Why business owners must put cash aside for their own development - Phil Fraser

As a business owner do you have a personal development budget?

A what?

As the name suggests, a specific budget, or pot of money, set aside for your own personal development. If you haven’t got one, you really should.

I think this is a brilliant concept and it came to my notice via the personal branding coach, Deborah Ogden, on her ‘More Impact’ podcast.

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Business leaders should put some cash aside for their own personal development, says Phil Fraser (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)Business leaders should put some cash aside for their own personal development, says Phil Fraser (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)
Business leaders should put some cash aside for their own personal development, says Phil Fraser (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

‘Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development’ says Hal Elrond and that is so true. It’s the same as Stephen Covey’s habit no7 ‘keep sharpening the saw’.

Most businesses will have a training budget in their budgets and then accounts.

There’s no quibbling about it, and no questions asked. Quite rightly, it’s there specifically to train, develop and improve our staff. But very rarely do we have, for ourselves as business owners, a personal development budget.

Why is that? We can see the obvious benefits for our teams, but not ourselves? How often do we look at ourselves as business owners and work on ourselves?

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Think about how much more impact you, as a business owner, will have with more, and better, skills…

So what are the positives from, and reasons for your budget? Here are at least six reasons to consider for you, for your own ‘business owner’s personal development budget, and there are many more;

* Now you’ve allocated a budget for it, it doesn’t feel as much like a ‘cold cost’; if you were just proactively booking something like a course. Now it’s there it’s expected to be spent. The ‘psychological’ change in this perception is huge.

* It’s an investment. In you. What’s an investment? You put money in expecting more in return. That’s exactly the same with personal development, whether it’s time, effort or money that you are investing.

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* It gets you out of your ‘comfort zone’. It’s very easy to stay in the safe zone, and as we always say, ‘if it’s not at least a bit scary, you’re not pushing yourself’. But the beauty of the comfort zone is that it’s easily expandable with a bit of training, learning and encouragement.

* With personal development comes the inevitable confidence, greater respect and an increased and broader skillset; all the things a successful business owner needs in his or her arsenal.

* In very simple terms it gives you new skills, or improved and updated versions of the skills you already possess. What’s not to love?

* It gives you ‘permission’ to try new things. The budget is there; it’s there to be spent so you now have permission to spend it.

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The suggestion is that you allocate 10% of your personal income on personal development. So what could you spend your newly allocated budget on?

The obvious place to start might be a formal training course which could be face-to-face (in a group or individual) or it might be online (live or pre-recorded). But at the same time a business coach, business mentor or Business Sounding Board might be a better choice. Or you might simply learn and develop yourself via podcasts, watching webinars or go fully old school and read books.

And remember this can be a mix of new skills or brushing up on old skills. And again, it doesn’t necessarily need to be a business skill. This is ‘personal’ development so how about that language you were always going to master? Or the guitar? Or the painting or knitting….

So, are you going to get yourself a personal development budget?

Phil Fraser is a business mentor behind the The Business Sounding Board