It is fascinating to watch human beings (including me) obsess over outputs. We all want the same thing, a bigger and better ROI (return of investment).
The beauty is everyone wants a similar destination. There are no exceptions. We all want bigger impact, better titles, fatter pay checks, higher work satisfaction and a lovely work environment. Irrespective of what career we pick, we all want similar things.
If we all want similar things then why is there so much disparity in the actual ROI? In other words, if the expected ROI is similar, what causes the actual ROI to be so different?
After digging a little deeper, I found that it is the I (investment) in the ROI that makes a huge difference in the actual ROI.
The topic was more interesting so I went ahead and conducted a bunch of qualitative studies (ongoing now) on creative careers and asked these questions directly and openly?
When I asked about what do you think are better investments towards your career that will give you better results?
Here are the common answers I heard: Upskilling, continuous learning (reading, writing, listening etc), networking, doing more projects, enhancing portfolios, conducting more experiments etc.
My next curious question was: what is your investment towards your career now/today?
The 80% answer was a stunning zero or a super low investment (less than Netflix or Amazon Prime subscription).
That answer gave me a lot of insights. Finally i was able to take deep breath and let it sync in.
The probability of ROI cannot be better without changes to the I (investment).
Without changing inputs, how will the outputs get better?
As an extension of this insight, I realised that it is not just careers, we obsess on ROI in every aspect of life. Health, careers, relationships, community, personal growth etc.
It sounds obvious that better input will result in better output. Deep inside, we know it. We even know it is good for us. Yet, we will give 1000 reasons not to do it.
Without a better I, do not expect your ROI to get better.
Expecting a better ROI is only a wish list. It may never happen. Do something about it. Make an investment in your self so that every aspect of your life gets better including your careers.
🥂 to I