“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
When I decided to start my own business I was fired up and ready to go! I bought all the books my mentor (and other people) recommended and signed up for numerous online programs and packages.
Then I drowned in an ocean of self-help modules and leadership resources! I felt overwhelmed and scared because I had so much stuff to learn. I had no plan so the learning tools gathered dust on a shelf as I got busy doing coaching and trying to be successful!
My personal development stopped. I’d get stuck with some of the basic business challenges because I wasn’t growing. Others around me seemed to be growing faster and getting more success, this hurt!
Here’s what I realized…
Buying learning won’t help you to learn – You have to READ and APPLY the tools consistently! This is where most of us fall down.
I was trying to grow my business without growing myself.
This also applies if you work in the corporate world. You get promoted and take on a leadership role and there’s a whole new set of responsibilities placed on you!
Whether you work in corporate or for yourself, one of the minimum requirements of being successful is your ability to grow. The “Future belongs to learning.” Active continuous personal development separates the successful from the mediocre… and the gap between the two is wide!
Here’s my personal development success formula…
You have to INVEST in yourself on three levels:
Invest money (I was good at buying the books, mentors and resources!)
Invest time – (I didn’t invest the time because I was too busy doing!)
Invest attitude – (I invested in a growth mindset and take my personal development very seriously)
All three need to be present…
I know individuals who have ignored these and it has destroyed their careers by developing fixed mindset and relying purely on status, ego and past experience to solve future problems. Learning is seen as a weakness by these people!
If you stop learning, you stop leading. You stagnate and you will fail.
Successful people invest time, money and attitude in their own personal development and it pays off. They take learning seriously because they recognize its real value.
Here’s how to grow your own success from the inside-out:
1. Start from where you are now – You may have loads of resources backed up. Just choose ONE! Commit to working through that one resource, then move onto the next. Begin today.
2. Read for an hour a day – Wake up an hour earlier each day and read each morning first thing. If you do this 5 days a week – that’s five hours of reading! Just think how many books you could read in a year and the advantage you would have over your peers! Make notes and apply one thing you’ve read during the day (Start with 30 minutes and build up. Turn the TV off and read for an hour each night if you ‘don’t do’ mornings!).
3. Listen to audio books on the move – I listen to learning while I’m working out at the gym! I find the gym boring! Now I learn as I workout and time flies by. I make a few notes back in the changing room! You can also listen as you drive, fly or take the train!
4. Have an ATTITUDE for learning – Is your passion and commitment for what you do greater than any inconvenience in timing or traveling? I travel thousands of miles for my own personal development it’s not always convenient – I look beyond discomfort because I’m passionate about being the best I possibly can be. Get out from behind the convenience of your computer and look beyond the discomfort of traveling! Take your personal development seriously – Mean it! Activity seek out specific events and trainings that will help you grow. Group learning can expand your mindset and your skillset. Go to the source of the expertise and learn from the best if you want to be the best!
5. Plan your personal development time – Schedule dates and times for each week and show up! Look for opportunities to learn – Carry a book or IPad with you! Read while you wait for appointments (Instead of wasting time on Facebook!).
6. Apply what you learn – Reading is only a small part of the process. Growing involves USING what you’ve learned and is critical for success. I know hundreds of managers who have read: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, but only about 15% have actually applied any of the content to their life.
7. Work with a mentor – If you want to run a million pound business, then you want to learn from someone who has first hand experience and can provide wisdom, intuition and support. Working one on one will help you to: stay focused, be accountable, keep your commitment and create the discipline and persistence to make things happen. A coach or a mentor can help you to maximise your potential and be the best in your career or business.