development tomorrow because there are so many more urgent things to focus on today. Why focus on so-called “soft-skills” when sales need to be closed, products need to be shipped, products need to be designed?

This approach is similar to to those who think they can start saving for retirement “tomorrow”–either they end up with far less to show for their efforts, if anything at all.

Yes, sales need to be closed and products need to be designed and shipped; today’s bills need to be paid. The unfortunate reality, however, is that if we want a a comfortable future we have to be disciplined enough to do both–manage today and prepare for tomorrow.

Anything you do to invest in your self reaps compound benefits–it’s money in the bank (or mutual fund). Improve your interpersonal skills, for example, and they will help build relationships and lead to successes that will payoff exponentially for the rest of your career.

Develop written and verbal communication skills early in your career and you will be noticed by important people more easily, have greater influence for a longer time, and get your ideas implemented earlier and more often.

Develop the ability to develop talent in your organization and you will have a stronger team earlier. Stronger teams win more championships over time.

When saving for retirement, it is never too early but it is also better late than never. Investing in yourself works the same way–you should start early but if you haven’t started yet, start today. You won’t regret starting but you will certainly regret getting to the end with less to show than you could have had.