How to justify investing in personal growth as an online creative
Personal development is a growth strategy. It will not only help grow yourself, but your creative business too.
I’ve previously shared my thoughts on how to invest in your creative business + the key takeaway in that blog post is that you have to invest in yourself in order to invest in your business.
Because as an online creative, you *are* your business.
By investing in yourself + your growth as a creative business owner, you’re ultimately investing in the growth of your business as well.
Running a successful creative business isn’t just about your knowledge + learning new skills. It’s just as much, if not more, about managing fear and perfectionism, dealing with self-doubt, growing your confidence + getting rid of mindset blocks.
If you have trouble earning, is that really about not having figured out the “right” marketing strategy or is it about your fear of letting others see your talents?
If you give your work away for free, is that really about showing your “expertise” or is it about how + why you fail to value what you do?
If you fail to celebrate your achievements, is that really about a lack of time or is it about you not cultivating gratitude for yourself, your efforts + your business?
You see, running a creative business *is* a personal growth practice.
So, let’s dig into how you can invest in your personal growth as an online creative, why you should + 3 tips to get started.
Why you need to invest in personal growth as an online creative
Right now, investing in yourself + your personal growth might seem like a luxury or something you can get around to "later”.
But here’s the thing: if you’re anything like most online creatives, you are really, really bad at giving yourself time off. You expect yourself to work overtime + come in during the weekend too.
So, this idea that you can “do it later” is perpetually being pushed further and further away.
You love the work you do + you love your creative business so much that you become blind to the ridiculous expectations you’ve set for yourself.
In a way, investing in your personal growth is a form of self-care. Think of it as a preventative measure to ensure the ongoing success of your business.
/ 1 / You'll learn how to utilize your strengths + weaknesses
Prior to starting my own business, I thought I had a good handle on what my strengths and weaknesses were. Well, after starting my business, they became *really* clear.
Making that initial leap is scary, but it gets even scarier when you realize the uncomfortable truth that you have to stretch yourself + do things that you aren’t sure you’re capable of.
Discovering your strengths and weaknesses is one thing, but what you do with that realization is another.
That’s why personal growth work is so important. Amplifying your strengths + sorting out your weaknesses will be the key to keeping up.
/ 2 / You’ll become more self-aware
Self-awareness is key if you want to run a successful creative business.
Through the day-to-day of managing your business, I’m sure you’ve noticed different things about your preferences and personality that mesh well or don’t mesh with how you work. But there’s a deeper layer to uncover here: why you do the things you do in the way you do them, where those tendencies stem from + how you can continue to improve yourself.
As your focus shifts into always trying to optimize + do things better in your business, you’ll have to prioritize bettering yourself too. This will allow you to make better, more aligned decisions along the way.
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/ 3 / You’ll be able to focus on you, for a change
Remember how I said investing in your personal growth as an online creative is a form of self care? Many of us are in the business of service. We spend a majority of our time making the lives and businesses of our clients + customers better in some way.
It’s nice to know that the work you do makes a difference, but constantly making everyone else a priority will leave you feeling burnt out.
Investing in your personal growth is like giving yourself permission to come back home to yourself.
When you remove all of the noise and distractions + turn your focus inward, you can reconnect with the woman who started this incredible business in the first place. Invest in her. Because when she’s lit up, amazing things happen.
/ 4 / You’ll see that by slowing down inspiration will come to you
The most wonderful things can happen when you get out of your own way.
Sitting quietly with your own thoughts can be scary, but giving those new ideas hiding just below the surface the room to move around, come through + break free is extremely important in order to find clarity in your business.
Slowing down gives you the chance to cultivate a deeper understanding of your personal values, motivations + desires. It’s about feeling your way into the next right step versus taking any sort of forced action.
Learning to trust yourself is part of the work, too. Inner work is still work.
/ 5 / You’ll realize that you can’t let fear be the decision maker
In working with my wonderful clients, I’ve never heard any of them say that they regretted doing the personal growth work.
When you hesitate to take action on the things you so desperately want to make happen, it most likely comes from a place of fear.
Think about all of those times in your life and your business journey where you’ve given away your power + let fear be the decision maker.
Through personal growth work, you’ll learn how to take back that power.
