Stepping out of your comfort zone can be uncomfortable, we know. When you walk over that line into the unknown and unfamiliar, you might experience feelings of fear, stress, and anxiety.
You might be filled with those 'what ifs' that could send you running back to safety.
What if I make a terrible mistake?
What if I embarrass myself in front of others?
What if I sabotage my business?
What if I lose control?
And so on and so on and so on.
These fears are natural, and they have probably plagued many business owners over the years. But here's the thing: If you want to grow your business, it might be that you do have to step out of your comfort zone. Remind yourself of this useful saying:
IF YOU WANT SOMETHING YOU HAVE NEVER HAD BEFORE YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING YOU HAVE NEVER DONE BEFORE!
If you want to grow your business - and let's face it, you probably do - it is important to mix things up a little. If you're forever in your safety bubble, you might never experience the success you are hoping for.
So, let's consider the things you might need to do to step out of your personal comfort zones. Not everything we say will be relevant to you, as you may have taken strides in some areas already. But for those aspects of your business where you are hesitant to push yourself further, read what we have to say, find ways to let go of your stress, and take those first few steps to challenge yourself, as your business might experience growth if you do.
Learn how to delegate to others
In your comfort zone, you might be reliant on your own efforts to get things done in your business. You might be fearful of losing control to others, not only because of the distrust you might feel towards them, but because you don't want to appear weak.
But here's the thing: You're not perfect! While you probably excel in certain areas, there will be those aspects of your business that you struggle with.
So, you have two choices. Stay in your comfort zone and maintain your control, or step out of your comfort zone, and relinquish parts of your domain.
So, you might delegate to your employees. By getting to know more about them, you will get to know about their capabilities, and you will be in a better position to trust them. You might want to outsource some of your other tasks to other firms as well. While there is the risk that the people you delegate to will let you down, there is also the chance that they might excel in what they do, and profit your business because of their excellent efforts.
And if you are afraid of looking weak in front of others? Well, it's better to admit defeat than push ahead with something and make mistakes because of your own incompetence. Your weaknesses will then become all too apparent! Besides, you don't need to maintain a perfect image anyway, as nobody expects you to be good at everything, so don't be afraid to call on those people who could help you grow your business.
Focus on your professional development
Now that we have settled on the fact that you aren't good at everything, this is something else for you to consider. Too many business owners neglect this aspect because they are comfortable with what they know already. It's not that they are afraid to step out of their comfort zone, but rather, they don't think they need to. Complacency has set in.
If you're of this mindset, beware! If you don't focus on professional development, you will never develop the skills you need to push your business forwards. You will never gain the knowledge that might be needed to take your business to the next level. And you will never meet the people who might inspire you to be greater than you are, so you will never move forwards in either your business or personal life.
By staying in your comfort zone, you will become stagnant. And in the same way, your business will become stagnant too. Woe to you when this happens, because other businesses will innovate while you fall behind. While other business owners grow in their skillsets and knowledge, you will stay rooted within outdated methods of working.
So, make the effort to develop professionally. Go back to school if you need to and take those courses that might help you run your business better. Take online courses or see what your local college has to offer. Attend networking events too, including business conferences, trade shows, and local community meetings. And call on those people in your industry that you know might be useful to you, and draw on their expertise.
Admittedly, you might have to step out of your comfort zone when you do go back to school, and when you do attend networking events, but think about the benefits. You will increase your learning, you will overcome some of your weaknesses, and you will be in a better position to develop and grow your business.
It might be that your business is doing very well at a local level. If this is the case, then great. Well done! But rather than staying within your comfort zone, why not push your business further? And by further, we are talking about on a global level. You don't necessarily need to expand your business by opening up premises overseas, although you might if you have the money to do so. You would then expand your brand, and increase your customer base.
But there are other ways to think globally, and if you haven't yet done so, you might want to consider the options that are open to you.
For one, you might want to sell your products overseas. Especially if you're running an e-commerce business, this should be something you should be considering anyway. You could use Amazon's FBA service to ship your products if you are using this platform to sell. You might do likewise to import products from overseas too, as you would then have a bigger inventory for selling purposes. With the right freight forwarding service, this can be made easy. Consider an Alibaba Freight Forwarder when doing business with the Chinese market, for example.
When thinking globally, consider hiring for your business too. Thanks to the advances in remote working, you could hire people from all over the world, be that on a freelance or permanent purpose. You would then have a greater range of employees to choose from and you would benefit from the skills that they could bring to your business.
So, don't limit your business by staying within a local comfort zone. Learn more about taking your company global, and the ins and outs of importing and exporting. And use websites such as Upwork to find your remote workers.
By expanding globally, in whatever way possible, your business will grow. And while we appreciate this might seem challenging, there is a lot of information online to help you, above and beyond the websites we have linked you to.
Do something you wouldn't normally consider
Of course, we have already alluded to this.
Expanding globally might not be something you would normally consider, especially if you much prefer the comfort zone that is your own locale when doing business with others.
And as we discussed, handing over the reins of certain aspects of your business might not be something you would normally consider either, and the same applies to going back to school, especially if these things cause you to panic.
But there might be other things you wouldn't normally consider, perhaps because you feel much safer in the comfort zone you have placed yourself is. Such as?
Well, how about public speaking. You might be happy to listen to other people speak when you attend networking events, but the idea of getting on the stage to talk to others might terrify you. But think about the benefits. You would raise your profile if you did. You would gain more approval from your peers. And by taking a stand as an industry leader, you might encourage more people to do business with you. So, consider putting yourself forward the next time a networking event is announced. Here are some public speaking tips to help you with your fears.
You might want to sell a new product or offer a new service to your customers too. You might be comfortable selling what you already sell, but what if your customers get bored with what you are offering them? What if your products or services become irrelevant? While you might have to innovate again with a new product, and while you might have to undergo training when offering new services, you might benefit from a renewed interest in your company. This could lead to greater profits and business growth!
So, step out of your comfort zone and try something new. With sufficient planning and preparation, you might just experience success.
So, what do you think? Do you need to step out of your comfort zone? If your business isn't growing, then you will need to take those tentative first steps out of your safety bubble. Think about it, and then do what you need to do. The survival of your business might depend upon it.