Take a Risk. Be Vulnerable. See What Happens.
Being an entrepreneur is all about taking risks, but with so many people afraid of failure, risk taking has become overly-calculated. It’s time to relax your inhibitions, turn off the naysayers, and remind yourself that a great adventure lies ahead when you step out into the unknown.
You can take risks, be vulnerable, and survive. You can make lots of money, you can gain prestige, you can find that level of satisfaction you’ve been searching for. But you can’t do it from an armchair or from the sidelines.
You are hereby invited into the fray… for the adventure of your life.
“How Do I Know For Sure This Facebook Thing Will Pay Off?”
Back in the old days (2007-2009) when I was evangelizing for businesses to use social media, I got hit up with a lot of questions. People wanted to know precisely how and where it would pay off, what to track and measure, what the best social networks were. It was all about hard ROI in a fluid world. Not an easy match.
In all honesty, I couldn’t answer them with exact exact data as it was still unraveling. Much of what we advised back then was part hunch, part moxie, part quantum physics come to life in marketing. You could feel the energy of this wave and based on this give a projection, but the numbers had to be found out in the process. When I told clients to get a WordPress blog, I’d have a few folks come back a week later and tell me they hadn’t yet gotten a single client since setting it up. “You’re missing the point”, I’d tell them and go back to the drawing board with WHY they needed a blog, how it would feed their long term goals, and provide a center point for their online visibility and credibility.
“You’re pulling up the carrots to see if they’ve grown yet”, I’d tell them. Like all seeds, you need to wait a bit after you plant them.
I did a lot of defending back then! I’m happy to say the wave took off on its own and we don’t need my voice out there convincing and evangelizing as much as in those early days.
The Next Flight Beyond Your Comfort Zone Is Now Boarding
For some people, getting on Facebook was a huge scary act. Opening themselves up in a public way was beyond their comfort zone. But now that we’ve all gotten settled into social media, where is the next place to take risks? Do we need to keep stretching beyond our comfort zones?
There are plenty of reasons NOT to go beyond your comfort zone. First of all it’s scary… and who wants scary? You have to show some soft white underbelly when getting out of your comfort zone because (ouch!) you might hurt yourself. You might do something crazy in public. You might FAIL.
Whatever. Nobody’s perfect.
We need to get over this extreme self-consciousness and just get up and do it. Don’t wait for the “leader”, we’re at the point where YOU need to be the leader.
If you’re resonating with this and don’t know how to get going, here are some tips to prod you and guide you along. Your innovation might be an internal shift or it might be related to a new technology… either way, jump into the water and ride the wave! You’re in good company.
1. Do Something Scary Everyday.
Taking risks involves vulnerability. If you stay in your comfort zone you won’t grow. For years I wanted to try the Brazilian martial art Capoeira but was afraid I’d look stupid because I couldn’t do a cartwheel. Every Capoeira demonstration I’d ever seen had people cartwheeling all over the place between kicks and moves. Finally I mustered up the courage to try a class. I still can’t do a cartwheel but the exhilaration of overcoming that fear has motivated me to do my best. Plus I have a supportive group of people I’m trying this with so that helps too!
2. Daily Motivation/Inspiration
Attitude is everything, especially when you’re trying new things. If you don’t already have some sort of daily motivation/inspiration practice, then I suggest you start. With Facebook it’s really easy because a number of people post motivational quotes that can get your head in the right place. A couple of my favorites to follow are Called By Love (my favorite quotes on love and growth), and Positively Positive (good pick-me-ups).
3. Stay Curious
Without curiosity, where would we be as a human race? Who would’ve discovered the luscious oyster, the heart of an artichoke, or plant medicines? It’s important to stay curious and wonder aloud about things. Make it a point to do something that feeds your curiosity each and every day. Listen to a new radio station, buy a book or music without having to read the Amazon reviews, go into a store you’ve never gone to, drive a different way home, read a blog you’re unfamiliar with. Just stay in the teachable zone.
4. Be The First
Instead of waiting for somebody to first test the waters, be the water tester. This might be with a new format for your newsletter, way of selling, a live event, a webinar, a way of serving your clients. It could be a new social network, WordPress plug in, or tech tool. It can be taking a contrary opinion on a commonly held belief or toppling old paradigms. Give it 90 days and see where it takes you.
5. Be the Second… With a Twist
People often feel they have to sit on the sidelines if they weren’t the first to the party with innovation. But taking an existing idea and putting your own twist on it can be just as risky as starting it anew. You’ll come up against new fears, many of them mindset related. “So and So already did this, who am I to step into their field?”
6. Teach What You Learn
I monetized my knowledge of social media by teaching it to others shortly after I’d learned something. For some topics, you only need to be a step ahead. My private clients and members of my mastermind groups know that I’m always innovating and trying new things so they stick around to hear what’s going on behind the scenes. They know that hanging around me is like having their own information distillery with ideas they can try. (I encourage them to take my ideas and put their own twist on it). Don’t just sit on your knowledge- turn it around and make it a part of your offers.
7. Personal Growth is Key
Like Tip #2, the personal/mindset piece is a huge part of taking risks. If you’re consumed with self-consciousness, resentment, anger, or bitterness then you’re preventing yourself from innovating in the truest form. You want your innovations to come from a good clean place: a heart that feels loving and whole, a positive attitude, a giving spirit. For a long time I harbored a big resentment against someone in my life. I didn’t realize how draining that was until I finally forgave him and then asked forgiveness for my end of things. I literally felt a 100 pound weight lifted from me and soon things I’d been stuck on were resolved and I felt much better as a person. And yes, sales went up after that big release!
So now it’s your turn:
Get on the next flight out of your comfort zone. Take some risks. Put yourself out there in ways you haven’t before. You may not see instant results, but you will activate a newfound energy in your business and in your life that will take you to those places you’ve dreamed of, but keep getting blocked along the way.
Where will you begin? Leave your comments and ideas below.
Can’t wait to hear where you’re headed!