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Challenge Your Comfort Zone

While I'm all for comfort, there are times when a little discomfort can go a long way towards helping us achieve our goals. Think about working with a personal trainer; his or her goal is to push you outside your usual routine to help you get fit, be stronger, and become healthier. And if it works for your body, it can work for your business, too. In fact, one of the best things you can do as an entrepreneur is to constantly push yourself to do the things that make you the most uncomfortable.

If you review your list of goals – or even your daily To-Do list – the item that makes you the most nervous is likely the one that could have the biggest payoff. Contacting a big name in your industry, publishing a post that's more opinionated than your typical “safe” topics, creating a video when you're strictly a written word kind of businessperson, attending a seminar in your area, creating your first infoproduct, saying “yes” to an interview with a big name in your field – all of these are risky because they put you in the position of being rejected. But at the same time, they can have a huge impact on your business. One big action like this can take the place of hundreds of smaller, safer steps.
 
I know, I know. It's hard to put yourself out there. But there are some things you can do to make sure your risks are calculated ones:
 
1.    Calculate the downside.
Ask yourself, “What's the worst that can happen?” If you're rejected, will you lose your business? Alienate a loved one? Hurt someone? Probably not. Acknowledging the worst case scenario helps you keep the risk in perspective.
 
2.    Do your research.
Preparing yourself for the event can only help you be more successful. Do your research on the new contact you're pitching. Review your script before giving a speech. Know what you're getting into, and how you'll handle any questions or issues that will arise.
 
3.    Think positive.
Expect the best. When you contact a big-name potential partner, expect that they'll want to work with you. When you submit an article or manuscript, assume that it will be accepted. Sure, things go wrong, but don't borrow trouble. If there are problems, you'll find out soon enough.
 
4.    Figure out a back-up plan.
If your number-one JV partner turns you down, who are you going to go to next? If you can't book the hotel for your preferred date for your first live seminar, what's your second choice? Having a plan to fall back on will make you less likely to freak out if your ideal situation doesn't materialize.
 
5.    Do it again. And again. And again.
For your business to keep growing, YOU need to keep growing. And that means constantly spreading your wings farther and farther. Sometimes you'll fly and sometimes you'll flop, but if you keep working at it, over time you'll find yourself moving way beyond your old safety zone, operating at a whole new level. 
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