Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Self-Improvement Journey

In 2012, because of a new business project, I began to put much more effort into personal development.  I figured it would be good to share my personal development journey.

But, it is way more important who you are talking with than that I share at all.  So, let me introduce myself.

Today, I might be considered a successful person. 

"A winner knows how much he still has to learn even when he is considered and expert by others. A loser wants to be considered and expert by others before he has learned enough to know how little he knows." Sydney J. Harris

But, I grew up the first son of a single mother who had to work 4 jobs to make ends meet most of my young life. When I was 5 she worked 4 jobs and carried a full load in her education masters program while on the dean's list. When I was in junior high and high school, she worked 4 jobs just to keep food on the table. Then she started a venture when I graduated high school that is now a 25 year old company that has funded 1000s of companies and billions of dollars.

I own 10 different companies in different stages of success. But, I count my success in the time I get to spend with my family and the success stories I have created in my funding clients and in my sales teams.

So, maybe my journey in self-improvement might be of some use to others.  Like I said, my current journey in personal development started with a new business project 2 years ago.  Before that, I am not so sure I was aware of personal development per se. I think I read books that some would say I should read, but no one had told me to read them. I just found them. I read books like The Magic of Thinking Big and Think and Grow Rich. I read others like Never Eat Alone and How to Win Friends and Influence People.

It frustrates me to know that I might have had even more success than I have had if someone had encouraged me to read personal development books much earlier.  Of course, personally I am a Christian and of course I read the quintessential personal development book we call our Bible.  But, I learned the hard way the value of personal development.

I don't like to read much. Prior to two years ago, I mostly read fiction outside of reading the Bible.  So, when this business project brought the awareness of my lack of development to the forefront, I began to read like I have never read before. I began reading on subjects like leadership, encouragement, happiness, business success, case studies, biographies, how-to books, and anything I could get my hands on. For instance, one time I heard Will Smith, a personal development mentor from a distance of mine, that he read the book called The Alchemist, I immediately began a search for it. I found that it was so old that it was out of print and could only find a PDF of it online. I read that one book all the way through as quick as possible.

Now, I am in the middle of close to 20 books at any one time and re-reading several in that list for multiple times.

I had heard that "Leaders are Readers" but it sounded trite. As I started reading more, I began to agree with that saying. How can a man get better without looking in the mirror? And, reading a book is like looking the mirror of someone else's life and journey. 

So, the first part of my journey was to find time to read and not take away from my family and my businesses. I began to wake up "earlier" and stay up later to get more "me time" in and work on me instead of me just working.

As I share this journey from time to time, I want to share books that I have found valuable, and I want to share lessons that you can take away from my journey.

APPLICATION: 

  • Begin to read today.
  • Find a personal development mentor or coach either in person or virtually like in a book or on youtube or in audios you can listen to.
  • Find accountability partners who will ask you how your commitment to personal development is coming.
  • But, find time no matter how short a time, and no matter when you can find it even if it is listening from your phone as you drive down the road, but find time for personal development in your life.
Disclaimer:
I don't currently have any personal development books for sale. I am not trying to sell you anything.

Please share and comment and let others know about your journey too.

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