Starting a business takes guts. And, pursuing your passion requires you to take risks. To maximize your entrepreneurial experience, you need to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone.
Going outside of your comfort zone makes all the difference when it comes to your business’s success. I should know—I had to step outside of my comfort zone often when starting each of my business ventures.
From becoming comfortable with public speaking to writing a 20-page weekly newsletter, entrepreneurship forced me to do things I wouldn’t normally do. And you know what? I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
6 Benefits of stepping outside your comfort zone
Once you’ve settled into your entrepreneurial role, you might start getting comfortable with the status quo.
As a passionate entrepreneur, you want your business to succeed. And your business success boils down to one very critical question: Are you willing to push the envelope?
Check out these six benefits of stepping outside your comfort zone in business.
1. You give innovation the boost it needs
Doing the same activity day after day can be monotonous. Failing to change things up in your business can be a death sentence for your company.
Innovation keeps your business on its toes. Constantly churning out creative ideas, strategies, and offerings keeps customers enthralled, makes you stand out to lenders and investors, and repels your competitors from closing in on you.
Step outside of your comfort zone to develop and pursue innovative paths.
It’s easy to follow the same tried and true method that works for your business. But before you get too comfortable, recognize that nothing lasts forever. A business strategy might work for you now, but the market is always changing.
But what if switching up your strategy costs you customers? What if your small business revenue plummets when you try out a new approach? What if …
… What if it works?
Stepping out of your comfort zone can boost business innovation and propel your business forward.
From your marketing strategy to your sales initiatives, be willing to step outside your comfort zone and pursue alternative routes.
2. You can grow both personally and professionally
How do you know you’ve become stagnant? Many business owners and their startups become stagnant when they fail to pursue growth. If you’re limiting growth in lieu of an unknown fear, it’s time to step outside your comfort zone.
Stepping outside of your comfort zone can help you grow both in your personal and professional roles.
In my startup days, I was deathly afraid of public speaking. But because I was passionate about my business’s success, I set my fears aside and took the leap. I spoke at 60-70 business conventions. Because I was willing to stretch my comfort zone, I was able to grow my skills.
I was also not a fan of writing. But in my startup, I forced myself to write a 20-page weekly newsletter for my customers every single week for eight years. Was that in my comfort zone? Heck no. Am I glad I did it? Of course I am. I had plenty of opportunities to hone my writing skills, and my business grew because of it.
Public speaking and writing were painful at first, but the long-term benefits of growing personally and professionally significantly outweighed that pain.
Of course, you should do a business risk analysis before charging blindly towards a significant new goal. For example, don’t step outside of your comfort zone by expanding your company without research.
3. You may receive a valuable lesson in humility
Believing in yourself is critical to your business’s success. Having a big ego is not.
It’s easy to look at what you have accomplished and take pride in your work. But if you aren’t careful, too much pride can turn into arrogance. And arrogance may cause you to become closed off to others’ suggestions and opinions.
Stepping outside of your comfort zone reminds you that there is much more to learn and more work to be done in your small business.
You can’t grow your business all on your own—you need help from your employees, feedback from your customers, and advice from your mentors.
So if you want to keep your ego in check, try something new. Rarely do people excel when they’re trying something they’re not used to (with the exception of beginner’s luck).
If you fail when stepping outside your comfort zone, remember that it’s not the end of the world. Instead, look at the failure as a learning opportunity.
Don’t stunt your business’s success by thinking you have all the answers. Value what others say and remember that you’re always learning in entrepreneurship.
4. You might just have fun
Traveling to new places, trying new foods, and experiencing new adventures all require you to step outside of your comfort zone. And I think most people would agree that these are pretty fun activities.
In business, don’t just leap outside of your comfort zone for your business’s health—do it for your health, too.
Refusing to try new things can become mundane. And when you’re an entrepreneur putting at least 40 hours of work into your business each week, getting caught in the rat race can take its toll.
Try something new in your business. Chances are, you just might have fun with it. And in addition to having fun, stepping outside your comfort zone can make you proud (which is always fun, too).
5. You become better equipped to handle the unexpected
Raise your hand if you take the same vehicle to work every day. One day, your car breaks down. You glance over at your rusty old bike, but the wheels are flat. You’re not exactly prepared to handle the unexpected car malfunction, are you?
When the weather’s nice, I like to ride my bike to work. At first, it was a nice way to step outside of my comfort zone. Now, it provides an alternative option in case the unexpected happens with my car.
Voluntarily doing things outside your comfort zone prepares you for scenarios when you are forced to do things you wouldn’t normally do.
If you step outside your comfort zone, you familiarize yourself with new experiences. You become more adaptable.
When you’re used to changing things up, handling business setbacks won’t be a big deal. And setbacks happen all the time in business. You better not get too comfy, my friends.
6. You can make amazing contacts
You’ve heard the saying, It’s all about who you know. While I don’t put all my stock into this saying, I do think there is a lot of truth to it. Whether it’s your family, business mentors, investors, or customers, the people you know impact your business.
Step outside of your comfort zone to widen your circle of contacts. Doing so can open the door to invaluable advice, partnerships, and relationships.
When I wanted to start my first business, I opened the phone book’s Yellow Pages and went through page by page. I scoured that book for businesses that might need to purchase a software package. I ended up making some great contacts who coached, mentored, and educated me.
So, push yourself to attend that trade show. Speak at the business conference. Reach out to a neighboring business owner. Doing things out of the ordinary can help you develop long-lasting relationships that further your business.