Investing in Your Success

The word “success” can be defined in various perspectives, depending on what kind of values you hold yourself. Success may be acknowledge based on the social, financial, sports, musical entertainment, educational, and artistic achievements. Prime examples of these success can be seen from famous individuals: Picasso (Art), Albert Einstein (E=MC^2), Stephen Hawking (Black Hole Theory), Warren Buffet (Financial Billionaire), Michael Jordan (Basketball Legend), and Michael Jackson (King of Pop).

Yet, from an individual person’s perspective, the most important step to building financial success is more pertinent. We live in demanding life, surrounded by the need for financial stability, rather than social, artistic, and educational success. Because the world runs on the green bills “AKA money” since early 700 B.C (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_money#The_emergence_of_money). Without money, the important social changes were built through the turmoil of human conflicts, wars, and social unrest. These social unrest were recorded through out the human history (The French Revolution in 1787-1799, The Riots of Los Angeles 1992, Arab Spring in 2011, Zoot Suit Riot by Latin Americans, Battle In Seattle precursor to Occupy Movement, March on Washington 1963 by Martin Luther King and +200,000 people, 8888 Uprising in Burma 1988 with 5000 death tolls, March 1st Movement in South Korea 1919 – resulting 7500 deaths, Romanian Peasant’s Revolt in 1907 with 11,000 deaths, The Bloody Week from France in 1871 with 20,000 deaths, La Violencia in Columbia 1948-1960 with 200,000 deaths), creating the necessary changes in the social and economic status for millions of people.

Money, in the essential basic definition, helps drive the growth of economy, provides the basic needs (medical, food, housing and education) and improve people’s lives when used by the right people in the socially and ethically respected manner. Therefore, taking control of your financial stability is one of the important aspects in building better future and growth of new opportunities.

There are three important ways you can start building your future success:
1. Investing in Long Term Practical Skills, not necessary Purely For Education
Most people don’t think that reading couple of books will provide you the necessary returns. People really don’t like to read, but rather watch TV or listen to radio. But learning new skills and reading new information is how you create new business opportunities. You can’t learn what is not written or told by others unless you learn through experience. You certainly can learn by taking risks and physically participating in new ventures. (The downside is you could lose your house, car, job, and family.)

If you are looking for learning new skills, there are several opportunities available for you for free:

Udemy Screenshot
Udemy is the world’s largest marketplace for teaching and learning. Tens of thousands of expert instructors have published online courses on Udemy on everything from programming to yoga, marketing to guitar, photography to cake decorating, and much more. Millions of students in 190+ countries are taking these courses to advance their careers and pursue their passions. Each course is available on-demand, 24 / 7, via the iPhone, iPad, Android and Web. Organizations also use Udemy for Organizations (UFO), a corporate online learning platform, that provides training solutions to thousands of companies.

 

Coursera is an education company that partners with the top universities and organizations in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. Our technology enables our partners to teach millions of students rather than hundreds. We envision a future where everyone has access to a world-class education that has so far been available to a select few. We aim to empower people with education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in.
MIT offers a variety of free courses. The school has a comparable number of courses to the schools above, plus includes very in-depth course materials on the subjects available. MIT also offers free RSS feeds, a convenient way to continue learning.
MIT offers a variety of free courses. The school has a comparable number of courses to the schools above, plus includes very in-depth course materials on the subjects available. MIT also offers free RSS feeds, a convenient way to continue learning.
EdX
EdX offers free online courses and classes. Find the latest MOOC from the world’s best universities including MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, UT and others.

 

 

codeacademy
Codecademy is an online interactive platform that offers free coding classes in seven different programming languages including Python, PHP, jQuery, JavaScript, and Ruby, as well as markup languages HTML and CSS. As of January 2014, the site had over 24 million users who had completed over 100 million exercises. The site has received positive reviews from many blogs and websites, including the New York Times and TechCrunch.

 

 

 

Hacker School is a free, full-time, immersive school in New York for becoming a better programmer. We're like a writers' retreat for programmers. People come from around the world to write code and grow as programmers. We run Hacker School in three-month sessions, called batches, and each batch has about 35 people. Batches overlap with each other. We make money by helping companies hire our alumni.
Hacker School is a free, full-time, immersive school in New York for becoming a better programmer. We’re like a writers’ retreat for programmers. People come from around the world to write code and grow as programmers. We run Hacker School in three-month sessions, called batches, and each batch has about 35 people. Batches overlap with each other. We make money by helping companies hire our alumn. 

 

 

 

 

Udacity was born out of a Stanford University experiment in which Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig offered their "Introduction to Artificial Intelligence" course online to anyone, for free. Over 160,000 students in more than 190 countries enrolled and not much later, Udacity was born. Now we're a growing team of educators and engineers on a mission to change the future of education by bridging the gap between real-world skills, relevant education, and employment.
Udacity was born out of a Stanford University experiment in which Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig offered their “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” course online to anyone, for free. Over 160,000 students in more than 190 countries enrolled and not much later, Udacity was born. Now we’re a growing team of educators and engineers on a mission to change the future of education by bridging the gap between real-world skills, relevant education, and employment.
Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. We tackle math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more. Our math missions guide learners from kindergarten to calculus using state-of-the-art, adaptive technology that identifies strengths and learning gaps. We've also partnered with institutions like NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT to offer specialized content.
Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. We tackle math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more. Our math missions guide learners from kindergarten to calculus using state-of-the-art, adaptive technology that identifies strengths and learning gaps. We’ve also partnered with institutions like NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT to offer specialized content.
Launched in 2013, Code.org® is a non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. Our vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science. We believe computer science and computer programming should be part of the core curriculum in education, alongside other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses, such as biology, physics, chemistry and algebra.
Launched in 2013, Code.org® is a non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. Our vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science. We believe computer science and computer programming should be part of the core curriculum in education, alongside other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses, such as biology, physics, chemistry and algebra.

