My heart was in my throat as I read aloud the digits on my credit card, one by one.
It was the largest single transaction I’d ever made (I’d never bought a house at that point), and it was a total leap of faith. I only knew one thing: I could NOT afford to lose that money, so I had to make it work, and get a sizable return on my investment.
I had been running my business a year or two, and while it was creeping along steadily, I knew that if I wanted it to get beyond the startup phase and be a truly successful enterprise – which I defined as one that was profitably helping thousands or even millions of people – I would need help.
Because although I knew a lot about language, communication and coaching, I did NOT know a lot about business development. So I hired a coach.
- He was someone I knew, liked and trusted (the three keys to successful marketing)
- I got references and did my due diligence
- During our consult call we got crystal clear on the goals we would work toward together, and
- Most importantly, I believed he could help me achieve them.
All of which meant I needed to pay him, at his rates (which were much higher than mine at the time, rightfully), and in advance… then buckle up and do the work!
But my faith and efforts were rewarded, and with his guidance (and many other people’s support since then), I built a thriving, successful business that I love.
The investment in myself and my business paid off – WHEW!
Now I make sure my own clients feel that same confidence and clarity when they sign on for training and coaching with me.
But, let’s be honest: most of us feel guilty investing in ourselves because it typically requires two scarce resources: TIME and MONEY. Even if we can find enough of one, it’s almost impossible to find both at the same time. And even if we can find both, we often feel like we should give them to someone else, not use them for ourselves.
And if we ARE going to be honest with ourselves, we also know that if you’re not growing, you’re dying. Those are the only options. And that goes for all realms of life – personal, professional, and beyond.
The bottom line is: It’s impossible to be a maximally healthy, effective leader – of a family, team, business or otherwise – without strategically investing in your own on-going development.
My guest Lance Bachmann, founder of 1SEO, drives that point home on this week’s Speaking to Influence podcast episode.
For Lance, as a teen life was hard – including a period of homelessness and another period in foster care – full of trouble in many flavors. But as a young adult, he made a pivotal decision to work hard and be successful at all (ethical) costs, refusing to allow his personal history to define him. Instead, he used it to fuel him to be successful.
Unfortunately, when the streets are your “school” as a child a traditional education doesn’t seem important, so upon deciding to walk a more professional path, he realized he was missing some fundamental skill sets for success.
Among other early personal development choices, Lance shared how he asked his supervisor to teach him public speaking skills, because it was a skill set that he knew he didn’t possess, but realized would be essential for him to get to the top.
But it’s also important to invest in the development of your team. Recently, Lance stepped down as CEO and handed the reins over to his successor, CJ Bachmann. As he had decided several years ago that CJ would eventually take the role, he saw to it that she proactively received any training, coaching or other support she would need to be ready to lead at the top when the day came.
Aside from investing in ourselves, one more thing many of us are not very good at is asking for help. However, when the help is also a way to help other people, it becomes easier to ask.
We’ve recently discovered that Podcast Magazine is taking a poll: “Top Moms in Podcasting” (shows hosted by women who are mothers, whether or not the show has anything to do with the world of motherhood.)
So I’m extending the invitation to you today: If you have enjoyed the guests, stories, and insights from the Speaking to Influence podcast and these weekly updates, and believe more people would benefit from listening, please vote for me as one of the “Top Moms in Podcasting.”
Starting today through April 10, 2022, you can vote for me once a day. Please cast your daily votes here.
Also this week, I had the privilege of being on the Geeks, Geezers, and Googlization show! (Can I tell you how much I love that title?) We talked about how you can up your virtual communication game and bring out your best in-person self on video. It’s simpler than you think, and the gains are off the chart. Listen to the conversation here.