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Personal Development: Part of Your Business Plan

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You built your business from the ground up. Long nights, sweat, and blood have driven your modest business plan to a successful venture. By all metrics, you have succeeded in pursuit of the American dream but something may still feel off. You may need to form a plan for personal development.

I’m not talking about a certification class or networking conference, though either may provide an opportunity to explore yourself in a setting outside your day-to-day routine. Rather, I’m talking about building you as an individual.

Work-life balance isn’t something that only employees should worry about. It helps recharge your batteries to step outside the numbers. For some entrepreneurs, this can be challenging. After all, they have dreamed, ate, and breathed only for their start-up from the time it was a humble idea. Here are a few ideas to help you rediscover yourself.

Pursue a passion. Sign up for a workshop or class that is unrelated to your business venture. You may no longer want to be the historian or biologist you once aspired to, but the drive and interest are still there. Pulling your mind completely away for a few hours will leave it sharper when you return to work the next day.

Find a creative outlet. Many of us gave up the arts when it was time for “practical” pursuits. What better time to pick up a brush, pen, or pair of slippers?

Find a way to better others. There is no surer way to appreciate your own situation than to help those less fortunate. Charities need volunteers as much as they need monetary donations. Check with local religious organizations or shelters to see where help may be needed most. Many hands make light work.

Make extra time for your family. Whether it is parents, a spouse, children, or grandchildren. They will remind you why you are working so hard.

Take a long vacation. This may seem sort of simple so try this challenge: take a long vacation and leave your emails off. Treating yourself to a vacation not only gives you a break from your busy life, but also reinforces the idea that you deserve that relaxing, adventurous break. I just came back from Vietnam for 2 weeks and it was such an amazing experience. Aside from the extreme jet lag, I feel recharged in my mind and soul.

It is a truism when you are an entrepreneur that personal development is business development. Put in the time, and the rewards are just as valuable personally and professionally.


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