In this article, Anita Campbell highlights the importance of Personal Development for Entrepreneurs. She provides three methods to make sure that Personal Development is a focal point for the Entrepreneur.
The Entrepreneur’s Need for Personal Development
Entrepreneurs come in all varieties. Some have years of formal education, while some didn’t finish high school. Some have formal training in their chosen field, and others just have a natural talent, knack, or passion for the field they pursue. But what all entrepreneurs have in common is the need for entrepreneur personal development.
Running a business requires more than just the knowledge of how to run the business. This is especially true if and when you take on employees. For example, if you’ve never managed people before, a management course can be very helpful. But running a business also takes up a lot of your time, so how can you possibly find the time for any sort of personal development? You won’t find it. You have to make it. Here are a few tips on how.
Put Personal Development on Your Calendar
You schedule meetings, client calls, and other appointments that take up your day. If you think you’ll be able to fit in some personal development reading, or a quick listen to a development CD, you’re kidding yourself. Having a calendar is part of what helps keep you on track, and keeps the business running smoothly. Block off an hour, maybe once a week, for personal development. Then turn off your phone, sign out of your instant messaging program, and stick to your appointment with yourself.
Use the Weekend for Your Personal Development
This probably isn’t what you want to hear. You spend all week in the office, and you look forward to the weekend for some down time, just like everyone else. But let’s be honest. If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’re probably doing at least a little work over the weekend. Block off that hour on a Saturday or Sunday, or really go all out and find a personal development course you can attend on a weekend. You’ll get back to work on Monday armed with new knowledge and some fresh perspectives.
Make Personal Development Something Fun
Entrepreneur personal development doesn’t have to be confined to business-related skills. You spend a lot of time on your business. You also need some down time or you’re going to burn out, and then you won’t be doing anyone any good, least of all your business. Put aside the work and the business books for a few hours, and take a class related to something you enjoy, whether it’s painting, pottery, writing (not business writing!), or even yoga. It could also be something as simple as reading a novel, or doing a crossword puzzle. It’s usually pretty easy to make time for something you enjoy. Just don’t let yourself feel guilty about it. Feeding your mind and spirit will help keep you going when you run into some sort of business crisis that will require all your time and energy. If you don’t work at keeping yourself happy, you’ll start to wonder what it’s all for, and it’s a downhill spiral from there.
Above all, remember all the reasons why you started the business in the first place. Was it to gain freedom? Because you saw an opportunity no one else did? To contribute to your community or the world at large? Remind yourself of that focus from time to time, and let it guide you in how you build your business, and yourself.
Anita Campbell is the Founder of the Small Business Trends website and CEO of Bizsugar, an online community of small business owners. You can connect with Anita through BizSugar on Facebook or BizSugar on Twitter.