We often focus on growing our businesses without considering our own personal development. Today we want to show you the importance of investing in yourself and most importantly how you can do that effectively this coming year. So forget subscribing to that new podcast and enrolling in a lot of new webinars just yet and instead take some time to really think about where and how you need to invest.
Why investing in yourself is important
1. You are your biggest ROI opportunity
Put simply as you grow, your business grows.
Let’s think about that for a moment. On a daily basis, your business is driven by everything that you do and everything that you touch. So whether you are a one-man-band or manage a team of people, your impact as the business owner is huge.
In the business world, they are starting to talk more about how personal return on investment (or PROI) has a monetary value. It certainly does. As you develop your skills you can command more money for them. That is not just a consideration of employment, in terms of profitability, productivity and customer service, but also a consideration worth taking as a business owner.
So ask yourself, what are your strongest skills and what are your weakest skills in business? Then also ask yourself what makes you happy in business and what doesn’t? What makes you happy in life and what doesn’t?
These are hugely important questions to answer if you want to align your business with your purpose.
2. You lead and shape your business
You hold the key to helping your business grow in the right way. Investing in yourself and your personal development is also a business investment.
Stephen, our MD openly talks about his health journey over the last year and the huge difference this has made to his happiness and confidence. This has translated into the business; he is more creative and focused, the team are stronger than ever, clients are continuing to get more value through our services and Stephen is now in a more confident position to host live sessions on our Facebook page once a month, reaching more business owners and making more impact.
If you could put yourself in a better position this year, just think about what that could translate into for yourself and for your business!
3. You rediscover and work in your zone of genius
On average here in the UK, we work 40 hours a week. Now as a fellow business owner you will know that typically and especially at the early stages of your business you tend to work many more hours than this. Why? Because you are passionate about getting started, getting your product or service out there and making an impact.
As the years roll by you may lessen those hours, particularly if you hire staff. What can also sometimes happen with the passage of time is that that original passion can transition into a dull routine, “Oh no, it’s Monday again” we say. What if you could reignite that original flame? What would that do for you and your business?
Finding and refocusing your ‘zone of genius’ helps you realign with your purpose as a business and business owner, making Monday workdays a much happier affair.There are four things to consider in finding what works for you. These are;
- Your zone of incompetence - the things you aren’t great at, or you don’t want to pay that much attention to. These could also be the areas of your business that don’t bring in as much money.
- Your zone of competence - the opposite of incompetence, these are the things you like to do, are good at and bring your business profitability and sales.
- Your zone of excellence - these are the areas you really excel at. You may not love every aspect of it, but you are damned good at it.
- Your zone of genius - these are the elements of your business and your life that ignite a passion. A fire so bright that you’d love to do more of it!
Take some time to sit down with a pen and paper and draw out each zone. Fill these areas with your daily tasks and needs. In order to do more of what you love you may need to hire out some of the things you either don’t like or aren’t great at doing. You may find that some things that fall into the competence zone could be improved. Or you may find that you don’t have much currently sitting in your excellence zone that really inspires you and so it is time to refocus.
Businesses have a natural evolution, sometimes a refocus, or even a new direction is something you need. It is ok to acknowledge that. It is ok to invest in that.
4. You start to employ based on the skills you actually need
Once you are able to acknowledge which areas you need work on and which areas you’d prefer not to work in, you are much more clear about where you need to hire help.
Employing your first team member, or your tenth team member is all about trust. Trust in their ability to deliver what you cannot. If you can hire based on the clarity of what skills you actually need, you are much more likely to hire well.
5. You can also develop and strengthen your existing team
If you have more clarity in your own leadership progression and where your personal development needs work, you can strengthen your team in exactly the same way. Ask yourself what do you need more of from your team? Do they need the training to produce better results in this area, or do you need to hire someone to compliment their strengths and eliminate their weaknesses?
You can also help them to look at their personal development beyond their job, which in turn may help them produce better results for the business because they are happier, healthier and richer in knowledge. Remember PROI? It is clear that investing in yourself and your business is key to not just your own rewards as a business owner, but to the betterment of your business through who you hire and how you operate.
Personal development = Better business investment.
How to really invest in yourself
It is easy to talk about why you need to invest in yourself, but how do you achieve that?
Step one is working out your why, your purpose. Step two is realising the gap between where you are now and where you wish to be. After that, it is about self-development to make those changes effectively.
Here are some quick ideas on how you can achieve that.
- Networking - talking with your peers is a great way to stay motivated and inspired
- Books, podcasts, workshops, courses (Stephen mentions some of his favourite development books in the video)
- Mentorship - find someone who has already made it and seek their advice
- Coaching - someone to help you develop through the stages of your business growth
Taking time to grow as a business owner is crucial if you want to succeed. You don't need to take all of these investment steps simultaneously, instead start with one. Make sure you are clear about what growth you are looking for, pick the right course of action and in no time you'll start seeing a real difference in how you approach that aspect of your business. More than that you’ll start seeing results!