By Becky Regan
Once I decided to expand my business lines into producing and selling online HR products (in addition to continuing my consulting practice), I sought outside sources of knowledge because online product development and marketing were totally new fields to me. You also recognize how important it is to continue to learn and grow your knowledge, skills and abilities over your lifetime.
As a self-employed entrepreneur, I’ve heard from various experts that it’s critical to invest between 1-10% of gross revenue in self-development. While it sounds like a lot of money, it’s not hard to spend with the wealth of offerings in so many subjects that are available to learn in person, on the web, or on the phone. But these seminars can quickly add up to big bucks when you include the fee, driving or flights, hotels, meals, etc. You also have to consider much time you can allow yourself to spend away from the office.
When I’ve judged whether a presentation, conference or seminar was worth the time, effort and expense it took for me to attend, I evaluate whether I gained new perspectives on the subject. I find that if I’m able to view an issue differently from insight gained through another person’s thought process, it enables me to develop new solutions and systems. Of course, it’s always great to learn something completely new, but if I leave the event thinking differently about issues or problems than I did before I went, I consider that training class or presentation to have been time well spent.
After having attended a vast array of conferences, seminars, colleges, and other educational programs the quest in seeking specialized knowledge then becomes which organization or person to work with. I’ve mapped out my self-development for the remainder of this year:
- I’m in a local Mastermind group that meets monthly to discuss our businesses and brainstorm how we can more effectively market our businesses.
- I just finished working with my first business coach after eight months of continuous support to guide me through developing my first info product.
- I’m signed up to attend two conferences on info products and online marketing in
- And I pick up these daily events based on the topic and perceived value of attending
- each class.
One of the most valuable tools you can use to figure out your path is to create either a vision board or a mind map. You may have heard of these tools before. Used in such blockbuster books as “The Secret,” they can help you clarify your goals and set your intentions.
The mind map is a visual representation of where you are and where you want to go. It identifies subset issues for every main category and helps you to work through all the angles of a problem to arrive at a solution. The vision board is a poster board you use to build a collage of pictures and word phrases clipped out of your favorite magazines and publications. The main idea set forth in books like “The Secret” is that if you clearly set your intention and identify your goals, the energy you generate will act as a message and magnet to bring back what you want or need from the universe.
I’m also a big believer in making things happen. Truly, I believe these are powerful tools that can help you clarify your intentions and goals, but then you have to also take ACTION in order to move forward. You can’t simply create a vision board with a picture of a gorgeous hunk, wedding pictures, dates, vacations, etc. and expect Prince Charming to march up to your front door tomorrow! That is, if your goal is to get married by a certain date…. No, you have to motivate yourself to meet and network with others so they can help you realize your dreams (and help you to broadcast your story).
What transition do you find yourself to be going through now? What challenges are you facing as a result of progressing to the next level in your own self development? Have you created your own “roadmap” for how you plan to get from here to there? Do you know where you’re going?
Now I’m in another transitional stage moving from writing and producing my info product to promoting and marketing it. Just like you, I’m using these tools to map my way over into the next year from where I am now to get to where I want to be then.
Whether you’re an employee or an entrepreneur, there’s a real diversity of skills that are required to manage your own development. Take the time and energy to set your path now in your pursuit of self-development. A year from now, you’ll look back and reflect upon how much you’ve learned and accomplished and you’ll be grateful that you took the initiative, effort and time to set your intentions and goals when you did! Then of course, it will be time to start the process all over again…
Copyright 2008, Regan HR, Inc.
Becky Regan, M.A., CCP began her own consulting practice in 1995, Regan HR, Inc. to provide human resources consulting services to businesses in California. Her work as a consultant includes the full spectrum of HR technical expertise with an expertise in compensation studies. In addition to consulting with clients, in 2008 Becky expanded her practice to include online marketing of her custom HR products and established coaching programs for developing HR professionals. For more HR tips and to receive her FRE*E special report, visit http://www.ReganHR.com