The Unvarnished Truth (from Yours Truly)

My experience of growing my businesses over the last 20 years has taught me that personal growth must precede business growth. Not just in the early years, but still today, and in the last 12 months or so I’ve been in a big phase of personal growth.

What does that really mean?

Well, it means I’ve been forcing myself to be ok with being a bit uncomfortable. I’ve thrown off the comfort blanket of success, and ventured out into the unknown.

It means I’ve been open to having a lot of my beliefs challenged and examined and being brutally honest with myself about which beliefs are holding me back – even if they have gotten me this far.

This personal growth phase I’m going through means I’m learning a LOT, often the hard way, and opening myself up to more uncertainty by choice.

And because of that the chimp part of my brain is on high alert and panicking and stressing and worrying about all the ‘what ifs’.

But the human part of my brain is thinking logically, looking at the facts, and moving forward in the knowledge that everything will be ok.

I try my best to always be growing, but the truth is if you charted my growth out over the last 20 years there would be steep increases in growth following by stabilising and hitting a bit of a plateau, until I muster up the motivation and courage to embrace more change and go through the next rapid uptick in growth.

The trick is for me not stay at any one plateau for too long, and to keep continuing on my journey. Here’s the thing though that is important to understand:

In the periods of personal growth it can look like and feel like nothing is happening. Scrap that, it can look and feel like things are getting worse.

The truth is GROWTH is happening. That what growth feels like. If I want to grow a muscle it aches, it burns, and I can barely move it the next day. But it gets stronger. That is the truth for personal growth too.

Conor Mc Greggor (your second favorite Irish Conor) – the Ultimate Fighting Champion – says he wins or he learns. There is no alternative in his mind. That’s been my experience too. I’ve had years where I’ve won in business. And then I’ve had years where I’ve learned.

It’s the years where you learn that fuel the years where you win. It’s the years where you learn where all the growth is happening.

A big part of my own journey is finding ways to enjoy and get a buzz out of the years where I’m learning, and be excited about the future growth that is coming because of what I’m going through right now.

As this years draws to a close, the numbers will show we’re at another temporary plateau in terms of revenue, but the truth is we’ve just had one of our biggest growth years ever.

Myself and my team are bruised and battered and at times they might have felt like they were in a cage fight with Conor Mc Greggor. I’ve felt that way myself a couple of times. But we’re still standing, still smiling and excited about the personal growth that we’re going through.

THAT’S what I mean when I say personal growth must precede business growth. Never forget that or think you’re not growing.

Don’t give up on yourself when you’re going through a period of growth because you haven’t realised that you’re growing. The big wins don’t happen unless you go through the growth personally and painfully first.

Ok, I think that’s it from me for now. Just as we tick into the 11th month of the year I felt the urge to share this with you.

The last thing is this. As goal driven as we all are, we also need to detach from the outcome and know that your results do not define you.

I was sad to hear the news about Matthew Perry aka Chandler Bing.

He made me laugh until I cried for years. How talented was he? And yet after chasing and achieving fame and wealth, like so many people, he realised that it wasn’t the solution. And obviously Matthew struggled and had a troubled existence.

I think we all need to keep trying to learn that personal security is more important than financial security. Personal security is being secure and safe in the knowledge of who you are and that you are valued and loved and you are enough.

You are not what you achieve. You can fail and be ok. It can all go wrong and you’ll still be ok. You can win it all and still not be happy. Personal security is about you being ok regardless of what others think of you or say or whatever happens.

We are here to make a positive difference in life. That’s it. You don’t have to prove how smart you are, or how successful you are, or how rich you are, or how caring you are, or how funny you are.

You don’t have to prove anything.

You’re enough.

And you can make a positive difference in the world.

Your #1 Fan,