How Much Should You Invest in Your Professional Growth Every Year?

March 5, 2018  •  Product Development

At every level of success, a new level of you is expected to show up. To become that person (a better version of yourself), you need to continually invest in your professional growth.

That said, the world is now flooded with books, live workshops, and online courses on any and every topic—many of them good. How do you know where and when to sign up, or how much you should be investing right now?

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A few months into the year, it’s completely normal to start lagging behind on one or two of your platform goals. After all, high achievers are motivated by the pursuit of inspirational, even challenging goals.

As Michael Hyatt puts it,

Sandbagged goals actually do what they’re formulated to avoid: They undercut productivity because we ultimately find them boring and demotivating. They require little and inspire even less.

The first step in making up lost time on these goals is to revisit why they are important. The next step is to identify what’s holding you back from success.

Do you have a system in place to make sure you’re working on each goal on a regular basis? Do you know what’s missing, or why your current system isn’t performing as you’d hoped? Are there any specific skills you need to learn to accomplish this goal?

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The truth is, there is a long list of skills every platform-builder needs to learn at some point, but each comes with a new set of challenges and gaps in knowledge. These gaps need to be filled by seeking out niche experts to learn from.

Every new professional growth investment comes with a price tag, and those can add up pretty quickly. Professional growth is important, but rarely urgent, so it can be hard to figure out where it fits into your priorities.

You don’t need to learn every skill at once, but there always seems to be one or two skills you could benefit from by learning right now. For your online platform to succeed, you need to always be teaching—but to do that, you need to always be learning as well.

For your online platform to succeed, you need to always be teaching—but to do that, you need to always be learning as well.

John Meese

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To answer the question about how much to invest in your professional growth, Brian Tracy has an excellent solution.

Using The 3 Percent Formula

Obviously, your needs change from season to season. Similarly, your available resources may vary as well. That’s why Brian Tracy recommends “The 3 Percent Formula.”

I first read about The 3 Percent Formula in Brian’s book, No Excuses! The Power of Self-Discipline, and that was a lightbulb moment for me.

Essentially, Brian recommends that you consistently set aside 3% of your take-home income for personal or professional growth. This way, your investment scales with you no matter your current financial status.

Here is a rule that will guarantee your success—and possibly make you rich: Invest 3 percent of your income back into yourself.

Brian Tracy

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According to Brian, the most profitable 20% of companies in each field typically set aside 3% of their revenue for training and development—and the investment pays off.

But you don’t need to be a Fortune 500 company to reap the rewards of a 3% investment back into your growth.

Here are a few examples of what The 3 Percent Formula looks like, depending on where you’re at in your platform journey or professional career:

  • Have an annual income of $25,000? 3% is $750, or $62.50 per month. This one is easy! Just join Platform University and set aside the remaining funds to buy one or two new books each month.
  • Have an annual income of $50,000? 3% is $1,500, or $125 per month. That’s enough for a Platform University membership as well as a subscription to LeaderBox, together unlocking a wealth of knowledge to continue your growth.
  • What about if you make $100,000 or more? 3% would be $3,000, or $250 a month. With that, you can invest in both memberships mentioned above and still have a budget left over for a live workshop or 1-on-1 coaching.

There are countless other examples of how you could allocate these funds (and you don’t have to spend all your money with us), but I hope these examples show you the level of clarity that comes from adhering to the 3 Percent Formula to direct your professional growth.

That’s the beauty of The 3 Percent Formula—committing to an investment strategy that scales, helps you keep success from outpacing your skills. This means you’re less likely to burn out, hit a ceiling, or fall behind in your field.

Committing to an investment strategy that scales helps you keep success from outpacing your skills.

John Meese

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The 3 Percent Formula acts as a budget barometer, making sure you invest sufficient funds in your personal and professional growth.

If you want to grow, you need to invest. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and do the math for yourself.

About John Meese

John Meese is the author of the #1 bestseller Survive and Thrive: How to Build a Profitable Business in Any Economy (Including This One). An entrepreneur himself, John is on a mission to eradicate generational poverty by equipping entrepreneurs with the tools and training they need to build thriving businesses from scratch. He is the founder of Cowork Columbia, co-founder of Notable, and regularly publishes interviews and insight at