Seven Powerful Ways to Develop Yourself – For Free

by Kevin on September 4, 2012

image courtesy FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin

Network marketing – like life in general – is about personal growth and seeking to be the best you that you can possibly be.  If you are like me, you look at life and success as being more the journey than the destination or as being more of a process than an event.  Maybe you see things differently and chose to focus more on where you are going than how you get there.

Either way, we need to find ways to improve ourselves and become better to give ourselves a better ability to get to where we want to go and do the best job we can on our way there. 

We cannot be the best at what we want to be without help.  The good news is we live in a day and age with countless resources to help our learning, growing, and development.

In this post, we will discuss ways to develop yourself, and the awesome part is that these powerful resources are completely free.

This is by no means an exhaustive list on tools for self-development, and I would love to hear what has worked for you by leaving a comment below.

1.  Teach Others

By teaching others, we force ourselves to learn more about the subject that we are teaching.  It also helps us to be better communicators.  For example, if you teach new people in your organization about your company’s products, you most likely will learn something new about the products than if you had not taught others.

Also, we have a tendency to sometimes underestimate how much we really know, and by sharing our knowledge with others, we can become more confident in our knowledge when we see that our level of knowledge was able to help someone else.

2.  Attend a Meeting

Most (if not all) direct selling companies have both formal training programs and meetings put on by the company and informal training programs put on by leaders of different levels in the organization.  Attending these meetings can give you valuable insight into your own company’s products and services as well as arm you with the knowledge needed to be successful.

If you are having trouble getting your spouse to come on-board with you, going to a meeting together can help answer some questions that they may have.  Some people just need some third party validation.  Going to the meeting gives that third party validation, and the people there might be able to explain the opportunity in a way that either reinforces what you have already been explaining.  Sometimes having someone else explain things in a slightly different way helps the message to sink in.

If you do not have meetings close enough for you to attend, you have a prime opportunity to create your own meetings and develop your own skills in organization, leadership, and planning.  Plus you get the chance to be the teacher.

3.  Find a Mentor

No matter where you are in life, there is always someone that you can learn from.  There are potential mentors out there who want to help others.  You would be amazed at how many people out there want to help others achieve the same level of success that they have achieved.

One of the first and best places to look is in your own upline.  You have people who have come before you, and oftentimes have a personal stake in your success.  Learn from both their successes and their failures.  As I mentioned earlier, it is my belief that success is a process not an event, and by learning from others, you can make that process more easy and enjoyable.

4.  Mentor Others

Barrel of Monkeys

One analogy for mentoring that I has stuck with me is that mentoring is like a barrel of monkeys.  In case you are not familiar with this game, it is played with plastic monkeys and each one has curved arms that latch on to one another. Basically, one monkey gets picked up by latching on to the next monkey. The goal is lift up as many monkeys as possible in a chain of latched arms that are pulling each other up.

Like the barrel of monkeys, we should be pulling up others as we have others helping to pull us up.  While you are mentored by someone else, you mentor someone looking to get to where you are.  You have more to offer than you probably realize.  That is the power of mentoring!

5.  Go to the Library

It is my firm belief that leaders are readers.  Believe it or not, I am not personally a huge fan of reading because I do not always have the patience to read an entire book.  With that said, I have a borderline addiction (for lack of a better word) to consuming audiobooks because I can listen to them while running, driving, or just being out on the go.

Currently, I am listening to the book Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki – the former Chief Evangelist for the Macintosh brand at Apple.   It is not directly about network marketing but has a ton of parallels about working with people and growing a business.  The great part is that I checked it out from my local public library – absolutely free.

Whether you prefer to read a good book or listen to a fantastic audiobook, you can find great content at the library on subjects like leadership, business, selling, self-development, and this industry and profession.

6.  Download a Podcast

It really has only been the last few months that I have gotten into listening to podcasts, and I wish I had gotten into them sooner.  There are so many people who are leaders in a wide variety of fields who put out well-produced audio and video podcasts that help you learn and can inspire you.  In some ways, a podcast can be like having a mentor in your speakers

7.  Read a Blog

The fact that you are here is evidence that you have taken on this medium in one way or another.  Whether you frequently visit blogs or just do so on occasion, there are so many great blogs out there both in the network marketing community and outside of the business.  I have found that I have learned a lot by visiting and commenting on the blogs of others.

To help you navigate the web and find blogs that might be valuable to your develop, look out for an upcoming series on The Best of the Web which will feature blogs from both inside and outside of network marketing that I think will be helpful to our community.  My goal is to put out this series every other week.

What do you find has helped with your ?  I would love to hear your thoughts below.