Is exciting new technology a more worthwhile investment than a possibly life-changing experience?

You could call me an ardent supporter of the iPhone platform. I’ve owned several over the years. I appreciate the sleek look, intuitive engineering, and staying current with the latest exciting technology release. Other’s champion the ability to be part of the trend-setting elite.

I love my iPhone as much as the next guy, but what else could $1000 be used for? My older iPhone hasn’t been dropped. There’s barely a mark on it. Do I need to upgrade to the iPhone Xs, and if I do, at what cost?

With some travel points, I could take my wife to Utah and tour the national parks: Bryce Canyon, Zion, and Cedar Breaks. While the trip would be more costly, which choice would be worth more? The travel experience or new technology?

How much is a life experience worth? When I get old will I remember which version of the iPhone I got, or hiking the 600 feet of switchbacks into Bryce Canyon? This quandary pulled at a part of me most business executives champion. We enjoy logical questions and this one was a mix of logic and emotional desire.

Am I worth investing in and if so, what are the benefits?

Travel for fun and travel for education are two separate endeavors. Is fun enough of an investment in me to warrant the cost? Or must I only spend money on continuing education credits? Or worse yet, an industry conference filled with thousands of people looking for their next big score?

The trip to Utah kept calling. If you’ve never been to Utah, you’re missing a chance to see the Rockies at their wildest, a prairie dog festival or the opportunity to witness a meteor shower devoid of big-city light pollution. Who wouldn’t be enthralled?

This would certainly be a pleasure trip. Yet, the more I considered the prospect of lying under a starry night and breathing the fresh scent of mountain air, the more my subconscious took over. Maybe I was looking at the question from the wrong angle.

Could feeding the creative part of my mind bring value to my business pursuits?

I could approach this trip as a way to invest in myself. My soul would be cleansed from everyday work life and my mind would be free to travel and explore new opportunities.

The more I considered the trip, the more I realized I needed to make a change in how I thought about myself. My company, Exit Technologies, decommissions and recycles datacenters. We liken this to cleansing the world of antiquated technology and rebirthing the components back into future technology. I decided to recycle myself, not my iPhone.

I decided to dig a little deeper into understanding why I should invest in me and not technology. Inc Magazine published an article on the topic in which they highlighted five areas that benefit the person. I applied their core concepts to my Utah trip.

Commit Time to Create

Utah would be a great opportunity for me to be removed from daily routine and let my creative process build. I could stay in touch with the office via my iPhone, but I realized the real power was taking control of my communication.

Seek conscious growth versus growth for the sake of it

I considered how my self-investment trip would suffer from a structured outcome. Would it be fair to my wife if this was a working vacation? And more importantly, was I capable of scheduling creative time?

Draft a Personal Board of Directors

I have long held the belief that everyone must be responsible to someone. Those who live their lives understanding that success is a team effort enjoy the most rewards. I checked off this box without hesitation.

Invest Daily in Living Your Values

We derive our value system from many sources. Most of us credit our parents and faith as the biggest influences. Would the Utah trip be as impactful? At first, I thought not, then I considered trusting my decisions and my staff to drive my business. Would my trip to Utah reinforce this trust in myself and my team?

Work on Your Life, Not Just in Your Life

I value change and the prospect of changing me for the better was at the core of my decision. I made a list of what I wanted to accomplish from my trip to Utah, and my wife and I both agree the trip was a smashing success. And as it turns out, the inclusion of personal growth time on vacation wasn’t as difficult an adjustment as I first thought.

After we discussed the premise of the trip, she embraced the concept too and created her own list of goals. Of course, she texted me her list—one iPhone to another.

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Jeff Bittner
Jeff founded exIT technologies in 1989, recognizing a significant opportunity to help enterprises improve the liquidity of their IT hardware. A consummate entrepreneur, Jeff has built, expanded, or laterally transitioned successful companies for over three decades. His work at exit technologies is pioneering, as the company pursues new processes and methodologies to improve the IT Asset Disposition industry. Jeff oversees the strategic direction of the business and is a regular contributor to discussions and debates on the industry’s leading issues. A graduate of the UCLA Anderson School of Management’s Executive Program, Jeff is also a strategic thinker, actively sharing business management tips, while always being open to new ideas.

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