How to Grow Your Business: Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone
Part 1 of 2
You cannot grow your business while standing still
It’s true. If you want to make progress toward an end goal, you have to actually be moving. It is not enough to simply want to make progress. You will never achieve your goals without changing what
your are doing right now.
People in general are eager to talk about what their plans are for the next 5, 10, even 15 or more years of their life. Most people will also talk your ears off if you ask what their career goals are. But how many of them are actually taking actions now that will further their goals?
What about you, what are your goals for your business? What is on your to-do list for today that is directly involved in helping you grow your business to achieve that goal?
Routines: your best friend and your worst enemy
Humans thrive on routines and structure. We get up at a certain time, eat lunch at about noon, work for a set number of hours, and go to bed at a certain time. Everyone has a routine of some sort that they maintain. People are used to the consistent flow of their everyday life, and that is how they like it.
By refusing to step outside of our comfort zone we reject opportunities to further our goals
This type of mindset can quickly kill a business. By locking ourselves into a rigid routine we risk missing opportunities for innovation and growth. We miss opportunities to connect with other people. We miss out on trying new things, on experimenting with what we do and how we do it.
Routines do provide a necessary structure in our lives that is needed for us to have enough stability to do things like growing our business. But when routines no longer provide any benefit, they become a real problem for business owners. We wind up sticking to routines for the sake of going through the routine itself. We merely go through the motions of our life, no longer advancing toward our end goal.
Expand your comfort zone, then expand some more
We can combat this by doing exactly what makes us uncomfortable: stepping out of our comfort zone. By constantly trying new things we can keep ourselves fresh and focused on our goals. We can shake up our routine just enough to discover some new things and make use of them.
Trying new things provides us with constant challenges. We are always presenting ourselves with the possibility of failing – something all entrepreneurs have to be pretty good at dealing with. By finding new challenges for ourselves and then systematically conquering those challenges you grow in your abilities – and by extension, you can grow your business.
But where do we find those challenges? Where do we go to experiment with things we have never tried before? I’ll give you a hint: it’s not sitting at your desk. It’s not going to be at the next meeting with that client you’ve had for more than 10 years. You certainly will not find those challenges by doing the same things you have been doing for the past few weeks, months or years. None of those things are new. None of those things grow your business.
You find those challenges and opportunities by going out and looking for them
Put yourself in a situation that is completely different from your everyday routine. Open yourself up to something new that you have never experienced before.
Attend a conference that is centered around a skill you’ve never focused on. Attend a webinar that talks about concepts used in some of your peer’s professions. Add that new feature to your website that you’ve been putting off because you aren’t sure you have the expertise to use it correctly. Or just go to a new restaurant for lunch and strike up a conversation with someone. Ask them what they do for a living. Make a connection.
Growing your business does not have to be a complex process
But you will never be able to grow your business unless you open yourself up to new opportunities and challenges. By constantly going out and actively seeking ways to expand your knowledge and grow your business with new skills, you will find yourself working more quickly toward your end goals.