By Kristopher B. Jones of Special Guest App.
If Elon Musk started a company right now and you didn't even know what it was, would you still consider investing?
Reputation and personal branding are everything in entrepreneurship. Successful entrepreneurs attract the best talent, garner the most trust out of their customers and are able to navigate PR pitfalls while raising immense capital for projects that are not even entirely innovative in concept.
Personal branding goes hand-in-hand with personal development. Only you can improve your company by improving yourself. Think about this: During early-stage funding, the entrepreneur's image is the product. Most investors don't invest in companies but people.
Here, I'd like to discuss five personal development strategies that will help you grow as a person and help you grow your business in the long-run.
Health and Wellness
Promoting healthy habits is paramount to personal well-being. I'm sure that many entrepreneurs don't struggle with mind-body wellness, as many of us are already so driven in our day-to-day lives.
I believe that one of the most important things you can do is limit stress in both your personal and professional life. Long-term stress can lead to an increased risk of mental disorders, inflammation and the halted production of new brain cells. Not to mention that stress can be very distracting and impact our personal and professional relationships.
Everyone has their own methods for reducing stress, such as: exercising, meditation, therapy and resting. For me, I always take the time to spend time with my family every night after the workday is over. Sure, every now and then I have to burn the midnight oil, but I never let business get in the way of family. They're my retreat. Everyone needs one.
Effective Goal Setting
I believe that the more challenging the goal, the more likely it will be completed. Goals hold us accountable for our work ethic and challenge us to improve skills we may or may not already be well-versed in.
Last year, I set the goal of creating a hundred "Ask Me Anything" videos and completed them just before the year ended. Not only was this personal branding gold, but it also helped me stay focused on the tasks at hand and plan for how I would go about accomplishing it.
Goals provide an extra incentive to beat your own expectations. In the end, completing these goals, which we often already knew we could all along, only improves our confidence and motivation.
Killer Time Management
Planning is everything. Beginning each day with a clear itinerary is the surest way to keep you on course with what you need to complete. While each day throws curveballs, it's better to organize your workflow to accommodate for these curveballs then to fall behind trying to react to them. Be proactive, not reactive.
Emphasis on Continuing Education
Education is important to personal development. The minute you think you've acquired all you need to know and become infallible is the moment your business has already failed.
Education provides us with new perspectives on subjects we may or may not be familiar, which we can wield in our day-to-day business operations. Always be searching for ways to improve your business or you will soon become irrelevant. Education need not be limited to schooling either.
One of the best ways you can exercise your mind is by reading and writing on a daily basis. I've written a book on SEO and guest posts for hundreds of publications. I'm also an avid reader of business and self-help books that help me to better manage my time and resources. The brain is a muscle, so be sure to keep it active.
Finally, how are you supposed to sell to people if you can't connect with them? Empathy is a form of intelligence, arguably more important than traditional intelligence or memorization. Practicing empathy is not straightforward and requires profound mental -- maybe even spiritual -- effort on your part to develop.
The importance of responding to customer complaints and resolving issues at your organization without conflict don't even need to be stated. By better understanding your customers, you can find ways to innovate your business to meet changing demand.
Personal development is critical to business success. If you are not constantly striving to improve yourself, then I highly doubt you're trying too hard to improve your business.
Kristopher B. Jones is a serial entrepreneur and investor. Kris recently launched Special Guest App with comedian / actor Damon Wayans, Jr.