How to Guarantee Success in Your Personal Growth

by Debra Bednar-Clark

Whether you want to improve your physique, love life, bank account or career, research has shown that there is a direct correlation between the amount of time, money and energy you invest in self-development and the benefits you receive.

I was thrilled when a close friend recently reached out to me for career coaching. Like so many women I meet all the time, my friend is smart, driven, caring and wants to make a major impact for an organization but consistently finds herself in professional roles that don’t move her world.

Because my good friend would be my very first client who I also happened to have a very close personal relationship with, the inevitable and unavoidable question arose: — was I going to charge her for my services? And if so, do I give her a discount or charge her the same amount I charge for all of my other clients? I thought about it long and hard, and ultimately decided that I was going to charge her my full rack rate. Not because I didn’t want to help out a friend – quite the contrary. I decided to charge her because if you want to grow, you need to invest in yourself. For my friend to get the most value out of coaching, there needed to be a transaction. The very act of paying for the service would elevate her commitment and energy to the process.

But as it turns out, only five percent of the world understands that investing in self-development is the most valuable investment they can make. I talk to women every day who want to create a career path that will translate into meaningful, fulfilling and profitable work. When they reach out to me, it’s because they know something is blocking them from getting what they want but they’re not quite sure what that something is. They want someone who has been there and gotten through it to help them see what’s possible for them to achieve, hone their strengths, identify their blind spots, create a personalized roadmap and be a support system along the way. But as excited as they are to roll up their sleeves and get started, the final hurdle to cross is always the same: payment — aka the decision to invest in themselves.

The key is carving out a specific percentage of your income every month and dedicating it to your self-development. So how much do you need? In Brian Tracy’s book No Excuses, he breaks down what he calls “The 3 Percent Formula” — invest three percent of your income back into yourself and your earning ability will continue to grow. This works whether you make $15 per hour or $15 million per year.

I share the three percent rule with prospective clients and encourage them to decide what their willing to put into the process of bringing new success into their life. Whether you dedicate three, five, or ten percent of your income toward self-development, it will be a return on investment that will be valuable forever. When you invest in your life, you improve your life.

The process to achieving your goals starts with you. What three things will you do to invest in your personal growth?

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