I was listening to an interview with Darren Hardy from Success Magazine recently.  He stated that we are living in the best time, ripe with opportunity and possibility in the history of our country.  Given all the craziness in the American Government and the doom and gloom predictions of the global economy, it gave me pause for thought.  He went on to explain that because of the rapidly changing technology, solo entrepreneurs and small business owners have access to people and resources that were only available to large corporations before.  In fact, small businesses have an advantage over large corporations because in order to take advantage of the opportunities available, you have to act quickly and be able to easily change, adapt and grow.

Change, adapt and grow . . . something I worked with people on doing for the last twenty plus years of my life.  I thought about what he was saying and realized that the businesses that are going to make it are the ones who have owners that understand the importance of continued learning, growth and development AND commit themselves and their company to the learning process. 

Business owners have three main areas where they need continued growth and development:  the skills of their trade, the skills of running a business and personal development.  Let’s look at each of these categories.

Skills of the Trade mean that you stay current with the latest advancements, techniques, products and technology essential to your industry.  This is essential if you want to remain relevant and provide the best help available to your clients and customers.  If you were diagnosed with cancer, you wouldn’t want to see a doctor who was still relying on the research and treatment protocols from 10 years ago, right?

Business Skills mean that you continue to grow and develop in learning the skills you need to run your business.  This covers a whole range of skills from business planning and budgeting, product development, creating policies and procedures and hiring and staff retention issues to networking etiquette, marketing strategies and sales skills so that you can get your products and services out in the market place.  These lay the foundation and hold the structure of your business.  Would you live in a house made from cardboard and built on sand?    

Personal Development means that you understand that as the captain of your business, your belief systems, fears, insecurities, weaknesses, strengths, competencies, genius and unique abilities determine the success or failure of your business.  Who you are, what you think and feel, where you place your focus and how you operate in the world directly affects the bottom line of your business – how much money you can make, what clients you get (or don’t get), who refers to you, how satisfying your work is and how happy you are.  Your business can and will only grow as much as you as an individual are willing to grow. 

For you to take advantage of the opportunities available during this time and succeed in your business, continued development in all three of these areas is critical.  When a business is struggling or has hit a plateau that you can’t break through, it usually means that at least one of these areas is being ignored. 

So, if you are feeling stuck and frustrated because you can see the next level but you don’t know how to get there, I strongly encourage you to take a look at each of these categories and honestly evaluate how much time, energy and money you are willing to invest in learning and developing these skills. 

If you would like some help looking at your 2012 results and setting your 2013 goals, I have opened up some time in the next two weeks to speak with motivated individuals.  click here to set up a complimentary, no obligation consultation.