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The Case for Personal Development: You Are Your Only Asset

Anthony Iannarino
Post by Anthony Iannarino
November 7, 2010

You have heard them all before: “Our people are our greatest assets,” and “What differentiates us is our people.” The list goes on and on, and while many companies and their people walk this walk, enough others don’t that you are cynical.

You say things to yourself and to others like, “If we were their greatest assets, they would . . .” And you can fill in the blank with whatever may be your favorite idea as of late. But before you go calling what you see hypocrisy, you may want to take an account of your own efforts.

You not only your own greatest asset, you are your only asset.

What Have You Done For You Lately?

Your obligation to yourself is to fulfill your potential (and then a little bit more). Your obligation to yourself is to achieve all that you would achieve by increasing and improving your capacity to do so. You are only limited by your own vision of yourself, and your willingness to take action to realize that vision. Period.

Before your accuse your company—or anyone else—of failing to help you reach your potential in effectiveness, start by examining your own effort.

How many books have you read this year?

Who have you added to your network of friends, acquaintances, and fellow travelers?

What are the new beliefs you have acquired? What beliefs have you dropped?

How many journal articles about your industry or your client’s industry have you read (or written)?

What have you done for you health to ensure you have the energy and the capacity to accomplish all that you wish to accomplish in the short time you are given?

How many times have you hit the snooze button this year, when you had every reason in the world to get up and do something that would better your life?

Do you know who The Situation is? (I don’t, but I heard some people who shouldn’t spend as much time as they do watching mind-numbing television talking about a guy who goes by that moniker)

Your time is short. Is what you are doing helping to enrich and improve your life, as well as helping to ensure you reach your full potential? Or have you just been passing the time?

No One’s Obligation To You Exceeds Your Own

Your personal and professional development is your responsibility alone. It is not your company’s job to develop you to your full potential (that said, if you are in leadership or management, it will only make you and your people stronger if you believe it is your job to develop them).

You cannot—and will not—reach your full potential and generate the results you are capable of generating for yourself and for others by sitting around waiting for someone to discover you and your potential. The sooner you recognize that your growth is your responsibility alone, the sooner—and the faster—you will begin to reap the rewards of developing your own skills, attributes, and abilities.

Your personal development is an obligation you owe yourself. No one is going to check on your progress, and no one is going to hold you accountable here. You alone own the outcome that is your personal development.

You and You Alone

You may have lots of assets available to help you succeed. You may have some financial assets, you may have a huge network of people willing and able to help you, and you may have all kinds of other resources. But know this: All of your other assets require you in order to be full activated and engaged.

You are the factor that can engage, deploy, and utilize these assets to produce results in your life. They aren’t going to go out and work to generate results for you on their own. You alone must take action, must give the direction, and must provide the vision and the direction.

This makes you your most important asset. The more effective you are, the more effective are all of your other assets. Personal development is the key to greater levels of effectiveness, and greater effectiveness through others.

The Key to Quality Results (and a quality life)

The quality of your results, in sales as well as in life, are based on the quality of your beliefs, the quality of your thoughts and ideas, and the quality of your actions. Personal development is the key to improving your beliefs, improving your thoughts and ideas, and improving your actions.

Your development in all of these areas is what will help you to produce greater and greater results. Producing the results you are capable of producing, making a difference in your own life and in the lives of others, improves the quality of your life.

You are a work in progress, always under construction, never complete, and never as good as you will be in the future. You aren’t waiting to evolve, you are taking evolution into your own hands and continually improving and leapfrogging what was the old you. These statements are only true if you believe them deeply enough and take action to make them true.

You are your only real asset. Get started getting started. What are you waiting for?


    1. Are you your own greatest asset? Do you always treat yourself as such? What do you need to do now to improve your overall effectiveness in all that you do?
    1. Look back over the last year. What are the personal construction projects that you have undertaken and completed? What have you done to massively improve yourself and your abilities?
    1. Imagine you run into a friend you haven’t seen in the last year. What will they notice is different about you? What will you need to tell them to catch them up on all of the progress you have made and the life you have lived over the last year?
    1. Do you have an alarm clock with no snooze button? Go and buy one.
    1. Have you accepted responsibility for your own personal development? Are you still waiting for someone to develop you to your full potential?
    1. How much more effective would all of your resources and assets be, if you yourself were more effective? How much more effective with what you have available to you could you be if you focused on developing your own internal resources? What are you doing to improve you, so that you can improve all of the other aspects of your life?
  1. Are you a work in progress? Are you evolving? Or has construction long ago ended with you half finished and waiting?

For more on increasing your sales effectiveness, subscribe to the RSS Feed for The Sales Blog and my Email Newsletter. Follow me on Twitter, connect to me on LinkedIn, or friend me on Facebook. If I can help you or your sales organization, check out my coaching and consulting firm, B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, email me, or call me at (614) 212-4729.

Read my interview with Tom Peters (Part One and Part Two).

Read my Blogs.com featured guest post on the Top Ten Sales blogs.

Read my monthly post on Sales Bloggers Union.

Sales 2010
Post by Anthony Iannarino on November 7, 2010

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an American writer. He has published daily at thesalesblog.com for more than 14 years, amassing over 5,300 articles and making this platform a destination for salespeople and sales leaders. Anthony is also the author of four best-selling books documenting modern sales methodologies and a fifth book for sales leaders seeking revenue growth. His latest book for an even wider audience is titled, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success.

Anthony speaks to sales organizations worldwide, delivering cutting-edge sales strategies and tactics that work in this ever-evolving B2B landscape. He also provides workshops and seminars. You can reach Anthony at thesalesblog.com or email Beth@b2bsalescoach.com.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, X or Youtube. You can email Anthony at iannarino@gmail.com

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