So todays Thinkkit challenge was: Take a poll and share the results. Is there something you’ve been curious about? A decision you’re struggling with? Ask the crowd, and report back on what the results might mean.

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My question: How much do you BUDGET each year for Personal and Professional Development?

Abraham Lincoln said; If I had six hours to chop down a tree I would spend 4 of them sharpening the saw.  

I asked this particular question because it was my guess that most people do not budget for personal or professional development. As my coach often tells me if I don’t create a budget of time and money then you are not serious about doing it.

What I got was a mixed bag of responses;

182 hours (3.5 hours wk x 52 weeks) at my hourly rate and there ya go. And yes, I get a lot more value than my hourly rate when I do it right.

$9000 for 2014. If you don’t budget for it, it means you aren’t planning to do it.

Over 25,000€ a year. For both personal and professional. 
Budgeting 30-35 for next year. More I invest, the better I’m doing.

Personal and professional development isn’t a budget choice – it’s a lifestyle choice. Whatever and whenever there is room and opportunity for growth seize the moment!

When I was working on my book I was complaining about not having time to write my book, it just was not getting done because I was so busy. Brian ask me to open my calendar, we flipped through it and finally he closed my planner and handed it back to me. “It is exactly what I thought, no time what so ever has been blocked off on your planner to writing. If you don’t budget the time on your calendar then there is no intention on your part to write. You are hoping, not planning and hoping is not an effective way to get things done.”

I usually allocate funds but life will always smack in you in the face with opportunities for improvement and growth, you just need to seize them with great gusto

I don’t budget it but I aim to attend at least two workshops/conferences relevant to growing my skill set in business or in my industry outside of director training or anything BNI comes up with each year then I just make it work

it’s a mindset – the quality of the journey is not determined by how much you spend but by your attitude to being open to opportunity to grow. To place a fixed figure on your growth could limit your mind from reaching your hidden potential. If I can afford it- and it fits my passion- I just do it. Deal with cost whilst you’re crystallizing your potential.

I believe that most people leave their personal and professional development to happenstance. If something interesting comes along they will spend the money to take the program if the time permits and nothing more interesting comes along.

We budget time and money for everything in our businesses because we know the importance of having a budget to follow for the success of our businesses. We budget for our households; we budget for our vacations, why would we not budget for our personal and professional development?

Stephen Covey’s stated that the 7th habit of highly effective people is to “sharpen the saw.”Investing in our personal development allows us to stretch and grow, to become more enlightened. Investing in our professional development keeps us on the cutting edge of our profession allowing us to grow our businesses and incomes. Keeping the saw sharp is vital to our success both personally and professionally. So why would we not budget for something so important?

On average we should be budgeting a minimum of 10% of our gross revenue annually towards our development as well as committing the time on our calendars. As your business grows and your income becomes larger it will automatically increase your budgeted amount allowing you to take bigger more advanced and exciting programs.

Remember if you want to make things easier in your business and your life take the time to sharpen your saw.