13 Ways to amp up your human capital and create wealth faster

“Nobody wants to walk a tightrope without a safety net. That’s how living pay cheque to pay cheque feels”.

– Dave Fisher, Destination Wealth

You may feel like you’re caught in a never-ending cycle of month-to-month survival. The thought of having a safety net is a far-off dream. You’re not alone! Many well-off South Africans are in the same boat. According to recent research done by Discovery Bank, that studied data from 4 700 South Africans with an average income of about R 630 000, 64% of them said that they spend 100% of their income every month.

Not earning enough is not an excuse

Your human capital is the key to setting you on a path of wealth creation, long before you’re making the big bucks or have assets to show off.

It is your unique set of personal assets that convinces employers to hire you and that earns you an income. Think about your qualifications, experience, personality, work ethic and ability – the features that you would list on an extensive CV to convince a potential employer to hire you.

No amount of money can preserve your human capital – it’s an asset unique to you that can be increased and preserved long before you’re earning the income that you desire.

“We rarely stop to consider how loss of human capital would disrupt our lives and our families’ lives overnight. Yet retrenchment, adverse business conditions, civil strife, sickness, disability or death could come at any time”

– Destination Wealth

13 Ways to amp up your human capital

To set you on your path to financial freedom, with or without the money to back it up, you can take action now to make yourself more valuable by increasing your human capital.

1. Have you made your choice? Choose to grow

Human capital action 1: Choose to grow

It’s easy to complain about our dissatisfaction at work, our lack of income, being undervalued, etc. Usually, we choose to blame employers or others who may or may not be the cause of our unhappiness. It’s not that easy to be honest with ourselves and admit that we may need to increase our worth. Now is the time to choose to grow!


  • Choose to increase your worth.

2. Do you have goals? Focus on lifelong growth

Human capital action 2: Focus on lifelong growth

To increase your value to an employer or job, start by being goal orientated. Create a plan for your career. Where do you want to be in the months and years to come? Share your goals with your employer. Then, build your knowledge and skills in areas that are critical to your job. Knowledge and skills always enhance your human capital.


  • Plan your career goals for 2021 in advance.
  • Decide to enhance your knowledge and skills: sign up for a course, attend a conference, learn the IT tools used in your job, study towards a degree, stay abreast of industry news, etc.

3. Are you keeping your attitude in check? Uplift your attitude

Human capital action 3: Uplift your attitude

Uplift your attitude by being positive, confident and grateful. These attributes attract others and will attract success. It is a challenge to maintain an uplifting attitude every day, but you can take control of your feelings. Decide to respond with positivity, act with confidence and be grateful, and don’t harbor negativity.


  • Check your attitude and remind yourself to think and act with positivity, confidence and gratefulness.

4. Do you think you’re a leader? Choose to act like one regardless

Huamn capital action 4: Choose to act like a leader

Choose to act like a leader by learning leadership skills and displaying passion, trustworthiness, decisiveness and confidence. Dave reminds us that “leaders always get paid more”.


  • Decide what you can do to learn leadership skills and do it.
  • Think about how you can handle difficult situations by applying the attributes of a leader.

5. Are you mingling with the right people? Start networking

Human capital action 5: Start networking

Get in touch with strategic people in and outside of your work environment. Stay on the radar of those who can offer you a better position or be a potential client or vendor. According to Dave, “it’s better to increase your value when you can afford to than when you can’t”. Act now, don’t wait until you’re desperate.


  • Identify some key players in your organisation and industry.
  • Reach out to them and introduce yourself.

6. Are you seeking guidance? Find a mentor

Human capital action 6: Find a mentor

Glean knowledge and inspiration from a mentor. Up to 80% of promotions are given to employees who are mentored by senior staff. You can also seek mentorship outside of work through a life coach. Mentorship benefits several aspects of your life, including your financial context. Dave advises that “it’s important to choose someone who has already reached the level of success to which you aspire”.


  • Spot your potential mentor, whether in your organisation or outside of it.
  • Reach out to them and request mentorship from them.

7. Do you behave like a pro? Act successful

Human capital action 7: Act professionally

“Common courtesy is a lost art,” says Dave. Being polite and professional is often enough to distinguish you from the crowd. Dress, behave and act successful, and you will think and feel successful.


  • Choose to dress and act professionally today.
  • Choose to respond with kindness, friendliness and courteousness.

8. Are you sharing your accomplishments? Self-promote your success

Human capital action 8: Self-promote your success

This may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s important to let people know of your successes, especially those that are responsible for promotions. If you don’t let your seniors know what you’ve accomplished, how are they supposed to make sound decisions about promoting you? “Most people are taught to be humble, so self-promotion doesn’t come naturally.” It is still crucial to promote your successes and accomplishments.


  • Revisit your CV and update it with your latest accomplishments.
  • Remind your manager what you’ve accomplished recently.

