My freshman year of art school was a maze of prerequisites, and honestly, I wasn’t a fan.
The idea of sitting through “Literature Seminar” or “Anthropology 101” (okay– I’ll admit that one was cool) before tackling what truly inspired me felt like a detour. It was like blindly following a path someone else had charted for me, and that didn’t sit right.
I mean, how could they know what I needed? Professors, advisors, and the university—they couldn’t possibly understand my goals or where I wanted to go.
But here’s the beauty of being a creative entrepreneur—being your own boss means deciding how you want to grow. It’s not just about mindlessly following business plans…it’s about your personal journey too.
Investing in yourself isn’t just about your business; it’s about you. YOU are the secret sauce that makes your brand unique. No matter how solid your marketing strategies or backend ops are, YOU will always be what makes your business stand out from the crowd!
So tending to yourself through self-care, personal development, and lifelong learning are essential for the long-term sustainability of your business.
But where should you start?
Sure, there are self-help gurus peddling the latest trends in personal growth—ice baths, creative retreats, and self-help books included—but just because they work for someone else doesn’t mean they’re right for you.
That’s why I wanted to take some time to talk about all things personal development.
It’s time to make it personal again.
Which means you need to design it!
In this week’s blog, let’s craft your own personal development curriculum. Something tailor-made for your interests and goals.
Think of it like building your own course—where you’re the star student.
Approaching personal growth this way lets you go deeper, wider…whatever suits you. It’s about creating a knowledge base that truly fuels your growth.
Ready to put the “personal” back in personal development?
Let’s create your unique path forward intentionally.
Making personal development a priority isn’t an indulgence, it’s a strategic investment in yourself and your business. So, while it might feel counterintuitive to step away from the hustle, keep in mind it can elevate your creativity and has the potential to transform your business and take you to new heights.
I’ll walk you through the process of brainstorming how you want to focus your personal development time so you can create a solid plan, fill in the gaps, get into action, and successfully apply what you learn to your life and your work!
Your personal development plan needs a clear sense of direction. Begin by exploring what you’re curious about or interested in. Take time to pinpoint what genuinely excites you and what you hope to achieve in your life, your creative work, and/or your business.
I recommend you focus on a single goal as you develop your curriculum. While you may have lots of aspirations, staying focused on one idea at a time allows you to better direct your attention, whether it involves mastering a skill or digging into a particular subject.
Once you’ve established your goal, it’s time to figure out what you need or want to learn. This might include gaining entirely new knowledge, refining existing skills, or even exploring advanced aspects of a subject.
Next, you’ll want to develop a collection of resources that align with your objective. Explore a wide range of platforms — courses, books, podcasts, videos, workshops, articles, and more — that resonate with your learning goal, ideal pace, and learning style.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Now that you have your personal development goal in the spotlight and resources to support it, it’s time to create a specific and actionable plan that will take your idea from dream to reality!
This is where you dig into the nitty-gritty of how you’ll tackle your learning. Figure out how much time you can spare each day or week and set a rhythm that suits you (this can absolutely be an estimate).
Consider your pace, set a goal date, and structure a timeline using your resources.
Ask yourself questions like:
Then, give yourself a goal date — it makes things real and helps structure a tangible timeline using all the stuff you’ve gathered.
With your plan and timeline in hand, put your learning materials in order, from the easy stuff to the more complex. Use your calendar to map it out.
Start with the basics, mix in supportive resources, and finish up with the heavier materials. This way, you’ll cover all bases and really get a grip on what you’re diving into.
Think about how the resources you compiled can build on each other, and if they need to be approached in any particular sequence.
For example, you could follow a format like this…
This kind of flow helps you build from the basics to more complex ideas, making your learning journey smooth and comprehensive.
COO Tip: If you’re learning a skill, technique, or information that needs to be applied, you may want to consider adding in time for practice or exercises that help build and refine the new skill as part of your curriculum. This way it becomes an active process instead of just passive!
As you go through your learning plan, stay open to spotting any missing pieces in what you know. Sometimes, you might realize there are things you didn’t expect to learn (after all, you don’t know what you don’t know!).
Set aside some extra time at the end of your schedule to explore and fill in these gaps. I typically recommend a 1-2 flex week period either right before the goal date you set for yourself or right after. This gives you room to adapt and cover any unexpected areas that pop up.
This is where the rubber meets the road; take your plans and execute them! Don’t get so caught up in the planning, daydreaming, and exploring that you forget to do the DOING!
It’s easy to get stuck in the planning phase (I see you fellow recovering perfectionist), endlessly refining schedules and resources.
But the truth is, real progress happens when you start implementing what you’ve outlined. Don’t let the pursuit of perfection stall your progress.
Creating a consistent rhythm or routine to support your learning is a game-changer. It helps maintain momentum and prevents feeling overwhelmed by the task at hand. By setting aside dedicated time each day or week, you establish a habit that steadily propels you forward.
Instead of trying to tackle everything at once, break your learning journey into smaller, more manageable tasks. This makes each step feel less daunting and keeps you motivated as you achieve milestones along the way.
Time blocking is a great time management strategy that can help you stay focused on a specific type of task related to your personal development goal.
Remember, learning is a process, not a race. Allow yourself the grace to learn and improve gradually. It’s about progress, not perfection.
Once you’ve completed your curriculum, take some time to reflect.
…and of course – apply your learnings!
This will happen on its own, without even trying.
But, intentionally putting what you’ve picked up into action — whether it’s through your business, in your creative pursuits, or just everyday life — makes it all way more valuable. The more you use these new skills, the more they’ll stick and keep benefiting you.
Ready to dive into your personal growth journey? Let’s make it happen! Set yourself a personal development goal that feels right for you.
Need a hand in planning it out? I’m here to support you through a 90-minute Clarity Call. Let’s chat, craft your curriculum together, and kickstart your unique journey. Take that first step towards your growth—reach out and schedule your session today!