The one thing every successful entrepreneur has in common is continuous improvement through learning. It may not be conventional post-secondary education at a university or college program. It may not even be in a traditional curriculum-based course. As entrepreneurs we must continuously be working on ourselves, our business and expanding our vision in order to be taking our business to the next level.
The old adage “you don’t know what you don’t know” comes to mind, as so often entrepreneurs take the leap of faith to self-employment, honing a service or product for delivery to our ideal clients. We seek and value education and development in our field to maintain our expertise and spend time staying on trend with new information and watching what industry competitors are doing. How often do we take a step back to look at our business as a whole? Do you examine the effectiveness, profitability, marketing strategy, or long-term planning for your business on a regular basis?
If not, it’s time to start!
It’s proven that professional development for entrepreneurs not only provides education, perspective, and the opportunity to better your service or product line, but also builds networks, community, and support for many of us. It can serve as a reminder that we’re not alone, we all face the same challenges and can learn from each other as much as we can from books and courses.
A financial planner and business consultant working primarily with fabulous entrepreneurs, I understand the value and real return on investing in yourself as a business owner.
Not only do I organize and emphasize the importance of professional and personal development to continuously better ourselves, I also work on my own professional and personal development, both within my industry and in business in general. It’s easy to get caught up in continuous over-development, so balance is important because after all, you still need to be implementing strategies for business growth and growing your business. Resources are valuable however and should not be ignored, especially when they are provided in your area, and proven to educate, inspire and connect its attendees.
Let’s break it down GWEn-Style and do the math!
The GWEn mandate is Educate. Inspire. Connect.
As a business owner with annual sales of $50,000….
EDUCATE: you attend a full-day professional development conference focused on branding and marketing and learn one strategy you didn’t know before to help expand your marketing reach. That marketing tool increases sales by 1% in the last quarter = $500
INSPIRE: you’ve been feeling at a plateau in business, doing okay, but not getting to that next level. You hear from a speaker or meet a fellow entrepreneur that re-sparks the passion for your business. This re-established passion inspires you to proactively market your business, increasing your last quarter sales by 10% = $5,000
CONNECT: you attend the event and make a stellar connection with a fellow entrepreneur which leads to a new client (average sale/client $500), or strategic partnership = $500
If we value your time at $100/hour for an 8 hour day away from your business and $159 ticket price, a $6,000 increase in sales.
That’s a 525% rate of return on your investment in one year!
Worth the investment in yourself?
Jennifer Wallace is an independent insurance & financial planner specializing in helping entrepreneurs achieve their financial freedom dreams while protecting their most precious and important assets. By integrating business and personal planning needs and aiding in the continued business development of her clients’ businesses, she’s able to offer a professional, outside perspective and help in making future strategic plans to help her clients grow and prosper. Her work and recognition of the rise in female owned and operated businesses inspired her to organize the first ever Growing Women Entrepreneurs (GWEn) Conference in 2012, which has only grown over the years to create a supportive and diverse community of women entrepreneurs.
To learn more, follow Jennifer on social media @jennwall30, Facebook, LinkedIn, or check out her website.