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The 4 Investments That Pulled Me Out of Nearly a Million Dollars in Debt -- and That Cost Nothing If you feel something is lacking in your life, it may be because you're not investing in one or more of these four things.

By Scott Oldford

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Four years ago, I was $726,000 in debt. I had my back against the wall, and I didn't know how to escape the ditch I'd put myself in. It was a tough time, but one that forced me to consider how I got there.

Because I didn't just wake up one day nearly $1 million in debt. The decisions I had made put me there, and I was the only person who could get me out of it.

Related: Making Money Is About You, Not Your Business

I learned a lot about myself during this period. I realized I had drunk my own Kool-Aid for far too long. I was all ego. I was about money, but had no idea why I wanted it so bad. I wanted freedom, but had no idea what this meant. I discovered I had no purpose, and I won't lie -- I hated myself.

The guy I was back then is no more. Over the last few years, I've built two multimillion-dollar businesses, grown an audience of nearly 100,000 amazing entrepreneurs and most important of all, I'm now a guy who appreciates what money, freedom and success means to me.

Am I perfect? Hell no!

But, today I have purpose, and it's all because I committed to a growth strategy that includes these four things every single day.

You may or may not be nearly $1 million in debt, but I imagine you feel something is lacking in your life. If you do, it's possible you're not investing in one or more of these four things. None of this will cost you money, and although it does require an investment of time, it's one that gives a huge return (and sooner than you think).

These four investments turned my life around, so if they can help a guy like me, they might help you build your own growth strategy.

1. Invest in your relationships.

No matter what happens in your life, nobody can take away your relationships except yourself. When I hit my low point, I realized I had few friends or loved ones. The reason for this is that I didn't take the time to care for those around me. I didn't call people or offer my support. I didn't listen to them. I expected everyone to come to me, because I was all about the ego.

Related: 10 Simple Ways to Take Care of Yourself

It left me with nothing, and I felt more alone than I ever have. So, the first thing I invested in was my relationships. I spoke to people I hadn't spoken to for a long time. I reached out to new people, and helped them. I built my audience, which led me to help the people I do today at Infinitus.

I began to host dinners and lunches for strangers, and I spent at least two hours each day on the phone meeting new people. It's possibly the simplest yet most effective growth strategy I have ever invested in, and it's one that continues to provide opportunities to this day.

2. Invest in your health.

I never focused on my health growing up. I took it for granted. I didn't think I had a choice. My mother had a heart attack when she was 37 years old, and I suppose this rubbed off on me. I assumed you are who you are, and I was overweight, unhealthy and that's the way it was.

I was wrong.

Today, I'm the healthiest I've ever been. It takes a lot of work, and I have my good periods and bad, but today my health remains a huge focus (every single day).

Committing to this marked a huge turning point in my life. I felt happier. I had more energy. I was more productive and felt less stressed. I got more done and felt more comfortable in my body. I began to turn my health around, and most of my other struggles disappeared.

Related: Only You Can Change Your Life

3. Invest in your character.

As bad as this period was for me, I developed my character in a way I never had before. It taught me about success and failure, and what only I bring to the table.

When you experience a bad day, it isn't a bad day; it's a character day -- a day to learn and improve.

This simple flip of the switch changed everything for me. I began to journal, take walks and reflect on my day. I become more self-aware by the day, which resulted in a huge amount of self-evolution.

The person you are today is not the person you will be tomorrow. You're always growing, and the more conscious you become of this, the bigger impact you can have and the greater you can leverage your progress. If investing in your character each day isn't part of your growth strategy, maybe it should be.

4. Invest in your knowledge.

When I found myself nearly $1 million in debt, the bank took almost everything from me. Yet, one thing they couldn't touch was the knowledge I'd obtained over the years.

I spent years honing my craft and developing a skill that helped people. However, I realized I wasn't keeping up with the future of it, and as such I become more out-dated and irrelevant.

Related: Confidence Will Make All the Difference to Your Hustle

So, I committed to fix this: read more books, took courses, went to events, and used my ever growing network to ask questions and learn as much as I could.

I committed to learning and growing, and once I did I found myself letting go of the ego that got me into all that mess in the first place. I realized I didn't know everything. I wasn't the smartest person in the room. I'm not that special, and each day is a new day to obtain new knowledge that the bank (or anyone else) will never be able to take from me.

Nothing about this article is special.

Anyone can invest in these four things, including you -- no matter where you are on your journey. You can tweak them around your lifestyle, and find exercises and rituals that help you. What works for me may not work for you, but in some form, these four investments can change your life and may create a waterfall effect for your own growth strategy (just like they did for me).

Today, I spend one hour each day on each of these. They are important to me, not only allowing me to grow personally, but grow my businesses at the same time.

Related Video: Why the Key to Self-Improvement Is Not Complicated

Scott Oldford

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Mentor, Advisor & Investor for Online Entrepreneurs

Scott Oldford has helped build and scale countless 6, 7 & 8-figure online businesses in the education, certification, coaching, consulting and courses niche.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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