However, just because you don’t have a corporate job doesn’t mean you should leave professional development aside.
Reframing some of your thinking or trying a new productivity hack can be a potential game changer for your personal performance.
5 ways to boost your professional development
Here are five strategies to help you become your own professional development coach this year:
1. Rethink your imposter syndrome
Imposter syndrome gets a bad rap, but dwelling on what else those nagging, anxious feelings are trying to tell you can be instructive. If you find yourself in a role or situation where you don’t have all the answers and you’re aware that you don’t “know everything,” it’s better to work with your team or outside experts.
Today, many business leaders recognize that they need to surround themselves with people, or a network of talented people, from whom they can learn and tap into their expertise. This is especially important as the world changes rapidly and change is becoming a constant in business.
2. Accept work-life balance is a myth
A 2020 study of the Australian Institute of Family Studies found that 46% of working women with families said work-life balance was “quite or very difficult”.
The quest to balance your personal and work life is so often unsatisfying because it is so difficult to strike a balance. It may help to reframe the issue to be aware of how you spend your time at home and at work.
Does your perception of your balance change as you strive for more quality time instead of quantity with your partner, friends or children? Knowing that periods of greater imbalance come with ebbs and flows can also help your perspective.
happy confident businesswoman in office
3. Protect your mental health
The COVID-19 pandemic also brought mental health to the surface for many business leaders and the community.
A first step to better protect your mental health is to be aware of your own state of mind. In her book Mentally At Work, Genevieve Hawkins explains how true connection with yourself and others improves productivity at work and in relationships.
Often the activities that best support our mental health, such as exercise and self-care, are the first things we should do when we are busy, when in fact excluding these activities risks exacerbating feelings of stress .
4. Don’t be afraid to fail
Reframing failure to see it as part of learning can help allay the fear of trying something new. Failure is often a by-product of challenging yourself and an important part of the learning process for individuals and companies.
It’s common for many business owners to fear they won’t be able to master new technology such as website building, when the reality is that many products available today can help simplify the process.
Even if you don’t succeed as well as you hoped, trying can also lead you to understand more about your customers and how to build a better business.
5. Examine how you spend your time
If you arrive Friday and wonder where the week went and what happened to your to-do list, it might be time for a productivity audit.
Productivity experts recommend looking at your calendar at the end of the week and thinking about where you spent your time. Have you spent most of your time on your core business? Or has something minor dominated your days? Stopping to check that your time is focused on the things that matter can revolutionize your productivity. The same tactic can be used to monitor how you spend your time outside of work.
Professional development as a small business owner doesn’t have to mean a new degree or course.
Striving for continuous improvement every day with a simple strategy to change the way you think or increase your productivity can help you become a better small business leader tomorrow.