A question we are often asked is what are the boundaries between Business Development versus Personal Development and do we, The Last Hurdle™, help with someone’s personal development. These two areas sound pretty massive in their own right so can we possibly attempt to work on both at the same time? What is immediately apparent is that when you develop a business, the two areas of business development and personal development are very closely linked and although we are Business Development Specialists, we at The Last Hurdle™ recognise the requirement for both. So what are the differences and what are the similarities? The most obvious similarity to my mind is that neither of these processes should ever end – we all keep learning and we should always keep developing our businesses. It is easy to see if we use the analogy of pushing a snowball across fresh snow. At the start it takes quite a bit of effort to get a ball formed but then as you keep pushing, however slowly, the snowball gets bigger and bigger i.e. we become more learned or more practised in a given skill and our businesses keep maintaining growth momentum.
Business Development versus Personal Development
The problem comes should you ever stop pushing your snowball and it comes to rest. Now that you (as an individual or as a business) are stationary, all those around you are pushing their snowballs passed you; you are being left behind, becoming less competitive. The second issue is that to get your snowball moving again takes far more energy and resources than if you had kept it gently moving the whole time. It is exactly the same with us and our businesses – it is far easier to keep learning and developing our businesses than it is to get something moving from scratch. Business performance is also clearly linked to personal performance and when we develop a given business we frequently have to impact on what are considered the realms of personal development, especially in two specific areas:
- Self-confidence. A lack of confidence is one of the biggest reasons people procrastinate or don’t do tasks that they know are important to perform. By working with someone and giving a combination of training and coaching, it is readily possible to bridge that gap in confidence so that there is a permanent shift in behaviour and hence in outcomes.
- Communication & relationships. All thriving businesses rely on the ability for people to communicate and build relationships. Relationships with customers, with suppliers, with colleagues…..it’s all about relationships. Therefore we must make sure these are effective if a business is to be developed.
There is clearly a significant crossover then when looking at business development versus personal development, it’s like those old Venn Diagrams from school – there is a sector in the middle that is common but the rest of the areas are distinct and separate. Rather than business development versus personal development therefore – we all need to be looking at business development AND personal development. Dr. Trevor Ray has a PhD in molecular biology and in this arena discovered his love for sales and marketing. Trevor is a franchise owner of The Last Hurdle™, a team of Business Development Specialists and has a particular interest in personal development having joined the organisation from Dale Carnegie Training. He uses his various skills to assist clients develop their businesses and is often seen enthusing about the power of the word ‘and’.