How much have you invested in your personal and professional development this year? And last year? Tell me and I’ll tell you what I think what are you worth.
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So What Are You Worth?
I’m sure you have asked yourself the question: “how much am I worth?” It often surfaces around annual salary increment time or when we go after a new job and find ourselves in interviews or negotiations, doesn’t it?
Of course our skills, our attitude, our success track record, our image, our network reach and the results we have achieved plus many other measures can be applied to this question of “worth”. And all too often it isn’t dependent that much on what we think, but it’s in the eye of the beholder isn’t it?
You know the cliché that the only place LUCK comes before WORK is in the dictionary? However, no matter how hard we work or how much experience we have or any of the above measures, it is very rare that any of that stays sustainable for too long a period, before our skills and value run the risk of becoming a bit “stale”. Unless we keep adding to that skill-set and value in some way, right?
Leaders are Readers
Let me check in with you – what book are you currently reading? Or if not, when last have you read a book that aided your personal development?
When it comes to our economic worth, I have learned that rarely does our economic development exceed our personal development, would you agree?
Now I’m not talking about the courses that your boss or your company has sent you on, although they are really valuable. I’m talking about initiatives you have undertaken yourself to improve your self-worth and your skills and your interests. You know, “you driving your own bus“?
In my work coaching and mentoring business owners and business executives and also grooming and training “professionals” in soft skills I am amazed at how man y people have allowed their initial “tertiary hunger” to lapse and how many now consider themselves “too busy” to read books at all, let alone regularly read personal development (PD) books.
At the same time I have found that a reasonable proportion of these leaders have recognized that to stay on top of their game and ahead of the rest, that they have had to keep “re-inventing themselves”. And you know what is often common throughout this latter group? They have recognized the value and very effectively work together with a coach. Think about it – why does Roger Federer have a coach?
I remember someone saying: “Don’t have enough vision? Then you aren’t standing on enough books”. He also said: “Leaders are readers”. I really connected with that and since then I have read at least one personal development book a month for almost 25 years.
And a reasonable proportion of those books as well as networking into the right areas and experts would focus on the topic of “nett worth”, like I said in “It’s not what you make – It’s what you keep“, high incomes are worth nothing if they just fuel higher lifestyles (and more debt to keep up with the Jones’). Developing your ability to invest sustainably so you can do what you “want to” instead of doing what you “have to”. Have a read or listen to “The 5% That Know Why“.
What Are You Worth Brad Sugars?
Now before you accuse me of bragging, allow me to put this into perspective. I once had the opportunity to spend half an hour in a room with Aussie US based billionaire Brad Sugars of Action International coaching franchise fame where we asked him to share some of his success principles with us. Amongst other things, he said he’d had his staff compute how much he’d invested in his own personal development in the 17 years since he left uni and they found the number was almost U$400,000! He reads a PD book a week, and he says there is no way anyone could catch up to him because he still does that every week right now – long after and despite his massive financial and other success in life.
Are You One in Twenty?
So, if you are one of the group of “re-inventors” I mentioned earlier then I salute you. Only one in twenty usually are.
If not, I’m not suggesting you race out and enroll in a bunch of courses now. I am suggesting you might want to consider how hard you are working versus how smart you are working. You know the “sharpening your axe” story?
And if I’ve struck a chord with you through this article and you’re wondering where best to start, why not simply start getting into the habit of selecting and reading (or listening to) a book a month?
Or you could do what a lot of those one in twenty smart people are doing for personal development planning and find a coach to work with. A running mate; a sounding board; someone that will challenge your thinking and help you set up a program just for you and your success and then hold you accountable to what you want to achieve. I would be delighted to work with you to achieve that.