In business most of us are pretty good at allocating money for the bills, things that have to be paid, perhaps buying new equipment, new resources to use around the office, staff training and all kinds of fairly tangible expenses (as much as we might not enjoy paying them each month). But how much do we allocate each week/month/year for our own personal growth and development?
If we don't budget for these things, it may be because we don't see any value in them. One thing I've learned over the years is that the success of a business really is directly related to the state of mind of the person in charge. And we need to do everything we can to make sure our state of mind is as good as it can be, all of the time.
As business owners when we fall into a rough patch, it's hard to stay motivated, to keep sales happening, to keep everyone else motivated. To me this means that our state of mind and in particular our own attitude, are both vitally important. We need to manage them, we need to feed them, exercise them and grow them and this needs to be a daily commitment of time and other resources, including money.
Personally I commit about $1000 a month to my own personal development. This covers everything from buying books to attending events that will help me get better at what I do, and of course to learn ways to better manage myself, develop my personal skills and much more. Sure, there is a lot of free stuff available, we could all spend a year on TED and not even touch the sides, but sometimes it's only when we invest financially that we take things seriously.
Now don't think for a second that I don't realize that this is a lot of money, and over the years there were many times that it was a stretch, but to me, it was the best investment I could ever make - because I was investing in myself and making myself better and this in turn has made me much better in every way and especially in my business.
Often it seems like people have no problem investing in their physical well being, and they will commit time and money every day, yet mental well being and doing whatever it takes to maintain a positive attitude are often done periodically and somewhat haphazardly, mostly when we are desperate and completely fried.
My advice is really simple, set yourself a budget today, whatever that may be and commit to spending and investing in your own mental well being, health and growth. Call it your 'Brain Food" budget. Spend it wisely, commit time daily - and appreciate that if you are not in the best shape possible mentally, which means not only taking care of your brain but also stretching it, challenging it, and teaching it, it will be really hard to get the best possible results in your business. I've found this to be true and I know many very successful entrepreneurs who agree and treat this as their #1 priority in life and rightly so.