The Secret of Self-Investment

“Success is about who you become. The big challenge is to become all that you have the possibility of becoming. You cannot believe what it does to the human spirit to maximize your human potential and stretch yourself to the limit.” -Jim Rohn

As a solo-entrepreneur you’re either starting a new business or intending to grow your existing business. Aside from getting the most obvious systems in place – technology, business and marketing plans, defining your product or services, and finances, what else is needed to be successful?

Self-Investment!

Companies have been bringing in corporate trainers for years. It’s good business to invest in programs that teach employees how to be better leaders, manage conflict, improve communication, increase sales effectiveness, become more confident, etc. Using a myriad of tools including personality and behavioral assessments, skill building techniques, and self-reflective exercises, many training programs empower people to develop both professionally and personally. Smart, right? Of course, the integration and sustainability of the information is dependent upon how much a person values self-development!

Having cutting edge technology, innovation, great products and services is not enough to guarantee sustained success. Why? Because people drive the success of a business. The greatest asset a company has is its workforce. To grow a business, you must also be growing your people!

What does that have to do with being a solo-entrepreneur? I’m so glad you asked!

If I had a $1.00 every time I heard someone say, “Just show me (or tell me) what I need to do to accelerate my business, build wealth, manage my time….” Many people believe that focusing solely on strategies to achieve external goals is the best way to achieve success.

The truth is that, for your business to flourish, you must be flourishing as a person. Looking to grow your business without investing in yourself is a plan to limit your business success. Your outside world (your life) is a reflection of your inside world (who you are). Who you are affects what you do (or don’t do!)

If your business and personal life is NOT flourishing, where are you looking for your solutions? Self-investment is a vital key in having a successful business AND a fulfilling life!

For a solo-entrepreneur, investing time, energy, and resources to grow yourself is a critical key in the level of success you achieve.

Here’s a great example:

One of my coaching clients (I’ll call Carol), is a single entrepreneur who owns a graphic design company. Relocating two years ago, she has been working long hours to jumpstart her business and build a name for herself in the area. Because of her hard work and marketing savvy, Carol has built a strong following very quickly. (Normally, business takes 3-5 years to build). In fact, her business is growing so fast, she is unable to keep up! You might be thinking, who wouldn’t want that? She should be celebrating, right?

She’s not! In fact she began feeling depressed. Working such a hectic schedule was beginning to take negative tolls on her. BIG FLAGS!!!!!

Here’s the rest of the story……

• Carol works 16 hour days and works on weekends because she fears losing business. Her private life is almost non-existent.
• A perfectionist, Carol put enormous pressure on herself in servicing her clients. She constantly feels stress and worries about keeping her clients happy. (They are usually thrilled with her results!) Even though she is highly talented, she’s tough on herself, and lives with fear and self-doubt.
• As a one woman- show, she manages every aspect of her business. And, having grown so quickly, she has no systems in place to help run her business efficiently. As a result, she feels overwhelmed and stressed with all the people and responsibilities she has to manage. Who wouldn’t?
• Her relationships with her husband and friends are suffering. She is so busy working, she has no time for the people and things she loves the most. Or, even time for herself!
• Despite all of her business success, she is concerned she is losing her enjoyment for her work. She has difficulty sleeping at night, unable to turn off her brain. She often feels exhausted. She feels more like a human doing than a human being.

If her outer world was in chaos, imagine how she felt on the inside!

Carol is a smart woman. She realized she was working harder, not smarter. What did she do? She understood she needed help to continue to grow her business and thrive as a person. She also realized that in order to change the way she was running her business (or more accurately, how her business was running her), she needed to look at herself.

So, she hired a personal and business coach (me!)

Some of the things we worked on together included:

1. Adding systems to work more efficiently
2. Developing strong marketing and business plans
3. Delegating administrative responsibilities to free up her time.
4. Identifying her values, vision and purpose
5. Time management
6. Extreme self-care
7. Designing strategies to help her stay focused and motivated

Motivated by the chaos and anxiety in her life, Carol has made huge progress in six short months. Choosing to make the investment in her business and herself, Carol is beginning to enjoy her work again and have a life!

Bottom line:

Learning more about who you are on the inside (your beliefs, core values, natural strengths, passions, innate talents) is the KEY INGREDIENT to making decisions that produce deep satisfaction and extraordinary results. By bringing who you are into the equation, you can view a full spectrum of choices and solutions to reach more satisfying and richer outcomes- like bringing Technicolor to a black and white picture!