Success Lies Outside of Your Comfort Zone

January 7th, 2009 by | Print



I learned to ride a bike when I was 5. My first bike was a red Schwinn Cruiser with a white seat. I was so excited about how much freedom and fun I would have with it. And I wanted to be as cool as my two older brothers and their friends who were already zipping around our neighborhood.


I remember the fear of falling and the frustration of not being able to pedal to applause on my first try. But, I was urged on by my brothers’ supportive taunts of “baby”. I can’t recall thinking that walking would be an alright alternative.


Jumps and popping wheelies on my green Schwinn Stingray with the banana seat and high-rise bars came later. Just getting over the fear of falling and failure – stepping outside of my comfort zone – was the biggest step. Could I have had a happy life of footing it instead of pedaling? Sure, but my options opened up when I stepped up.


To maximize your business potential, you need to force yourself outside of your comfort zone. Are you sitting safe on the sidelines watching and waiting as the competition flies by? Are you staying in the safe zone afraid of failure, afraid of looking foolish?


Here are 6 factors to consider when testing your new boundaries of possibility for success.


1. You must want more. Unless you’re at a saturation point of your efforts, stay thirsty for more.

2. Don’t be afraid to look foolish. Don’t be afraid to fail. Be willing to take the scrapes and bumps. Those without the war wounds of business end up working for someone else. Failing is an excellent teacher.

3. Know your financial limits. Calculate the financial risk you can afford. If you know you are going to Vegas and can afford to lose $500 for the night, it’s foolish to blow $550, but it’s equally foolish to stop at $400. It may be that last $100 that turns a losing slide into winnings. Make the most with what you can afford and don’t be afraid to gamble with it.

4. Explore evolutionary growth before revolutionary growth. Unless you have extra time and money for basically starting a new venture, test the limits of your current business by expanding on your core competency.

5. Arm yourself with intelligence and a plan before going into the unknown. Perform research. Speak with a seasoned pro. Get some data and advice about what you may be up against. Role play some scenarios to envision how you might react. Create a plan.

6. Have confidence in your capabilities. There are no guarantees that tomorrow will turn out the way that you may envision, even if you plan on playing it safe. Yet you will get up and go for it, partially because you know you can. Remind yourself of how well you dealt with unexpected adversity in the past. Let these examples instill courage for you to challenge yourself moving forward.


Are you satisfied with your currently level of success? If not, let the challenges you face tomorrow be those that YOU create to expand your business and not those brought to you by a shrinking customer base because you played it safe.


All The Best,

Doug Dolan
The Solopreneur’s Guide


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