There is a direct correlation between the amount of personal growth you pursue and the fatness of your wallet. If you want to make serious money, you have to be willing to focus on your own personal development.
Naval Ravikant, startup entrepreneur and investor, says it best, “You get rewarded for unique knowledge, not for effort. Effort is required to create unique knowledge.” I talk more about this in a previous blog, Wealth Building Principles.
What is personal growth/development?
I define it as the focus of developing your personal and professional skills to add value to the market place. Some might think of personal growth as self-help mumbo jumbo (I’ll agree there are some embarrassing “self-help” trash out there), but there is real and tangible benefits to improving oneself, especially as an entrepreneur.
Traditionally, if you’ve been working a job, there is often a disconnect between your personal growth and your income growth, so it might not be as motivating to do so. It tends to be a ladder like relationships. When you learn new skills on the job and you show improvement, your boss might notice it and give you a promotion. However, even though you got a bump in salary, it is NOT in direct proportion to the value you add to the company. If you add $200,000 in yearly revenue growth because of your newly acquired skills, your boss will not pay you that much for it. He’ll pay you what will keep you happy enough to not leave.
However, as an entrepreneur, there is a direct correlation to how much you learn and how much you earn. You FEEL the connection between learning and earning. When you learn how to market a product better, your wallet shows. If you make your operations more efficient, saving cost and increasing revenue, your bank account loves you. That’s why most successful entrepreneurs are lifelong learners because they know this direct relationship.
Three Areas of Personal Growth
There are three primary areas on personal growth that are linked to increasing your market value.
- Soft skills
- Hard skills
- Inner person
You don’t have to focus on all of them but they are all complementary. The more you work on each, the more your value grows. Growth doesn’t happen instantly so don’t feel overwhelmed with how much you need to learn. It takes time and each area of growth layers on to the other areas you’ve developed. It’s a lifelong process.
Let’s dive a little deeper into each area.
Your soft skills are a combination of social intelligence and emotional intelligence. It’s these skills that allow you to influence and persuade people. Common soft skills are communication, empathy, social awareness, sales, leadership, public speaking, relationship building etc. These skills help when you’re trying to lead a company, work with stakeholders, increase revenue, networking, delegation and many other needle moving tasks.
Hard skills are more technical in nature and can be more easily taught and measured. These skills would include software development, engineering fields, mathematics, data analytics, etc. These skills deal less with people and more with the ability to complete job specific tasks or create things. Imagine you wanted to create a company that produces electric go-karts. The actual designing and engineering of the go-kart is a hard skill. The ability to lead the teams that produce and manufacturer the go-karts is more soft skill.
Soft skills and hard skills can make you a whole lot of money but the inner person is what allows you to keep it and enjoy it. What I mean by the inner person is the ability to deal with and manage your own emotional and physical state. This ranges from facing your demons to creating a healthy state of mind and body.
We all deal with some emotional baggage or trauma as little kids. Those wounds that we never address could rear its ugly head and sabotage our success down the line. This could be in the form of living in poverty and always operating from a place of scarcity. When you operate out of scarcity, you’re too afraid to do anything that would adversely affect your financial well being but yet many things with the highest financial upside has some risk to it.
Maybe you’ve been taken advantage of most of your life and you have a distrust for people. This could hold you back from trusting anyone, which means you can never fully delegate things to others, limiting your own potential. You might have anger issues from emotional and physical abuse from parents. This could manifest itself through belittling and exploding on your employees. That’s never a good thing.
Inner work is probably the hardest of the three personal development areas, but it can also be the most emotionally and financially rewarding.
A Lifelong Journey
A journey into entrepreneurship is a lifelong love of learning. Learning doesn’t have to be a boring thing. When you find something you’re passionate about and you have the ability to make money, it gets pretty exciting. If you want to see your wallet bursting from its seams, then it would behoove you to start loving learning because it pays in spades.
Here’s to an adventure of learning and earning!