There are a lot of things that go into being a successful entrepreneur. Time management. Organizational skills. Being able to make confident decisions under pressure. Your self-improvement work never really ends. Someone once said that entrepreneurship is one of the toughest personal development programs in the world, and I don't think they were wrong.
While it seems a little obvious to work on your so-called "weaknesses", most of the time it's actually better to stay in your zone of excellence and continue to refine your life and work there. But sometimes, when we get stuck, we need to look at those challenge areas in order to break through an old pattern or habit and continue to progress. Here are a few places to look:
Making a plan and setting aside consistent time to work on improving yourself both mentally and physically is a simple place to start. It can be anything from reading self-help books or blogs, working out, meditating, or attending workshops and seminars. What helps you grow as a person will likely also help you grow as an entrepreneur. Remember: when you're a solopreneur, problems in your business often create problems in your life and vice versa. When you are consistently working on becoming a better version of yourself, it will show in your life and work.
If you want to focus on personal growth, there are a few key areas you should concentrate on. When I work with my clients to help them build annual plans, we talk about fitness in terms of what's in the container (that is, your body) and what's being contained within that container (your energy, spirit, etc.). Things like this:
– Mental Health: Make sure to take care of your mental health! Entrepreneurship can be a very stressful journey, so it is essential to find ways to relax and de-stress. What does your mind need to feel nourished, fulfilled, and challenged appropriately?
– Physical Health: Just as important as mental health is physical health! When you are physically healthy and have lots of energy, it will show in your work. What are you doing to help keep your container healthy and well so it can hold all your awesomeness for years to come?
– Emotional Intelligence: One of the most essential skills for entrepreneurs is emotional intelligence. This means being able to understand and navigate your emotions, as well as those of others. This may look like planning time away, deepening your connections with others, or letting go of some relationships in order to set, and honor your boundaries.
Another great way to better yourself as an entrepreneur is to focus on education. This doesn’t necessarily mean going back to school, although that is an option. There are plenty of other ways to continue learning and growing as a business person. You can read blogs and books on entrepreneurship, attend seminars workshops for business owners. You can do courses specifically to hone your craft, get a specialty certification (AtHomePrep is one example) or to improve your business skills. You can even turn your car into a mobile classroom by listening to business podcasts. The important thing is that you are regularly learning new things and growing your knowledge base. In business, if you're not learning, you're falling behind.
This isn't just an invitation to read or take classes. Education comes in a variety of ways:
You can educate yourself by connecting with other smart and talented people. Mastermind groups, networking or other social events, and virtual coffee dates help you expand your circle so that you're not always the smartest person in the room. Being in relationship with other entrepreneurs - especially folks who aren't in the same industry as you - helps broaden your horizons and shorten your learning curve.
Get some culture! Attending events, concerts, and even watching movies can connect new neural pathways in your brain and help you get new perspectives in your life and work. One of the most impactful books I ever read was a book I learned about because of a heavy metal music video. I'm not much of a heavy metal listener, but that video pointed me to that book, and my life was forever changed.
These are just a few ways you can better yourself as an entrepreneur. If you want to be successful in business, it is essential to focus on personal growth, education, and expanding your horizons through connecting with others. Need some support? Depending on where you're at in business, the Creative Freedom Incubator or my Star Power program may be exactly what you're looking for. Both are open for enrollment and have limited capacity. You can also dip your toe into an upcoming workshop to learn more!
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