Using the Internet as a Self Development Tool


A large majority of our population waste a lot of time on the Internet. It is a very easy thing to do in this generation of information addiction. I am just as guilty as anyone else for having wasted many valuable hours surfing aimlessly. Since becoming a full time business owner over 2 years ago, I have been introduced to an entire community of people who instead, leverage the Internet, as a tool for both personal and business development.

The true power of the Net comes form the fact that any person with ideas to share can create their own platform to speak from. Typically this comes in the form of a personal or business blog but it can also be done through social networks, online forums and podcasting. As a success coach, the biggest problem I witness is the lack of follow through and persistence towards personal goals. In general, people have no problem actually setting and planning their goals but they falter when it comes time to turn the goals into reality. One of the most common causes of this is the lack of accountability.

Think about this form the perspective of your own life for a second. Imagine setting a goal to run a marathon. You could set the goal privately and write down on a piece of paper that you intend to complete a marathon in 4 months time. In this case, you are your only source of accountability.

Another option would be to declare your goal publicly to friends, family, colleagues, etc… There is obviously a built in sense of motivation when you know others are tracking your progress. The anticipated pain of embarrassment may very well be the one driving force that causes you to actually reach your marathon goal!

So how does the Internet help with self development?

When you think of most personal development programs and exercises, pretty much all of the teachings are geared toward behaviour change in one way or another. Behaviour change is typically the result of action repetition. Once you have decided on a goal that you would like to achieve, you can easily use the Internet as a tool for both activity management and personal accountability.

Example – My friend and mentor Brad Gosse ( is quickly becoming a widely recognized authority in the Internet Marketing arena. He literally uses his blog as a tool for personal and business development. Brad has a schedule that he follows to the letter. Every Tuesday and Thursday he creates a high value piece of content for his readers. As I have followed his blog for the past year, his skill level has continued to rise along with the size of his audience. Because his readers expect him to deliver new content weekly, Brad is forced to continually grow and adapt his skill set. He literally has a built-in accountability system that forces him to deliver week after week. Brad also happens to be one of the most successful entrepreneurs I know and I don’t think this is an accident.

The good news is you do not have to be a technical wizard like Brad in order to leverage the Internet as a success tool. There are plenty of free and user friendly platforms that anyone can use to build the same kind of system.

Some ideas:

  • Start a free WordPress or Blogger blog and do a personal 30 day challenge (i.e. write 500 words a day for 30 days to improve writing skills)
  • Setup a YouTube channel and shoot 1 video per week of yourself practicing your vocal skills for a music competition
  • Join an online community and track your personal committments just like this: Steve Pavlina Forum – 21 Day Bootcamp
  • Create a mailing list on your website and send 1 valuable lesson/free gift per day to your subscribers

As a success coach and an internet marketer, I can’t help but embrace this incredible opportunity we have to leverage the internet as one of the best  personal development tools we have ever had at our disposal. Please share your comments as to how you see yourself using it to help you reach your goals!

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13 Responses to Using the Internet as a Self Development Tool

  1. Brad Gosse February 16, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    Thanks for the mention dude. Now I need to really stick to my schedule LOL. You are my new accountabilabuddy 🙂

    The more I pledge my plans online the more I feel accountable for them. My focus has never been sharper partly due to this.

  2. Garry February 16, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

    Hey Justin

    Great article, accountability is so important when trying to change your life. I’ve found that once you get started working on a project, like blogging, and have people expecting you to contribute something regularly the excuses to not do anything start to disappear. I started working the blog angle and now I really like sitting down every week and coming up with a new article, not sure if anyone actually reads them but it is still fun to do 😀


  3. Justin Popovic February 16, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    @Brad NP buddy! You have a phenomenal thing going on at your blog and I think the success minded folks here at Ignite need to see what you are up to! Keep up the great work

    @Garry – Thanks! The main thing is that you are taking action and once you learn how to effectively promote your blog and create a community, you will have an audience waiting anxiously for your new post each week. Keep it up

  4. Cherie Concannon February 18, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    Hi Justin,

    I agree with the accountability idea. And routine is so important when trying to evolve your online offerings. We are still amending our routine regularly and need to develop a more consistent regime.

    I also think that once a regime has been developed, this regime quickly becomes a labour of love as the weekly or bi-weekly updates contain more interesting and valuable content as you develop your skills

    Cherie Concannon
    Success Coach

  5. Daan van den Bergh December 30, 2010 at 3:46 am #

    Dude, totally.

    I’ve been slacking totally lately after the start-up of my new blog. And I keep excusing myself (I was busy, the baby’s taking up a lot of time, it’s difficult to combine a full-time job with blogging). So I took a big decision! From the end of january, I’m gonna be a full-time blogger. And exactly, set a schedule for writing, publishing, tweeting, networking, the whole deal.

    Thanks for the wake up call, Justin!

    • Justin Popovic December 30, 2010 at 11:59 am #

      Hey Daan,

      That’s awesome! Congrats for taking such a big leap in your life and business. Keep me posted on your blog and I look forward to watching your success.
      Justin Popovic recently posted..Simplifying Marketing and Sales

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