Breaking Out of the Comfort Zone

Hicks Lake

I went out to Hicks Lake with some friends this weekend to get some very important things done. What I noticed along the way is that our world insulates us. And that insulation has a nasty side effect …

It can make us too comfortable. Too intolerant of anything remotely uncomfortable. Too wary of taking the risks that teach us valuable lessons and lead to great successes. And great rewards.

We’re surrounded by comfort. So letting go of the most basic things that we take for granted is not always easy. Things like indoor plumbing. Electricity. Central air. Not sleeping on the ground.

There are no big lessons to be learned without taking a few risks, going through a little discomfort, and taking a few on the chin. Can you remember how you learned that fire was hot? Or figured out how big a tree branch had to be to hold your weight?

Get to Where You’re Going by Going There

Everyone has a question about how to succeed in something. What’s it take to build a million dollar company? How do you create a successful blog? When’s the right time to buy a stock? Or sell it?

The textbook answers are all around us. The smart textbook answers come from experience and yet they’re still missing something. Because they’re not YOUR experience.

Take the bumps and the bruises. Jump in. Test, try, fail. And then keep moving forward. Because, beyond the cold, hard ground that you have to sleep on, past the wall of bloodthirsty mosquitos … there’s a pristine lake.

It’s just about the most perfect place on the entire planet to go swimming.

And there’s only one way to know that.

8 thoughts on “Breaking Out of the Comfort Zone”

  1. Excellent metaphor!
    I thought I knew it all before jumping in the deep end of online business. Only now do I really appreciate what hard work and mental strength are all about. And I still have A LOT to learn

  2. Get to Where You’re Going by Going There

    Good advice. Seems like anything worth achieving requires the “learn as you go” method.

  3. Hey Andy,

    Thanks. The important thing is that you jumped in! There are a lot of insulating things in our world that can soften us up and they make a lot of people unwilling to take any sort of leap.


    I come across textbook examples of how to conduct business occasionally. Some are good, but most just make me laugh and wonder “what perfect world did this come from”?

    You can get a great foundation for anything you want to learn from someone else, but at the end of the day, you gotta try it out yourself.

  4. Everyone learns to appreciate things as well!!
    Also, what it takes to succeed is how much time and dedication you’re willing to put forth. The success of a business can be directly related to the amount time and level of effort the owner puts in 😀 You put in a minimal effort, then your profit margins will be minimal and vise versa.

    I’m always willing to take a risk, as long as I’ve looked at the consequences and done a little research!


  5. Hey Gregg,

    Absolutely, hard work is the sure and steady way to make progress. At the same time, taking some risks and trying something unique and innovative brings big rewards. And at the very least, we learn what works, what doesn’t, and why.

  6. Definitely. The tough thing about my brother and I taking the risk and trying to start our own business right now is that we don’t know all the ends and outs of things. It seems like everyday new things keep popping up and we’re back researching more. It’s tedious work, but we’re hoping it will pay off in the long run – 2-3 years from now.

    We also don’t have much money, so we have to watch our budget!! And we’re going to keep working and try to land jobs at restaurants when we go back to school to help pay for our inventory, web hosting, and whatever else!


  7. It’s good that you’re starting small Gregg. That gives you a lot of flexibility for trial and error and allows you to try a few different things. The key is to focus on sales rather than development.

    You can always have some new ideas in development, but make sure to take what you’ve got and start selling as soon as possible. The quicker you can guage the success of an idea in real income potential, the quicker you can decide whether it’s a winner or not.

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