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Personal Development for Business Owners

Tracy Meeks
Vice President, Small Business Banking
Park Bank


Business owners spends days developing their teams, but how do they pursue developing themselves?

As a small business owner, everything is on you. You’re tasked with seemingly endless complex and conflicting tasks. Keep tight reins on cash flow while ensuring your employees feel appreciated. Address disciplinary issues while carefully shaping the culture. Focus on the pipeline so you’re never left without a resource. Develop and engage your people. Speak at your alma mater. Find a morsel of time to spend with your actual family, who is left to watch as you drive yourself into a frenzy.

What time (not to mention energy) is left to devote to your growth as an influential leader?

These four tips will guide you to continue shining as a sought-after leader in the midst of growing your team and your business.

1. Read.
Keep a constant eye on applicable leadership books, blogs, industry trades lists and magazines. Every leader I’ve ever admired has been a voracious consumer of literature. Make this a habit. A myopic view is one of the most pressing dangers to your practices and your business becoming outdated.

2. Schedule consistent touchpoints with your team.
Choose the right employees and listen to their thoughts. Find time to put time on the calendar with your staff in regular rhythms. If you’ve done your job getting to know them and treating them fairly, they will tell you what’s going on. Their feedback will develop and push you to deliver even more creative solutions. Invest in them. Treat them all the same. After they are scheduled, do everything in your power not to reschedule. This matters to your employees, and they notice everything.

3. Find your tribe.
Surround yourself with other business owners who do business in a way that you admire. Invite them to events. Ask them about their daughter’s fourth birthday party. Listen to their pains, their thoughts, their wins. Share awards, contests, grants and resources that are hot. You will both be better because of it. Being a business owner is hard, and your tribe will be a vital piece of your success (and sanity)!

4. Engage thought leaders.
Bring in thought leaders. Think wide here—this doesn’t have to be laser-specific to your industry. Speakers and trainers can add massive value to your business. Experience this alongside your team. It is wildly important for your employees to physically see you being developed, too!

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