Given that 2/3 of all new businesses fail within the first 10 years, in order to stay ahead of your competitors, you need an edge. Sometimes that edge comes from looking within and focusing on personal development. If you take the time to work on your relationship to your business and the business community from a personal perspective, you can add value to the world around you.
Here are five of the biggest benefits you’ll see from focusing on personal development.
1. Listening Is Essential
We hear lots of talk, sounds, and ideas on a moment to moment basis. We’re constantly being bombarded with pitches and thoughts that range from terrible to groundbreaking. It’s hard to tell the difference if we’re only hearing and never really listening.
When you listen, you can respond more accurately based on what the person you’re listening to wants. Listening can scale from the person who is sitting across from you all the way up to hearing from your entire market.
Listening requires a lot of personal development. You have to have a strong understanding of when your opinion matters and when it doesn’t. It’s hard to detach your own ego from a conversation and focus on the wants and needs of others but it’s an essential feature.
Listening will allow you to understand what the other members of your team want. Listening can help you appease your investors, executives, employees, and customers alike. Listening will lead you to a stronger understanding of who you are and what you can achieve.
If there’s nothing but noise inside your head, you need to quiet it down to make space for listening.
2. Time Costs Money
Time management is one of the biggest hurdles for any entrepreneur. Since you’re often tasked with overlapping jobs, from marketing to CEO to project manager, it can be hard to manage your time. Some entrepreneurs even feel guilty when they’re not working during their downtime.
However, part of personal growth and development is knowing when to devote time to yourself and to your family.
Without taking time off for yourself, you’ll be spending more time working inefficiently. When you’re tired, overwhelmed, or lacking perspective on what really matters to you, you can’t make smart decisions. And if you’re thinking about work when you’re with your family, you’re not really relaxing and focusing on yourself.
You need to have a defined balance between your life as an entrepreneur and your life as a member of your community and family. Taking a weekend off for a personal development seminar can be the perfect escape to recalibrate your life.
3. Health is Wealth
While taking time off for your family is good for your mental health, you need to think about your physical health as well. A great business person needs to be in sound physical shape in order to be able to be ready for the hard work of running a startup.
While you don’t need to be an athlete, if you don’t take the time to eat right and get some fresh air, you won’t be prepared to be a winner at the office.
When you’re in good shape and eating well, you’re not going to be as susceptible to getting sick.
Spend more time working more efficiently when you’re healthy rather than trying to complete important emails with a head cold. Being healthy will make it easier for you to be as clearheaded as you need to be when you’re talking to important clients.
The healthier you make yourself, the easier it will be to compete in the global market.
4. Giving Back Looks Good On You
Personal development doesn’t always mean working on yourself. It means putting yourself in the context of the world around you.
When you use a percentage of your time to give back to your community, people will build a connection with you beyond the transactional. You shouldn’t give to the people in your community who need it the most to get something back from them. You should do it because you understand the interconnectedness of your startup and the society you live in.
Giving back can take on lots of forms.
You could donate a percentage of your profits every month to the charity of your choosing. You could donate that portion of your profits to the charity of your customers’ choosing too.
Hosting a fundraising event at your office or during a trade show is the great way to spread the word about who you support and that you’re trying to do good. When you give back, you help contribute to your community and you can make a lasting impact on people who rely on your startup.
5. New Entrepreneurs Need Mentors
One of the biggest benefits of personal development is the example that you can set for others. Every entrepreneur needs guidance at some point.
If you’ve started a successful business, you know that that success isn’t necessarily permanent. Every industry deals with growth and changes and you need to keep an ear open to what’s happening to stay ahead of competitors.
However, every new business doesn’t have to be competition for you. New businesses in your industry can get guidance from you, take up work you don’t have time for, and have their own place complementing the work you’ve done.
If you’ve managed to reach a comfortable level of personal development, share your thoughts with other entrepreneurs. You could inspire other people to be like you and you never know what you could end up learning from them.
Personal Development Takes Focus and Humility
One of the hardest aspects of personal development is figuring out where your limitations are. If you don’t have a strong understanding of your own limits, it can be hard to know where you need to grow and which parts of your business acumen are strong. Stay focused, stay humble, and keep yourself open to always be learning.
If doing good in the world is essential to your business, check out our list of businesses doing just that.