I bought my iMac in February this year, after using a crappy Samsung laptop for almost 3 years! After a lot of hard work and saving up I was able to get a machine which I knew would at least last me the next 2 or 3 years, they do last a lot longer though, we all know that.
However I weren't getting a Mac just because it looked pretty and was expensive, I wanted to use it as my main working machine because I knew once I leave college I'll be working full time from home, running UltraLinx.
I knew I needed something powerful enough to keep up with the next few years. I use Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Skype, Twitter, iTunes, Sparrow and about 10 Chrome tabs all at the same time. My old laptop would struggle with Photoshop alone.
I got the base model and upgraded to 12GB of RAM which is more than adequate and will be for the next 3 years at least. Nothing ever stalls, if I leave Photoshop for 5 or 6 hours and come back to it, it's ready right away, no having to wait for it to come out of "freeze" mode.
Now that I had all this power I felt a lot more confident in getting things done, getting them done quicker and doing multiple things at the same time.
I never actually had the plan of doing freelance work, designing websites and what not. I kind of just fell into it. My iMac made me do more things which I weren't planning to do. I thought because I had this machine, I may as well do more with it and learn more stuff. I knew that I couldn't use 8 hours of my day everyday just publishing content to UltraLinx, there isn't enough content to post. So with some of the hours I had left everyday I would learn how to do other things, whether it was trying out a new technique in Photoshop or learning how to use another tool in Dreamweaver.
My iMac essentially made me a lot more productive than I ever thought I would be.
Now I'm not telling everyone to go out and buy an iMac to be more productive, no way.
Whatever industry you're in, it might actually be very useful to refresh your equipment regularly. Buying refreshed and better equipment may enable you to do things you never thought of, and get things done quicker. Whether that be a new camera if you're a photographer or a GoPro if you're a cinematographer.
However one rule I stand by is that I only buy equipment I know I'll be able to get a return on. I bought my iMac because it's part of my business, it's what makes me money so why shouldn't I invest money into something which is of premium quality and costs £1000. I bought my iMac with the money I made from UltraLinx and I knew my iMac would make me even more money.
So next time you buy a new bit of equipment work out whether it'll make a return for you, what benefits it'll provide you and whether it'll enable you to do more.
For those wondering, yes that is Windows 8 running on my iMac via Parallels. You can check out the post on it here.