Life is all about growth, they say. It’s all about moving from who we were yesterday towards who we can be tomorrow. If we’ve got the right perspective and orientation, we should be able to continually advance and improve throughout life, learning more, becoming better at what we do, and becoming more content and self-assured in who we are.
While this is basically a mantra for personal development, it applies in exactly the same way to our careers. To be successful in business, and to build on that success into the future, we need to have internalise the right ideas and approaches so that we never hold ourselves back from reaching for that next prize.
When it comes to professional self development, and personal growth and development, the two are more intertwined than you might at first think. Especially if you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur, there will be a direct correlation between your growth as an individual and your growth as a business person.
Here are some tips for beginning — or restarting — the process of evaluating your life, overcoming your limitations, and making steady progress in these two interrelated spheres of your life.
Continually seek out new opportunities for education
Seeking out continuous education is essential for growth in all areas of life. While this pursuit of education can take the form of reaching out to college consultants and pursuing a university qualification, it can also take the form of attending industry conferences, and reading books that have the ability to broaden your perspective and understanding of various different subjects.
Business is a dynamic thing — those who are always on the ball, looking for opportunities to innovate, and acquiring new forms of knowledge that can be applied practically, thrive. Those who content themselves with what they already know are bound to get left behind sooner or later.
Identify a few areas where you would benefit from deepening your understanding, professionally, and personally. Consider starting with online courses and tutorials.
Work on gradually expanding your comfort zone
People typically have a tendency to stick with the familiar, safe, and comfortable. Introverts are perhaps more inclined than others to remain in familiar territory and shy away from the chaos that lurks outside of the known and understood areas of their lives.
The thing is, growth, in life and business, are to a large degree connected with expanding your comfort zone and venturing out into the unknown.
While trying to take on too much, too fast, is often a recipe for trouble, continually making small steps into new territory is an excellent practice. Perhaps begin by booking your attendance at that trade fair you’ve been considering.
Identify ways of freeing up time and streamlining your systems
For an entrepreneur or career-minded individual, time and attention are precious commodities and must be invested just as carefully as money, to ensure continued growth.
In many small businesses, the amount of admin work can become overwhelming. Sometimes, you might find that you end up doing very little in a day besides managing your email inbox.
Be on the lookout for ways of streamlining these processes, so that you can free up more of your time to focus on the big picture stuff. Business-focused apps and virtual assistants can be invaluable here.