9. Are you resting right? Take a break

Human capital action 9: Take a break

Nowadays, the concept of ‘retirement’ isn’t as cool as it used to be. Instead, people opt to take shorter breaks (or sabbaticals) throughout their careers. By ensuring that their finances and savings are in place, they afford themselves the opportunity to take extended periods of leave. Retirement seems to be a thing of the past. Utilise your breaks to enhance your human capital. Microsoft founder and multibillionaire Bill Gates takes four solo sabbatical days a year. He reads fifty books each year, on average, because he realises the value of staying relevant and improving his knowledge.


  • Take some time off (it may not be an extended period) to do something that will benefit your human capital (sign up for a short course, read books, do research, etc.).

10. Do you have the know-how to manage your money? Become your own best money manager

Human capital action 10: Become your own best money manager

Know the characteristics that are common to those who earn a high income and how to keep your money:

  • Have a financial plan of action that you manage and implement daily.
  • Set long- and short-term money goals to stay focused.
  • Save and invest 10 % of your income.
  • Minimize purchasing liabilities by searching for the best and lowest price.
  • Keep track of what you spend your money on, even the smallest purchases.
  • See possible consequences of your financial decisions before you make them.
  • Accept the fact that you don’t know it all – seek help from a pro adviser.
  • Interact with successful money managers to absorb their characteristics and habits.
  • Stay informed on the best ways to manage your money.
  • Don’t fall for emotional purchases.
  • Don’t spend all your savings.
  • Draw up a plan and set goals to pay off debt.
  • Invest in getting professional financial advice.
  • Educate yourself about money.
  • Be careful who you take advice from.


  • Don’t get overwhelmed!
  • Start with the first point on the list – draw up a financial plan that you can implement realistically every day, and stick to it.
  • Then, once you’ve got that waxed, set yourself some financial goals for 2021.
  • Then, start with your January salary and try to save a realistic portion of it (work your way to saving 10% of your income if you can’t do it from the get-go).
  • Move on to the next step. See which tips you can apply all at once, and which you need to ease into.  

11. Is your mind right? Adopt the success mentality

Human capital action 11: Adopt a success mentality

Ask yourself what do you believe about money? Are your beliefs positive or negative? It’s time to uproot self-limiting money beliefs to uplift and set you on the path to financial freedom. Read our article about self-limiting money beliefs and how to change them. Your financial beliefs can cultivate a failure mentality, which can lead to instant gratification. This causes you to self-sabotage your potential to achieve financial freedom. The failure mentality can also cause denial. We’ve all heard or even said that ‘money isn’t everything’, but having money is a symbol of success. Get rid of denial and replace it with a success mentality.


  • To rid yourself of the failure mentality, find five things to be grateful for in your life today. Repeat them every morning when you wake up to set the tone for the day and to squash your failure mentality.
  • Recite positive money affirmations to rewire your thinking about money.

12. How do you make important decisions? Act decisively

Human capital action 12: Act decisively

Decision-making is often done unconsciously throughout the day. But, when it comes to big life decisions, it’s important to know what not to do. There are common flaws in decision-making in virtually every way that you go about it – drawing on facts in the recent past may cause you to look at the wrong data. Your intuition may guide you to manipulate the data to suit your feelings. To make better decisions, we need to employ all our intelligence centers, namely acting, thinking and feeling, at the same time. “Become a competent decision-maker and you’ll multiply the value of your human capital”, says Dave. Employers value strong decision-makers.


  • Think about what your common decision-making flaws are and counter them. If you are a gut-instinct decision-maker, challenge yourself to look at the facts. If you are data-driven, ask yourself if your heart aligns with your mind.
  • Make decisions in couples. Find trusted confidantes to be your voice of reason and to look at your choices from various angles.

13. Are you nurturing your mind? Your mind is your most powerful human capital booster

Human capital action 13: Nurture your mind

Do you consider yourself to be mindful? Mindfulness is the ultimate human capital booster. It is the ability to control how we think instead of letting our environment control our thinking. Bring your attention to the present experience, without judgment, and soak in every detail. “Our minds are the most important part of our human capital,” says Dave. Practising mindfulness will enhance your human capital drastically.


  • Take a few minutes to observe your breathing. Focusing on your breath is a way to rid yourself of worries and concerns and to just be.
  • Connect with your senses. Ask yourself what you are seeing, smelling, hearing and feeling at this moment to find peace and joy in the little day-to-day things.
  • Become present by meditating. A short ten minutes can do wonders for your positivity, energy, happiness and peace.

Apply these tips to enhance your human capital and to get out of your month-to-month cycle of survival. Don’t wait to invest in yourself and to start thriving! Start now with whatever you can muster. Let’s wind down this chaotic year by finding things to be grateful for, reciting affirmations to develop our positive mindsets, taking a few minutes to soak in our environment or taking a few deep breaths. If that’s all you can do right now, do it! Once you’ve got that down, take on another human capital booster, until it’s not just actions that you need to check off your to-do list, but a lifestyle that you cannot do without.

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