Growth: From Accidentally to On Purpose

Personal Growth for the work at home womanBy Christy Schutz

Currently I am privileged to be part of a terrific mastermind group (with some really smart people and a wonderful facilitator), and together we are studying the personal growth book, “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth” by John C. Maxwell. His book really can be called “invaluable”— the personal growth tips I’ve picked up so far are life changing and I highly recommend you consider checking it out.

As I have attempted to ponder and process what I’m learning these past several weeks, there is one particular principle that has bubbled around in my head. And that is the idea that one has to get really intentional about growth (or, as Maxwell terms it, “The Law of Intentionality”). If you want to keep growing and advancing, whether that applies to your business, your industry, your relationships, your fitness, your knowledge base on a given topic—whatever—you have to actually plan to grow! It is not just going to happen automatically.

It is a really simple point. But so true. And something that I think escapes a lot of us. To bring this point home, allow me to pose a few questions:

Do you actually schedule time for your growth every day? Or if not daily, at least every week? Or even every month? I know I didn’t.

Now that you have achieved a certain degree of success, (or graduated college, established yourself in a particular career field, accomplished a specific goal, etc.), have you allowed yourself to go into automatic pilot or are you still actively pursuing personal development opportunities in your life? There have been goals I have pursued sporadically over the years, but, I definitely can’t say I had an active growth plan.

Do you have a mentor, trainer or personal coach who is consistently challenging you to grow? Likewise, are you looking for opportunities to give back by seeking out others who you can lead and develop? I can answer nope and nope on these two. I wasn’t really putting myself in an environment to be pushed or focusing on somebody else’s development.

Has your most recent growth experience come accidentally or by design? Accidentally… usually from mistake I’ve made or bad turn. Seems like, at least in my case, pain is a good teacher.

And what about Work at Home Women (or those who someday hope to be)? Are you focused on developing this area of your life? Like, if you aren’t working from home yet, what have you done to move closer to making that a reality for your life? Have you pulled together the facts (check out my post on Making a Case for Telecommuting for some tips) and made an appointment to discuss options with your boss? Or, have you checked out some of the work at home opportunities right here on The Work at Home

If you are working from home, what have you done to share your success story with other women? Have you taken steps to improve your work at home environment? Are you looking for new ways to do your work more effectively, striving to stay top of mind with your customers and/or boss, or, testing new time management ideas so that you can enjoy more time with your family? Are you actively connecting with other work at home women and seeking opportunities that will make your experience better (The Work at Home blog is great place to start).

I’d like to say in my case that I am actively pursued in growth in this area, but, I have Holly Hanna and my involvement in this blog to thank for that.

Bottom line is this. Our growth and advancement has to be an ongoing endeavor that we are continually pursuing. We have to plan for it, allocate time toward it, and consciously look for opportunities because it will not just happen accidentally or automatically. Maxwell summed it up best when he said “If you want to reach your potential and become the person you were created to be, you must do much more than just experience life and hope that you learn what you need along the way. You must go out of your way to seize growth opportunities as if your future depended on it. Why? Because it does. Growth doesn’t just happen—not for me, not for you, not for anybody. You have to go after it?”1

So, what are you going to do TODAY to intentionally plan for personal growth in your life?

1. Quote was taken from John C. Maxwell’s book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth (New York: Center Street, 2012), 13.

Christy Schutz, is a communications professional and freelance writer focused on topics like employer/personal branding, career management, personal development, women in the workplace, and female entrepreneurs. She enjoys putting 16+ years of experience in the advertising, recruitment marketing, employee/internal communications and special events industries to good use by helping others to discover, develop and market their own distinct calling or mission. This Tampa Bay, FL-based Mom also keeps herself busy by raising 4 kids, caring for her husband & doting on her dogs Petey and Daisy!

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