Investments are all about buy low sell high. That’s how you get the greatest return on investment (aka ROI). Well, I want to tell you about 3 investments that cost you next to nothing, but will pay you big return.

You may think that this sounds too good to be true, but I have seen these 3 investments in action and they have never failed. While these investments may not involve money, they do involve a more important investment opportunity — people. Investing in another human being, regardless if they’re your family, friend, or your server at a restaurant, is always worth your time and effort.

One quick word of caution before we dive into these investments though. If your motives for investing are purely about what you can get out of the deal, then you will definitely decrease the return you will get. These investments will give you a high return, but the real benefit lies in what develops within the person you invest in. So, here we go.

1. Gratitude

This seems easy enough, right? Then why do we hear so much about how ungrateful the younger generations are? Not to point fingers, but people typically behave the way manners, attitudes, and actions were modeled for them. Let that marinate.

However, this doesn’t excuse a lack of gratitude at all! Simple “please” and “thank you” can go a long way towards fostering unity and goodwill. This is just the tip of the iceberg though.

Go the extra mile when trying to show gratitude to people around you. That may mean asking to speak to a supervisor of someone who provided you excellent service or sending an email or text thanking someone for taking the time to eat lunch with you.

As a leader, you will endear yourself to others when they know that their time and efforts will be rewarded with gratitude. This will increase the influence you have with others and make others want to follow you.

2. Respect

Few things will get you further than giving someone respect. I believe all people should be given a measure of respect from the first time you meet them. How much is up to you, but you should hold a high standard of respect just because someone is a fellow human being.

As believer in Christ, I go to the what the Bible taught on Jesus’ perspective on respect. It says that He was “no respecter of persons”. I do not believe that means he didn’t respect anyone and gave Himself license to disrespect anyone he met. Quite the opposite. We should hold everyone in high respect until they give us a reason not to. Then give them opportunities to earn it back.

When we respect our supervisors, colleagues, friends, family, and strangers, we are building up others and placing value on them because of who they are and not just what they do. This tends to create a mentality in those we invest respect in to also respect us and they learn to respect others. This is crucial as a leader.

Think about this, do you currently follow anyone that does not respect you?

3. Credit

This may, in fact, be the most difficult investment to make. Our society has taught and celebrated the “I got here all by myself” mentality. So, we tend to only give lip-service to the old saying of “give credit where credit is due”.

Giving credit requires humility and requires us to say “I didn’t do this alone”. This tends to be key when considering this investment at your workplace or with your spouse. Think about how many times you’re tempted to say “I am the one that made this project happen” at work or maybe say “I am the only one that is making this marriage happen or the reason our kids turned out well”. I know I have those thoughts and I bet you do too.

Truth is, when we give credit, we will almost always get credit back. It may not be for that project or accomplishment, but it will come. Probably when you need it and it will mean so much more because someone shined the light on you instead of you taking a selfie in the spotlight (FYI, just added selfie to my computer’s dictionary. Crazy!).

Question: What investments do you make that have a low cost and a high return? Share in the comments below.

Lead your home! Lead your work! Lead your life!

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