And if you are living in Europe, you are probably some of the luckiest people. In Germany or Turkey, your education is nearly 90% free. The government taxes its people heavily, but in return, provide the necessary educations (engineering, business, technical skills) to its citizens and children.

If you are thinking of investing in the liberal arts education on:
1. Philosophy
2. Music
3. Dance
4. English
You might want to calculate how much financial costs it has on your family finance, and understand how much of the $40,000/yr or $130,000/yr on philosophy major would give you long-term return. Do think twice and three times because $130,000 can be a person’s 1 year salary or 3 -5 year salary. It is a huge investment to put +$100,000 into “being a Thinker” or “dancing”, which is often viewed as “hobby” by many people and not a serious career/life-spending activity. If you want to study liberal arts, then have a future plan action on what job you want to achieve – these examples including trying out an intern violinist in the local Orchestra Symphony, visiting Hollywood to try out for an extra actor in major films, or participating as an political intern in Washington D.C congress, or becoming a short-term unpaid intern as an assistant for a lawyer. (If you think you can’t do an unpaid internship, think of the billionaire Robert Herjavec who became a general manager of a tech-startup. He started as a 6 month unpaid intern and nearly 10 years later, he became the general manager of a start-up company. From his prior experience, he created a IT company, which was later sold for +$200 millions.)

Historically, the people who’ve made major changes in the business, economy and social movements have gone through graduate schools. In graduate schools, they teach you practical skills – for nurturing lawyers, politicians, doctors, psychiatrist, engineers, architectures, MBAs, and more. Or they learnt through their jobs – meeting people, conflicting and resolving new issues, collaborating and team-working with a group of different people, and learning specific technical skills.

2. Investing Stocks
Ever since 2008 economic depression, the interest rate within major banks shrank from 3.25% to merely 0.1%. Unless your bank has more than $300,000 or more, you are looking at mere 2 ~0.1% return throughout the year. If you think carefully on ROI (return on investment), it is very desirable to not put your money in the bank. Bank now serves as mere money holding place, losing its economical value.

With several stock-investing tech companies on the rise, including ScottTrade, eTrade and several competitors, more people are investing into stocks – including Google, Apple, Jazz Pharma, PetSmart, Facebook, and Box Inc. With potential return of 200% – 460% within a year, it is essential to learn financial calculations.

You can learn about investing smart through www.stocktwits.com,www.seekingalpha.com, www.google.com/finance, www.scotttrade.com andwww.etrade.com and several other websites.

If you are afraid of losing money, then I would advice to take a small plunge of using small investment – $300 or less than $1000. You might find the opportunity to invest in Facebook, PetSmart or other consumer good companies excellent. And if you don’t believe, then see for yourself in the below images (FB stock, PetSmart Stock):

3. Network, Talk to People, and Expand Your Social Skills
When it comes to networking, the quality of a conversation matters more than the quantity of conversations. But how do you meet the right people? One way is to ask for introductions. Reach out to influential people in your network and ask them to put you in touch with others. Be specific about the introductions you want and why you want them. Explain what you are trying to achieve and the kind of contacts that would help you get there. Are you seeking your next job opportunity? Are you looking for ways to promote yourself? If you’re uncomfortable with being bold, remember that people enjoy helping others and you can always return the favor with some introductions of your own.

When you are sitting in a coffee shop or touring in different places, if you meet people that are different than you, then strike a question or conversation. Knowing how to communicate effectively with purpose to different groups of people will help you rapidly in your future social and career growth. Leaders (Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, President Obama, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Winston Churchill, President Roosevelt, President George Washington, President Lincoln, and several thousands more) can hold meaningful conversations on any topics because they spoke, taught and corrected their speaking skills. They made mistakes, spoke wrong words before, failed on speeches, but also kept making conversations to more people. By having the conversational skill, you will become a leader – defined by others who will follow, respect and listen to your opinions and your actions. Leadership is a Conversation. (Source: Harvard Business Review –https://hbr.org/2012/06/leadership-is-a-conversation)

Being shy and not talking to people will only create the negativity, lack of communication and misunderstanding. If you are getting angry or shouting with people, then you are already losing half of your persuasion. You can’t win person’s respect by shouting or abusively enforcing your laws, ideas or opinions. Enforcers may win due to the imminent fear or danger, but in the long term, they only prolong the inevitable change and evolution. Everything that is often viewed negative to the society will be agreed by thousand and millions of people, creating the necessary social unrest – riots and wars. Therefore, if you want to become successful in positive manner, learn to speak your mind for the right messages with purpose and ask them with respect.

You may dislike or hate speaking with those who oppose you. But what is there is to lose when you speak your mind that is respectful to others? Money? Liberty? Freedom? They can hit you, beat you, push you down, but they can’t defy the words and conversations that are respect by others. In the long term, you will win.