One of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned in building my business and following my heart and passion for writing and teaching is that it’s a continual, ongoing process. You’re never ‘there’ or fully ‘done.’ You never have all the pieces perfectly together. And as far as you go, there still will be more. But this is a good thing.
I’ve always been a go-getter, always been somewhat of a workaholic, and I’ve always been really excited about the work that I do. But far too often I feel like the world tells us to slow down, to rest, and to be content where we are. Although this can be really smart advice, sometimes I want to push back against it, too. The biggest and best-kept entrepreneur secret, in my opinion, is that you have to always focus on increasing personal growth. Here’s how:
1. Think about your end goal.
I’ve both written and read a variety of articles on the idea of focusing (or not focusing) on your end goal. Honestly, I think both sides are right. Sometimes when you’re too focused on the end goal, you fail to see your current progress. This isn’t good. But if you don’t think about your end goal at all, then you’re doing things without a purpose in mind.
I personally think, when it comes to increasing personal growth, that you have to think about where you want to be. This is the direct motivation for improvement and you can’t quite achieve it unless you’re looking forward and planning ahead.
2. Do one small step at a time (seriously!)
While keeping your end goal in mind, take one small step at a time. I say ‘seriously’ because sometimes it sounds so ridiculous. HOw will you get somewhere if you’re going so slowly? But it’s actually so true—small steps get you to big places. You just have to be patient.
3. Outreach and continue to grow your personal/professional network.
You’ll never be increasing personal growth if you’re staying still or relying on yourself to be the sole motivation. There’s only so much you know and can teach yourself. Then you have to look outward. Attend conferences in your industry, talk to experts and people who are higher up. Connect with bosses and mentors. Be open to change and new perspectives.
The more you grow your network, the more educated and inspired you’ll be. And the more you’ll grow as a result.
4. Find small ways to add things you love to your life.
You can add craziness to your life all the time: more work, more projects, more deadlines, etc. But what about more fun? As silly as it sounds, I’ve found the most personal and professional growth when I started adding what I loved to my day. Even when my schedule felt all too full, I found a way to add a yoga class, walk with my dog, time with my boyfriend’s son, etc.
This, yes, did make my schedule fuller, but my heart was fuller, too. And this led to more productivity, strength, and positivity.
5. Learn to delegate.
As you grow (and especially if you’re a business owner) you have to learn to delegate. Although it might seem hard (and scary) to give others the reins, start small. Can someone help you send emails? Organize your inbox? Send letters? Edit a piece?
Giving bits and pieces of your personal and professional work to others will leave you feeling less stressed and help your work-life balance. Don’t be afraid to loosen your hold.
6. Learn to handle and overcome rejection with grace.
Rejection is a part of life. You can’t deny it, can’t shy away from it, and can’t be angry about it. It sucks being rejected, but choose to see these moments as an opportunity rather than a closed door. Although this moment may not have gone as planned, what can you learn? How can you continue forward? Are you ready to try again?
7. Use where you’ve been to inspire you forward.
Increasing personal growth happens when you remind yourself of where you’ve been. Five years ago, would you have imagined where you are right? Probably not. Even if it feels like you’re failing or in a really tough place, embrace that this is a part of the process. And accept that you will continue to grow, regardless of how ‘stuck’ you feel right now.
Personal growth doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient with yourself and know that you’re getting there. This is your journey and there truly isn’t a ‘wrong’ or ‘right’ path to take.
Featured Image Credit: TONL