Why continued personal development is key to success

How improving yourself can have benefits for your business

It can be incredibly hard to get up in the morning when you are your own boss – a late night drinking, a wakeful young child, extreme tiredness can all contribute. Motivation is one of the essentials for anyone working for themselves but there is far more to it than simply gearing yourself up to start the day and motivation alone is not enough to keep your career on the straight and narrow.

It is equally important that there is a career path that you have established and that you work towards maintaining. It might be hard to envisage needing a career pattern when you are your own boss but in reality, personal development is still important. And the same also goes for your staff, a staff member who receives training and is happy is less likely to leave than an untrained member of staff.

Move on up

Once you are your own boss, it is too easy to believe that all you need do is simply keep working. But that will not be enough, as anyone who has survived a recession can tell you. Standing still in career terms is never an option no matter how small your business. Take the example of a copy typist. There was plenty of work in the past on old style typewriters but if the copy typist does not become computer literate he or she will quickly find themselves, quite literally, redundant.

If you worked for a large company, chances are that you would be offered training as required, with follow-up opportunities where necessary. They may even be prepared to give you time off for outside course work or even contribute towards the cost of independent training.

But even if your business is a one-man-band you can still adopt the same strategies for yourself. The only difference is you will have to be more organised than if you were part of a large organisation. As a small business attending a block release course will mean that no-one is back at your desk keeping the business going. The financial and practical implications need to be carefully thought out too but there is still no reason why you cannot better yourself.

There is no doubt that personal development can help your business in several unexpected ways. Not only will you be better able to carry out the related task but it may help motivate you through a rough business period or provide fresh ideas as the business becomes stale.

Another extremely valid reason for making sure you keep up to date with career developments is that you never know when you might take a job with another company either because you have sold your business or you have been asked to join at board level. Hopefully your own business will be so successful that others will want you on their board as a non-executive director.

By ensuring that you keep up to date with developments in the sector and by being seen as an industry leader, you have a chance of winning those lucrative positions. Alternatively many owner-managers sell their business on after the first flush of success. If you manage this, you may well want to start afresh and need to have developed your skills along the way.

Once you are your own boss, it is too easy to believe that all you need do is simply keep working.

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