Making Personal Development Part of your Business.
As you may be aware, I’m a small business coach. My years of experience have taught me that winning at anything, including being an entrepreneur, is an internal game. It takes a certain kind of growth mindset to achieve real, long-term success in business and in life.
It’s no secret that a lot of businesses have taken a hit this year. No matter your industry, I’m prepared to bet that it’s been tougher than usual. Despite the challenges, they’re no reason to let your goals and passions slide. In fact, now is perhaps the best time to get to work on your business and on yourself with the extra hours we have at home.
Now, I’m definitely one for ‘work smarter, not harder’ approach, and I’ve compiled this simple yet super effective guide to help you attain a business winner’s mindset. These industry-savvy tips and tricks focus on what may well become your greatest tool in business: your personal development.
A winner’s mindset is developed when you invest in your own personal development, and it’s this mindset that catapults an average business into a truly successful one. In this blog, I’m going to reveal how to create your own personal development plan to maximise your long-term success in business and in life!
What is a personal development plan?
Great question! A personal development plan is a framework used to focus on the internal growth you’d like to achieve. We’re not talking about goals like ‘go travelling’ or ‘meet someone new’ (both of which seem rather unattainable at the moment, anyway!). Your personal development plan should focus on generating conscious awareness of the changes you want to make in how you are, how you think, and your behaviours. For example, a finance-related goal might focus on changing your impulsiveness with unnecessary spending.
Why do you need a personal development plan?
If you’re limping towards the end of each year, desperately waiting for a moment to take a break, that’s a sure signal that something needs to change! You’re possibly feeling the tinge of burn out, getting frustrated with stakeholders or poorly performing team members – or worse, you’re starting to lose your passion for your business.
Whenever I see this happening in my clients, it’s a big, blaring red light signalling that something is wrong. You might not even be aware of the problem, but it’s crucial not to allow it to take hold. So allow me to offer a piece of advice, or perhaps a friendly warning: your business CANNOT outgrow YOU.
If you’re feeling this kind of burnout, a personal development plan is your new best friend. It will help you to consider constructive mindset changes and provide you with the roadmap on how to effectively implement them. It will, in short, ensure that your business doesn’t outgrow you.
Don’t do it by osmosis – plan your personal development.
Running a business is a personal development journey on its own. However, how much time and energy have you invested specifically in personal development as a conscious activity?
The problem with the osmosis approach is that you become a mere reflection of where the tide takes you. You become a by-product of your moving environment, and not so much forging ahead to attack the things going on in your mindset that are really holding you back. With focused attention, your development is quicker and more effective and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can achieve your outcomes.
How to create a personal development plan.
Now we know how beneficial personal development plans are for your success in business and life, it’s time to actually create one. There are a few steps to develop your plan and to maintain that winner’s mindset:
1. Start with a growth mindset
A growth mindset is like a stepping stone to the ultimate winner’s mindset (a lot of mindset talk here, I know, but bear with me). It’s the realisation that in order for your business situation to change, YOU need to change. Let go of arrogance and ego. We don’t have the time or space for that pesky devil-on-the-shoulder. Take 100% responsibility for where you are at right now, so that you’re 100% empowered to make a change.
2. Determine the purpose of your plan
A perfectly mapped out plan is all well and good, but what’s the actual purpose of yours? Why are you spending time creating it and then committing time to implement it? Think about your life and your business 12 months ago…what aspects of growth in your personal development have you most benefitted from?
Now think about the next 12 months and the possibilities that can arise from continued and improved personal development. Thinking about this will help you be clear of the purpose of your plan.
3. Analysis (not paralysis)
Undertake a good ol’ personal SWOT analysis (your internal Strengths and Weaknesses, or areas for development, and external Opportunities and Threats).
For the most part, we want to consider your areas for development. Look at past opportunities you could have taken advantage of if you’d focused more on your personal development. Consider future opportunities that you can take once you’ve implemented your personal development plan. Look at threats that are currently impacting you and are likely to cause challenges in an already challenging year if you don’t grow to overcome them. Sure, think of your strengths, too (positive reinforcement is always helpful), but consider these strengths through the lens of how you can leverage them to improve your growth.
4. Your being
In order to incorporate your shiny new personal development plan, to instigate change and to ultimately grow your business, you’ll need to consider how you need to be. How will you think, feel and act to effectively generate the changes you’ve planned? Hint: by simply spending time thinking about how you want to think, feel and act… this will improve your mindset and contribute your personal growth!
Improving your “being” can sound a bit esoterical, so try this: picture yourself in 12 months time. Who have you become? What qualities do you have? What changes have you fostered? How have you adapted to potential challenges, and how have you maintained that growth mindset?
5. Set your goals
Time to set some goals! This is the fun part, the part that you get to be creative and reflective and active in the future of your business. Grab and pen and paper (or open your laptop) and write down the following:
- What do I want to learn or change about my mindset and the way I conduct myself as a human and leader?
- What beliefs, values and being do I need to bring to this plan in order to embrace the change?
- What do I have to confront internally in order to achieve that?
- What support and resources do I need to help?
- How will I measure success?
- What’s my target date to start?
- What’s my first step?
- When is the date for an internal review?
Add your own points if you like, and keep brainstorming until you’re happy with what you’ve got.
6. Review progress
Set aside some time on a regular basis to pause and review your progress. This could be done at traditional business periods, like quarterly or monthly. Ask yourself:
- What’s working well?
- What’s not working so well?
- What am I going to do in the next period to produce better outcomes?
- How can I continue in those areas that are successful so far?
Plan is done! So, what now?
At the risk of repeating myself, your business cannot outgrow you. The benefits of consciously working on your personal development gives you a greater opportunity to withstand the inevitable challenges and uncertainties of running a business. Focusing on your personal growth means you’ll be in the best position to deal with the various leadership, mindset, financial and personal issues that are part of the contrast of life.
Now is the time to take action on this. Try drafting up your own personal development plan, and see where it takes you. Or if, like me, you prefer working collaboratively with someone to support your mindset growth, book a chat with me here.
I can’t wait to see what the rest of this year brings for you and your businesses – and remember, it’s never too late to work on yourself!