I get it. Your comfort zone is, well, comfy. It’s safe and dependable and you can pretty much predict what is coming next. Some people like that like that kinda thing but I'm not such a fan. For some people, their job is their comfort zone and, with a guaranteed salary at the end of each and every month, I absolutely get why that is a lot to give up to risk going it alone and venturing into the unknown. But stepping outside of your comfort zone, as scary as it is, is also pretty damn amazing! Whether it's changing careers, moving to a new country or starting your own business, I think the same reasons apply to taking a leap that faith. Here are my top 10 reasons why you should jump out of your comfort zone RIGHT NOW!
1. Fear of failure helps kick procrastination’s ASS!
My name is a Victoria and I’m a procrastinator. Well, I was. Now I’d say I’m in recovery. I’m taking it one day at a time but honestly, when you’ve got a shit-load riding on you making something a success, procrastination becomes a luxury you can no longer afford. Of course there are still things that make me feel a bit uncomfortable and there are many other tasks on my to-do list that I’d rather be doing. Hell, I’m the queen of to-do list writing itself as it’s an excellent distraction from actually doing the things on the list! Unfortunately though, working on my own means that if I don’t do it (whatever ‘it’ may be) it won’t get done and will continue to appear on my to-do list day after day after day… What I’ve learned is that if there is something on my to-do list where my instant reaction is, ‘I’ll do that later’, I do it RIGHT THEN! And you know what? It’s never as bad as I think it’s going to be which makes me wonder why I get that icky feeling in the first place.
2. Being broke helps you re-discover ‘lost’ items in your wardrobe
Like I mentioned in my previous post here, I spend any money I have on my business instead of on shoes. IT SUCKS! But, on the plus side, I’ve been forced to be a bit more inventive with the tonnes of clothes I already have. Get ready to get creative with layering would be my advice if you’re planning on starting out on your own.
3. You’ll meet so many new people
When you start moving in different circles, you’ll come across all these new people who totally ‘get’ what you do and will, even although they’ve just met you, have your back! Kind of awesome, huh? As I mentioned before, if you go about the task of meeting new people with a positive mind-set, you’ll find that you meet exactly the right kind of people at exactly the right time so don't worry too much about perfecting your so-called elevator speech or feeling like you have to thrust your business card into the palm of anyone and everyone's direction. I’m really conscious of making sure I'm a good listener and letting people tell me their story (which I genuinely love hearing) with absolutely no agenda. I've been to a lot of networking events in my time and there is nothing more off-putting than meeting someone who only wants to know what you can do for them and I never want to be 'that' guy. Just show an interest in people and if you can help someone, even although they might appear to have absolutely nothing to offer you, still do it. Be 'that' guy...
4. You’ll learn so much
I have learned so much more in the last four months than I did in all my time at school and uni put together. When your livelihood depends on it, you learn shit-loads and you learn it FAST! Before I started transforming the boring office I had just got a set of keys for to the cosy and chic (other peoples words; not mine) environment of The Lifestyle Lab, I honestly had never attempted any kind of DIY in my life. Apparently you can't use the same type of paint on walls as you can on wood - WHO KNEW?? Well, everyone except from me, apparently… But other than a crash course in DIY duties, I have learned so much about business, about people and about myself since I launched The Lifestyle Lab. When you're flying solo, it's not enough to just know about your product or service you're selling. You need to know about the logistics of running a business, managing the social media channels, pitching for new business, getting your business in front of the right eyes, marketing your business as well as learning about the best places to create graphics, how to set up card payments and what paint is going to look like Farrow & Ball but costs a fraction of the cost. (Leyland Paint in case you're wondering.) All of this will probably explain why my poor little brain feels like it's going to explode sometimes...
5. You’ll surprise yourself
When I look back at the before and after photographs of the office, I’m actually pretty amazed that it has turned out exactly as I had envisaged. It’s also THE BEST feeling when you meet someone new and find out they already follow you on social media and feel emotionally invested in the business as they’ve watched it grow (in baby steps, albeit) from the beginning. Believe it or not, I was also the most unbelievably shy child/teenager/young adult and every report card at school said that I needed to come out of my shell and learn to speak up a bit so it does amaze me sometimes that I am actively choosing to host style workshops and presentations in front of groups of people. And then there are other times, like on Monday when I spent 20 minutes in multi-storey car park looking for my car, that I’m just surprised I make it through the day without some kind of adult supervision.
6. You’ll never need to wonder, ‘what if’…
Because let’s face it, nothing is more frustrating than the FOMO (fear of missing out)….
7. Your instincts will become your best asset
If something isn’t sitting well with you or gives you a weird, sinking feeling that you can't explain, go with your gut instinct because chances are, it's right. It’s important to separate that nervous/anxious feeling that you get when you’re doing something scary but new and exciting that's outside of your comfort zone from that feeling you get when something or someone gives you cause for concern. Learn to tell the difference between the two and ALWAYS trust your instinct, you owe it to your business and to yourself to be protective.
8. You will learn to care less about what people think
Every single time I blog about something and hit publish, I get that horrible moment when I thinks that everyone is saying ‘NO ONE CARES, SHUT UP!’ No doubt there are a few people who are thinking that but once you step outside of your comfort zone, you learn to do what feels right and you stop obsessing about things that are outwith your control. You also quickly learn to remove yourself from negative people with negative attitudes and negative energy.
9. You become so much more productive
Although there are days when I wish I could buy some kind of app that lets me download a few more hours in the day or extra days in the week, there are times that I can get through my to-do list before lunch. Luckily, there are always at least 300 tasks that I didn’t get round to actually putting down on my list that need taken care of but I’ve certainly become so much more efficient. Perhaps that goes hand in hand with the fact that I’ve started to overcome the serial procrastinator in me…
10. You learn to be a bit kinder to yourself
I'm still working on this one but I've learned that stressing about things that might happen or might not happen is a complete waste of my precious time and energy. Of course I want the business to be an 'overnight' success but, in reality, no business ever is. It's about sticking to what you believe is right, being consistent, turning up, putting in the hours and believing that everything will be okay.... because it has to, right?
"WHENEVER YOU FIND YOURSELF DOUBTING HOW FAR YOU CAN GO, JUST REMEMBER HOW FAR YOU HAVE COME. REMEMBER EVERYTHING YOU HAVE FACED, ALL THE BATTLES YOU HAVE WON AND ALL THE FEARS YOU HAVE OVERCOME"