Growth is something we should be striving for in whatever we do, no matter if it is personal, business, education, etc… As far back as I can remember, I have constantly looked for growth and I believe this is what sets me apart from the rest. I was never the best at anything I did, but I have always put effort into improving myself. Each year I set goals to make myself better in four areas (career, business, personal, and education). From year to year the improvements appear to be small, but when you look at the improvements over several years, the improvements are very significant.
Here are a list of my improvement areas in more detail…
Out of college I took a job as a chemist because I studied biochemistry in school. It was with a pharmaceutical startup company that paid me very little to do what I was doing. There were no medical benefits or financial benefits for any of the employees. I knew I wanted to one day buy a house and save for retirement. I made the best of the situation and pushed myself to become a more valuable professional by taking on more responsibility at the startup. I knew I was going to leave, but also knew I needed to make myself valuable, so another company would want me. Just because we are unhappy someplace and want to move on does not mean we cannot stretch ourselves in that role to grow ourselves for the next role.
I completed my bachelors degree in biochemistry, worked as a chemist, and then as a packaging engineer. I was happy as a packaging engineer, but knew I would need more education eventually to continue up the ladder. Even if I were to run my own business, I would still benefit from the extra education, which would be completely paid by my employer. I went back to achieve a masters in packaging from MSU. It is further improvements like this, which help me grow and give me more value.
I could go on in life as a professional working for an employer, but I want to make sure I have plenty of money and the ability to grow myself. Owning and operating my own business, plus investing in other businesses has helped stretch me. This makes me more valuable and appealing to other employers.
I focus on improving myself physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally each year. Some of these attributes can be difficult to track and record, but there are ways of doing it. For the physical part, I push myself to do physical fitness 5 to times per week. Mentally, I read and try to teach myself new things daily. Spiritually, I try learning more about the bible and becoming a better christian. Emotionally, I have my family to support me and I try to think about happy thoughts daily. I do not try to focus on the negative pieces of my life or anyone else’s life.
Overall, growth is very important and the best time to start is today. You do not want to fall behind and must remember every bit counts. I am a real big supporter of continuous improvement and growth. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of starting today and not delaying.