When I was in my early 20s, I went through a rough transition that eventually led to my own personal growth journey. This photo of me working from a hotel in Beijing above is a very different image than who I was earlier.
I was in an on/off relationship that had just ended for the third time. I was in a job I did not find fulfilling at all and I was drinking and partying way too much to make things worse. (Hint – this is the worst thing to do when you are already not happy).
After that relationship ended again, something inside me snapped, and I became set out to become the best person I could possibly be.
To do that, I knew that the journey was 100% my responsibility and blaming anyone or anything else for my problems would not get me anywhere.
That is the first step to accelerating your personal growth journey. You need to take 100% responsibility for everything in your life.
If you don’t like something it is your responsibility alone to take action to correct it. It is not the responsibility of the government or anyone else to make you happier and more successful. It is only yours.
So your first step to accelerating your personal growth is to embrace that mindset.
Once you have truly embraced that, do the following tasks.
Name the specific skill you want to improve on
Personal growth is a very broad term, and the way we grow it is by improving all the skills that lie underneath that. Is it communication, technical skills, leadership skills?
Grab a piece of paper and write down some areas you want to improve on in your own life. For example, some I have had are: improving my writing for web content, improving my public speaking, learning growth analytics, and campaign strategies.
The more specific you can get, the better.
Once you found the skill you want to improve, here is exactly what you should do.
1.) Buy the top 5 to 10 highest rated books on Amazon for that skill
Reading from people who have had past success in the skill you want is one of the quickest ways to learn something and put it into action. Most people will just read one or two books on the subject; reading five to ten will dramatically enhance your skills and overall knowledge in that skill.
You may also use Audible for this. Personally, I mix reading and listening. If you’re not on Audible, get it if you are truly serious about increasing your personal growth. Time spent walking or commuting is valuable time to learn.
You can also check websites like edX or Coursera for courses you can enroll in on the subject. Some are free and some are paid.
2.) Start networking (and do it correctly)
Look up groups on Meetup and other platforms like Eventbrite for the skill you want to grow and start attending them. This will have two immediate impacts: you will start learning more on your topic, and you will begin networking and meeting like-minded people in the business.
A quick note—networking doesn’t mean finding as many people as you can and then asking them if you can “pick their brain.” This has generally become a big no-no in the entrepreneur space. You always have to consider what value YOU can add to the other person as well.
Having said that, what is the best way to approaching networking?
Simple, build meaningful relationships and new friends. Play the long game. Picking someones brain for 10 minutes over coffee may help you temporarily right now, but it leaves a bad taste and doesn’t set you up for a long term relationship, which is FAR more valuable.
After you meet some new people at an event and discover their interests and what they are doing connect with them through email or social media. If you find any articles or insights that may be of value to them, send them their way. Comment on their posts and encourage them on their own journey.
Build a meaningful relationship, instead of coming at them like a vampire trying to absorb as much knowledge as possible.
Recently, I have been attending an amazing Growth Marketing meetup in San Francisco.
3.) Find 2- or 3 professional events or conferences on the skill you want to grow
There are so many conferences, seminars, and live events for almost any skill that you could ever want to grow. Check your own city or any nearby and I bet you will find some. Live events are powerful as they are a full immersion experience. You essentially take the first two points above and throw it into a fast spaced boot-camp style experience.
Try to do this each year and make an effort to attend them. Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make and will yield the highest returns.
Rinse and repeat this for each skill you want to build, and you will 10x your personal growth in that area.
Seem simple? It definitely is.
How many people do you think actually do this though? Be the exception!