Self-Development Ideas for Entrepreneurs
Whether you are a coach, consultant or freelancer, entrepreneurs and small businesses face many challenges in building their business. They have to be good at so many things but are strapped for time. So how can you be successful?
Most entrepreneurs are juggling many roles and wear many hats leaving them with limited time, energy, and other resources available to spend on their own self-development. But, entrepreneurs have the most to gain from improving their knowledge and skills.
It’s a tough balancing act, and one entrepreneurs must learn to use their time effectively and efficiently.
The good news is that there are lots of tools available, here are some ideas to successfully undertake self-development projects:
1. Assess. Carefully consider what you need to learn that would have the most impact. Assess your needs and any gaps or weaknesses you have that may be holding you back and make a decision about what you need to learn. Ask what will most add to your life or your business if you had that skill? Entrepreneurs are short for time, so it’s important to make a wise decision based on priority about how to spend your self-development time.
◦ Ask yourself, “What would most benefit my life or happiness?”
◦ Then ask yourself, “What would most benefit my business?”
2. Selling skills. We all know it’s hard to make money without customers or clients. Selling skills can be among the most valuable for entrepreneurs. If you don’t have all the income you desire, enhancing your selling skills might be a logical choice for your self-development efforts. Check out the book Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port. Its filled with actionable business tips to getting clients. With better selling skills you can have complete control of how to attract a steady stream of clients.
3. Marketing skills. If people don’t know about your business or how to find you, you’re going to struggle getting clients. There are tons of inexpensive marketing choices available today for entrepreneurs. Maybe your business will benefit if you strengthen this important skill. Build clarity around identifying who your ideal client is so you can create compelling messaging that attracts them to you. And master your marketing skills so you can get the results you want and not make costly marketing mistakes. if you get this right your marketing will instantly become 10x more powerful than it is now.
4. Social skills. Networking, gaining, and maintaining customers and clients is a big part of an entrepreneur’s job. Businesses rely on social skills to build relationships with customers, vendors, their community and organizations and associations they do business with or get referrals from. Having good social skill can help you adapt to any situation and be comfortable talking with many types of people that can help you grow your business. Ask yourself how you can be better and how can you build trust for your brand and communicate your message clearly.
5. Public speaking. Depending on your business, this can be a very useful skill and can get your business more exposure, help you to be seen as a subject matter expert increase your recognition of your brand in your industry. It can build confidence and self-esteem as you continue to improve and help you to be more engaging when dealing with people. Speaking at conferences can be a good way to market and sell your services or products to a larger audience. Like anything, this will take practice to get better and become more effective. But speaking opportunities, even online events, can get you in front of more opportunities and convert clients.
6. Goals. Do you have goals? Many entrepreneurs would benefit from having a set of reasonable and attainable goals for growing a sustainable business. Leverage technology tools to help with your goal setting and achievement. Using tools like Trello can help keep you on track and help you easily collaborate with others or Evernote to organize tasks keep track of of your goals . Keep your goals simple so you can stick to them. Too often, people set too many goals then get overwhelmed. Create goals and chunk them down into actionable steps with clear deadlines. Set goals by long-, medium-, and short-term so you can set your milestones and manage your strategy more effectively. Use a business planner to help track your efforts.
7. Focus, discipline, perseverance. These are three qualities all entrepreneurs could use more of. The most successful people in life are disciplined. Succeeding can seem so difficult, but many give up too soon. Staying focused and having the perseverance to work through any obstacles will keep you from failing. Consider implementing a program that builds on one or more of these characteristics. Being disciplined also means maintaining your mindset and what you allow to occupy your mind. Think in terms of what success means to you and keeping a positive attitude. That doesn't mean you wont get frustrated or have times that aren't going well, but don't let those thoughts destroy you. Make the conscious choice to stay focused.
8. Time management. Time can be one of your most valuable assets as an entrepreneur. Effective time management can be a game changer for your business. Take the time to plan out your day, your week, your month. Break down the tasks by priority. Control your focus and attention. Don't get caught up with distractions, your productivity will suffer. Set time for each task on your calendar. Be realistic and try not to multi-task. Look to see if there is anything you can delegate. You can use sites like Fiver to hire someone for easy activities to get off your plate. Or use efficient tools like Freshbooks to make financial aspects of your business easier for invoicing and accounting processes.
9. Health. Unfortunately many small business owners often forget to care for themselves the way they care for their business. Too little sleep, skipped meals, and a lack of exercise are can be serious impediments to your health. Staying healthy while running your business will keep you productive and alert. Its important to give time to balancing your work time and YOU time. Investing in your health is important. It may be temping to reach for a quick snack instead of eating a healthy meal, but it won't sustain you for long. Working long hours, not eating right or taking care of yourself will lead to burnout. Recognize when you need a break. Schedule 15-minute breaks to just walk away and clear you head and re-charge.
Entrepreneurs are short on time, so planning can go a long way in creating an effective approach self-development.
Decide what area of self-development will best serve your business or life. Do you mostly want to make more sales or to enhance your health? Is managing your time the best skill for you to learn at this time? Take a look at your situation and allocate your self-development hours appropriately.