Leave Your Comfort Zone – Step 5

Go Social Experts, located in Eau Claire, WI, offers social media management strategies for Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.

We’ve been talking about what it takes to successfully market your off-line business online. Here is an overview of all the steps.

The first step requires you to do something hard: change yourself.

Most of us would like to get different results from the same effort we’ve been putting in. That would let us do activities that we’re comfortable with. However, to get different results, we have to try different things.

As Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.”

Since none of us wants to be insane, we need to do different things and this will make us leave our comfort zone. The challenge of using online marketing is that we must reveal part of ourselves to be most effective.

Creating blog posts, social media posts, and videos didn’t come naturally to me. I tend to be introverted and putting my work and thoughts out into the world scared me.

But people connect with us on a deeper level when we do so.

The other challenge is that we need to create content. It may be information we talk to customers about all the time but, as a former retail salesperson, I know that it’s easier to talk to someone about an item than it is to write about it—or worse yet, to record yourself talking about it.

What do I mean by doing something different and moving outside our comfort zone?

Activities like:

  • Writing emails
  • Writing blog posts
  • Creating social media posts
  • Taking and posting pictures
  • Creating videos. That’s way out there, and I’m speaking as someone who wasn’t comfortable on camera.
  • Creating podcasts
  • Creating educational webinars

No one needs to do all of these, but we should all be able to do some of them. This involves not only being uncomfortable but being willing to change our schedules.

What do I take out of my overbooked schedule? I’m already too busy.  How can I find the time? I work every night after “work” to get everything done. What if it’s not good?

I’m here to tell you that the first thing you create won’t be good, but every time you create another article or video, it will be a little better than the first. Soon, they’ll be okay, then good, and after some time, great.

I’m not good at writing, talking, and video you’ve got to be kidding.

No, I’m not kidding. The technical barriers to making media are significantly less than they were only a few years ago. Most of us own the technology we need, and the tools are free to inexpensive. All you need to create all the products are a computer, either a pc or a Mac, and a smartphone. The quality you’ll get from those is good enough for the web.

Now, are you looking for reasons not to follow through with this or are you looking for ways to be successful? Are you afraid?

I was. People may not like what I put out, I thought. They may make fun of me. Not true. Most people will admire you for making the effort.

If you’re going to be a successful business owner, you need to get used to being uncomfortable. That’s the only way you’re going to grow. The challenge may be marketing, dealing with staff, or trying new products and services.

Here’s something I did a few years ago to move outside my comfort zone faster.

Each spring, I try to learn a new skill or do something totally different from what I’ve done before.

That year it came to my attention that the director of the local community theatre was having an improv class, so I signed up. I didn’t know when I registered that we practiced for seven weeks and then put on a show the final week—for a real audience. The class participants invited people to a theatre; they paid to get in and the class performed.

Talk about intimidating. Others in the class seemed so much more skilled and there were so many people there—about 100, some friends and family and others strangers.

The show went off well and the “high” I got from working with a team of performers was incredible.

This also gave me the confidence to be in front of people and the knowledge that I would handle situations that come up better than I thought.

I recommend that you take an improv class if you have any interest at all in being in front of people.

But don’t delude yourself into thinking that at a certain point your discomfort will disappear and your challenges will evaporate. The only time that will happen is when you stop doing anything new.

I’m enjoying life and what it brings me too much to want to stop.

No matter how skilled you get, there’s always something new coming at you.

A quote I read several years ago that stuck with me is that success means you get better problems. When I heard that, I felt a sense of relief. I thought I was successful, but I still had problems. They weren’t the same as those the year before, but there still were problems and challenges.

I now look forward to new challenges, knowing that that they are helping me grow into a more skilled person.

Have a great week, and look for something new to challenge you.

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