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HSCS-008 – Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone

March 12, 2009 by  

We are creatures of habit. We can be stubborn, apathetic and fearful of change. It’s time to shake things up a bit. Pick one thing – that you are currently not doing to promote your expertise or brand – and start doing it.

Welcome friends. The theme of this show is simple. If you hate something about the way you do business, let’s figure out a way to change it for the better. Don’t accept as an answer: “Well that’s the way we’ve always done it.” That excuse no longer flies. We have access to so many new tools, thought leaders and big ideas. If you hate it, then change it. If you don’t want to be part of the solution, then you’re just part of the problem.

Each week we look at simple strategies and tactics that may have been overlooked by you and your team. Sometimes we forget. Sometimes we get lazy. Perhaps we never heard of them before. Point is we’re hear to share information to do business better and become more successful. I’m not trying to sell you anything. The only thing I ask in return is your feedback. Comment on the blog. Record a voice message. I’ll repeat it at the end of the episode.

Thank you to all the repeat listeners. And welcome to those who are listening for the first time. At the end I tell you all the ways you can have this show automatically delivered to you for free.

Listener Feedback

Comment came in from Keith from Birmingham. He wrote:
“Listened to all the episodes. Great thoughts. Before I figure out what I want to be known for, I need to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.
I like your direct approach. Keep up the great work.”

Thanks, Keith. I agree, I still don’t know what my first, best destiny is. Until then, I’ll keep sharing what I know to anyone who’ll listen. 🙂

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone.

Irrational Fear #12 displayed with permission from SavageChickens.comWhat do I mean by that? We’re creatures of habit.

  • We have formed opinions and can be stubborn about change.
  • We can be apathetic towards opportunities and people that could benefit us.
  • We fear that which is difficult or outside the realm of experience.

So apply that to the tasks of a small business owner:

  • Opinion – “The yellow pages is the best place for people to find my business.”
    Maybe, maybe not. A 2008 study indicated that less than 30% of Internet users still report they use their paper phone book (white pages/yellow pages). (SOURCE) What about the untapped potential — are you doing anything to reach the other 70%?
  • Apathy – “Networking groups are not for me. I’m too busy.”
    Yet those who actively and consistently participate in groups benefit from building professional connections, get their name/offerings known, find opportunities to collaborate and give/get business lead referrals.
  • Fear – “I don’t need a website. I’m not on ‘MyFace’ and such. That’s a waste of my time.”
    So how will people find you online? As your older customers age out, how will the more digitally-connected younger generation find you?

I’ve really embraced the face-to-face business networking. In fact I’m scheduled to attend 5 relatively local events this week. (Usually I attend 2-3 minimum.) So I started inviting colleagues who’ve been laid off, small business clients and some of the people I’ve advised. I’m surprised how most hem and haw and find an excuse not to attend. I realize that it can be intimidating. But the very idea seems to paralyze some people.

I was advising an IT business owner recently with a really great niche. He’s ready to deliver services, but weeks away from having his marketing strategy ready. So I tried talking him into coming to a big event that week. Free entry. Within 10 miles. Only investment is time and bring business cards to hand out. His reaction: “Oh no, I can’t. That’s not for me.” I’m telling him he can’t afford not to. So I go alone and that night I connected with: A doctor, an entrepreneur scouting locations for a new retail business, the owner of a title company, the owner of a law firm, the owner of a CPA firm and a few PR folks. Good for me. Lost opportunity for someone I know.

Online social networking for professional purposes should definitely be part of your marketing mix, but you have got to get out and shake hands too. Stop hiding behind the computer and get out for air.

Comfort Challenge

Here’s my challenge to you: Find a way to step out of your comfort zone next week. Here’s a few suggestions:

  • Go find a networking event to go to next week. If you’re afraid to go alone, invite a business owner you know. Or go with your spouse. Point is, get out there. All the people there are looking to make connections. No one wants to see you fail. You never know who you might meet to help propel your business to the next level.
  • Start a professional blog. Just pick a topic related to what you do, create a free account on WordPress.com or Blogger.com. Then start writing – opinions, observations, tip lists. Just do it and demonstrate your subject matter expertise.
  • Start building your professional online network. Go on Linkedin.com, Facebook.com, Plaxo.com, Biznik.com and start searching for people you went to school with or worked with in the past. Invite them to connect with you.

Thanks for letting me share that with you. Please let me know what you did or will do to step outside your Comfort Zone.

What are you thoughts? Agree? Disagree? Want to add something?

Add a comment to the blog post or record a voice message that I’ll play in a future episode.

Tell a friend. Send a link to someone and say hey, check this out.

No go out and shake things up a bit. Go make some noise!

Thanks for listening/reading!

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Savage Chickens Irrational Fear #12 displayed with permission of Doug Savage. Visit SavageChickens.com

Music: “Apple Chunk” by AjT found on the Podsafe Music Network:
http://tinyurl.com/ajtpodsaf

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