One of my goals for this year was to really step my game up when it comes to my business and blog, For Colored Gurls. Doing this has required me to step out of my comfort zone which hasn't been the easiest thing because I'm a person who loooves stability. Some things I've done so far:
- I recently learned the importance of putting my face and business out there and letting people know what I have to offer. The reason I hadn't really done so before is because I didn't want to be obnoxious or for people to think I was conceited or something. But, I realized I had to promote myself because no one else is going to, and I realized there is an art to selling oneself in an appropriate way. So, while it was a little weird for me initially, I'm getting used to it now.
- I recently created two YouTube channels (one for Mocha Writer and one for FCG), and I created a BlogTalk Radio Show for FCG. Now, anyone who knows me knows I'm not much of a talker; I'd much rather write than speak. But, since I really want to expand beyond just writing, reach a larger audience and develop my brands, I did what I had to do. I'm not 100 percent comfortable with this just yet, but I'm sure I'll get there.
- Yesterday, I attended my first ever Chamber of Commerce event (I just became a member). I'll be honest: When my friend invited me, I wasn't sure I would go. I've been to a few networking events, but the majority of the attendees were people who were similar to me, but this was completely different, and I didn't feel that I would feel comfortable in that setting. However, one of my goals is start attending more networking/business events, so I went and actually had a good time.
My point is that if we want to learn, grow our businesses and develop ourselves, we have to learn to step out of our comfort zones-- at least a little. For most of us, starting a business was not something we were exactly comfortable doing, but we did it anyway. And I think to keep our businesses going and thriving, we have to continue to take risks and try things that may initally seem a little scary or do things we never thought we would. And after you do those things, you'll likely realize two things: 1) It wasn't really that big of a deal; and 2) You're a better person for it because you tried something new and different.
How do you step out of your comfort zone? Don't think about too much and just do it. Of course, create a plan first (if necessary), but after you do that, just go ahead. Because if you think about it too much, you might start thinking, "What if this bad thing happens?", psych yourself out and not do anything at all. Also, I suggest sharing your new venture with others. That way, you'll feel like you have to do it because if you don't, people will find you untrustworthy (and that's bad for business). For example, when I decided I wanted to do a radio show, I came up with a date, asked the guest if she could do it, scheduled the show and started promoting it. Now, I can't not do it because it'll make me look bad and like a liar if I don't. Putting a date on your project makes you accountable for doing what you said you would do when you said you would do it.
Whatever your dreams and goals are, take it to the next level and make it great by stepping out of your comfort zone! You won't be disappointed.