The Most Motivational Poster Ever


I saw a poster some years ago. I included it later down in this post, but I want to start to give you some backstory to why I think this poster is inspiring.


Some years ago, I decided that I wanted to start the CFA program, which is the gold standard for financial analysts all over the world. The basic premises are these: you get six books covering everything from financial reporting to option pricing, you read them in solitude and then you take a test quizzing all the knowledge in those books.


On exam day in June for some years ago, I was nervous. I had been studying for the past six months while at the same time doing my Master’s program in business economics. I felt super prepared, but there was always this possibility that I would fail and then also lose the 10 000 sek I paid to take the test.


But, I also remembered this one thought that had gone through my mind through that whole six months of preparation. Even if I would fail the test, which more than half of the test takers do, I would still have something even have something very valuable; the knowledge I knew was ultimately worth a lot more than the 10 000 sek I paid for the test.

What Should We Do With Our Limited Resources?

I love learning more things about Economics because the subject starts with a fundamental premise of human life – we have a limited amount of resources, what are we doing with them and what should we do with them?
In your job hunt, you have some resources like time, money, online courses, platforms like LinkedIn etc. The economic questions become: how should you use these resources? how are you using these resources?


One of my favorite concepts of finance is compounding. Compounding is simply when we make an investment and reinvest the return on that investment. So, if you invest in a house that you rent out to other people, then if you take that rent and buy new houses, you are compounding your investments.


In other words, compounding is a process where the value of an investment is consistently reinvested over time. This is the most powerful concept when it comes to maximizing growth on investments. That is why I love this poster:



In the first case, we are multiplying 1.01 with 1.01 for 365 days. In the other 0.99 is multiplied with 0.99 for 365 days. There is just this tiny difference but over a year, these kinds of differences add up to crazy differences.


Now to us.

Invest in Yourself

As humans, the most important investment we will ever make is in ourselves. In a world that is constantly changing, we will not know whether that share or house we might invest in will lose its value to market conditions changing like in the financial crisis of 2008-2009. The financial markets are fragile places and should be treated as such.
But you will always have yourself. Think about this compounding effect in your life. Think about the job hunt. Many people say that we need to network during the job hunt. But, sometimes it can be hard to keep the motivation to do so. Especially if you are introverted as a person. Think about the compounding effect of doing the networking effect early on and not later. In fact, every single day you wait with doing something will stagnate your life because you are missing out on the compounding effect. If you decide to put in the time and invest in yourself today, you will have that growth. If not, then you won’t.


So, by putting off that online course that you want to take or making that reach out to an employer, you are missing out on compounding returns on your efforts. Not doing something today will make you lose all the compounding returns on today’s work for the rest of your life. That is what motivates me.
I really like thinking about this concept in terms of professional growth and development. I am naturally curious but I also love learning new things because of another reason. I know that the more I learn, the more growth I will have. I also know this effect will compound over my life time. I feel like every time I learn something new, I will have the value of those learnings with me for the rest of my life and I will get the compounding effects of those efforts.



So, where do you want to go? What job do you really want and what efforts can you take in order to get closer? What can you learn? Who can you contact? What can you do that will compound for the rest of your life?
We have to realize that our resources in life are scarce and that we need them to point in the direction that we want to go. By doing so today, we will see our efforts compound in the future forever.

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