Want to be a Better Entrepreneur? Start Working on Yourself

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man-desk-thoughtsWhen was the last time you stopped to check on your personal growth? If there answer is not recently, it’s time to make a change, and soon.

Entrepreneurs can get distracted from attending to their business’ most valuable asset – themselves, says Kobus Engelbrecht, spokesperson for one of South Africa’s most respected entrepreneurship competition, the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.

Engelbrecht gives 4 ideas for how you can better invest in yourself.

1. You can never learn enough

“There is no surer way to succeed than to keep abreast of market trends,” says Engelbrecht, who encourages entrepreneurs to prioritise daily learning.

“This does not only mean formal education. Many successful entrepreneurs spend a significant amount of time reading, whether for work or for leisure.” He/she explains that while reading about your own business industry and others helps to keep your mind sharp, setting aside time to escape with a good fictional book is just as important to maintain a work-life balance.

2. Trust your team

“You are the driving force of your business and if you crumble, your business can suffer. Surround yourself with people you can trust with your business. This is not only applicable for when you are away from your business (on holiday or study leave) – but is an important factor for day-to-day operations.

Engelbrecht says that having a reliable team to take care of the tasks you can’t get to is important to taking your business forward, as you can’t always do everything as the business owner.

3. Find a mentor

It has often been said that business mentors are worth their weight in gold. Seeking out opportunities for learning from a trusted business mentor, or various internship opportunities are some of the easiest, yet most valuable steps to take in furthering your own career.

“Spending time talking to and asking questions of someone who has walked a successful entrepreneurial path can add extra value and training, customised to your unique business – which is something not often attainable through an online course or through standardised reading material,” says Engelbrecht.

4. Include downtime as a part of the process

Having a healthy work-life balance is essential to ensuring your continued creativity and ability to contribute innovative ideas to your company.

While working longer hours may be necessary every once in a while, getting into the habit of ‘all work and no play’ can often result in the quality of your work slipping.

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