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How to Make Personal Development a Process Instead of an Event

Guest Blogger | February 2, 2015

Written By: Hamish Knox, Sandler Training, Futurpreneur Canada Mentor, Calgary, AB, hamish.sandler.com @sandlerhamish

An article published in the Harvard Business Review claimed that 90% of what was learned at a one-day training program was forgotten in the next 30 days.

David Sandler wrote a booked called, “You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar,” yet many entrepreneurs I speak with view their personal development as a series of boxes to check instead of an ongoing process.

That’s not to say that event-based training is completely without merit, but attending a training event without a plan for implementation is like going to a buffet and eating two grapes. You got some sustenance, but left a whole lot behind.

Creating a personal development process for yourself needn’t be arduous. The following steps will at least be a good start.

  1. Set long term and short term goals for your personal development – one of my colleagues committed to becoming a better investor, which they realized meant having a better understanding of company financial statements. That year they brought in a finance professor from a local university to teach them and their team about analyzing financial statements.
  2. Create a personal development plan to reach your goals and stick to it – as an entrepreneur your most valuable resource is your time. If your answer to the question, “would attending this event help me advance toward my goal” is “maybe”, then skip that event.
  3. Join, create or find a support group – whether it’s your Futurpreneur Canada mentor, an established peer-to-peer group or a MasterMind group you create yourself, a support group should challenge you to continue your personal development and implement what you learn.
  4. Commit to reading non-fiction – I challenge my clients to read 15 pages of a non-fiction book, preferably with some relevance to their current or desired role, every business day. Reading gives your sub-conscious an opportunity to chew on challenges in your business and you might find an “ah-ha” moment in those pages

“If you’re not growing, you’re dying” is a cliché for a reason. A personal development process keeps you growing.