Tag Archives: Personal development

Training the trainer. Growing with the business growth hub.

Back in October I joined a programme called ‘Spark 2 Scale’. A series of workshops run by The Business Growth Hub designed to boost businesses and help me grow the success of my own training sessions.

I’m at the halfway point and already seeing benefits. From practical networking to personal effectiveness and growth hacking.   Here are a handful of thoughts on what I’ve taken so it so far.


A timely kick in the pants.

Naturally, being self employed means I have to  be proactive, and speculative. With all the goodwill in the world, bad habits can creep into work patterns over time, my work patterns. The very nature of opting to go on a course to grow my business, creating a new ‘business model canvas’ is healthy. Being asked questions that poke at the corners of where I want to go with my niche ‘ stand up comedy techniques for presenting and public speaking‘  training is a very welcome and invited kick in the pants.

Better networking.
Delivering training on presenting and public speaking skills using techniques from my experience in stand up comedy, is a bit niche and a bit of a mouthful to explain concisely. I’ve always found networking a challenge not because of a lack of confidence, actually the opposite. I’m happy to talk and listen, but always found follow ups quite low. Learning that potential clients are more likely to look online for the kind of training I provide took the impetus off attending live events where I wasn’t speaking.
The advantage of the focused nature of the Spark 2 Scale programme is, I find,  that I’m in the room with other business minds eager to grow. That common goal really helps.  Like me they’re looking to pick up skills, and of course the best business offers are made when you’re not looking for them.

Thinking big.
The anticipation of having a growth strategist look over my new business plan with a fine tooth comb and a big red pen was a bit daunting. Despite recent successes, it was outside of my comfort zone, and some of my hidden worries (impostor syndrome or feeling like an amateur) were threatening t show themselves.
Wonderful then to sit down and have all that negative thinking evaporate as my adviser shared my enthusiasm for what I was doing and it’s growth potential. Helping open doors, look at big goals and point out flaws in a way that was practical and constructive.

Prep for the next step.
I’ve three new projects lined up, and as I’m writing this blog. Both leads came from the preparation I put in before starting the programme. I don’t want it to sound like bragging. ( I’m currently reading the book ‘How to toot your own horn without blowing it’ – Peggy Klaus). However once I’d signed up to the course I wanted to have clarity about my outcomes. Updating the website, re-writing  marketing content and polishing my elevator pitch, the little jobs that get pushed back received the extra attention they deserved and got results.

Supportive and sharing.
I’m aware through the many books I’ve read that business is people. Whatever the size. I’m influenced by my environment and the people I choose to work with. I shouldn’t have been surprised when the second masterclass was on personal effectiveness.  Clapping my hands under the table when the handouts touched on the ‘the map is not the territory’ one of my favourite phrases about planning and adapting to change.
Spark 2 Scale has provided an inspiring environment for my business goals and I’m glad to be part of it.

Links:
The Business Growth Hub

Book Review: The Dip by Seth Godin

More personal development stuff. This is the third Seth Godin book I’ve read. I like his books because they are really short. It’s no surprise he’s a wealthy entrepreneur, why write one big book when you can write loads of short ones.

The Dip by Seth Godin - personal development
The Dip by Seth Godin

The dip basically an essay about learning when to stick at something or when to quit, and that’s ok. The point at which you need to choose is ‘the dip’. He argues that quitting isn’t failure, and that many high performers got there because they developed the ability to identify the difference.

He gets into the subject quickly, makes his point, gives you stuff to think about then wraps up. There a a few diagrams in there describing the types of dip you can come across.  ‘The dip’ itself, the ‘cul-de-sac’ and the ‘curve’, all food for thought. His prose is easy to read and if feels more like a typed up TEDx talk than an essay. There’s nothing in here that gave me any big light bulb moments, but the use of bell curve diagrams to explain mass markets versus niche ones does make for intriguing reading.

A nice aside from reading book like this is that it’s also helping me with my interviewing technique. The more I read the more I question.

Leverage, illustrated

snippit

Near the end of 2015 I started work on some new short comic strips, illustrating some of the aspects of personal development, basically to find a new way of sharing some of the good stuff I’ve picked up over the year. “No one’s done a comic of this stuff” I thought, “it could be like  Scott McClouds Understanding Comics but more Understand Yourself“. Just these four pages took an age to do, but I’m proud of the results.