Successful Entrepreneurs Invest in Themselves

Hiring a new employee is an investment. You find the right fit, develop their talent, and then realize a return that helps your business grow. That winning formula also applies to business owners. After all, the skills you used to start your business may not be the ones it takes to sustain it. To move forward, successful entrepreneurs need to invest in their development too.

Here are three approaches to development that can help yield the return you need to grow:

Know Thyself

Anthony Tjan suggests entrepreneurs start with self-awareness if they want to build a successful business. Knowing what makes you tick helps you better understand what you need from other people. He suggests owners increase awareness using these techniques:

  • Write down key plans and priorities – The act of writing something down helps to make it more concrete. It also provides a record that allows you to check back on your progress. Tjan says Warren Buffet uses investment journals as a historical record that he uses to determine whether his assumptions were correct.
  • Ask trusted friends – How you see yourself may not be how others see you. Feedback from colleagues or a mentor can help you bridge the gap. Tjan suggests you pick one habit you want to change. Then ask a friend to help alert you when they see you going down that road.
  • Take a test – Tjan offers a free Entrepreneurial Aptitude Test. Take the survey and learn what entrepreneurial traits you have. It’s based on his research of 500+ top business builders.

Form Habits

Best-selling author, Hal Elrod, researched the most effective, proven development practices used by top entrepreneurs. He found that successful business owners integrate these habits into their development plan:

  • Silence – Start by quieting the mind using meditation to regain your focus.
  • Affirm and visualize – Think positively about the goal you want to achieve and about the steps you need to take now. Then envision taking those steps.
  • Consistency – Make it a habit of reading articles and books about leadership. Reading just ten pages a day could take you only 15 minutes but over time will get you through 18 200-page books.

Just Do It

In an editorial for Entrepreneur, Steve Tobak advocates a different approach. He contends that the best personal and professional development doesn’t come from books or feel-good stories and quotes. It comes from experience.

He suggests entrepreneurs get their hands dirty by observing how things are done in the real world—right or wrong. Then, try it out. He recommends business owners combine this trial and error learning with the support of a mentor or coach.

One way to apply Tobak’s approach is to tap into the free business mentoring and education provided by SCORE. The organization reports that small businesses that receive mentoring services from one of their business experts experience higher revenue and increased growth.

Remember to invest in your professional development. It is likely to pay dividends in your growth as well as that of your business.

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