As an introvert and shy person, stepping out of my comfort zone is a challenge for me. However, as a business owner I know I have to overcome this challenge if I want to expand my reach and grow my business. Although not easy, I’m doing it. 🙂
Stepping out of your comfort zone allows you to see what you’re capable of doing. If things don’t go well, chalk it up as a lesson learned and try again with that experience under your belt. One of the most important things I did to grow my business was to step out by expanding my professional network with business building and marketing specialists and experts.
It was a stretch for me to transition and position myself from being an established certified career coach and resume writer to being viewed and recognized as business building and supporting resource for my colleagues. To make this transition, I had to step out of my comfort zone, place more focus of my time and efforts on researching and learning more about business development strategies, best business practices, and the like, which I continue to do to ensure I can best serve my colleagues.
For example, I was very hesitant about hosting “Expert Call” teleclasses and facilitating webinars for job seekers because I get so nervous when it comes to talking. But I decided to face my anxiety to speak and went through with offering the Expert Calls because I knew it was an excellent way to position my colleagues in front of job seekers. Sure, I still get a few butterflies in my stomach when class starts, but I don’t let them get the best of me anymore.
Reaching out and networking with business and marketing experts, writing articles, and making videos are other areas where I had to leave my comfort zone. Again, difficult to do, but faced that fear and did it. (BTW, the video thing happened just this year and I’m still working on being comfortable after hitting “record!”).
Of course it’s not easy for anyone to leave their comfort zone. A comfort zone is just that “comfort” meaning at ease, content, and having a sense of security. Leaving that safe space means feeling discontent, uneasy, and insecure. It takes practice to overcome these feelings but know it is doable. However, you have to be willing to give yourself permission to try and not give up.
View leaving your comfort zone as a “success step” and contributing factor to the success of your business. Give it a shot and have fun with it—it’s what makes being in business so exciting! You’ll be amazed at how taking this step will help you grow personally and professionally while at the same time building your strength and confidence in your ability to do something you thought you didn’t have in you to do.
Business opportunities are everywhere, but you can’t expect them to just drop in your lap. Here are things I did that required me to step out of my comfort zone, and why I encourage you to do the same:
1: Build Your Professional Network: While you’re reaching out for support and guidance from experts in non-competing fields, you’re also establishing yourself in their minds as a career expert. You may very well be building long-term, supportive and trusting relationships that can result in referrals (in both directions) for many years to come.
2: Offer Teleclasses/Webinars & Write Articles: Get in front of your target audience and expand your reach and visibility online. Put together 30-50 minute teleclasses or webinars and write articles with your target audience in mind.
Offering free mini-teleclasses/webinars allows you to interact with your target audience and demonstrate your area of expertise while establishing credibility. The same can be said for posting articles that you write online, expanding your reach worldwide.
Sure, you can direct job seekers to articles you find that will benefit them, but place your emphasis on writing your own articles to become recognized by your readers as the expert resume writer or career coach you want potential clients to know you for and will think of when it comes time for them to retain the services you offer.
Building your community of class attendees and readers positions you as an expert in your field and your name and business will be top of mind when it comes to contacting a career coach or resume writer or recommending you to someone they know who needs your services.
3: Take Action: Take consistent action to see consistent results. Whether it’s an action that resulted in immediate gains or whether it was a learning opportunity for what to do differently next time, the more you try, the further ahead you get. So try again and keep trying; soon enough you’ll starting seeing your efforts pay off.