It’s one of those clichéd business advice, yet it never gets old: “Step out of your comfort zone.” It’s a timeless reminder that’s relevant for any season because more often than not, entrepreneurs find themselves right smack at its opposite, stuck in easy routines, in familiar industries, with the same old strategies. As a result, the business plateaus. No peaks. No growths. No breathtaking victories. This can go on for a long time, but it doesn’t stay like that forever. No, it won’t soar up. It can only go down.

Your business isn’t supposed to be dormant; you have to breathe new life in it every day with innovation. You can only do that if you heed that timeless, clichéd advice. Here are little steps to make that possible:

Start small.

Many people fear going out of their comfort zones precisely because it’s unknown territory, but it doesn’t have to be totally unknown to you. Take baby steps. For instance, if your goal is to introduce a new product to the market, test it out first on a small group of people and see what they think of it. If you want to put up another branch in a different state, you can try with a pop-up store first for a certain period. The principle is, stepping out of a comfort zone doesn’t have to be a huge step. It can be a change in increments. This applies not only when you’re running a business, but also right before you dive in. If you’re having hesitations about breaking into a certain industry, like fashion, you can explore clothing franchise business opportunities first just to have a feel of what’s like to be in it.

Commit to doing something new always.

African-American female entrepreneur talking on the phoneRoutines are very dear to entrepreneurs because they bring comfort and security, and it’s something you would like at such an unpredictable world. A deviation from the routine, a change, isn’t good because it removes that safety net. As much as they can, people try to avoid change. But what if you try another approach towards change? Instead of dodging it, make it your safety net. Find comfort in the uncomfortable. How do you do that? Simple: Do something unfamiliar to you every day. Perhaps, you can take a different route when going to the office or ask one of your employees to lead a meeting instead of you. It can also be changes outside of the business — let’s say, learning a new language or picking up a new hobby. You’ll never know, you might just meet the CEO of the brand you’ve been meaning to work with for years in a baking class.

Put yourself in someone’s shoes.

Take on different roles in your organization. Join the marketing team. Try customer service. Volunteer to become the retail person in your shop. Doing this exercise will put you in situations that you wouldn’t particularly like. If you’re not quite the talker, you will be forced to make small talk with customers coming to your store. If you’re not the type to think outside the box, you will be forced to squeeze out creative juices in your marketing campaign brainstorming sessions. Not only are you stepping out of your comfort zone, but you’re also learning so much about the roles and needs of your people.

Again, your business can’t be static. Otherwise, you’ll witness its inevitable decline. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Inject innovation in your endeavors. Step out of your comfort zone.

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