It is a fact that leaving your comfort zone kind of sucks. You have to learn more, struggle hard and keep facing challenges regularly.
On the contrary, a comfort zone is where you are all settled; you have a sturdy source of income, people know you in your field of work and you get the job done easily on regular basis. But how long you can survive comfortably in your ‘comfort zone’? Is it even possible to live happily in a cocoon of yourself?
When you become an entrepreneur, one thing which you never ask for is comfort. You have chosen to walk the road less traveled or maybe never traveled. You may become bankrupt or Forbes might feature you on its cover, but you will never taste the flavor of your comfort zone.
I always have seen youngsters fascinating about becoming an entrepreneur because it allows them to become their own boss and work whenever they want. Well, that sounds comfortable on the paper. Not in real life.
A person who runs a business has knowingly or unknowingly chosen a dynamic job. Every month you will grow or shrink and the responsibilities you are handling will change drastically. Your business changes constantly and it is always going to be different and more challenging than before.
If you are treading a brisk growth trajectory then your biggest challenge would be to how to accommodate the increased influx of customers. And if sales are deteriorating, then you would be sitting on the drawing board to chalk out a more effective business strategy. For an entrepreneur, the challenge is always constant.
So, if you have just started up or want to start up, then you must stay prepared to get out of your comfort zone. Because this is not where you belong. Here is how it can benefit you:
- Find creative solutions: When you are not shivering with fear, you will see just how achievable everything really is.
- Prioritize the right things: When you stop indulging in fear, you devote more energy to things that matter: your message, your business, and serving your customers efficiently.
- Play the long game: Short-term risks won’t feel as scary because you’ll be smartly focused on your ultimate, long-term goals.
- Grow as a person: When you challenge yourself, you are more likely to open yourself up to new relationships and experiences that will enrich your life and grow your character.
If you are still in your comfort zone then you need to keep on reading because you can’t afford a comfort zone. You don’t have to move a mountain to come out of your comfort zone.
You can take baby steps to start the process and the risk-taking capability will automatically embed in your personality.
- Be Fearless
- Know the Jobs your Employees Do
- Challenge your Limits
- Brush Up Your Communication Skills
- Look Forward to Relax
- You Don’t Know Everything
- Learn from Successful People
Several startups never realize their potential because they are too scared to take risks. What is stopping you take that radical business decision which could change the future of your company? What is holding you back when your SWOT analysis is in favor of the decision?
Why haven’t you approached that big venture capital fund yet? Are you scared of getting rejected or your startup doesn’t deserve that kind of funding?
Maybe all the answers to these questions are just in your head and the reality is something else. Start small. If you don’t like trying new food then start trying different cuisines at least once a week. If you have never had a conversation with your watchman then try talking to him, be a part of his life, know his problems and help him. Earn the confidence you need to do new stuff.
If you can try the new cuisine which you really loved then you can also pitch your startup to the biggest VC. You can take that radical business decision to help your business grow.
2. Know the Jobs your Employees Do
The action begins beyond the monotonous life of yours. And when it comes to entrepreneurship you expected to be the master of all trades. Versatility is the common requirement of any startup. Learn to fit in different roles and always keep an open mind.
For instance, if you haven’t set up a team for customer support yet then wouldn’t it be great to take a few customers calls on a regular basis. It will help you understand the problems of your customer first hand and the challenges your customer support team will face in the future. This discomfort-inducing exercise will help you understand the role of customer service in a better manner.
It will also help you hire a better candidate as you know the job more closely.
3. Challenge your Limits
Sometimes, staying in the comfort zone is ingrained in your personality. Think about your personal life. When was the last time when you did something which really challenged you physically or emotionally? Only by pushing yourself to the next level; you can take your business to greater heights.
I always wondered to run a half marathon but never tried preparing for it. But one fine day, I started clocking miles on my treadmill for the upcoming marathon. The starting was extremely painful and I couldn’t run more than 2 miles in one go. But I kept going, pushed my boundaries each day and kept the focus on my goal. It took me 5 months but yeah, I was able to complete my first half marathon.
The entire entrepreneurial process was uncomfortable like hell but the result was heavenly. Every success in your life will demand you to pass through hell. Pushing your limits mentally and physically will help you to apply the same mindset to other aspects of your life. Pain is worth the gain.
4. Brush Up Your Communication Skills
Being a good communicator is one of the most important qualities of an entrepreneur. You always need to communicate your idea in a way that the target audience can understand it. Good communicators are also good motivators; that means you would be able to keep your team motivated all the time.
Well, you can’t start by giving a keynote at an industry event or speak up in a boardroom in front of your senior colleagues. But you can certainly start by joining a public speaking class or speaking up in smaller meetings. Observe the people and look for responses. You can also request your close friend or colleague to give you feedback and advice.
While people equate entrepreneurship with great ideas, the actual challenge for people is psychological – the courage to do and try things which are almost impossible in your head.
5. Look Forward to Relax
There are some comforts which are always there for you. And you can always go to them to get much-needed motivation and respite from stress. Like, after a taxing day at work you can always go back to your family, play your favorite game or eat your favorite food. There will be days when you will feel like having a drink; go ahead and have it. Because you deserve it.
The point is to remember the things which bring comfort in your life and keep in touch with them. Your discomforts will give you less pain only when you remember your comforts.
6. You Don’t Know Everything
You are not Batman who has all the resources and power to get anything in the world. Even he failed to save his girlfriend.
There will be times when you will have to surpass your position as a boss and ask for help. So, if pitching your idea to the VC is a bit uncomfortable thing for you then you can take along a colleague or friend with you who can help you pitch the idea effectively. And if networking is not your cup of tea then instead of meeting tens of people; you can focus on 2-3 key clients which you think can bring business for you. You can invite them for a coffee or lunch for further discussion.
7. Learn from Successful People
Wealthy people are super successful because they know the fact only risk-takers get rewarded. Bigger the risk, bigger the reward. And risk can be taken only by stepping out of your comfort zone. The only way to become better is by pushing yourself hard against the limits. To become wealthy, you need to stay creative, think about unique business plans and execute them efficiently.
A wealthy person never works a 9 to 5 job. He is constantly on his toes to chase his dreams. Every successful person in the world has gone several miles out of his comfort zone to convert his dreams into reality. They dared to fight their fears and take a plunge to uncharted waters.
Break your mold to become stronger and confident to reach higher levels in your profession. Innovation will only happen when you step outside of your comfort zone. The stagnant job will feed you food and drinks but your creativity will die. Keep trying new things, observe things differently and think like a visionary.