The Fastest Way to Grow Your Business

Posted by on Sep 19, 2012 in Business, Introvert | 3 comments

outside the comfort zoneWhile on a conference call today with some awesome women in an online group I am part of, the question came up “what do you do to move through your comfort zone?”

Let me stop there and say that I don’t LIKE moving outside of my comfort zone. I LIKE my comfort zone very much, but I also understand that to learn and grow, I have to be willing to step outside of it. So I practice.

I mentioned that personally, few things get me more worked up than picking up the phone and making a call. I’m having to do it now for the launch of a new group I’m starting and it’s bringing up all these fears: The fear of rejection. The fear of “bugging” someone or “interrupting” their time. The fear of being yelled at. Or simply the fear that what I have to say won’t be all that interesting.

Then the moderator asked “can you think of a time when you pushed yourself outside of that comfort zone and it actually WORKED?” Hmmmmm…. Interesting question. Yes. Yes I can.

It was when I just started running my business full-time in 2003. I had moon lighted for several years and had a few clients, but now needed to quickly replace my “job” income. So I did the only thing I knew to do at the time. I found a book on cold-calling at the bookstore and started making calls to printers and designers who might have overflow work for a newbie graphic designer. No leads. Just the Yellow Pages.

Needless to say, it wasn’t the most effective marketing strategy I picked up over the years, BUT it was unexpectedly successful.

What do I mean by that?

Several days into cold calling, I got to speak with an actual printer who would give me the time of day. David Russell Ohrn was his name and his company was South County Printing. “DRO,” as his friends and colleagues call him, was heavily involved in networking and invited me to his LeTip group. I had NEVER heard of networking, but thought it might be a good way to connect with DRO and see what his world was all about.

I’ll never forget. It was 7:00 am and I was at the Marbella Country Club surrounded by a room full of business owners I did not know. Not only that, I was expected to get up and talk about my business to them. Talk about outside of my comfort zone! It was definitely a defining moment. Out of that one meeting, I took the world of networking on by storm and grew my business so that it quickly replaced my income – and then some.

Years later, I can still thank DRO for introducing me to networking. And I can be proud of myself for stepping outside of my comfort zone to make a phone call that changed the course of my business forever.

So what does stepping outside of your comfort zone look like for you? I’d love to hear from you.




Powered by Facebook Comments


  1. thanks for this great post, a timely reminder for me.

  2. Thanks so much for your comment, Rock! It is so true. I’m the first to say that I don’t LIKE getting outside my comfort zone, but that question really sparked a memory and motivation to “just do it.”

  3. Tammi, this is a perfect reminder of how unexpected benefits that can come when we move out of our comfort zones. It only takes one successful foray to make all the discomfort fade into the distance. Thanks for posting this!