Last year, I wrote about how we all should mind our growth. I pointed out that we are oftentimes not mindful of our personal growth; that we take it for granted, even believing that personal growth will naturally occur as we live our lives. Over the past few months, as the busyness of my life has once again taken control of my daily schedule, I found myself wondering: “How do you ‘fund’ personal growth?”
It is an absurd question, you might wonder. I realize that as well. What do I mean by “funding your personal growth”? Last weekend, I was in a meeting on behalf of a client. One of the questions that arose during that meeting was: “How are we going to fund our growth? Are we going to infuse additional funds or obtain a loan from a bank?” Such a question often comes up in most businesses.
On my way back to Manila, I realized that if organizations could think about things such as where to source the funding for their growth, why couldn’t we, as individuals, do the same?
When I think about funding my personal growth, I do not think of it strictly in terms of money. Though money is part of the resources I need to fund growth, there are other necessary “funds” or resources. The other resources needed to fund personal growth are time, space and motivation. Let us take a look into each of the four needed resources:
Businesses have several ways of generating funds to finance growth. They could either retain their earnings, get capital infusion from their shareholders, undergo an initial public offering, or obtain debt from external parties.
We, as individuals, have similar options. We could cut down on our spending to increase our savings, sweet-talk our parents to finance our growth activities, take advantage of the internal growth programs our organizations can provide, or request our organizations to fund growth activities, even if that would require an employment bond.
Time, as we all know, is limited. Carving out time is essentially a zero-sum game. As we allocate the time we need to invest in our growth activities, we are removing it from where it is being used. For most, we can reallocate time from being spent on non-essential activities. That should be fairly easy. For some, all their waking hours, maybe even their supposed resting hours, are already being used on productive activities.
However, just because you engage in a productive activity does not mean it allows you to maximize your growth.
Reallocating productive hours to your growth initiatives requires you to set your priorities. Be more strategic about how you spend your time. One of the ways you can be strategic is by buying time as long as you can afford it. For instance, I am not the typical man of the house who can do handyman work. If I do not consider that particular skill as something I want to acquire, I would be more than willing to pay somebody else to fix our leaking faucet or our busted electric fan, rather than doing it myself or learning to do those things myself. I would rather spend my limited time to my other growth activities than be productive in fixing our leaking faucet.
Space is different from the time you need to carve out to fund your growth initiatives. Space is your mind space. It is your ability to focus on the growth area you want to develop and to be able to block out other concerns that you may have.
When I attended a 60-hour professional coaching training program as a representative of P&A Grant Thornton, not only did I need to block off days in my calendar, I also had to make sure that, while I was physically present in the training, my mind should also be in attendance. I cannot think about the work that is happening at the office; otherwise, I would not be maximizing the growth opportunities happening right in front of me.
There should be a pressing need to reach the level of your fullest potential; there is so much more you can share with the world. Considering that you have already sourced the money needed for your growth initiative and carved out time and mind space to take on that activity, the last resource requirement that you would need is motivation.
Motivation ensures that you will see the activity through the end. The deeper and the bigger your reason or reward that you have envisioned for this growth initiative, the more patient and persevering you will be in your pursuit of personal growth.
Growth requires change. Growth can oftentimes be painful. Growth is never easy. For you to see it through, the reason behind your pursuit is essential. It is the thing that will help you accept change. It is the thing that will prevent you from giving up when it becomes painful. It is the thing that will make you persevere more when you realize it will never get easier.
Minding your growth allows you to be more aware of yourself and your potential. Funding your growth transforms that awareness into action. Let us start generating those ‘funds.’
Anton Ng is a partner, Audit & Assurance of P&A Grant Thornton. P&A Grant Thornton is one of the leading audit, tax, advisory and outsourcing firms in the Philippines, with 21 partners and over 850 staff members. We’d like to hear from you! Tweet us: @PAGrantThornton, like us on Facebook: P&A Grant Thornton, and email your comments to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit our Website: www.grantthornton.com.ph.
As published in The Manila Times, dated 11 April 2018