Lesson from Dad #3: Well, THAT'S a great investment.
My dad was uber pragmatic. Even his hobbies that seemed to pursue beauty (antique crystal collecting, rare coin collecting) had a practical, investment-oriented element to them.
My mother was also practical, but definitely had an eye and a longing for fashion, even as an Iowa 'farm wife.'
She and I would head to a big nearby town for some shopping (yes, there WERE places to shop in Iowa), and often come home with a few shopping bags in hand. Dad would raise his bushy eyebrows as he looked them over, and ask "What's in the bags?" We'd pull out the latest purchase, and he'd say, "Well, THAT'S a great investment."
I can't say that I always buy things that are ONLY investment-oriented, but in business I tend to stay in that groove as much as possible. However, there are lots of ways to think about what an investment actually entails. At KPS3 we like to invest in ways that "hit" two or more of the elements that comprise the KPS3 "3-Legged Stool:" 1. Internal Satisfaction 2. Client Satisfaction, and 3. Financial Performance. So, if we can invest in a new technology that gives our internal team a better tool with which to work, and which can produce products that benefit clients even more... it's a two-fer.
Invest wisely. But remember that the definition of "invest" might surpass the typical understanding of the word.