An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Whole Person Development

The idea of separation between one’s home and work life is not only an archaic way of thinking but a complete myth when it comes to life as an entrepreneur. That’s why there has been a paradigm shift toward Whole Person Development amongst entrepreneurs, executives, and coaches across the world.

Adopting whole person development paradigm

What is Whole Person Development?

Whole Person Development is a psychologically-based theory that in order to be successful, one must optimize the key components of life. The six components include emotional intelligence, physical, psychological, professional, social, and spiritual.

Most people are strong in some aspects and lacking in others. This disbalance can be caused by putting too much focus on one area and not enough on others, or simply by not recognizing how each aspect can impact the bigger picture.

The Six Aspects of Whole Person Development

Each aspect speaks to a different part of our existence, beyond the home and work life deviations. When each aspect is well developed, we achieve purpose, balance, and drive.

Emotional Intelligence

Your emotional intelligence is your ability to not only understand and manage your emotions but your ability to understand and empathize with the emotions of others. Essentially, it involves actively listening to understand someone else’s point of view and your ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

From a business perspective, this allows you to better relate to your colleagues, employees, and clients. Strong emotional intelligence will help you build and maintain mutually beneficial relationships.


Your physical health is closely aligned with your mental health. Are you taking care of your body? Are you maintaining your health in such a way that will support the stressful life of an entrepreneur? Regular exercise, sufficient sleep, proper nutrition, and being attuned to the needs of your mind and body are crucial for longevity and success.


The psychological aspect of Whole Person Development often overlaps with the physical facet. It asks you to take a long look at the person in the mirror and decide if you like what you see. Even the best and brightest can be plagued by low self-esteem.

Meredith Wailes, a leadership coach and expert in Whole Person Development, often speaks to this issue with reference to a past client. The client was a successful businesswoman, surrounded by supportive peers. However, she struggled with feelings of inadequacy and low self-worth. By focusing on developing her psychological aspect, she was able to negate negative self-talk and become more successful through renewed confidence.


The professional aspect of Whole Person Development can often dominate the focus of entrepreneurs. It speaks to defining what success means to you, setting SMART goals, and putting a plan in place to get the career you want.

Maintaining your professional aspect consists of regular spot checks. Is this task helping me reach my goal? Are my goals still the same? Is my career aligned with my values? These questions overlap with different aspects of one’s Whole Person Development strategy to tie everything together.


The social aspect pertains to how we interact with the people in our lives and how we give back to our communities. It’s all about caring and philanthropy. Fuelling our social aspect helps us feel more connected and purposeful with the world around us while building positive relationships that fuel our business. It speaks to helping others and helping ourselves.


The spiritual portion of Whole Person Development is often the most underdeveloped. Spirituality doesn’t always pertain to religion; it’s often about being connected with something greater than ourselves. It’s finding a way to unwind and refocus, to discover where our purpose lies and how to build a business that fits this purpose.

Meditation, prayer, or simply listening to jazz music with your eyes closed after a long day can be forms of spiritual practice.

How to Assess Your Whole Person Development

Take some time to sit with a piece of paper. On the paper, draw six columns and label one for each of the aspects named above. Under each, write which parts of that aspect you do well, and which things need work. Through this exercise, you’ll be able to identify which parts of yourself need work to fill the whole picture better.

As the experts at Lifestyle Design International say, “Life isn’t about finding yourself… it’s about creating yourself.” The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll find yourself living a fulfilling, successful life.


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