People who are the initial investors in something new are always positioned for a higher rate of return. Imagine what it would have been like to be an initial investor in Coca-Cola, Amazon, Google, Tesla, or any other company that has done extremely well in the stock market. You would probably be reading this post from your own island somewhere and not preparing to go to work! I think I would be a professional beach fisherman.
Those that invested in these companies early, were paid out huge dividends later. The valuation of their initial investment is significantly higher than it was in the beginning. They invested a little and gained a lot.
Our Initial Investors
When I think of the early investors in my life, I think of my parents, grandparents, coaches, mentors, and teachers. Maybe it was your first supervisor, youth pastor, or someone else. They laid the framework for our future market value, guided our decisions, and believed our market potential.
Let’s get into a good place of reflection before we proceed. Think back your initial investors. Who were they and what was the investment they made?
This week are going to look at six characteristics of these early investment leaders that, “got in on us early.” The ones that saw our future value before we had any.
Saw Potential For Long-Term Gain
When people invest, they generally seek an investment that has the potential for a long-term gain. The best investors see something in the company that no one else sees. They have a filter in which they see things through that looks for key indicators for success. Indicators that will make the difference in an ordinary investment and an extraordinary one.
Henry Ford once said, “There is no man living who isn’t capable of doing more than he thinks.” Our initial investors believed in us more than we believed in ourselves. They saw what we could be, not what we were. These leaders saw the potential for long-term gains in their investment in us.
Served as Advisors
Most people are better off securing the services of a financial advisor when investing. These advisors have more repetition in the market and are more in tune with current conditions. Their expertise comes with wisdom. Wisdom that is gained from experience. They have been through the good, the bad, and the ugly and come out on the other side of it.
We have two options to gain wisdom in life, either through our own experiences or the experience of others. When it comes to bad investment experiences, I prefer to learn through the experience of others! It hurts way less.
In leadership, we needed advisors when we are in the infancy of our careers. We needed those people that were further down the road than us to provide guidance. They were like a GPS for our journeys, they knew the best routes to take, how to get there the fastest, and how to avoid painful delays in construction.
Made Regular Deposits
A strategy in investing is dollar cost averaging. This basically means you make regular deposits over a longer period of time rather than one large payment. The deposits are made at various points in the market. You buy low, high, and anywhere in between. You just keep buying regardless of market conditions.
Investors in our worlds’ chose to make regular deposits in us. They didn’t just make one big deposit, then cashed out. Regardless of if we were at a high point or low point of our leadership portfolio, they kept pouring into us, regularly. They ignored your volatile market conditions, the ups and downs of investing, and just kept buying.
Did Not Seek ROI
Return on investment (ROI) is a fundamental term in investing. It is the strategy in where when someone makes an investment, they expect to get something back for it. Not only do they expect to get something back for it, but more than the original investment.
The great thing about our early investors is they did not seek a traditional return on investment. They sought out a different ROI, Return On Influence. Quality leaders who invested in us early had pure motives. They expected nothing in return other than the joy of watching you succeed. Those leaders never expected pay back, no shares in your future, never held their investment over your head, or put a cap on your growth. It was a genuine, authentic investment.
Were Risk Tolerant
To make money in the market, you have to have a tolerance for risk. Markets can be volatile, they can fluctuate from day to day. When you think about investing in a company early that has no proven track record, you must be risk tolerant.
The best leaders are risk tolerant when it comes to people. Even leaders whose behavior profiles classify them as steady, consistent, and are not big fans of change are risk tolerant when it comes to people investing. They give us room to grow by granting us responsibility with a margin for error. They coach us through our mistakes and prove to be our biggest fans when we succeed.
These tremendous leaders put their own careers and influence at stake on our behalf. They have risk tolerance when it comes to the potential rate of return on a young leader.
They Got Rich
Here is the market value for leaders who chose to be our initial leadership investors, they are now rich. Not rich from a monetary standpoint, but rich from the standpoint that their investment in human capital has bettered others and the world they live in. Their portfolio is full of leaders they produced who cannot pay them back in full, nor are expected to.
John Maxwell said, “Success is knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential, and sowing seeds that benefit others.” These leaders who invested in us knew their purpose, to grow us to reach our maximum potential, and sowed seeds that will benefit others for generation to come. That makes them extremely wealthy in the world of human leadership.
I was fortunate to receive an early opportunity in leadership. At the age of twenty-three, I was tapped by the Mayor, Council, and City Manager to serve as the Director of Parks, Recreation, and Community Resources for the City of Acworth. Looking back now, a fairly risky investment! One that I am not sure I would have made.
I am truly grateful for those people who took a chance on me early. I truly hope that those initial investors have received a return on their influence.
I asked the question earlier, “who were your initial investors?” Now that you are a leader with the capital to invest, who are you investing in? That should be the fundamental question that burdens each of us moving forward. It is an unspoken expectation that our initial investors had when they bet on us.