Personal Development: A professional success guide.
As an entrepreneur, you're constantly striving to improve yourself and your business. But have you ever considered the intersection of personal and professional development?
In this article, we'll explore how personal growth and professional success are intertwined and provide insights for entrepreneurs looking to grow in both areas.
Personal Growth and Professional Success: The Connection
Personal growth and professional success are not mutually exclusive. They are deeply interconnected. The better you are, the more successful you'll be in every venture.
Here are a few ways in which personal growth can lead to professional success.
Understanding your strengths, weaknesses, and values is crucial for success in any field. By developing self-awareness, you can identify areas for improvement and capitalize on your strengths.
Active self-awareness or taking action works like this, "I arrange my projects by their current worth and take time accurately estimate their future worth."
Passive self-awareness, on the other hand, is understanding yourself, "I overestimate the project's future worth to the company and operate with that over-estimated worth as fuel."
One tool that can be used to develop self-awareness is the Johari window. The Johari window is a model that helps individuals better understand their thoughts and behaviors by dividing them into four categories: open, hidden, blind, and unknown.
By identifying and sharing information about themselves in these four categories, individuals can increase their self-awareness and improve their communication with others.
Another technique for developing self-awareness is reflective journaling. This involves regularly writing down one's thoughts and feelings, and reflecting on them to gain insights into one's patterns of behavior and thought.
One example of a successful entrepreneur who has developed strong self-awareness is Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates. Dalio has attributed much of his success to his willingness to be transparent about his weaknesses and to seek out honest feedback from others.
Entrepreneurship is a rollercoaster ride, with many ups and downs. Developing resilience can help you weather the storms and bounce back from setbacks.
I tend to compensate for hard times in business by steeping myself in the deep meaning of my work and the impact it has on my family.
But what base level of discomfort should you be ok with? That's a good way to look at resilience.
Starting in business, if my discomfort got to be a level 3, I would rethink my entire life instead of focusing on the issue.
There will be issues in business and finding the balancing point where you correctly see the severity of problems, and take the appropriate actions without getting thrown off course can take a lifetime to learn.
Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX and Tesla, has faced many challenges in his career, including multiple failed rocket launches and production delays with his electric vehicles. However, he has remained resilient and focused on his goals, ultimately achieving great success.
Personal growth can help you tap into your creativity and come up with innovative solutions to business challenges.
Creativity helps to organize and optimize your mind. One technique for improving creativity is brainstorming.
This involves generating as many ideas as possible, without judging them or filtering them in any way. By generating a large number of ideas, individuals can increase their chances of coming up with truly innovative solutions.
I write to understand my thoughts. Individual thoughts don't have to make sense, but when you're presenting an idea, thoughts have to be ordered into a hierarchy and the entire story has to make sense.
This helps me sort out what matters and what doesn't.
Try to find something that you enjoy and find helpful. Not another work project, but something that you could sink your teeth in and come out better for it.
Effective communication is key to success in any field. By developing your communication skills, you can build stronger relationships with clients, employees, and partners.
Currently, I'm reading The 48 Laws of Power: by Robert Greene. Law 9 struck me: Win Through Your Actions, Never Through Argument.
When dealing with clients I wanted to convince them of the plan before I moved forward. Sometimes I would argue the benefits of the plan and why they were wrong for not seeing that it was the right move.
To be clear I'm not going to advocate for taking over my clients' businesses.
But why win with an argument? Isn't it better to give them a positive action, rather than forcing their hand, even if I'm right?
Conversations with customers can span many months and situations. Focus on the overall goal, of winning business for both of you.
An excellent technique for improving communication skills is to practice active listening. Active listening involves fully focusing on what the other person is saying, without interrupting or forming judgments. This can help individuals better understand the perspectives of others and communicate more effectively.
Former COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, is a successful entrepreneur who has developed strong creativity and communication skills. Sandberg is known for her innovative ideas and her ability to communicate effectively with both her team members and external stakeholders. She has attributed much of her success to her willingness to take risks and her ability to listen actively to others.
Personal growth can help you become a better leader by developing your emotional intelligence, empathy, and decision-making skills.
What if you're not leading anyone?
I changed how I see positive leadership recently. I ask, what effect do I have on the people around me? Before I asked, will people follow me?
It doesn't matter if people will follow me if I can't produce good effects in their lives. People don't follow because of how good of a person you are. It's what you can manifest in their lives.
I can lead customers by increasing their business. I can lead partners by providing what their life is missing.
Insights for Entrepreneurs
Now that we've established the connection between personal growth and professional success, let's explore some insights for entrepreneurs looking to grow in both areas.
Setting goals is crucial for personal and professional growth. Identify what you want to achieve in both areas and create a plan to reach that goal.
I recently completed Jordan B. Peterson's future authoring program. It is a writing exercise that helps you envision your ideal life. Then helps break down the goals needed to attain that ideal life.
A big takeaway was how important it is to understand how you will measure success. You need to see yourself moving forward to feel accomplished. Before I thought I needed to attain my goals, and then I could be proud of myself.
Failure is a natural part of the entrepreneurial journey. Embrace it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
I failed in my first professional job failed. What held me back from moving forward was seeing myself as a failure.
Failure can have a purpose if you let it. If you fear failure you will create limitations based on your past failures.
It's like being stuck early in the game and each new thing you try goes up to a point and stops.
Learn to live on the edge and learn from failure.
Feedback is essential for growth. Seek feedback from mentors, peers, and customers to identify areas for improvement.
A good way to ask for feedback is, "I was hoping to accomplish this, how did I do?"
People are afraid to give feedback, they don't want to hurt you or lie and push you down a road you shouldn't go. Simplify the process by asking people "Did I hit the goal well?"
After that, you can ask, for any feedback on ways to do it better or more efficiently. Don't trust everyone with the privilege to give feedback on your work. If it means something you should protect it.
Offer helpful feedback, guide people scared to ask for feedback, and protect each other's projects and minds.
Invest in Yourself
Personal growth requires investment. Attend conferences, take courses, and read books to expand your knowledge and skills.
I used to not like reading, but Fyodor Dostoevsky changed that for me. Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov are my favorites. Since then I give books a chance because they might be my new favorites.
If you're an introvert like me, conferences and marketing events don't take priority. The best advice I can give, find an extrovert that is interested in the same things and let them pump you up.
It's really fun going to events with close friends.
Entrepreneurship can be stressful and demanding. Take care of yourself by getting enough sleep, exercise, and downtime.
Flexibility is my new self-care obsession, along with taking care of the 50 chickens we got a few months back. Eating well and seeing progress in all parts of life gives fuel to me for the business.
Find a hobby that gives your passion a little downtime and quick wins.
Personal growth and professional success are deeply interconnected. By focusing on both areas, entrepreneurs can achieve greater success and fulfillment. Remember to set goals, embrace failure, seek feedback, invest in yourself, and practice self-care. With these insights, you can take your personal and professional development to the next level.