As of this past Wednesday, it’s been six years of working in the health and wellness industry. I suppose in the grand scheme of things six years isn’t all that much. But when I look at the personal growth and development that has happened in that time, it feels like an eternity. I did not even mean to have a business, grow a team, or take a whole new path in life. I could almost call it accidental. Isn’t that how the best things in life come to be, though? They seem to show up when we’re least expecting them. My husband arrived that way, too, but that’s a topic for another blog post.
When you are in a networking industry personal development becomes infinitely important. Oh, you don’t have to do it. You can choose not to grow. You can stagnate. You can stick your heels in and refuse to move. Sure. You CAN choose to do all those things. What you cannot do is grow and succeed if you don’t grow.
Lucky for me, I love learning and stretching and growing. I love studying business strategy. When I went to college I majored in economics for the first two years. It’s a long story of how it morphed from economics to elementary education, but it wasn’t for lack of love of the subject. I can look back now and see how both have served me well in my current career. I love business. I love teaching. It’s really a perfect combination. While I was wondering what the heck was going on, my path was being laid out perfectly. If I could go back to my 19-year-old self, I’d tell me to relax more and trust the process.
My mentor, Marcella, told me very early on to not bother studying the product line of our company. Shocking, I know. But her advice was sound. For one, you will learn as you go and you already know more than 99% of the people around you. Secondly, all you really need to know is where to find the information. Since I’m a resource lover (a nice way of saying “book hoader”) it’s easy for me to fill my shelves with great resources. I have a knack for remembering what to find where, too. But if I didn’t need to spend time on learning all the things…..where should I spend my time?
Self-development. You see, if you work with people, your time is best spent in learning how to deal with them. If I was going to be successful, I had to work on me. And the truth is, that work never stops.
People in my company love to talk about personality colors. There are loads of tests out there and they are called gems by some. Whatever you call it, the personality strengths and quirks are the same. (I choose the word quirks over challenges.) I took the test just a few months after getting started. I was zero blue. None. Not one percentage point. NONE.
In case this is a new concept to you, the strength of a blue is fun. They love to have it. They love to create it. They can find a way to make the most tedious tasks fun. The quirk of a blue is that they are often hard to pin down and they don’t like doing things that aren’t fun. Not having any blue makes for a crappy mom, if I’m honest. It also made me very impatient with the blue folks on my team. Not cool, right?
My predominant color in that first test was STRONG. Like 79% strong. The next color proved me to be over 90% left-brained. That’s a lot ya’ll. Creativity and thinking outside the box was a big stretch for me. I had a lot of work to do. I also had to learn to ask for help and depend on others to help me see the right-brained kind of stuff. I had to learn to take the blame and apologize even when I knew that I was right sometimes. For a person who deeply values justice, that was humbling. Very.
A few months ago I decided to retake the test. My predominant color had not changed, but it had gone from 79% to 45%. Impressive, to be sure. But the BEST part? All three of my other colors were equal. Not only had I found my blue, but I had improved in all the other areas! How amazing is that?
I’m still mostly left-brained, but I have found the right side of my brain. I have learned how to have some fun, though my fun still looks a lot different than a predominant blue person. In short…..I’ve grown. A lot.
And it’s not just my business that has benefitted. My faith is stronger than ever. My friendships are better than ever. My marriage is better than ever (though the growing process has been tough on it, not gonna lie.) The best part is, I like me a lot better than ever. I’m starting to be my own center of support and that’s a win all the way around.
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