Day 16: OPERATION: Create Your Own Path




Can you believe it's day 16 of OPERATION: Create Your Own Path? Are you considering starting your own business? Building a business often provides an opportunity to build your confidence and skillset. Today's featured spouse and small business expert both offer the great advice of challenging yourself to expand your comfort zone.


 Sandra Sawyer

Ardyss International


"To achieve success in business, diligence, perseverance, commitment and a winner's attitude is required. Don't be afraid to step outside of the box and outside of your comfort zone; it's necessary to live the life of your dreams and achieve your goals. Last but certainly not least, surround yourself with like minded persons, those persons who understand and support your entrepreneurial journey."



Donna Toothaker

Virtual Assistanting Expert and Coach


Step Out of Your Comfort Zone and Step Up to a New Level of Success


I learned a valuable lesson this past summer. Life is short. And our time here is precious. So why waste time dreaming about the things you want to do and the places you want to go? Stop dreaming. Stop thinking in terms of “someday” and instead, start thinking in terms of “now.” And I mean this for your life and for your business.


In terms of your business, the “someday” may include things like doing only the work you love, working only with your ideal clients, enjoying financial freedom, and whatever else defines success for you. And your “now” may look something like this—working 24/7, little or no flexibility, working with any client that comes along, barely breaking even or making a little profit, but never having any significant growth. Now, I ask you, which sounds better to you? The “someday,” right? So what are you waiting for? Why aren’t you making the someday happen now?


In order to get to the someday version of your business, you have to move away from the now version. You’ve heard the expression “To get something different, you have to do something different.” That means you have to step out of your comfort zone, which most likely makes you uncomfortable. It’s easier to stay put; stuck in the now version, but that’s getting you nowhere.


So let’s talk about a few common things (fears, if you will) that keep people locked in the now, and ways you can begin to step out and step up to that someday version of your successful business.


Talking to people. If you want to grow your business, you have to get out there and talk to people (ideally your target market). They need to know who you are and how you can help them. If one of the things holding you hostage in your comfort zone is fear (be honest with yourself)—fear of judgment, rejection, failure, or whatever, then you need to understand a couple of things: 1) Most people are not born speakers; they acquire the skill over time and with lots of practice; and 2) As with so many things, the first few times are the most difficult, but once you see that people are interested in what you have to share, and that they’re not going to heckle you or throw things on the stage, you’ll gain enough confidence to try it again, and then again. And before you know it, you will have taken one giant step outside that comfort zone.


Asking for referrals. This makes a lot of people uncomfortable. But if you are confident in the services you provide, and you go the extra mile to take great care of your clients, then your clients, colleagues and peers are most likely already talking about you to their own groups. So ask them for referrals; most will be happy to oblige. You can even create an affiliate program as an incentive for them to refer people to you. And while you’re at it, ask your best clients for testimonials, too. Remember that your best clients WANT you to stay in business; they want you to be successful because they appreciate what you do for them. They want to help you, and they can do that through referrals and testimonials. Do this and you will have taken another giant step outside that zone.


Going it alone. Congratulations! You are now two giant steps outside your comfort zone. Ready to take a third?


Hire a coach. Why? Because you can only grow as big as what you know. And if you’ve never grown a successful business before, you don’t “know it” so you HAVE to have someone who can guide you because they’ve already done it. Ask any successful entrepreneur and they will tell you they did not do it alone. They all had mentors, coaches, or consultants. When you invest in a coach or a program, it’s not an investment in the coach or the program; it’s an investment in YOU and your business. You’re worth it; you deserve it, and when you invest in yourself, others (clients, prospects) find it easier to invest in you and in your services.


Working with an experienced coach who has a solid reputation for helping others step up to that higher level of success is the best investment you can make for your business. It won’t be cheap, but if it helps you to break out of your comfort zone so you can begin to move towards your “someday” version NOW, wouldn’t it be worth the investment?


When you see others with more success than you – THAT is what they are doing. They’re stepping out and up. Don’t fall behind. You deserve to be right up there at the front of the line, so go ahead…join them! Now that you have stepped out of your comfort zone, keep moving forward, stepping up to that next level of success—the “someday” version of your business.


Donna Toothaker is CEO, founder and coach of Step It Up VA Coaching, and the creator of the 6 Steps to 6-Figure VA Success System. These highly sought-after VA coaching programs have been created for established, successful VAs who wish to create the 6-figure business of their dreams. Visit to receive the free report, Top 3 Mistakes to Avoid in Creating a 6-Figure VA Business.



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#1 Sandra S. 2013-07-31 03:07
Great advice & tips for business owners, Donna! I wholeheartedly agree that hiring a coach is a must to move to the next level and beyond in your business... Thankful for the insights my coaches have provided thus far! It has truly been an awakening for me, as I embrace the entrepreneurial process, knowing that it is and will continue to be life transforming and impactful.

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