Are you comfortable with the day to day responsibilities of your business? I must admit that as crazy as things get at times, and as long as some days may be, I find a level of comfort coming into my office each day knowing what to expect and what unexpected tasks may come my way.
So is being comfortable a good thing? Often, we search for comfort in our lives, but as an entrepreneur, finding comfort might mean complacency, stagnation, or that we’re not taking enough risk. By definition, entrepreneurs are risk takers, so why not continue to take those calculated risks as we continue to grow?
Recently, I found myself in that “comfort zone.” While business has grown significantly over the past 8-10 months, and we’ve built an amazing team, I still felt like this growth was familiar. I began to explore what that next phase of growth looked like, and decided that building a local presence in the Boston area would be a logical progression. So we decided that working from the city one day each week from a co-working space on Newbury Street would be a great place to start.
Here are four things I’ve learned from this experience:
- Time to think – I’ve decided to take the train into the city on Thursdays. For anyone that has driven the morning commute from Providence to Boston, you know why! I use my handy MBTA and PayByPhone Parking apps to schedule my trip, and show up around 8:15 ready to go. With my headphones on and mobile office in my hand, I was amazed at all of the ideas that I had on the ride. Being disconnected from the office for the day allowed me to think of new ways to build the business rather than reacting to what goes on from day to day.
- Make new connections – I setup at my desk around 9:30, catch-up on emails, settle in, and then I look at what events are going on in the area. My first day working from Boston, there was a lunch and learn at the co-working space. I signed up and met several new people, many of whom had an immediate need for our services. I was also an active part of the discussion, which is a great start in building a sense of community in a new city. This definitely gave me plenty of new contacts to follow-up on.
- Refine my skills – I was asked to present a workshop on Digital Marketing in the coming months to member of the shared office space. While I regularly speak on this topic locally, this opportunity gives me a new audience to present to, with different experience and different expectations. There is comfort in speaking at the same locations to a similar audience, but this opportunity gives me a chance to build a reputation as a subject matter expert in a new market, a challenge I gladly accept.
- Bigger appearance – We LOVE being a Rhode Island company. This is where most of our clients are and it’s where all of our staff lives and works. As we’re approached by clients from other parts of New England, we’re finding that having two locations listed, as well as having a Boston presence, is making an impact. They say perception is reality, and in our case, that is certainly proving to be the case. New prospects love our Newbury Street address and our Boston clients love it even more!
So are you still working from within your comfort zone? Maybe it’s time to take a chance and step outside. You never know what impact it could make on your business!