As a business coach for creative professionals I believe that professional development and personal growth go hand in hand. A few months ago, I watched the Netflix documentary “I Am Not Your Guru” which followed Tony Robbins on his 6-day “Date with Destiny” Event. Earlier that day, I’d ordered an Eckhart Tolle book Oprah recommended.

I had a sudden realization; what I now find inspirational used to stir feelings of deep distrust and judgment (both of the “gurus” and their audiences). And I don’t think I’m alone, can I hear an “Aye”? (I couldn’t resist a little Tony Robbins reference!).

Then one day, about 15 years ago, I heard Oprah speak at an event launching her new magazine. And something clicked – I got her appeal. She was real, and by sharing her own journey, her resources and using her platform to reach huge numbers of people, she was helping them navigate their own journey and fulfill their potential.

Who was I to knock that?

Regardless of how you feel about Tony, Oprah or anyone else in that category, here are 5 business-boosting takeaways that we can all benefit from:

1) Your story doesn’t define you

We all have a story and it’s not always pretty. Whether it’s about our talent, ability to make and keep money, or how deserving we are of love and respect, we all have beliefs that, left unchallenged, determine our level of happiness and success. But here’s the thing about beliefs – they are just a story we tell ourselves again and again. Why not tell a new story and create a new belief system that’s conducive to your leading the fullest life possible? If you’re having a hard time telling the story you want to tell, let’s chat!

2) Be yourself

Tony Robbins swears ALL the time (and that’s coming from a Brit who swears pretty liberally). I’m sure lots of people advised him to clean it up so he wouldn’t turn people off. He clearly didn’t and his events are packed. Similarly, in a world of perfect Instagram feeds, Oprah’s not afraid to share her challenges, consistently portraying herself as work in progress (who just happens to be as rich and influential as God!) People do business with people they know, like and trust, so embrace what makes you unique, and then find the people who resonate with that.

3) Keep working on yourself

Over the years, I’ve become absolutely convinced that a happy and successful life hinges upon one thing; a willingness to work on yourself. If you want to continue to achieve new heights, you need to keep evolving and growing. We all find our own path, but mine includes:

  • Surrounding yourself with like-minded people and weed out the people who don’t support the person you are becoming.
  • Keep a gratitude journal. You can’t be grateful for something AND hold onto a resentment or limiting belief at the same time. Try it!
  • Meditate whichever way you can. I’m new to mediation, so I know how hard it can be to find a method that works for you. Just start somewhere. Oprah is doing a 21-day series with Deepak Chopra right now. It’s free and you can listen to it on your morning walk or commute.
  • Eat and sleep well. Have you ever seen a kid who hasn’t had enough sleep and has just eaten too much sugar? Enough said!
  • Invest in relationships and experiences, rather than stuff. I speak from personal experience when I say those $600 shoes make you giddy-happy for about 30 minutes, max!

4) Keep learning

No matter how little time you have, you always have time to read. Here are some books that are in constant rotation and I’ve recommended to countless people:

  • All books by Eckhart Tolle
  • Thrive by Arianna Huffington
  • A Happy Pocket Full of Money by David Cameron Gikandi
  • The Game of Life and How to Play it by Florence Scovel Shinn
  • The Power of Intention by Dr. Wayne Dyer

5) Keep Trying

No one likes failure, but it’s an integral part of growth. We don’t come out of the womb a natural writer, painter, negotiator, on-line content producer, etc. The trick is to find the balance between letting yourself off the hook enough to get over the knocks, but not so much that you don’t swallow your pride and not try again. I’ll leave you with this great quote to give you courage!

Can you use a shot of inspiration, guidance, and focus? I can help! Click here to schedule your free 30-minute introductory call with me where you can share your challenges, ask questions and we can chat about solutions.