Jon Dwoskin's What I Learn From People Blog: Your Business is an Extension of Who You are as a Person - Jessica Park


Growing yourself and your business are actually mutual events

The old adage goes, “Every day you don’t get better, you get worse.” This is true in your business and in your personal life – and, most of the time, these two aspects are mutually connected. To think like a CEO, you must see your growth in business and your growth personally as one in the same—there is no disconnect. There are many ways for businesses to grow, but if you do not also grow as a person, has anything been accomplished?

Sure, the immediate push back says, “business and personal are separate; I can do one without the other.” However, the reality is that belief like that will only stagnate your business. Each day your personal growth and business growth should be the “why” of what you’re doing. This extends to everyone in your company who is CEO-minded.


Sometimes it is so easy to focus on the “what” of our business, or the “how,” but at the end of the day, the “why” is all that matters. Our passion in our business, the reason we do what we do, should inform every decision and should make us who we are – in the office and out of it.

Jessica Park, an entrepreneur and owner of Ampersand As Apostrophe—a designer handbag company, knows all about this personal connection with business. After isolating herself from family and friends to get the business started, she realized things needed a change – starting with her. “It’s a learning experience. In all honesty…you’re growing a business but you’re growing as a person, as yourself too,” she said.

Do you as a business leader instill in yourself and your people the right mindset – a growth mindset? Not just growth as in numbers and clientele, but growth as a person? Those who think like CEOs in the business world have a growth-mindset. This is where the best growth happens, which translates into fiscal growth. Ms. Park says, “I learned so much about myself. I started my company when I was 26. So I was young, but I’ve learned so much about myself in realizing how I want to live my life and what I value.”

For the CEO-minded person: what you value should be what your company values. Both should be a reflection of the other.


Most of this growth will occur from mistakes that you make. It’s been said, “mistakes are only mistakes when they aren’t learned from.” Sometimes these are the hardest to admit, but the greatest source of learning and growth. To think like a CEO, you must recognize and call out your mistakes in order to use them as a learning opportunity.

But this begins by being honest about our company, and ourselves, because mistakes not only show and reveal some flaw in our company, they can also reveal flaws within ourselves. Recognizing this is the first step toward becoming the best leader possible.

There is no better analogy for this type of thinking than sports. Sure, within every game there are mistakes that need to be corrected for a particular team to be clicking on all cylinders. However, there isn’t a coach around that won’t tell you there is more to be learned through losses than there ever is through victory. Why? Because when we lose, when those mistakes are made, it reveals not only a flaw in game planning, but it also speaks volumes about the character of the team.

It’s much the same with your business team. Their successes and mistakes will be a reflection on you. Your business is already a reflection on you. So what is it saying? If you want to be successful and grow your business, make sure that you, as a person, are growing along with it. The sky is the limit when you realize that business and personal life are not opposite or disconnected from each other – because, business is always personal.

In summary, Jessica teaches all CEO-minded people how to Think Like a CEO in the following ways:
• Jessica teaches us that YOU must see your growth in business and your growth personally as one in the same
• Jessica also points out that our passion in our businesses, the reason we do what we do, should inform every decision
• Jessica teaches us that mistakes are only mistakes when they aren’t learned from.

In order to think like a CEO we must focus our attention on our growth—both professionally and personally. This growth, in both areas must be interconnected. Get better every day and enjoy the ride.

To hear more about how to learn from your mistakes and create a business that is an extension of who you are as a person, listen to my interview with Jessica Park here.

Think BIG!