If you are chasing a career, passion, or hobby, the best way to succeed is to spend your money and time improving your skills.
The folly of many professionals is they do not understand this simple fact. They think training is something the company handles because it is in the company’s best interest, not something the employee should handle because it is in his or her own best interest.
Over the weekend I attended a Leadership course hosted by Seth Godin. The company I work for did not pay for it. I didn’t ask or tell anybody I was doing it. I ponied up for it on my time with my money because I am passionate about leadership and I want to further my skills.
I buy and read books about writing and marketing for the same reason.
There are lots of places and ways to invest your time and money: television shows, video games, car accessories, drinks with friends, etc. The thing is, all of those things do not give anything back to help develop you. There is nothing wrong with investing in those things but recognize most of the time they will not provide a good return on your investment.
The best investment you can make is in yourself. If you want a better future, invest in yourself now.