If you're in business long enough, you will realize that entrepreneurship and personal development go hand in hand. For some, they start the business first and then get into self-development. For others, like myself, self-development came first.
Regardless of how or when business and self-development merge, one thing remains true: Successful people do not hesitate to work on themselves. They also don't hesitate to drop the cash to do so.
Here's a recent example from my own life to illustrate what I mean. I recently went to a presentation from Tony Robbins' company at my coworking space. At the end of the presentation, I noticed only three of us signed up for Tony Robbins' conference in Palm Beach in November.
I also noticed we were all entrepreneurs in the finance space. It just so happens that a lot of my colleagues who also worked in finance had recently gone to the same conference in New York. This intrigued me because it's been my personal experience that people who truly get money know a good investment when they see one. They also act fast and they are always thinking about potential ROI (we're pragmatic, after all).
Anyway, because I'm a genuinely curious person, I started asking the other future attendees of Unleash the Power Within why they thought it was a good investment. Here's what I got.
You're getting a return somehow.
Here's what fascinates me about money people: They know they are going to get a return even if they don't know what that looks like yet. They have this innate trust that they will learn skills they can apply to improve their bottom line.
The truth is personal development does give you a return, even if it doesn't always look like money. It could help you improve your communication skills, it could help you become a better leader, it could even help you stay calm. All of these can improve both your business and your quality of life.
Self-awareness is just as important as hustle.
If you want to build a successful business and lead it, you need to become acutely self-aware of your own neuroses.
We all have fears, challenges, thoughts, experiences and traumas that could very easily take us out if we let them. Some of these are subtler, like the fear of success. Personal development helps you identify what these things are so you don't succumb to them.
As Anthony K. Tjan notes in the Harvard Business Review, self-awareness also helps us determine our own successes and failures. In doing so, and in learning from our mistakes, we see what we need from other people and search for those individuals who can complement our skill set.
Self-awareness also helps us cultivate emotional intelligence, which allows us to relate to other people and lead more effectively. In other words, having a deep understanding of yourself can lead to more success while bringing other people along with you.
What got you here won't get you there.
Perhaps the most popular reason I heard for why business owners should invest in personal development can be summed up by saying, "What got you here won't get you there."
At this moment you are programmed for your current level of success. You also have the skills that you to where you are. But if you plan on excelling and going even further, you need to acquire new knowledge. Period.
Most of us entrepreneurial freedom seeking types are always looking to improve ourselves. While we're content with what we have, we also know we have more potential. Personal development helps us tap into that.
Personal development and entrepreneurship are intricately linked. You can't be a good leader without having an understanding of yourself and you can't expect to reach your full potential without acquiring new skills. That's why you see so many successful people investing in their own self-development.