2 min read

My knees hurt.

I’m not a doctor, but I’d guess that it’s a combination of my age, the extra few pounds I’ve packed on this winter, and my running shoes.

I’ve been thinking about buying new running shoes for months. A friend of mine once told me, “Don’t be cheap on anything that comes between you and the ground.” He gave me the example of tires for my car, my mattress, and my shoes.

One of my new year’s resolutions this year is to make fitness a priority. And while my nutrition and sleep have definitely improved (lifestyle improvements enabled by my girlfriend, Mallory) I still haven’t pulled the trigger on new running shoes.

Why?

Whenever I think about buying running shoes, I follow the same line of logic: The shoes I want will be ~$120, and I don’t want to spend that right now.

Well today I invested in Adobe Creative Cloud ($20+ per month)

A few days ago I invested some new sound equipment (About $80)

And yesterday I went out for dinner (Happy hour special, about $35)

I didn’t think twice about any of those investments.

It’s always bizarre to me when I think what I feel price sensitivity towards. I’ll call a $15 Uber, buy a $12 cocktail, and a $5 coffee without even thinking twice about it. Several times a week!

And yet, I just can’t stomach the purchase of a new pair of running shoes: something that won’t be consumed or destroyed for a period of months.

I’m far from the worst offender here. As I told a journalist recently for her research, I’ve spent more than $16,000 on self-guided learning and networking opportunities over the last three years.

Investments are powerful. Even in a down market, you can invest your time, attention, or money into assets and opportunities that have a much higher yield than that Uber or cocktail.

But you can’t get a return on investment if you never make the investment in the first place.

Want more clients? Invest your time in meeting with potential clients. Invest in a mentor.

Want to learn to code? Invest in a program that can teach you. Invest your time in teaching yourself on YouTube.

You buy stuff. You invest in your priorities.

If you’ve set priorities for yourself and aren’t investing in them, they probably aren’t actual priorities. Show me where you’re investing your time and money, and I’ll show you what your priorities are!

That’s the difference between a cocktail and running shoes.


Like this? Join thousands of others reading Work in Progress every week.