For many entrepreneurs, it can be easy to determine where they excel and hone those skills to their respective product or service. However, this can become a burden rather than a benefit if it becomes difficult for them to see the forest for the trees. Not all entrepreneurs have an innate business sense, and those that do are part of a lucky few. Many know how to do what they are best at and let the other pieces fall into play. Entrepreneurs are very aware of the common pitfalls of running a business. Challenges from within can take any entrepreneur by surprise and divert them from the path they set off on when starting their business.
As important as it is for an entrepreneur to invest in their business when starting out, it is equally, if indeed not more important, for an entrepreneur to also invest in themselves along the way. Following are a few of our suggestions for entrepreneurs looking to increase this worthwhile self-investment.
Continuing Education is the Ultimate Investment:
“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.”
You no longer have to physically put yourself in a classroom environment to continue the learning experience. Thanks to the Internet, there is a plethora of resources that allow you to devote time to learning a new skill or enhance an existing one. Whether it is something that directly relates to your business, or something broader, it will open new avenues that can positively impact your business.
Subscribe to /r/Entrepreneur
Reddit is a vast resource for business owners. Here, you’ll find thousands of other like-minded individuals where you can discuss ideas, get feedback, and help other entrepreneurs with their own issues. If you look at the top posts tab, you’ll find the most helpful or interesting discussions and resources that resonate with other entrepreneurs.
Sign up for Khan Academy
This free resource covers all math levels, physics, chemistry, entrepreneurship, history, coding, and so much more. There are lesson plans geared toward making it easier follow at your own pace. Best of all, it’s completely free.
Free resources at MIT OpenCourseWare
Now you can have complete access to thousands of MIT courses from every department and degree program including entrepreneurship courses. These include video lectures, free online textbooks, assignments, and exams and are completely free for everyone.
Free online courses at HarvardX
Ever wanted to study the masterpieces of world literature? Contract laws? Computer science? Well, it’s all available at your fingertips now. Open your mind with these online courses. Upon completion of the free course, you can receive a certificate of completion (for an additional fee) to add to your qualifications and accolades.
Think about taking up an artistic class at a local community college or workshop near you. Art allows your brain to activate different areas which can lead to new insights. It also nurtures your creativity which can simultaneously be relaxing and rewarding.
Coworking is Community Building
“The most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.”
Taking part in coworking is an excellent way to nurture your creative side as well. Having the opportunity to change venues and charge your mind with an engaging, bustling office space can really get your brain firing on all cylinders. Just being around other professionals is beneficial when you find yourself removed from others or on the go most of your day otherwise.
Coworking offers time to reconnect to the world, network with fellow coworkers, and brainstorm issues that you are trying to tackle in your business. Having a change of scenery or discussion with someone outside of your organization can give you new insight and help pull you out of a rut. The benefits of coworking are good for your overall wellbeing. You will find other entrepreneurs and professionals who will inspire you to keep moving forward and may even serve as valuable contacts for yourself and/or your clients.
Networking Beyond the Norm
“If your business comes from relationships, relationships should be your business.”
– Doug Ales
This is a given, BUT, instead of your usual unproductive business networking mixer take part in something that gets you excited, or maybe even scares you a little. Sites like meetup.com help you find and connect with other people in a variety of activities like cooking, marathon training, practicing a foreign language, dancing, writing, and more. This is similar to continuing your education but the great thing is that you are also meeting tons of new people who have similar interests and passions. Those connections can prove to be valuable personally and professionally!
Take Care of Yourself Inside and Out
“Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort.”
– Deborah Day
When you’re the heart and soul of your company, your physical, mental and emotional health should become your number one priority. It’s easy to say: “I’ll start next month.” But then that becomes 2 months, then a year, and then five years. Owning a business is not for the faint of heart and if you aren’t taking proper care of yourself, your health will start affecting your business and vice-versa. Start out slow by taking walks after a healthy lunch, take a break every few hours and do something that doesn’t involve looking into a computer screen. Select activities that will help round-out your physical, and in turn, your mental well-being so you can be sharp as a tack and prepared for anything that comes your way.
Get Involved in a Productive Way
“Nothing liberates your greatness like the desire to help, the desire to serve.”
– Marianne Williamson
Not all entrepreneurs are in it for the money. Many get started by solving a problem or providing a needed service. These business owners quickly realize how much they enjoy the freedom of creativity or helping others. Getting bogged down in the day-to-day issues of running a business can be a barrier for some to remember the feeling that got them started in the first place. A great way to combat those feelings is to get involved charitable work. Helping others creates a positive, lasting effect on one’s well-being.
If you’re an entrepreneur, your personal growth and business growth go hand-in-hand. In our managed office suites and coworking spaces, we have watched many entrepreneurs grow their business with several of these tips. We love to watch these relationships grow and are proud of the opportunities we can offer our clients!
For a handy reference guide, check out our infographic!