Many people like the idea of setting up a home business and selling their services online. However, before you even think about founding an enterprise, you need to put yourself in the right place emotionally, professionally and psychologically. That’s why personal development is so critical. It sets you up for both personal and business success.
You can think of personal development as a way of investing in yourself. In a sense, it’s a bit like formal education, but it tends to be more valuable and wide-ranging. It’s less about learning about the world, and more about learning about yourself (and trying to improve who you are).
There’s no timescale for personal development. Some people make tremendous progress in a matter of days while, for others, it can take years.
However, the vast majority of people discover that personal development is a powerful tool. It’s something that totally changes who they are and what they are capable of doing.
So why is personal development so important, and why do so many people considering setting up home businesses embark on it?
It improves your effectiveness
Do you sometimes go through your days knowing that you’re not being effective? It can be a disheartening experience. You’re certainly putting in the required effort, but you’re not getting the results that you want.
Often, the problem isn’t the work itself, but your ability to act decisively and with purpose. You get distracted, flustered and confused.
Personal development helps to push back against these tendencies. It shows you that you can overcome virtually any challenge people present you with, and thrive in the process. It also shows you how to cut down on distractions and set clear priorities. After training, you feel more confident that you can get things done, and you execute more effectively. You’re also better at seeing the big picture and what you need to do next.
It gives you a sense of purpose
Most people don’t know what they want out of life. They float from situation to situation with a gnawing sense in the back of their minds that they should be doing something else with their time.
Personal development helps to get rid of this annoying voice by providing direction. Because you get to know yourself better, you also find out more about what you want. Things become clearer in your mind and you discover that you’re less prone to following the crowd and simply doing what others do.
When you work on yourself, decision-making becomes easier. You’re able to choose options that contribute to your overall life plan, instead of just going through the motions.
It shows you how to spend your time
The Pareto 80/20 principle applies in all areas of life, including setting up a business. For instance, you’ll:
Get 80 percent of your business from 20 percent of your clients
Spend 80 percent of your time dealing with 20 percent of problems
Lose 80 percent of your energy on 20 percent of your projects
Pareto was a smart guy. He saw that there were all sorts of life situations in which his principles worked.
The trick, he believed, was to shift the focus. His recommendation was to avoid perfection and simply go with the easy 80 percent, and not the hard 20 percent.
This is something that you learn when you practice self-development. You discover that trying to achieve perfection simply isn’t worth it. You’re better off aiming for “good enough” and then moving on.
It gives you grit
Setting up your own home business requires grit. You need a certain level of personal fortitude to pull it off. It’s not an easy thing to do.
On one level, you have to be totally self-motivated. You can’t rely on anyone else getting you out of bed in the morning and telling you what to do. You have to do it under your own steam.
On another level, you have to face the challenges that come when you work on your own. When there isn’t an employer to protect you from customers, clients and the government, you have to deal with them yourself. It’s not always easy.
Lack of grit and determination is actually a major issue in today’s job market, something that the Corporate Coach Group knows all too well. There’s currently an epidemic of burnout and stressed employees who simply can’t cope with the demands of the modern economy.
Grit is the antidote to that. It’s the ability to withstand the constant barrage of problems and negativity, and emerge on the other side victorious.
There are two levels of grit: the easy and the hard. The hard is what most people think of when they first hear words like “determination” and “thick-skinned” and “perseverance.” It’s all about sticking it out, no matter how hard it gets.
The second level of grit is the easy version. This is where you appear to have incredible endurance to people on the outside, but you actually find the whole process rather easy. You’re able to persevere because there aren’t negative emotions dragging you down, despite what might actually be going on in your business.
Personal development tends to focus on both types, but more the second. Being “gritty” is more about finding ways to avoid negative emotions, rather than working through them. It’s not about repression, just letting go.
It improves your confidence
Confident people start businesses. They go into them with a good feeling about the outcome, believing that it will ultimately work, even if they need to make a couple of course changes along the way.
Unfortunately, not all of us start from this position. In many cases, we doubt our own ability to succeed. We’d like to think that we have what it takes to start a home business but, somehow, under the surface, it doesn’t quite ring true.
Again, personal development can help change this. It develops your skills to the point where you feel dramatically more confident. You then get a sense that you really can make progress in your business and start selling to customers.
It makes you feel empowered
The more you understand yourself, the more empowered you feel. Once you have a handle on your strengths and weaknesses, you feel better able to proceed.
For instance, if you're starting a home business, it can be tempting to try to do everything yourself. However, if you know that you’re not particularly good at something – say marketing – then you’re much more likely to outsource this task to someone else.
Elon Musk is perhaps the greatest entrepreneur of all time. His achievements will go down in history. But even he admits that he’s not much of a businessman. He’s more interested in the engineering side of things, so he gets other people to run his firms.
The more you get to know yourself, the better decisions you’ll make. Over time, you’ll learn what you can and can’t do, making it easier to ask for help when you need it. Consider investing in tools to help streamline decision making and outline business goals.
It shows you what your life could be
Lastly, personal development shows you what your life could be like if you reached your full potential. It gives you a picture of what you could achieve.
Many people live in unconscious narratives describing what their life is like. They believe that they’re “poor,” “middle class” or a “young professional.”
While these narratives might seem innocuous enough, they have a profound impact on a person’s life outcomes. Someone who sees themselves as poor will probably stay that way.
Personal development smashes these personal biases and allows you to develop to your full potential.
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