Comfort zones. We all have them. They are fuzzy. Warm. Comfortable. Many people, in life and business, can be perfectly content remaining in their comfort zones forever because it’s comfortable there.
It’s like your favorite, threadbare, flannel pajamas. You might live in them when you’re not headed out for a day at the office or lunch with friends. But you’re not really going anywhere as long as you stay in those pajamas.
The same holds true for business comfort zones. You gather a collection of clients you’re comfortable with. You develop a few key skills you’re familiar with. Then you hit a holding pattern. You’re not losing business but your business also isn’t growing. It isn’t evolving and it will never become all that it can be as long as you remain firmly planted inside your comfort zone.
How do You Break Out of Your Comfort Zone?
When you reach the point where you’re no longer expanding your business into new markets, bringing in new clients, or learning new skills to grow your business, you’re going to need to shake things up to get the growth you seek and that your business deserves. These are some things you can do to help shake things up and take a walk outside the lines your business has been boxed into.
- Design a new product. Not only does this exercise increase your personal creativity but it gives your business a new way to reintroduce yourself to your existing customers and to reach out to new audiences.
- Write a book. Writing a book introduces you to a much larger audience. The book doesn’t have to be about your business, but it will certainly help you grow your business, not to mention establishing you as an expert in your field, if it’s business-related.
- Consider public speaking. Groups are desperate to have speakers come in for a variety of topics. In fact, many of them struggle to find professionals and business owners willing to take the time to do so. However, speaking to these groups gives you much-needed exposure, helps you make new contacts for your business, and may even introduce you to potential joint-venture partners alone the way. You can ask at your public library, your local chamber of commerce, or even local civic groups if they need public speakers.
- Teach a class. You know what you do best. You certainly know it well enough to build a career around it. Helping others to learn about the things you do every day or offering a sample of the skills you teach in your in-depth classes can bring you more customers than you ever thought possible. Most communities offer adult learning or adult education classes. Volunteer to teach a class on a topic that showcases your individual talents.
Your comfort zone may feel comfortable for a while. Before too long, though, you will begin to understand that it’s really stifling growth for your business, preventing you from taking risks that fuel giant growth, and training you to settle for less in business and in life. Don’t settle for your comfort zone. Be bold. Be unpredictable. Be innovative and watch how quickly your business grows.