One of the
greatest pitfalls I’ve discovered as an online business owner is getting stuck
in my own comfort zone. In this comfort zone I’m quite capable, comfortable,
stress-free, and quite frankly, caught in a rut. When I make the unconscious
decision to "nest" in my own comfort zone, I usually become bored in a short
period of time. It seems as though there’s nothing more to do, no more great
challenges to tackle, nothing to which I anticipate and look forward — in other
words, a slow yet painless death of my business.
When I feel the walls of this comfortable rut grow higher and higher, I think of
a story shared by a life coach at a conference I attended several years ago.
This coach was vacationing in Australia and had the opportunity to go
bungee-jumping. This sport scared her greatly, so she spent the first 3 weeks
of her visit coming up with all the reasons she didn’t want to participate.
Eventually she decided that she would regret this missed opportunity if she
didn’t rise to this challenge, and made a reservation to go on a jump. On the
day of her jump, after she harnessed up, the two people in line in front of her
backed out. She was now in a do or die position — it was her turn to jump –
and she had to decide if she really wanted to do this.
Her bungee jumping coach came up to her and whispered, "You wouldn’t be here if
this wasn’t what you wanted to do." She realized he was right, and she jumped.
This defining moment in her life enables her to coach her clients to "jump" from
where they are to where they want to be, even though it might be the scariest
moment in their lives.
How would your life or business be different if you forced yourself out of your
comfort zone? What is it that will make you move forward to get where you want
to be? Here are 5 strategies that I use re-energize my online business when I
get a bit too cozy in my comfort zone rut:
1. Read magazines/books/trade publications in other industries. I love
to use this activity as a way to generate ideas for my business — it stirs my
creativity. Reading what others are successfully doing in their industries
inspires to me determine if I can replicate their success in my own business or
2. Contact someone who intimidates you. We all have these gurus in our
industries that may scare us or intimidate us a bit because of their
popularity. Or, perhaps their success scares you in some way. Determine what
you’d like to learn from them, and request to speak with them by phone, email,
or in-person for a short amount of time to ask them a few questions. If you
don’t personally know them, find someone who does and request an introduction.
More than likely they’ll agree, and you’ll discover that they’re just as human
as you are..;)
3. Ask for honest feedback from a trusted colleague. Many times when we
stay wrapped up in our businesses, it’s hard to see where we need improvement or
additions because we’ve become accustomed to how things are. Ask a trusted
colleague for honest feedback about some aspect of your business. You can
create your own mastermind group (see how to do that
here) and ask for this
on a regular basis, as I do.
4. Participate in an activity that flies in the face of your beliefs.
Nothing stirs the pot like participating in some function where you’re the
minority — where there are few others who believe what you believe or hold the
values that you hold. Be patient, and permit those you meet to fully express
their point of view. You never know — you might actually learn something, or
better yet, get an idea or inspiration to propel yourself forward.
5. Attend an event that scares you. I recently enrolled in a coaching
program where the coach is speaking about several subjects that scare me, as
these subjects are areas in which I need a great deal of improvement. However, I
know that in order for me to succeed, I need to follow her model, as she’s
already manifested great success by using it. I’m still completely resisting
several of the strategies (screaming loudly, in fact), but that’s ok, as I know
that when I’m truly ready, I’ll quickly move forward to implementation.
Acknowledge your need for ongoing creativity and innovation as an online
business owner. Sometimes the change you desire may be painless, while in other
cases you might find yourself kicking and screaming all the way, yet willing to
take the chance to move yourself forward. In my experience, the louder you
resist, the more profound the change….:) Are you ready to jump?
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Best-selling author Donna Gunter works with successful business owners who are experts in their fields and established in their industry and are seeking a way to stand out from their competitors. Using her Ideal Clients on Autopilot System©, she helps them determine the exact strategies to generate more qualified leads and better-paying clients with automated systems. This proven system makes all their marketing easier and more effective and they find themselves positioned as the only choice for their clients.