How to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Have you ever been asked to do a project that could potentially help a group that you were passionate about? At the time, you were probably inspired to do something, but were also a bit hesitant because you were both excited and scared. Maybe you felt that same way when you thought about starting your own business. Or, possibly it was when you felt that you might be putting yourself too far “out there” by sharing your personal ideas in front of a group of strangers. Perhaps it was when you had second thoughts about picking up the phone and calling someone that you’ve always wanted to meet but were afraid to approach. I am sure you can think of many other instances. 

In any case, my question for you is this:  “What did you do in that situation?” Did you choose to follow through with your heartfelt inclinations or did you let an imagined fear hold you back? 

Here is my story on how I punched through the proverbial scary tiger that growled and tried to block my way… 

Here is my original art of the scary tiger. He is sweet now because I tamed him.

Recently, I was asked by my Score Business mentor if I would take on the planning and rolling out of a Women Business Owner’s Conference. This conference was badly needed and would be the first of its kind in our area.

She said, “Kay, this will get to the center of your passion. In the many years of building your own business, you’ve often told me that you are passionate about sharing what you learned with other women business owners of diverse backgrounds.” 

I replied, “Yes, but it’s really intimidating to think about taking on something of this magnitude. It will involve one-hundred-and-fifty attendees with facility rental, speakers, corporate sponsors, and more!”

The more I thought about it, the more fearful I became. I saw the scary tiger that always seems to lunge out in front of me when I want to step forward and do something that takes me out of my comfort zone. What didn’t help is that I also recalled all of those days when I sheepishly succumbed to the tiger and let him scare me from moving forward. By backing down, I knew that I was running away from things I really wanted to do and considered to be important. Worse, I often went through months of feeling guilty afterwards about remaining on the sidelines and not stepping up.  

Now I have a tool called, Magical Mindshifts card deck to help me realize that the tiger whose keeping me from going forward is only a PAPER TIGER!

Let me share with you some of the facts about women-owned businesses in our country and why I feel a conference to help women entrepreneurs of all colors is essential. I recently discovered an article entitled “Women Fall Behind in Business” at the Women’s Chamber of Commerce. After I studied the statistics, I was sad to learn that the numbers supported what I’ve always suspected:

Do you know that women own 36% of all firms and generate $1.4 trillion in annual revenues? However,70% of women-owned firms have less than $25,000 in annual revenues and only 10% have paid employees.

The obstacles women-owned businesses face isn’t just bad for women’s businesses but it’s especially bad for our national economy. Reports indicate that when women work, they invest up to 90% of their income back into their families and communities compared with only 35 to 40% for men. 

As stated in the article, “The obstacles to growth facing women business owners are dramatically impacting their business revenues and profits,” states Margot Dorfman, CEO of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce. “These struggles translate into massive opportunity losses for business owners, their employees, families and communities. It behooves every American to call upon political, governmental and business leaders to take action to open the doors to opportunity for women-owned firms.”

All of these thoughts and ideas have been ruminating in my head since January of this year. Fast forward to this September. It’s now happening! My team and I have been working diligently to organize, plan, and promote this exciting event that includes an Eileen Fisher Fashion show during the luncheon program. If you live close by, I’d love for you to attend and I guarantee that there will be a friendly PAPER TIGER to greet you when you arrive at the door! Don’t wait, purchase your ticket now.