When was the last time you invested in yourself not just your business?
As more and more female entrepreneurs (especially solo business leaders) are working virtually, it is easy to feel out of the loop or lonely without the social atmosphere of the workplace environment.
With limited budgets and resources, we tend to put our money towards building our business systems instead of networking and social learning.
No longer do we have to hand around boring business cards over a few soggy cucumber sandwiches, while we “network” at the local community council.
Here are three areas I think you should be investing in to build your personal brand, as well as your business success:
There are numerous options of workshops, forums, networking sessions, business coaches, online courses, memberships, seminars and conferences available for the small business owner. Many groups have an online presence that makes connection so much easier than even five to ten years ago.
Plan the year ahead to include investing in yourself
Plan the year ahead in your business budget for investing in your own self. Sign up to those programs you are interested in and plan accordingly. For example, attend two conferences a year, monthly local business networking nights or bi-monthly presentation workshops.
Do you need to find an extra client or project to cover the costs of attending the higher priced workshops or seminars? How are you going to find those people?
- Networking Events
One the traps I have fallen into over the past year or two, was attending the “networking” events because of a big name speaker, the ‘fear of missing out’ or due to the fact they were in my local area. I didn’t actually think beforehand whether the group was within my business demographic or what I actually want to get out of the presentation.
While big name speakers are inspirational to hear, did you put any of their pearls of wisdom into place once you were back in your office, staring at your computer screen? Did you connect with at least 2 or 3 people at your table you may potentially be able to help in the future?
If there are five accountants in your group and you are also an accountant, are you willing to collaborate and share the work? Or is it a competitive atmosphere, where every woman is to fight – claws out – when work is on offer within the space? Can you deal with that driven spirit within the group or will it be a time and energy waste to work with these people?
Investing within your self is also about the emotional drain some people and situations can impact on your self-esteem. Think about these events before you buy the ticket – what’s in it for YOU, as well as your business.
Do you have a business coach? You may benefit from someone who is objective and independent to your business to bounce off ideas and suggestions. Someone who can provide a different perspective and clarifies your position. If you are on a budget, set yourself (and them) a set number of sessions to work with and have an agenda before you go to make the most of the time.
Maybe you can connect with a mentor and hold each other accountable for certain tasks, projects or achievements.
Other times you may be paying for knowledge you already know but it is presented in a format you understand and with a strategy to assist your business. Sometimes we just need someone else to tell us what we already know.
Investing in yourself opens your mind to the way other people operate and gives a different perspective on the way we traditionally do business.
We are often re-energised when we meet new people, our business mojo is revived and the emphasis on our self worth improves. Sometimes we just need that extra push to get going, so take this energy and run with it as long as you can.
If you don’t value “you” in your own business, then why should others?
Lisa Berson is a freelance writer and copywriter based in south-west Western Australia. Lisa uses words to give a voice to online business owners who lack the time or know-how to engage with their online client base. Her words have been seen on Kidspot, Leaders in Heels and My Child/Parenting Express websites. Loves chocolate, not a fan of broad beans. Check her out at www.lisaberson.com