Growth 30 Comfort Zone

Published on May 19th, 2013 | by Jose Vasquez


Step Out of Your Comfort Zone for Startup Tech Companies

To reach greater heights as an entrepreneur, you have to be willing to make yourself uncomfortable in ways other people aren’t.

Familiarity is comfortable, and most people are perfectly complacent with the safety of their routines. But as an entrepreneur, you need to be able to step outside of that comfort zone and do things you wouldn’t ordinarily do. It might seem counterintuitive, but the more new experiences and new insights you find, the better your company can perform in the long run.

Penelope Trunk, a professional career coach and writer, explains that new ideas are usually the result of dissonance between people or information. Whenever there is a conflict of opinion or a new outside environment, there is an opportunity for a fresh take on an old thought or room for cultivating a new idea altogether.

Trunk outlines three major rules for exposing yourself to these types of opportunities:

  1. Go places where you don’t ordinarily fit in. Travel whenever possible, even if that means simply traveling down the street. Meet new professionals and learn from their different philosophies.
  2. Surround yourself with people you don’t get along with. Find people who are good at things you aren’t good at, and those who have ideological differences. They’ll be able to give you perspective you might not otherwise get.
  3. Embrace nervousness. If something makes you nervous, it’s generally worth pursuing. If you succeed, you’ll feel great and enjoy the reward. If you fail, at least you can learn from the experience. You won’t get far unless you take risks and challenge yourself.

The introverts reading these rules are likely shaking their heads, but this advice is crucial to anyone wanting to succeed in the world of startup technology. There are thousands of startup tech entrepreneurs competing to find success, and the way to surpass them is to do things they’re not willing to do.

While they hire a team of people who unanimously agree with them, you’ll be getting fresh insights from someone who makes it a point to argue. While they stay secluded in their development caves, you’ll be finding inspiration in new professional circles. While the others are enjoying a comfortable routine, you’ll be pushing the limits of innovation—and maybe cringing a bit in the meantime.

Penelope Trunk’s career advice runs in 200 newspapers. She is the co-founder of Brazen Careerist, a career management tool for next-generation professionals. This is her third startup. Find Penelope’s original article, Put Yourself in Uncomfortable Situations, on her personal blog.

photo credit: Scott Ableman via photopin cc

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About the Author

is a serial entrepreneur and tech specialist dedicated to helping startup tech companies grow and succeed. As the founder of Build. Brand. Blast., Jose has worked with dozens of enterprises to find direction, gain momentum, and achieve results.

3 Responses to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone for Startup Tech Companies

  1. Sade says:

    Jose, thanks because this is about all I’ve heard and read in the past 2 weeks – getting out of hour comfort zone, thriving in an environment of criticism, taking advantage of every opportunity in working with someone who hardly agrees with you – you know, just turning everything into positive and relevant insights and experiences. This has been my experience and it is indeed sharpening my focus and driving my roots deep.

  2. Jose Vasquez says:

    Disruption offers the best opportunities to grow! Good luck to you Craig!

  3. As one ad agency owner said years ago, “the Safeway is a grocery store”. Last year I left my agency after 24 years. Too much dissonance can be a bad thing. Now I’ve got the right kind of discomfort to motivate me :-)

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    Hey there! I’m Jose Vasquez, and I’ve spent my life helping startup technology companies get the direction and momentum they need to succeed. I started Build. Brand. Blast. as a resource for new entrepreneurs to learn the ropes of starting a business and the keys to building something that lasts.

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