I’ve received several emails recently inviting me to take part in a personal development “giveaway event”. This is where a large group of personal development coaches, online marketers and the like make free resources available in exchange for signups to their email lists.
I took part in one before (which is why I’m getting those invitations). I got about 300 new subscribers to my newsletter. But I’m not doing it again.
Because part of the expectation in participating in those things is that you’ll promote the giveaway. And frankly, most – no, practically all – of the stuff in the last one was crap. The giveaway was HYPE HYPE HYPEHYPEHYPE from start to finish, and it was dominated by unprofessional promoters of get-rich-quick schemes (both literal get-rich-quick schemes and the personal development equivalent *cough* flawofdistraction *cough*).
I picked up a dozen things myself that looked less dire than the average. Some were competitive products to mine, others were “build your online business” sort of things. None of them were up to much, and some were just ridiculous nonsense. If there was a single new idea in any one of them, I must have overlooked it, because I certainly don’t remember any.
A few months later, I’d unsubscribed from all the mailing lists and deleted all the worthless material I downloaded. (If you joined the giveaway on my recommendation, my belated apologies. And if you subscribed because of the giveaway, and you’re still here - well, I hope that means that something good came of it.)
What I’m going to do instead of taking part in that giveaway is to point you to the best personal development resources I know of personally on the web. I’ve got three criteria for inclusion:
- The person producing the resource is genuine, not a non-stop crazy hype machine, and has a good story to tell about their own personal development journey.
- It contains original ideas and material I haven’t seen anywhere else. It’s not just restating truisms that anyone with half a brain could figure out for themselves.
- It’s practical, and tells you how to apply the principles it’s teaching in real life.
Now, you’d think that there’d be a huge mass of material that would meet those three simple criteria, but if there is then it’s hiding in the Dark Matter internet where I can’t see it. If there’s someone out there doing this stuff that I haven’t noticed, by all means jump in and comment below (no self-recommendations, please).
I’ll structure this by person rather than by topic, since (let’s face it) you take your personal development advice from people, because of the people that they are. And I’ll go in alphabetical order, to be fair.
Some of the resources I’ll mention are free, and some are paid. Of the paid ones, some have affiliate programs, meaning that if you buy them on my recommendation (using my link) I get a cut. I only ever recommend things with an affiliate link if I’d recommend them without.
Steven’s genuine personality shines through every line of his blog Change Your Thoughts. He’s not the greatest writer on the internet, but he has some excellent insights and a generous heart.
He has a free “best of” that you can get by subscribing to his newsletter. Steven is doing a lot of offers lately, I will warn you, for his own and other people’s stuff.
His leading paid resource is How to Become an Advanced Early Riser (link is to my review). It hasn’t got me down to 5 hours of sleep, but then I haven’t implemented everything in it. And it has got me up early to exercise, which has been one of the best changes I’ve made.
I’ll admit that I wasn’t that impressed with Leo’s Zen Habits blog when I first looked at it. It seemed too obvious. But maybe that’s his strength: he points out the obvious and draws attention to it in a new way. I’ve been following him on Google+, and I have to say I’m warming to his approach.
The only one of his resources I’ve read myself so far is The Essential Motivation Handbook. It’s a competent, useful ebook.
Vlad is one of the new breed of young coaches that are making the Internet a better place. I first came across him through his free course on procrastination.
To find out what Vlad’s all about, start here: Best of Fun Life Development.
I reviewed his truly excellent ebook Unleash Your Confidence back in March, and it got a great big tick in each of the boxes: genuine, original and practical. It’s the confidence ebook I wish I’d written – and the kind of material I wish everyone was producing, so I could recommend more resources.
I’ve recently subscribed to Charlie’s Productive Flourishing, and it’s refreshing to read something so intelligent and thoughtful on an internet that’s usually more full of fluff than a feather pillow.
I haven’t looked at any of his products yet so I can’t say anything about them. But the blog is unusually good. It’s primarily for people in creative businesses, but there’s personal development stuff woven through.
Aaand… that’s about it
I’ll admit that I haven’t obsessively tracked down every personal development writer on the Internet and looked at all their products, but I keep my ear to the ground, and there’s really not a lot else that I’m aware of.
And, ultimately, personal development isn’t about resources you buy. A good resource can help with a specific issue, definitely, but personal development is about developing resources within yourself. The people I’ve mentioned can definitely help you with that, but there’s no such thing as “done for you” personal development.
So, what have I missed? And are there personal development resources you’re looking for that you can’t find (or can only find crappy examples of)?