In my Bodyflow class (yoga/tai chi combo), we’ve been doing the “star” pose. It involves balancing on one leg and raising the other leg to the side as high as you can. As we’re holding the pose, the instructor will say “how big will you go,” to encourage us to raise our leg even higher.
It’s very tempting to go just to your level of comfort. Where you feel good because you are perfectly balanced. And you look good to the rest of the class.
What happens when you raise your leg too high? It’s a struggle. You eventually lose your balance. It appears to you, and everyone else, that you can’t do the pose. You’ve attempted to go “too big.”
Because I’m almost always thinking about growing my business, when the instructor said “how big will you go,” it occurred to me that stepping out of your comfort zone during your workout is no different than going beyond your comfort zone in your business.
When it comes to work, the “comfort zone” for most people is a steady paycheck working for someone else. Those unsettled souls who decide to start a business inevitably lose our balance, i.e. fail. And most of our friends and family are standing nearby to take note of our failure, and our ill-advised decision to try to go too big.
But here’s the problem. If you never lift your leg any higher, then you’ll never be able to lift your leg any higher. On the other hand, if you keep lifting to the point of imbalance, that point will become increasingly higher.
Same thing in your business. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll never to able to do more. Your knowledge won’t grow. Your skills won’t grow. And, your income won’t grow. Yet, push yourself just one inch outside your comfort zone every day and everything will grow.
Most people I see having trouble growing their business are stuck in at least one of three comfort zones. See if you recognize yourself in any of these.
1. The money comfort zone
“I don’t want to spend any money on my business until I’m making money.” If only I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that . . .
Spending money you don’t really have is uncomfortable. From an accounting standpoint, it makes sense that you don’t want your business to be in the red.
But, you’re going to have to step out of your money comfort zone if you want to have a profitable business. It does take money to make money. Not a lot. But always more than you’re comfortable with.
You need to outsource things that you don’t like to do or aren’t good at, or just don’t have time to do. Paying someone else to do them will make you more money than it will cost you, ultimately.
You need to hire a coach if you really want to go big. Trying to build a profitable business without a coach is no different than trying to perform surgery without any medical training.
Your coach will cost more than you’re comfortable paying. But again, she will make you more money than it costs you.
2. The people comfort zone
When I first became an affiliate marketer, I was thrilled at the thought of not having to talk to people anymore. I’d had more than my fill of person-to-person selling in my network marketing business. Having people go to my website and buy from me online, without ever talking to them, was just what I was looking for.
And you will sell to people you never talk to in your online business. It’s part of the beauty of online marketing. But, that doesn’t mean you’re going to grow a million dollar business without ever talking to a soul.
To the contrary, you’ve got to get out there and build relationships with people. The real money is in real life relationships.
Going to a networking meeting where you don’t know anyone is uncomfortable for most people. Going to a live event related to your market is often uncomfortable to your bank account, as is the thought of making conversation with a room full of people you don’t know. People who you fear will be far more successful than you are.
But you will build relationships that lead to new prospects, joint ventures, mentors, and countless other opportunities to get your message to more people. The bottom line will be more profit for your business.
3. The knowledge comfort zone
I talk about this a lot, because it’s a big problem. While there are some notable exceptions, most of us are not comfortable claiming to be an “expert” at something. We don’t want to come across as a know-it-all. And besides, there are a lot of people who know more about your market than you do. Who would actually pay you for what you know.
The problem with being uncomfortable in “tooting your own horn,” and getting paid for it, is that it means no one gets the benefit of your expertise. And you don’t get the benefit of having a profitable business.
Selling a book or video course, or being hired as a speaker, might not be comfortable for you. But if you’re willing to step out and do it, you’ll get a glimpse of just how much you do know. And you’ll be surprised how much your market is willing to pay for the value you provide them.
Where does your comfort zone end?
What one thing can you do each day to build your business that takes you outside of your comfort zone? Put it on the top of your to-do list. It’s essential to your growth.
Remember, you’ll never be able to lift your leg any higher without falling a few times first. But it’s only after the falls that you can successfully go higher. You’re going to fall when you step out of your comfort zone in your business too. But it’s also the only way you’ll ever grow.
I look forward to hearing about your success.