If you’re a small business owner, it almost goes without saying that you’re committed to your business, but let me ask a simple question: Are you committed to yourself?
I’m going to cut to the chase: Most of the time, to grow your small business, you must first grow yourself.
I touched on this topic recently when I was recording a new 1% Club podcast with Doug Sleeter, of The Sleeter Group. We got into the topic because I’ve had so many small business owners say to me, “Yeah, I know I should be using more technology and all that, but I just don’t have time to learn it.”
When this happens you’re slamming the door closed on increased productivity and new opportunities. You’re limiting the potential of your business. I understand that we are all busy, but it’s like growing a bed of flowers and what you do to improve yourself is like adding the fertilizer. Yes, you’ll get some flower growth without fertilizing, but when you add fertilize regularly you get outstanding growth and create a bed of flowers that everyone stops to admire.
“I commit to myself,” Doug told me explaining his approach to self-improvement. “It’s just a personal commitment to myself that I will always spend say 20-30 percent of my time – you might feel like that’s too much, but it isn’t for me – always reading, learning a new skill, learning a new technology, understanding what another business owner’s doing that’s actually changing their results.”
“My whole thing is ‘Let’s look up and look around.’ Go to a conference, take a webinar, take a class at school. Listen to what the Chamber of Commerce is doing in your local area. There are a lot of businesses doing a lot of things that you can learn from,” Doug continued.
Thanks to the Internet there are more resources available to you today than ever before. You can find tutorials on YouTube that cover almost every subject area. THE Small Business Expert Academy is open online 24-7 and you can get some great instruction there, along with a lot of exclusive benefits.
I’ve also seen businesses get new software or a new piece of machinery in and only train one person on it. It almost never fails that the trained employee soon leaves and takes the knowledge along. Never entrust training to just one employee and do the training yourself whenever it’s possible.
I recently wrote about how you should never outsource something you don’t understand yourself; it’s a recipe for disaster. You end up doing things multiple times before you get them right. This is another reason why it’s so important to improve at least your “big picture” understanding of the way things work in your small business niche.
Learning while doing is okay, but it comes with a price tag. It’s far wiser to get a running start by reading a book, taking a class, listening to some podcasts, talking to people who have already done what you hope to do, etc.
Grow yourself into being the competent, take-charge business owner you know you can be.