Thursday, April 03, 2014

Grow yourself first

What does growth mean to you?  That was a question I was asked at a recent networking event when each of us had to share what growth looked like for us.

As we went round the table everyone was referring to growth in terms of number of customers, increased revenue or deeper, newer programming to offer to clients.  Until it was my turn.

Perhaps it is indicative of my age and stage in my business, but my answer was totally different and actually I think it made the women pause and reflect on what I was saying. 

Growth for me right now is focused on personal growth, of learning new skills and continuously growing as a person, a business owner and a business leader.  I am not sure we can separate who we are from what we do, much as we might like to.

I would argue that when we learn, we bring increased potential to our business, because we are personally moving forward, changing and evolving.  Knowledge is power.  And learning is a lifelong experience and some of its lessons we learn the hard wayJ

We all learn differently.  For some it is reading a book or watching a video, while for others it is attending a workshop or conference, and then there are those of us who are hands-on learners.  Personally I dabble in all learning styles, depending on what I want to learn.

Reading a manual for example is not helpful to me.  Getting down and dirty and trying something out, is how I learn technical information. In this instance, I am a hands-on learner.

What I enjoy most is attending conferences.   I value the face-to-face contact, hearing inspiring speakers and connecting with the other women in attendance.  The key however, is to take away and implement what you have learned.  Not easy when you have a business to run. It is one of the reasons we provide notebooks at our conferences – we want you to keep a record of what you have learned and make a commitment to implement at least one new idea when you get back to the office. Just one.

It is also crucial to hear from speakers who make their talk interesting, informative and jam-packed with practical tips and material.  Too often sadly it can be what I call “death by power point.”  Having been to my fair share of conferences, and organized even more, the day has to flow and provide information to meet the needs of our different learning styles.  Sitting in one spot being lectured at all day, for example, is not my idea of fun, or a positive learning experience.

Just like plants, we need watering and nourishing, if we are to continue to blossom and grow. So I encourage you to invest in your learning.  Your growth can only help your business grow as well.  When you go to a powerful conference, you leave motivated, with some new skills in your business toolbox and useful connections to help you. Take the time.  Invest in yourself.  We all know you are worth it. 

No comments: