I often refer to starting a business as the perfect personal development tool.
And I believe that it is.
No other endeavor will challenge you as much and lets you confront both your fears and insecurities as well as highten your inner powers and strengths as much as running your own business.
How my business changed me
Most people will probably know me as a strong, independent woman that lives life on her terms. And it’s true, I have come a long way.
But I’m still often confronted with my limited beliefs and inner demons and every stage of the business offers new challenges.
Business is fun, exhilarating and rewarding. It’s also challenging, nerve wracking and scary but that’s kind of the point.
Let’s go back 20 years….
I sometimes think back at the woman I was 20 years ago. I was 32 and had just arrived in Australia.
My husband and I had moved into a small apartment and full of impersonal and hired stuff. I felt like a stranger in my own house and also a stranger to myself.
I felt a bit lost as I was unsure what to do. I had tried working for a company again and it was a disaster; I was unhappy with working for others. I could no longer follow orders I did not understand or respect or work for people that I felt incapable.
I wanted to start my own business but wasn’t quite sure what to do. I was tired of the marketing roles I had done sofar and wanted to do something more tangible, more creative.
I was also pretty insecure about myself and fought with inner demons of the past.
I convinced my husband to do a personal development course together as I wanted to get stronger and get more confidence in myself and my capabilities.
This was a challenging course. I remember being on stage where we had to mention 3 things about ourselves that we really liked.
I stood on that stage trembling, with lots of emotions coming up and I was incapable of proudly showcasing myself in front of all those people. Even I had not realized until that moment how insecure I was and how I struggled with low self esteem.
Now, 20 years later things are so much different. I frequently put myself out there in front of thousands of people, sometimes sharing one of my most vulnerable memories as I did in this video.
So what did I do to make that happen?
I believe that the answer is that I started doing something different.
Instead of just looking for another job as I had always done, I started brainstorming with myself of what I wanted to do. i explored fashion design, styling, interior design, interior decorating, color consultancy amongst others.
Through trial and error I stumbled eventually upon web design. I bought lots of books on the topic and started teaching myself html and graphic design. This was before programs like WordPress made it all so easy.
Luckily social media wasn’t there yet so I was laser focussed on improving my new skills.
I offered some acquaintances to create a website for them.
When they were happy with the results, they told their friends and I got my first assignments.
Pretty soon I had my own business creating websites for others, where I not only created the website but also made sure that the website got results for them.
The secret is is in DOING!
As I started DOING more, I became more confident. It was exhilarating to get positive feedback from customers and make my own money. It felt empowering to offer others MY skills who where so happy to pay for them.
I started believing more in my own power and my ability to get results for customers.
Now 20 years later, I am so much more confident than the woman I was back then. I’m always growing though and always learning more. That will never stop.
My business allows me to grow every single day. Especially through the actions I take and putting myself out there. It’s the perfect personal development tool.
I have challenged myself to be a bit more vulnerable for example, to show you more of who I really am. That is partly why I’m writing this to you.
To let you know that I’m not perfect or always confident by any means. That I still get scared and insecure and that no matter how accomplished you are in your business, there are always new challenges to face.
That’s part of growing. It’s part of business and it’s part of growing as a person.
I will never stop developing myself further and neither should you.
You may think that by the age of 40, 50 or even 60, you should have it all together. But there are always new things to learn about yourself and there is always the opportunity to grow further. Don’t feel that when you reach a certain age that should stop.
If you like to read the full story of how I grew my business you can read it here.
I would love to hear your stories! How have you developed yourself over the years and what role did your business play in that?
Do you believe that a business can be the perfect personal development tool?
p.s. Have you developed a strong business and would you love to share what you learned with my audience? Or are you struggling with your online business and would you like me to coach you? You can now apply to be a guest on the upcoming 40+Entrepreneur Podcast!