Unless you have completely given up all hope, which unfortunately happens to some of us, we are all driven to succeed in our lives and in our businesses. And that drive for success pushes us to make improvements in our processes.
We usually make those improvements in small, incremental steps. We study the data, looking to see what has served us well in the past and try to do more of the things that worked. We examine the current information in our niche, looking for evidence of things that are working for others in our industry. We usually are on the lookout for proof of concept, waiting to verify that a new method or technique has worked for others before we move to implement those changes in our business.
Much more than any of our ancestors, we have become a data-driven society. People have easy access to more information than at any point in history. We hold the accumulated knowledge of mankind in the palm of our hand.
See one of your competitors trying out a new marketing strategy? Immediately, you can research it online, getting instant feedback on every aspect of the tactic.
How did they launch it?
What were the costs?
Are there any negatives to be aware of?
How soon can results be expected?
While having all this data can certainly increase our chances of success, there can be a downside to having too much information. We can be lulled into ‘paralysis by analysis’: the negative effect of doing too much research and not taking enough action.
Small business owners are especially susceptible to this phenomenon, as we often find ourselves in a very vulnerable position. We are (usually) solely responsible for the success of our business and are hesitant to make any sudden moves that might ‘upset the apple cart.’
Unfortunately, this can often cause us to examine a new idea, research it and examine it some more. Weighing the positives and negatives, talking to other business owners, reading about others who have tried it… ad nauseam.
Until, ultimately, we do nothing. Not content with where we are, but too afraid to make a change.
But, really, what are we afraid of?
Ask yourself, what’s the worst thing that can happen?
If we are already experiencing some level of success, is making this change really going to cause your business to fall off the map? Yes, there is always the possibility of a negative effect, but will this new thing really bankrupt your business? Probably not.
So, why not try something new? Take a chance. Step outside of your comfort zone.
Real growth is only possible through stress.
If you long for more than slow, incremental advances in your business, you can’t be afraid to make some changes. And while I’m not advocating jumping off the edge of a cliff, there is something to be said for examining that cliff edge, looking for ways to cross the void, utilizing methods that have already been tried (and proven) by others that have gone before you.
So just do it; take that chance. If you see something that you think will help your business, don’t be afraid to give it a try. Who knows, it just might work out for you, leaving you wondering why the hell you didn’t try it a long time ago.
Don’t be afraid, every once in a while, to take that leap off the cliff.
As long as you’ve got a parachute.
Just in case.
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