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How to make a plan of action for investing in personal growth as an online creative
We’ve all heard those work-from-home horror stories of working in pyjamas + not having had a shower in 3 days. I’ve certainly been guilty of that myself.
When taking a shower seems like too big of an investment, it’s even harder to take time out of your working hours to work on developing yourself. Even though you know it’s important, it’s still hard to justify taking time away from your business to spend it on personal growth.
If that’s the case for you, why not put some safeguards in place to make personal growth an integral part of your creative business?
Here are 3 tips to help you shift your mindset + prioritize investing in your own growth and, ultimately, improve your business as well.
/ 1 / Set aside a budget
In my previous day job, I had an annual budget that I could spend on trainings or courses or conferences. I never had to negotiate with my boss about the necessity or the cost of my learning, because the budget was set in stone.
In a similar fashion, I recommend you set aside a budget in your business solely for your personal growth. Whether it’s a set amount each month/quarter/year or a percentage of your monthly revenue, it simply takes money out of any decision.
The budget is set in stone and the money is mentally spent. It takes the justifying, negotiating + excuses out of the equation. And that’s a helpful mindset shift to make.
If you have trouble spending the money on yourself, realize that sometimes the cost of not doing something is greater than the cost of doing it. Again, I’ve never seen anyone regret doing the personal growth work.
/ 2 / Set aside time in your calendar
Similarly to setting aside a monetary budget for your personal growth, set yourself a time budget too.
Block time in your calendar or planner on a weekly or monthly basis, whatever you’re comfortable with, that is reserved for doing the personal growth work
I’ve found that, by setting aside a certain amount of time, I’m extra motivated to make as much use of the time I have available to me as I can.
Use that time to work with a coach, to finally work through the many courses you’ve purchased that are gathering virtual dust on your computer, or simply read books or blogs or listen to inspiring podcasts.
/ 3 / Plan out where you want to grow + the results you’re looking for
The trouble with having a big chunk of blank space in your calendar is that there are simply too many possibilities of things you could be doing with that time.
The first step is to list out all of the areas in your work and life where you want to improve and grow. Then, break those areas down into smaller topics and, ultimately, specific things that you can work on.
So, don’t just write down ‘mindset’, but whittle that down to ‘money mindset’ and, specifically, working on implementing tactics for yourself to go from a scarcity to an abundance mindset.
Or, don’t just write down ‘perfectionism’, but really think it through + narrow it down to, for instance, the comparison aspect of your perfectionism that has you believing that you’re not good enough and that others are so much better than you + work on implementing tactics to help you manage your perfectionistic comparison issues and solidify your self-belief, vision, and values.
Next up is to prioritize the areas for growth on the list you’ve just made. What are the areas that are holding you back from growing the most, both in your life and in your creative business? And what items on the list make you most excited to start doing the work on?
You’ve now gone from a long, random list to a prioritized list of things you want to work on. Now it’s time to plan them out + fill up the blank spaces in your calendar with specific things and activities you want to do.
One final tip is to think about the results you want to see + write them down in your calendar as well. What are your goals? What objectives do you want to achieve? How do you want to feel after doing this one thing?
By setting the intention that you want to, for instance, work on overcoming your perfectionism to finally make that big idea you have for your business a reality, you’ll make sure that you structure your personal growth work with that objective in mind.
So there you have it.
5 extremely good reasons why you need to invest in your personal growth as a creative business owner + 3 practical tips to help you make it happen.
I’m certain that if you give yourself permission, carve out the time + allow yourself to do the work on yourself that you’ve been called to do for a while now, incredible things will happen for you and your business.
You can do this, my sweet friend, I know you can. I’ll be cheering you on as always.
Talking about investing…
If you’re tired of struggling with your need for constant perfection + need a little help with overcoming your perfectionism so that you can start making those big ideas you have for your creative business a reality, then invest some time and energy (do it today!) into my free(!) ‘4 steps to ditch perfect’ workbook.
I’D LOVE TO KNOW: WHAT ARE SOME AREAS OF FOCUS IN YOUR PERSONAL GROWTH JOURNEY?
Hey, Wendy here!
As a perfectionism coach, I help online creatives #ditchperfect, overcome their perfectionism + take action on the big ideas they have for their business. Let’s work together and make those ideas happen.