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As a business moves out of the startup phase and works to become a sustainable, ongoing concern, it’s important to understand that growth is only one part of the equation. As the person keeping things running behind the scenes, you also need to invest in personal growth.
What does it mean to invest in yourself as an entrepreneur? From professional development to self-care, 360PRWire outlines the tactics that will keep you operating at your best year after year.
Professional Development for Business Owners
It doesn’t matter how you came to entrepreneurship. There’s always more to learn about being a business owner. Not only are businesses complex systems with many moving parts, but the business world is constantly changing and so are your company’s needs as it grows. How can you keep up?
1. Use free and low-cost online learning resources
Free and cheap online business resources are a great place to start. As Wired points out, the internet is full of affordable business lessons from a wide variety of affordable learning platforms. Through online education platforms, you can improve your technical skills or build soft skills like leadership and creative thinking. However, not all online courses are made equally. Note who teaches the course and read reviews to assess its quality.
2. Enroll in professional development courses
You can also enroll in professional development courses offered by business and trade associations, professional organizations, and small business owners groups. Look for small business groups on Meetup to learn about local seminars, trainings, and other business events.
3. Ensure early requirements are met
It’s critical that you take all the necessary business development steps if you haven’t already, such as registering your company with your state. This may entail forming your business as a limited liability company (LLC), a popular choice due the structure’s tax advantages over a corporation and the clear legal delineation of personal and business assets. Using an online formation service like ZenBusiness is a good option, as it’s quick and affordable.
4. Find a business mentor or coach
Mentors and business coaches take a more personal approach to professional development. Instead of teaching skills, mentors and coaches help you take action. While coaches and mentors play similar roles, BetterUp explains there are key differences between coaches and mentors. Mentors are usually in your industry and serve as informal resources for up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Coaches, on the other hand, are paid professionals who help their clients reach specific goals.
Personal Development for Business Owners
Balance is key in all things – including business ownership. Adopting these personal growth habits will help you achieve a work-life balance while growing your business. They just might make you a better business owner too!
5. Set personal goals
Being a business owner is just one part of your life. What else do you want to accomplish short- and long-term? Consider your values and your vision for your life. Do you want to grow your family, give back to your community, or travel abroad? These big-picture goals define your personal brand and should be at the center of every decision you make. By taking small steps that keep you on the path to big goals, you can realize the life you desire.
6. Increase your emotional intelligence
You can be well-educated, innovative, and driven, but without emotional intelligence, you won’t build the relationships you need along your journey to success. Emotional intelligence is what lets leaders manage their own emotions and empathize with others. The traits of emotionally intelligent entrepreneurs include self-awareness, self-regulation, internal motivation, and people skills. If your EQ isn’t as high as it could be, try taking courses in active listening, conflict management, and nonviolent communication.
7. Nurture your creativity as an entrepreneur
Running a business doesn’t leave much opportunity for creative pursuits. At the same time, innovation is what makes good businesses great. Feed your creative mind by consuming books, ideas, and new experiences; engaging in creative hobbies and artistic pursuits; and making mental space for thinking outside of the box.
Self-Care for Business Owners
You can’t travel far on an empty tank. Keep physical and mental self-care at the top of your priority list so you avoid burnout and stay on the path to success. Here are four self-care habits to weave into everyday life as an entrepreneur.
8. Eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep
These self-care practices are a must for anyone operating at the top of their game – business owners included. Establish a daily routine that leaves time for a good night’s rest, three balanced meals a day, and short yet effective workouts. If you struggle to eat healthy at work, subscribe to a prepared meal delivery service like Fresh n’ Lean and Mosaic Foods for lunches you can heat and eat.
9. Design a healthy ergonomic office
Don’t undo all your hard work by slouching in an uncomfortable office chair all day. Ergonomic office furniture keeps your spine neutral and your productivity high. At a minimum, an ergonomic office includes an adjustable office chair and adjustable monitors. For true all-day comfort, invest in a height-adjustable desk that lets you sit or stand and ergonomic accessories like a footrest and comfortable keyboard and mouse.
10. Practice mindfulness for stress management
Mindfulness is a research-proven practice with benefits for stress, concentration, and emotional well-being. It does this by influencing regions of the brain associated with stress, attention, and emotion. Breathing exercises, yoga, and guided mindfulness lessons are the most well-known and widely available forms of mindfulness practice.
11. Work less
This may be a surprising tip to find on a list for driven entrepreneurs, but reducing your work hours is central to a wealth-building work strategy. Instead of measuring output by hours worked, this tactic emphasizes goals achieved. Shorten your workdays, take days off, and schedule that long overdue vacation. You can work less without sacrificing business goals by learning to delegate.
This includes delegating core business tasks to your team and hiring external help for domains outside your expertise. Take 360PRWire for example. With tailored services aimed at protecting your reputation and advocating for your digital footprint, you can relax knowing your business is being revealed to the world in an effective and safe manner.
You’re the engine that keeps your business running. If you’re not operating at peak performance, it’s only a matter of time before your business suffers too. As you look forward to the next stage in business development, make sure you’re committing to personal development too. With attention to self-care and a commitment to personal growth, you can be the business owner your company needs at every stage of its success.
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