Prosperity Principle #5: Invest in You First

On Monday, February 6, 2023, the day after Super Bowl LVII, I saw a headline that stopped me in my tracks.

I learned that 50 MILLION Americans bet $16 BILLION on the 2023 Super Bowl. That’s $320 per person on average.

50 MILLION Americans BET on a CHANCE — everything from scores to the flavor Gatorade they would pour on the winning coach.

OK. I will admit. My husband and I bet $32 (not $320) on the ONE Super Bowl pool in play at my cousin’s house where we watched the game. And we took home $100 on PURE luck. We made out OK. I’m sure others did, too.

But, $16 BILLION?! And that was 67% HIGHER than what was gambled in 2022.

I was shaking my head because nearly everyone I talk to is struggling financially. Costs are skyrocketing. Inflation is up way higher than anyone’s paycheck is increasing. And still, there is $16B available to throw against the wind.

I mean, can you imagine what putting $16B into the American Economy could do in ONE day?

OK – let me get off my soap box and get back to the principle at play here.

Here’s an idea.

  • What if you invested that $320 bet in YOURSELF vs. tossing it away on a chance? Have I got your attention now?  
  • What if you instead invested in YOURSELF and YOUR FUTURE, with people like me, with a community of successful people who have, know, and teach a PROSPERITY mindset.
  • What if you instead, learned HOW we prosper, so you could prosper, too.
  • What if you instead, learned how to help others make their lives better, pay it forward, and watch what happens to yours. So, instead of spending $ on WISHING for LUCK, you invest in YOU first.

I’d like to share a story on an investment I made in myself a few years ago that connected me to a community of professionals that catapulted my career. Most people would never do what I did, which I why I must tell you about it and the impact it had.

I gave a talk in 2016 at a communications conference about an award-winning change program I and my team led at my company. In the talk I shared how my 4C’s Framework helped my company achieve a major change initiative while save my team and I time, money and our sanity.

Hint #1. I agreed to freely give my time, knowledge and lessons learned to a crowd of 250 people. The power of giving is covered in Principle of Prosperity #7.

After the talk a woman I didn’t know came up to me to congratulate me on a great presentation and the outstanding result we achieved. She asked me several questions and we chatted for a while. Before we left, she told me I should consider being a part of a select group her company, CRA Inc. has for communications leaders. I was intrigued.

We met a few months later where she told me more about The Minnesuing Group offered by CRA. It was a select, by invitation only, peer group of senior communications professionals, the best in the industry. The group meets for a week at a member-led retreat and has several touch base sessions throughout the year. The annual membership fee was $6,000.

First, I was honored and humbled to be invited to participate in the first place. The woman from CRA saw something in me that made her approach me – she saw something in me I didn’t even see myself. That alone gave me pause. The prospect of being part of this group excited me. I didn’t want to pass up this opportunity.

Second, I knew for my career to continue to progress, I had to connect with and be part of a community of higher thinkers, the best in the industry, not only to learn from them and watch them, but to contribute my expertise.

Hint #2.  To continue to grow and develop, make time to be around the best people, the top dogs in whatever it is you want to learn or improve upon. Here’s the thing. My boss already paid for membership for me in another industry organization. With limited budgets, how could I ask for another sponsorship when I didn’t even know what this new group had to offer? Something was drawing me to this elite group of communicators. I knew down deep that to elevate my game I had to play with people at least as good or better than me.

Hint #3. I got creative and looked for another solution to be among this community of leaders. I said to myself, why don’t you just GO? Experience this leadership think-tank retreat, meet the top gun communicators, see what it’s all about, and if it’s worth the time and investment, ask for the money next year.

Hint #4. I invested in myself! I went on my own time and on my own dime. It was THAT important to me personally and professionally to be part of this mastermind community. I used my personal vacation time AND I paid my own way to attend. That’s worth repeating. I went on my own time and my own dime.

WHO DOES THAT? People like me who will do whatever it takes to advance one more step toward their goal.

The experience with The Minnesuing Group was SO worth the time and money. I learned a lot, I contributed a lot, I met amazing professionals and human beings. And, now I was connected to a community of the best people in the industry. Several times, I’ve reached out to the community for help, advice, and suggestions. What was the payoff?

The following year when I met with my boss to review my performance, he told me I had a “BREAKTHROUGH” year. What that meant was, I elevated my leadership and communications strategic work to another level. My team and I raised the bar for our work and the results we achieved, well exceeding expectations and setting new standards of excellence. Many of the things I did to make that happen I learned at Minnesuing. That year I received the highest performance rating, salary increase, and the bonus I could get.

Was that $6,000 plus airfare worth the investment in myself. YES! And then some!

  • Did I now have connections with the best professionals in the employee communications field? YES.
  • Did I now have a new, top-gun communications leadership community to learn, engage and share with? YES!
  • Did my boss cover my costs to attend that program to be in that high-performing master mind communications leadership community every year after that until I retired? YES. And I understand my successor is participating as well.
  • Did we engage CRA Inc. to do other work for us? YES.
  • Did I introduce my boss and his chief lieutenants to one of the best programs on Admired Leadership I’ve ever seen, which CRA Inc. developed, and help build the skills of the rest of our leadership team? YES.
  • Did my team also grow, develop, and elevate their level of expertise as a result of the learnings I brought back and taught them that we then implemented together? YES.

All this happened because I invested in myself.

I took the opportunity offered to me to access a new community of experts with whom I now have strong connections and who helped me and my team advance in our careers, do even better work, and earn more money.

I share this story with you because LUCK did not bring that opportunity to me. I gave freely of myself, which attracted attention. Once I learned about the opportunity to become a member of this elite group, I sought it out and grabbed it.

Luck did not bring you here. Wanting more out of life for you and your family DID.

Invest in YOU first. You deserve better. You deserve to know the success formula to creating wealth and prosperity that I and the people I work with know and live by. You deserve to be the best version of yourself you can be, have peace of mind, and know you and your family will be financially set for the rest of your lives and beyond.

You, too, can do the things you love most with those you love most and not worry about having the time to do them or how you’re going to pay for them. Imagine the legacy you can leave, the good you can do in the world.

Invest in you first; the rest will follow.

To your prosperity!

About the Author:  Mary Lou Panzano

Mary Lou Panzano retired after 42 years in corporate America to pursue her purpose in life:  help people prosper, personally, professionally, and financially. As Founder and CEO (Chief Enlightenment Officer) of Panzano Enterprises, LLC, Mary Lou focuses on helping:

  • Professional communicators prosper. Whether it’s students studying communications, or junior-, mid-career, or senior communicators, Mary Lou provides coaching services to help them be even better at what they do.
  • Anyone looking to prosper in their lives. As a student of millionaires and leaders in their fields, Mary Lou shares how she applied principles of prosperity she learned to achieve millionaire status and a lifestyle of freedom, peace, and prosperity, with those looking to do the same.
  • Home-business owners prosper. Mary Lou offers home business opportunities and services such as leads, training, discount apps, and digital library systems that help businesses prosper.

Reach out to Mary Lou directly at [email protected].