Putting The ME Into Self DevelopMEnt

Self-development (including professional development), is key. It not only imparts fresh knowledge onto the individual, but it also makes them feel energised about their role.

However, self-employed people, and small business owners, are often not great at self-development for a whole host of reasons. Here are some reasons I’ve captured from friends, colleagues and peers, who are either self-employed, or small business owners:

  1. Not enough time - By the time the day-to-day work has been delivered, the next piece of work has been chased (business development), the business admin had been completed, and the dinner has been cooked, there is “literally no time left” for self-development, so it drops off the bottom of the list, and doesn’t happen. 
  2. Money - When you have to pay for something yourself (rather than it being a company ‘perk’), it can be easy to miss the true value. Attending a course means time away from the office, which can often mean a loss of earnings. “Loss” of money, as well as the cost of the course, can feel like a ‘double-whammy’.
  3. “I don’t need it” - Successful entrepreneurs can be guilty of believing they don’t have any knowledge or self-development gaps. They “know it all”, or certainly “know enough” because they’re already succeeding in some way.

Confession time.... I am one of those entrepreneurs who has been terrible at self-development in the past. I have been guilty of not focusing on myself, and not taking time or making the investment in me. In fact, a colleague once said to me; “You’re a professional pleaser”. Pardon the pun, but I was really pleased! He then explained it wasn’t a compliment! He went on to say I should think about myself more. 

So I have! So much so, that I am writing this blog from a self-development course in Portugal! Look at these amazing pictures of the local area; it’s not only beautiful, but very inspiring too:

Bringing it back to topic (and away from my lovely pictures!), I thought it’d be useful to share some of the benefits of self-development, and some of the reasons why I chose to (finally!) invest in myself... 

  • Self-awareness  - You get to know who you are; your values, your beliefs and your purpose.
  • Sense of direction - Enables you to understand what you want in life, and moreover, prioritise what brings you the most value.
  • Motivation - Motivation is energising and an energised person is more effective in their role. 
  • Resilience - There are often tough times in business. Self-development gives you the confidence and resilience to manage these challenges.
  • Self-worth - The ability to remove that nagging feeling that you’re not good enough. Self-development makes you realise you are. 

And on that note, I’d best dash back to my course as I’m busy putting the ‘ME’ into self-developMEnt....

I’ll report back in a later blog about what I’ve learned....